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“We wish we stayed longer!”
Review of Mara House

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Mara House
Ranked #8 of 54 Hotels in Luxor
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 26 December 2009

We spent only one night in this wonderful, warm and well-run hotel in Luxor. The suites are super clean, have authentic decor, and there are some very nice pieces of art on the walls. Also, they are extremely spacious!

We have arranged transportation from the airport to the hotel through Mara at a fixed price (a rarity in Egypt), and the driver was so welcoming and accommodating to our wishes, that he ended up driving us around for 40 min (instead 10) so that we could grab the best falafel in Luxor (the takeout place was unfortunately located on the other side of the town from the hotel). The trip was fully worth while, and if you are driven by Mouhamed, do ask him to take you there.

We had a brief chance to chat with Mara the following morning, and she is a truly delightful and warm person. You feel in Mara House like you're in a friend's house. We stayed in Luxor only one day so we didn't have a chance to enjoy Mara House, but if ever in Luxor again would definitely go back there.

Stayed: December 2009, travelled as a couple
1  Thank petit_requin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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307 - 313 of 417 reviews

Reviewed 21 December 2009

After reading all the positive reviews on TA, Mara's House completely lived up to expectations. Great hotel, great hosts and great advice.

Just want to add that as a family with young kids of 7 & 5, we were a little worried that we were pushing our luck with five days of temples and tombs, but Mara got them really excited with her stories of pharoahs, gods and godesses, and set them little tasks every day to find this or that. Everything was so easy going!

If we had to make any constructive criticism; bring some ear plugs as the dogs barking at night is a bit of a pain, and a kettle in the rooms for tea/coffee would have been nice.

Absolutely recommend staying at Mara's if you're going to visit Luxor (the big hotels on the Nile looked really dull!) However, if you want an afternoon by the pool, perhaps try the Mercure; nice pool and grounds, LE 50 pp, half price for kids).

To have Karnak Temple only 10 mins away on foot, and the West Bank (Valley of the Kings etc) only 30 mins away by bus from Mara's was another bonus. Yet, you're still staying right in the middle of the timeless, real life of Luxor.

Food in the restaurant was great as well.

Can't wait for Mara's in Cairo (Inshallah) !!!

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled with family
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4  Thank bonnersabroad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 December 2009

Clean comfortable place to stay in a residential neighborhood. It is was exactly as she describes in her website. We also took the west bank tour. It is worth it since there is a lot of sites and it is best done through a guided tour and our guide was really nice too. We did Luxor and Karnak temple on our own. Stephen was really helpful in terms of giving us tips about places to eat and how to get around town.

I was also really happy to have a glimpse of the real life in Egypt away from the tourist sites since it is located in a residential neighborhood.Highly recommend this place if you are on the look out for clean comfortable place to stay.

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank l0vetotravel15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 December 2009

Mara House is the perfect spot for travelers who are interested in seeing sites and are not concerned with night life. It is run by Mara and her family and is the perfect spot to come home to after a long day of sightseeing in and around Luxor. I went with a group of 5 had two spacious rooms, breakfast included and Mara was very helpful in hiring drivers for the day to take us around to local temples and tombs. The restaurant that is attached to the hotel has delicious food cooked fresh with local ingredients. Lots of vegetarian options on the menu as well.

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled with friends
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2  Thank whitj7583
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 December 2009

Every positive review on Trip Advisor about Mara House is true !
We made our choice of hotel in Luxor based purely on the Trip Advisor's glowing praise but were skeptical that some reviews may have been planted as surely no establishment in Egypt is that good. 'Too good to be true' was the thought foremost in my mind.

Things started well when our arranged transfer was actually waiting for us at the airport - a rarity in Egypt we had discovered. We were greeted warmly by Mara and, as time was of the essence, a 'greatest hits of Luxor' package was quickly formulated for us, driver arranged and we were off to the Valley of the Kings. We found her guidance, wisdom and advice invaluable which made our sightseeing a real pleasure. Luxor is the hassle capital of Egypt and quite possibly the world - so it is a godsend to have someone on your side advising on traps to avoid, prices and the like. You can easily develop a seige mentality in Egypt that dimishes the enjoyment of why you are there.

Rooms have air-con and are very spacious complete with pleasant tasteful décor. The only downside was the shower is the open type (screenless / wetfloor) - although my partner loved this as she gets water all over the floor anyway - this time it was legitimate. We also managed to get some rays in the rooftop garden which is a great place for a few beers after a hard day sightseeing.

The location is not the greatest but this should pose no real problems as a taxi can be arranged for only a few dollars. Be sure to not leave the hotel without the address written down in Arabic and/or a map as we found a lot of the Luxor taxi drivers had never heard of it and all the streets looked very similar to any us new arrivals.

The highlight of our stay was most definitely the sumptuous food served in the gorgeous restaurant - overseen by Mara's son Steve - it was the best meal we ate in Egypt. The tasting menu is similar to Greek/Turkish meze's and was truly superb. First class.

I highly recommend Mara House and only wish we could have stayed longer.

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Robocopms
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 December 2009

This place is great! I booked it based on the positive reviews that Iread without realizing that it really is off the beaten path - which is a wonderful thing. Mara and her staff are the best in Egypt & I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this place to anyone - unless you 1) are not in good walking shape, or 2) get uncomfortable outside the tourism bubble. Yes - getting to town means walking past real Egyptian homes and kids playing football/soccer in the street, but the locals are friendly and the break from the tourism touts is wonderful. For the price of a room, I get a 4 room suite and the "tasting" dinner offered one or two nights a week is spectacular.

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled solo
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3  Thank paul2earth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 December 2009

Some very nice things about this place but also drawbacks, particularly the bathroom..

good - room simple but charming, Mara very helpful and friendly, restaurant beautiful and food spectacular, one of the best meals in egypt

not good - bathroom, just a shower handle on a wall with almost no water pressure and ran out of hot water. It was no better than places I stayed in asia for $7 a night. I expect a regular bathroom when it cost almost $100 a night. Also there was no shampoo & conditioner which again is expected in a room for that price. No T.V. or bedside table & reading light either.

Breakfast was pretty average. Location is far from everything and the rates for taxis seemed higher than minimal bargaining on the street.

Despite the drawback of the bathroom, I would stay again for the other charming aspects and the good restaurant.

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled solo
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4  Thank TravelATL
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:
#7 Family Hotel in Luxor
#8 Romantic Hotel in Luxor
Price Range: £18 - £43 (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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