For more than 1,500 years, travelers have made their way to Khiva. This Silk Road city in the western part of what is now Uzbekistan remains one of the jewels of Central Asia. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site famed for its historic walled city, the Ichan Qala. Medieval visitors would have slept with their animals and goods in caravanserais, or perhaps if they were wealthy and influential enough, found a welcome at the court of the Khan. Today, there are plenty of mid-range hotels and even a few boutique properties in heritage buildings, but it was not until late in 2021 that the doors of Khiva’s first 5* hotel opened, ushering in a new era of luxury.
Hotel Farovon is remarkable not least because of the speed in which it was constructed: it took just seven months from breaking ground to hosting the very first guest. Her impending arrival certainly piled on the pressure, for this VIP guest was none other than Audrey Azoulay, Director General of UNESCO.
The 106-room hotel is in a convenient location around five minutes’ drive from the Ichan Qala. Inside the palatial exterior, which has architectural influences from Khiva’s madrassas and other historic monuments, is a meticulously designed hotel where everything has been finished with a careful eye for detail. There is a strong sense of place, from the Islamic design of the courtyard garden, to the geometric motifs of the metalwork, and the Middle Eastern-style light fittings in many of the public areas and suites.
There are four restaurants and bars at Farovon, reflecting the multicultural influences which spread along the Silk Road. Whilst Khiva, the hotel’s main restaurant, introduces guests to Uzbekistan’s natural cuisine, they can also have a taste of the Mediterranean in Milan, or feast on pan-Asian dishes in Tokyo. The Istanbul lobby bar serves strong Turkish coffee and pastries, the perfect treat after a day filled with inspiring sightseeing amongst the mosques, madrassas, minarets, and palaces of the Ichan Qala.
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