Qazvin Grand Hotel Ceded for Restoration

More than $4 million are needed to restore and equip the hotel, located in Qazvin,some 152 kilometers northeast of Tehran
Qazvin Grand Hotel was built in 1922 during the final years of the Qajar era.Qazvin Grand Hotel was built in 1922 during the final years of the Qajar era.
Lack of interest in funding the hotel's restoration stemmed from the fact that any possible damage to the historical texture could cost investors a small fortune

The classic Qazvin Grand Hotel, Iran's first "European-style" hotel, is a step closer to restoration after an Iranian investment firm won a bid to revive the dilapidated structure.

The hotel was put out to tender last year, but officials expressed concern after little interest was shown in the old building. 

However, the Iran Cultural Heritage and Tourism Investment Group Company (known by its Persian acronym Semega) placed a bid and won the tender amid no media coverage.

"Semega's bid was accepted recently and once they provide proof of financial stability, we'll talk about the details of the restoration plan," Mohammad Reza Pouyandeh, the head of Iran’s Revitalization and Utilization Fund for Historical Places, told ILNA.

He said the restoration of the building will not take more than two years and Semega will be allowed to operate the structure as a hotel for 20 years.

Semega's reputation for restoring old buildings without financial difficulty was integral to the fund accepting their bid.

"Restoration of the hotel requires around 100 billion rials ($2.6 million), while equipping it needs approximately 60 billion rials ($1.5 million); there aren't many companies that can afford that," Pouyandeh said.

Qazvin Grand Hotel was built in 1922 during the final years of the Qajar era. It was built in the western wing of Chehelsotoun Palace by the well-known Qazvin-based Ostad (master) Ali Joulaye.

The hotel's location in the historical texture of Qazvin (152 kilometers northeast of Tehran) has been cited as one of the reasons behind the lack of interest shown in investing in the building, as any possible damage to the historical texture during restoration could cost investors a small fortune.

It is one of the oldest hotels in the whole country, covering about 3,000 square meters. The three-story building enjoys unique architectural features, such as Corinthian order column capitals, wooden ceiling, elegant stuccos and brickwork.

Qazvin Grand Hotel was inscribed on the National Heritage List in 2004. It is also the site of a historically significant event: The founder of Pahlavi dynasty, Reza Shah, plotted the coup d’etat that ended the Qajari rule in Iran in this hotel in the early 20th century.

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