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“Don't miss Bet el-Kerem in AswaN”
Review of Bet el Kerem

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Bet el Kerem
Ranked #2 of 15 Aswan B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Nokomis, Florida
Level Contributor
266 reviews
91 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 233 helpful votes
“Don't miss Bet el-Kerem in AswaN”
Reviewed 4 February 2013

BEIT EL KEREM
This is an update to my review of spring 2011. We stayed...our fourth time... for 9 days at Beit el Kerem in January, 2013. We returned to Egypt for this trip because of Beit el Kerem and a trip they organized for us to Sudan (I’ll post another review about that trip by March 2013). The guest house remains a place you cannot miss on your trip to Egypt. Rooms that are spotlessly clean, great food, a location perfect for exploring the desert, the neighboring Nubian village, the shores of the Nile and Aswan are only the surface. You will be greeted and treated like family.
Here are some practical hints:
Getting there:
If coming by train, walk straight out of the train station until you come to the Corniche, the road that runs along the Nile. It’s a 3-5 minute walk. Turn left (or south) and walk along the Corniche for a few dozen yards until you come to an unmarked gate. Stairs lead down to the riverbank to the ferry. You will see people down below. There is only one ferry from this spot and it takes you across the Nile to the West Bank. The fare is 1 Egyptian pound for tourists. Climb onto the ferry. Women sit to one side, men on the other. The trip takes a few minutes. When you dock on the west bank, follow the crowd up the stairs. You’ll go west, passing a few stalls, and in a minute or two will be at the edge of the desert. There may be camels there, but there will certainly be local trucks and vehicles to carry people into the many villages that stretch northward. To get your bearings, look west at about 11 o’clock and you’ll see the hill topped by the Tomb of the Nobles. Look at about 2 o’clock and you’ll see the southern end of the line of villages, and Beit el Kerem. Beit el Kerem is painted a bright blue. It’s a 3 minute walk to the gate. And you’re home.
The facilities:
All of the rooms are great. The one on the right as you enter the second floor from the stairwell does not have much natural light, if that is a concern. All rooms have a wash basin. Some have private ensuite bathrooms. The shared facilities are spotless...or as my mother used to say in her inimitable New Yawk accent: ‘you could eat off the flaws’ (that’s ‘floors’).
And then there is the roof deck, which is where you will spend most of your time. It’s where the delicious meals appear, where the cooks whip up omelets or crepes for breakfast, where you meet travelers from all over the world, where you can watch feluccas sail on the Nile, sunset and sunrise over the desert, and just relax just a short ferry trip from Aswan. At night the Tomb of the Noble is softly floodlit and gorgeous against the dark desert sky.
You could also hang out in the garden. I can’t promise there will always be a litter of puppies to play with.
It’s the guys who run the place who make this a very special experience. They are truly welcoming, charming, helpful, easy-going…well, you get the picture.
The staff can arrange for laundry, or you can wash things out yourself and hang them in the garden.
The area:
Beit el Kerem offers all sorts of experiences, from village tours to felucca trips. All are good value, hassle-free and memorable. We wandered on our own through the villages. The Tomb of the Nobles (see my review from 2011) is on the doorstep and well worth a morning trip. Late afternoons could give you wonderful sunsets from the top of that hill. We also walked to the Monastery of St. Simeon (see my review, due by March 2013). It took us about 1.5 hours in a slow walk across the desert to get there and the same amount of time atop a sandy ridge along the Nile to get back. It is well worth the trip, and you can do it by camel one or both ways. Animalia (see my review, due by March 2013), a small museum run by the charming and informative Muhammed is a must on Elephantine island (see my review, due by March 2013). A boat ride southward to the first cataract area at sunset is unforgettable.
Aswan is just a ferry ride away. The guy at the ferry might try to charge you 5 pounds, but just tell him you’re at Beit el Kerem and he’ll take one pound. You can walk from there to the Nubia Museum (it and the Luxor Museum are not to be missed, see my reviews, due by March 2013). Going or returning you can walk the whole length of the Aswan ‘tourist bazaar’. Walking northward from the museum and before you get to the entrance to the bazaar look for Hanafi Bazaar on the right (east) side (see my review, due by March 2013) a tiny shop that is a totally no-hassle antidote to the Aswan souk.
If you’re looking for other great places to stay elsewhere in Egypt , see my 2013 reviews of Nefertiti Hotel (Luxor east bank) and Dina’s Hostel (Cairo), my 2011 and 2013 reviews of the villa provided by ‘SomewhereDifferent’ in Siwa and my 2011 review of Beit Sabee (Luxor west bank). All the 2013 reviews should be in Trip Advisor by March 2013.
If you have any questions, please get in touch. And, once again, let me say that you should not miss Beit El Kerem.

Room Tip: All of the rooms are great. The one on the right as you enter the second floor from the stairwell do...
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank bobinathens
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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129 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
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English first
Bristol, UK
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 January 2013

Really great to be the other side of the Nile overlooking both the Nile and the desert but just a short and very cheap ferry ride away from downtown Aswan. Much better food than the Aswan restaurants in general and extremely helpful in organising whatever excursions you want. Great recommendation to visit the Nubian Animalie(?) Museum on Elephantine Island. Abdullah and Ellen and the staff really go out of their way to make sure you have what you need. (The only reason our sleep quality is marked down is because we had some very young but rather exuberant puppies sleeping - or not - in the garden the few nights we were there, so this was only a one off event and anyway, they were absolutely adorable!) To prove this, before we arrived we had been considering moving elsewhere after the first two nights but extended our stay there by two nights instead. Amazingly good value too and plenty to see in and around Aswan which is still very quiet in terms of tourists (like all of Egypt) post the pre referendum protests - a safe and lovely part of our Egypt trip. I imagine that things will remain quiet for a couple of years as tourism takes time to recover but this means it really is a great time to see Egypt - the ancient history is truly astonishing, the Nile very beautiful and the people welcoming, with probably significantly less chance of encountering violence than in your home town. The media pictures of Tahrir Square in Cairo simply bear no relation to the reality of Egypt and if you eat good food and take care as we did, there's no need to get an upset stomach either!

Room Tip: It depends what you want but our ground floor room had an ensuite bathroom which is what we wanted.
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank childless
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cairo, Egypt
Level Contributor
32 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 January 2013

No place is better than that managed by its owners! And when the owner has Nubian roots seasoned by 20 years of hospitality experience and Euorpean exposure, there is no better place to stay! Bet el Kerem literally translates into "house of generosity" and the place offers much more than that! I have been to Aswan at least 6 times in my life and never failed to revisit Bet el Kerem for a comfortable stay, a hearty meal or at least a night of fantastic Nubian music and hospitality.
The owners, Abdelsaboor and his lovely wife Ellen, always manage to add a personal and passionate touch to the service making Bet el Kerem a place where you arrive as a guest and leave as a friend!

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Ebtissam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Charleston, South Carolina
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 January 2013

You would be crazy to stay anywhere else in Aswan. This guesthouse is on the West Bank -- the quiet side away from all the hassles in the main part of Aswan. You do have to take a ferry to get over here, but that's part of the fun. The owners were really helpful and go out of their way to make you feel like family. All the meals were great also.

Stayed January 2013, travelled solo
Helpful?
Thank ward l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 January 2013

We stayed during three nights from 1 to 3 January 2013 and we had an absolutely fantastic stay with Abdullah at Bet el Kerem.

At first sight, when arriving from Luxor by taxi, we thought that the guesthouse is not well located. However, the ferryboat terminal is only two minutes away.

Abdullah is a warm-hearted and hospitable person. He arranged a room at Eskaleh lodge in Abu Simbel (we were told by the owner that the lodge was fully booked).

The rooms are simple, but clean and comfortable.

The Nubian hospitality is a welcoming experience after a stay in Luxor.

This is really the place to stay in Aswan.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Serge H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle
Level Contributor
103 reviews
61 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 January 2013

Great location to escape from busy Aswan.
Ferry trip across to the hotel fun and local.
Simple basic room and quiet.
Aswan busy and fun to explore.
Arranged our 3 night felucca trip through Abdullah - before setting out make sure all parties (including the boatmen) understand what is covered in the costs you pay to Abdullah. Make sure you have full understanding about this experience, we enjoyed the basic simplicity of the trip.

Room Tip: Get a room with a window.
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank GRtravelling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cairo, Egypt
1 review
Reviewed 24 December 2012

We are just back from Aswan where we stayed at Bet el kerem for the second time (1st time was in Feb 2011!!) and we still love it. The location is great, the staff is helpful, the rooftop is so relaxing and the food is excellent. Bet el kerem is really a home away from home and Abdullah is really a great owner who can arrange all sorts of trips and tell you everything about Nubia!! Just great!!!

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Grregoire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Bet el Kerem

Property: Bet el Kerem
Address: Nagh el Kuba | West Aswan, Aswan, Egypt
Phone Number:
Region: Egypt > Nile River Valley > Aswan Governorate > Aswan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 15 B&Bs / Inns in Aswan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Bet el Kerem 3*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The only guesthouse in Aswan on the West bank. Top location near the Nile, the desert and the Nubian villages; beautiful view. Private chef services healthy meals. Peaceful atmosphere, friendly, hospitable staff. “Feels like staying with family”; “a home away from home”.2 floors, 8 double rooms, 1 family room, beautiful garden, roof garden with restaurant; marvellous view. The local ferry - within walking distance from the guesthouse - brings you in 10 min. in Aswan centre. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bet El Kerem Hotel Aswan

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