Espinas International Hotel
In downtown Tehran, the glitzy high-rise Espinas melds touches of rococo and kitsch with marble and fleeting nods to the 6th-century Achaemenid Empire of Persepolis. At heart, though, it’s a modern, endearingly showy hotel. There’s an atrium cafe for teas, snacks and pastries, while Boulevard 126 features modern ‘fusion’ Iranian cuisine. The highlight is palatial Mandak, a traditional Persian restaurant with exotic arched ceilings, decorative stucco work and cushion-strewn niches with divans where you might recline with a post-meal shisha.