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“Way more than we bargained for!”
Review of Mara House

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Mara House
Ranked #8 of 54 Hotels in Luxor
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 12 May 2013

We arrived at Mara House after travelling throughout the Middle East for over two months. During that time our accommodation had included top hotels, guest houses and serviced apartments. None came close to the treat that awaited us at Mara House in Luxor. Words could never convey the warm personal welcome and generosity that Mara and her staff bestowed on us (and all their guests for that matter). This is one of Luxor’s greatest gems tucked away in a typical yet unremarkable residential street. The décor of the hotel is rich, eclectic and breathtakingly beautiful. The rooms are spotlessly clean and generous. The food in general is absolutely delicious and the friendly service is unsurpassed. The feast hosted in the Salahadeen Restaurant on the premises is legendary. The food is scrumptious, authentic, exciting and filling. The restaurant itself is a real treat for all the senses over and above the gastronomical. Nothing is ever too much trouble for Mara or the charming and shy Amr. Mara is amazing and intuitively seems to know and precisely understand what to offer her guests at any time, how to keep a perpetual smile on her guests’ lips and how and when to dispense her awesome Irish wit, humour and wisdom. All you have to is ask and Mara and her staff bend over backwards in a timely manner to ensure all is taken care of. Mara’s tour guides, taxi and calesh drivers are so friendly, fun and genuine they make getting around easy and enjoyable. She definitely is the ultimate ‘conscious hostess’. We will never forget the wonderful nine days we spent with Mara and we truly feel we have made a lifelong friend in her. We cannot recommend Mara House in Luxor highly enough!

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Ross W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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81 - 87 of 411 reviews

Reviewed 29 April 2013

This place was for me.
Arriving late at night I was greeted by Mara and I felt right at home. The room was LARGE and superclean, the air conditioner was on, the minibar had great chips and Coke, the bed was huge and comfy… I was happy.

Staying at Mara House you'll experience Luxor for real, pretty far from the plastic tourist version. Well, not that far, it's only a ten minute walk from the railway station, and walking home in the evening is an experience in itself. It's beautiful, it's dirty, it's Luxor. You will see some cool things that you will never forget. That's why I travel.

Mara's got her own taxi drivers and guides, all of whom are superb in every way (the guide, when going on the Westbank tour and the Abydos/Dendera tour, was especially amazing).

The rooftop terrace is a great place to just hang out, read a book and relax. If you haven't got any books, Mara's got a bunch of them for you to enjoy in the lobby. If you need your clothes washed, just leave them in a bag outside your door in the morning and you'll have them back all clean in the evening. And also, when you come back in the evening after a day in Luxor there will be tea or coffee for you to enjoy, free of charge.
And the room is always superclean.

For a special meal, make sure to try out the Salahadeen restaurant, also run by Mara and her friendly staff, located in the same house.

There's so much positive things to say, I could go on forever. But you must be aware of some things: the breakfast is simple, the shower might not have the best water pressure or the warmest water (depending on when you shower, you'll get the hang of it after a while), there will be power cuts, there might be an Arab wedding which will be LOUD, the guys in the mosques will start their chanting of prayers VERY early, the streets and the money are VERY dirty, the vendors might be tough to deal with, people drive like crazy…

However, if you adapt and take it easy, things will be perfectly fine. Mara will provide you with loads of useful info all collected in a binder. Read that and you will love Luxor, just like I did.

I totally enjoyed my stay at Mara House, I really can't find anything to complain about. Everything that happened was a part of the experience. I even learned to appreciate the early morning prayers from the mosque that woke me up at 05:30 every morning. No problem at all. It was almost like a dreamlike surreal experience after a while.

I loved it. I love Luxor. I will come back and I will stay at Mara House, for sure.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled solo
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2  Thank IndyGrinder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 April 2013

When my mother and brother visited from America, I wanted to provide them with a smaller, more "Egyptian" experience than they could get by staying a big hotel chain. Mara House fit the bill perfectly, and we all had a wonderful stay.

Mara and her staff are attentive and always smiling. They were able to arrange everything we needed -- transfers from/to the airport, taxi to dinner, etc. We really enjoyed the full dinner one evening, and when we asked for a local restaurant for dinner or cafe for shisha, Mara's recommendations were spot-on.

The entire hotel is beautifully appointed, comfortable, and VERY clean. While it is off the beaten track in a neighborhood under construction

I will absolutely stay here when I am in Luxor again, and have already recommended it to friends. If you're looking for a big, generic, American-style hotel -- this isn't the place. However, if you want to feel like you are actually experiencing Egypt -- this IS the place.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Misty W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 April 2013

I contacted Mara by email regarding our 2 day stay in Luxor prior to a Nile cruise, even though we are not staying at her hotel after visiting her webpage and finding copious helpful information regarding a trip to Egypt. She has arranged airport p/u, 2 full days of tours, and provided excellent information regarding our visit/tours/logistics. Emails were responded to promptly and thoroughly, so I know she read them. While I had been reluctant to visit Egypt, I feel confident we will be well cared for and safe now. See you next month…..

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank IAdivers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 April 2013

We have just returned from the most incredible holiday in Egypt but the highlight has to be having stayed at Mara House in Luxor. This is run by Mara, a lady from Ireland who has set up the most amazing hotel which demonstrates such attention to detail not only with regards to the set-up and provision with each of the rooms/apartments but with even greater respect to the support and advice that she and her staff provide to guests.

We travelled as a family of 4 and arrived at Mara House after a 3 day trip into the desert followed by an overnight train ride on the sleeper from Cairo so that on arrival we were pretty tired and grubby. Mara made us feel so welcome and we were all really pleased and impressed with the rooms we rented being large, spacious, cool and beautifully decorated. Heaven after the previous few days!

Information is clearly outlined about tours to take, places to visit and eat in so that we were assured of successful outcomes with whatever we decided to do. Two of Mara's staff members were particularly helpful throughout our stay. Mohammed who drove us to various chosen destinations in his taxi and was just superb by always waiting for us at the end of any visits that we made. Also Amr who helped us feel looked after at the house but also by coming with us on a trip into Luxor to go shopping in the Souk and advising us on fair prices to pay for goods. We expected to be hassled at every opportunity but Amr's presence meant we were not ripped off.

Mara House is also a restaurant and for 2 evenings we ate traditional Egyptian food sampling a range of the most delicious dishes that we are now keen to try making at home.

To top things off though Mara and Mohammed supported us even more after we had left the house to go to the train station for the return trip to Cairo on the sleeper train. After sad goodbyes we were at the station only to find that the train wasn't running due to strike action. Faced with a potential coach trip overnight instead, Mara advised us to try flying instead and both she and Mohammed taxied us to an Egypt Air office and managed to book flights for us all that evening. Time was tight but Mara and Mohammed were just incredibly helpful and we did get away by plane in good time in the end. We can't thank them enough for their help but above all we can not recommend Mara House highly enough as a place to stay in Luxor. Here's a link to her website which I strongly recommend : https://sites.google.com/site/egptwithmara/mara-house

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank Clinton P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 April 2013

I loved this place. It's away from the touristy area in a local neighborhood. You get to see more of real Luxor. Its like a 15 minute walk from the Luxor Temple. Totally safe area. The rooms are huge and so clean. I walk every where usually to get a feel for everything...but if you want they will have a cab or horse carriage there for you in minutes. All around an awesome hotel. With Mara and the staff it's like staying with family...I honestly felt sad when I had to say good bye.. Hi Mara! :)

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank BFree32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 April 2013

My husband and I spent 4 nights at Mara's House. It is a perfect place to be in Luxor. Mara's House is a short walk to shops and resturants. Mara's is located in a typical neighborhood and you get the real feel of living in Luxor. Mara and her staff are OUTSTANDING, she is always quick to respond to any and all questions. The entire house is very clean and the entire staff takes pride in that. The fridge is stocked with bottled water. The staff is friendly and always available to bring you a cup of tea. Zahry is so kind and always greets you with a smile,,,,,thank you Zahry for making our stay enjoyable. We booked all of our airport tranfers and sightseeing with Mara. I would reccommend this as well. The drivers were on time and the cars were clean and well care for. Booked Luxor and Karnak Temples, Abydos and Dendera also West Bank of the Nile. All tours were outstanding and the guides were well versed and very professional....well done by all. Sitting on the roof top talking with Mara about what it is like living in Egypt was very interesting too. Mara and her staff make you feel very special during the entire stay, I wish we could have stayed longer. Four nights in Luxor at Mara's House is really not enough. I

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank RebeccaA602
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Mara House

Address: Salah Al Din Al Ayoubi | Luxor, Luxor, Egypt
Region: Egypt > Nile River Valley > Luxor
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#8 Family Hotel in Luxor
#8 Romantic Hotel in Luxor
Price Range: £19 - £45 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Mara House is an Irish owned boutique hotel catering to the tastes of independent travellers who want to be sure they experience the best of Egypt. Mara House can only be booked directly via email to Mara. We help with sightseeing and itinerary planning for all of Egypt and steer our guests clear of tourist traps and pitfalls. Holidays are so important to us all and great holiday memories make such a difference to our lives - Mara ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Mara House Hotel Luxor
Mara Hotel Luxor

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