Cave Hotel in Iran

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The hotel, which opened in 2007, is on the edge of the mountain village of Kandovan, 27 miles south of the city of Tabriz. The village is known for its cave houses – a population of about 700 live in hollowed-out rocks the shape of witches' hats, like the famous "fairy chimney" formations of Cappadocia in Turkey. Until the hotel opened, it was possible only to pay a day visit to Kandovan, where the inhabitants speak a Turkish dialect and are known for the frosty reception they give to outsiders.

Incorporated into caves that climb across the hillside, the hotel has 10 rooms so far, with another 30 planned, and a large restaurant. All the rooms have under-floor heating and some have whirlpool baths. There are Persian rugs on the floor and the walls have recessed lighting. The decor is stylishly minimalist, using plenty of tiles and letting the rough rock sides do the talking.

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