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“Ok place in Bam”

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Akbar's Tourist Guest House
Ranked #1 of 2 Bam B&B and Inns
Palo Alto, California
Level Contributor
135 reviews
66 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
“Ok place in Bam”
Reviewed 19 February 2013

Definitely not a highlight of my stay in Iran, but works as an accommodation in Bam. I was heading to Pakistan and was initially planning on staying in Zahedan, but decided to stay in Bam instead.

The owner and his son are nice guys and speak good English, but as the previous reviewer has commented, they try to overcharge for their rooms and the rooms are not in a great state - but are still clean and comfortable.

Breakfast is not provided, wifi wasn't working when I was there, but they let me use their computer/cable.

Previous review mentioned rooms being overpriced - Iran had a massive currency devaluation in October 2012, which is few months after the latest Lonely Planet guide went to print. If you check the guide, they assume 1 USD = 10k IRR, but the current rate is around 38k IRR. So everything became much cheaper for foreigners. Given associated inflation, most hotels in Iran have raised prices, because even if they increase their price 3x, you're still getting it cheaper than before, that's why comparing prices you get quoted in the hotel vs. any guidebook doesn't make any sense.

However make sure you negotiate, given what I've seen during my stay in Iran, I was happy to pay 250k IRR for the room. They also changed money for me because bazaari money-changers were already closed. As previous reviewer has mentioned, their rate wasn't great (around 5% commission on their end), but given I did not change huge amount, this wasn't a big deal. If you want to change larger amounts, go to proper money changers in a bigger town such as Kerman.

If you're heading to Pakistan, the owner will arrange a police escort for you to take you to your bus or shared-cab.

Stayed February 2013, travelled solo
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2 Thank Zael
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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25 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Date | Rating
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brh1976
Level Contributor
21 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 December 2012

Akbar's Guest House is one of the few places to get Lonely Planet's "Highly Recommended" rating, but quite frankly I don't understand how it got this rating.

Destroyed in the 2003 earthquake, the guest house is still being rebuilt (I visited in November 2012), with much of the building unfinished. Stairways are incomplete and lacking hand rails, and it looks like a bit of a construction zone. And although the building isn't really finished, it already needs a refresh: my room had dingy carpets, and only one of the three stalls in the shared bathroom was functional (the western toilet being one of the non-functional stalls).

More problematically, the shared bathroom was infested with mosquitos, and lacked any hot water. You may be able to get a hot shower in one of the rooms with a private bathroom, but the owner will (obviously) only let you use one of these if the room is empty.

The real problem, however, is that the owner is dishonest and the rooms wildly overpriced. When I arrived I was told that a room for me would cost 30,000 tomans (300,000 rials). According to LP, however, the price for a single room with no bathroom should be about 13,000 tomans. Mr. Akbar claimed that there were no cheaper rooms, but that he would give me a discount and charge me only 25,000 tomans for a single room. Since I was only able to check in at 5:00 pm (there was no one at the guest house when I arrived at 2:00), I ended up accepting this price for a single bed and no bathroom. It was only after this that I discovered that there was no hot water in the shared bathroom, which was a bit of a surprise.

The next morning, another pair of tourists arrived, and I found out they were charged 30,000 for a double room with a shared bathroom. Obviously I was not given any discount, but simply given a cheaper room for a cheaper price. It also seems that I was charged for a double room despite being alone (something that didn't happen anywhere else in Iran, even when I was put in a triple room). When I simply asked Mr. Akbar why my room was so expensive (I wasn't asking for a discount, just asking for an explanation), he got very angry and wasn't able to explain why it cost so much, other than to say that he has been operating a hotel for 12 years and has never had any problems.

In one month of traveling through Iran, this was the most I paid for any room, and by far the worst value (the two other places that charged 25,000 tomans were in beautiful buildings, included breakfast, and had very nice rooms with a TV and fridge).

Mr. Akbar will also change some money for you, but at a worse rate than you will get at a money changer. While the rate he gives you will be (marginally) better than the bank rate, he will complain that he's losing money by giving you a rate better than the banks in town will give. I highly doubt he is losing any money since money changers will give a better rate, and given my experiences with Mr. Akbar I'm not sure I believe him when he says there are no money changers in Bam.

Since there do not seem to be any other cheap places to stay in Bam, it is just possible this is the best place to stay in Bam. However, given that it only takes maybe 2-3 hours, at most, to experience the Arg, I would strongly suggest staying in Kerman and making Bam a day-trip. I have also heard that given the current restrictions on where you can go inside the Arg as it's being rebuilt (you have to stay on a very small network of paths), it is significantly better to visit the undamaged Arg at Rayen.

I would only stay here if you are heading overland to Pakistan and absolutely need to stay somewhere in Bam, and need secure parking.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
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3 Thank bwv812
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ouarzazate, Morocco
Level Contributor
96 reviews
66 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 October 2012

I stayed in this hotel while visiting the city of Bam. I had the chance to be the only guests in this hotel and spoke to the hotel owner Mr. Akbar. This is a fascinating person that saw his building collapse during the past Bam earthquake. This destroyed the whole city totally. If you want to stay in a still under construction place and you want to visit the still fascinating citadel of Bam, so you'll definitely love this place. Human contact at its best. The new rooms with private bathroom are great. We had a small kitchen place to cook in the hotel courtyard. The NEW hotel is almost completed and show the love this man has for life, for Bam and for his job.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank joaoleitao
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Florence, Italy
Level Contributor
67 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 November 2011

Mr. Akbar has rebuilt his guesthouse after the earthquake destroyed it.
Rooms are basic and quiet. Shared bathroom. Breakfast is not served.
I paid for a single room 150.000 ryal (less then 9 euros). You can relax in the courtyard and drink tea with Mr. Akbar reciting verses of Hafez' poem.
Come here just to express solidarity to a city hardly affected by the earthquake tragedy: Arg Bam is still alive and step by step will be born again with the great work of restoration going on day by day.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
5 Thank Angela M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Akbar's Tourist Guest House

Property: Akbar's Tourist Guest House
Address: Eish Abbad, Bam 76614, Iran
Region: Iran > Kerman Province > Bam
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Bam

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