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“Perfect place to stay in Luxor” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Mara House

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Mara House
Salah Al Din Al Ayoubi | Luxor, Luxor, Egypt   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 57 hotels in Luxor
Holland, Michigan
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Perfect place to stay in Luxor”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 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, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (20)
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English first
Sydney, Australia
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2013

We are a mid 30's couple and we spent 3 nights at Mara House. I initially found Mara House on Tripadvisor when looking for a place to stay in Luxor.We had the best time ever thanks to Mara and her friendly staff.

Location
The house is located behind the train station, about 15 minutes easy walk to Luxor temple. Dont let this deter you from staying at Mara House because it is really just a short stroll away.

Accommodation 
The house is on many levels with a large terrasse on top which is perfect for an afternoon beer and chill out moment. Overall it is a familly/home atmosphere that you can't find in a hotel.
Our apartment (#2) had a large bedroom, a living room with kitchen, terrasse..just like being at home. On our first night the house restaurant was offering a 15 courses dinner which we highly recommend. The breakfast in the morning is also perfect with coffee/tea, juices, bread, chees, jam, and local sweetbreads.

Let's not forget
Mara is an invaluable source of knowledge, and she will do everything to make your stay perfect, from organising tours, to booking taxi and restaurants. Mara is also happy to share her stories and local knowledge as you wish, she made our stay even more memorable.

We both gladly recommend Mara House, feel free to PM me if you have questions. Otherwise dont hesitate to contact Mara directly as she is always in touch on emails.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jeddah, Makkah, Saudi Arabia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2013

Visiting "Mara House" was the highlight of my wonderful, just-completed trip to Upper Egypt.

Mara is a wonderful hostess and has great taste in furnishings. My room was actually a spacious suite with "Arabian Nights" decor--not kitsch, but beautiful, authentic furnishings in a relaxed setting. From the hotel I could walk all over the city--and did. Of course, if you prefer a horse-drawn carriage or taxi--no problem.

Breakfast was included and the hotel restaurant, "Salahadeen", offered the best meal of my trip--delicious soups, salads and entrees in a traditional feast. As it's not always open, it's best to call ahead--and worth every penny for the elegant Egyptian decor and wonderful food (which takes all day to prepare).

Mara also has several professional drivers and tour guides on staff and they can take you anywhere from the West Bank to Karnak to Abydos--2.5 hours north of Luxor. The deal (room plus all-day tour for about $90) is too good to pass up and the service is excellent.
Indeed, the only possible drawbacks would be (a) the absence of an elevator or (b) a view of the Nile. There is, however, a wonderful rooftop garden area in which you could happily spend the day and each of the rooms has a balcony...

I would recommend this hotel to anyone who wishes to experience a gracious boutique hotel in a genuine Egyptian neighborhood and the adventure of stepping away from a "4-star with pool and sun-burned guests" type resort. The intimacy of the "Mara House" experience and the company of your charming hostess will be more than enough to satisfy all but the most hardened or elitist of tourists.

Luxor was the Egypt that I'd always dreamed of finding and staying in this lovely hotel was one of the reasons why. I loved being here and will return again, soon...

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, PA
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2013

We picked Mara based on the TA reviews (read them - they're spot on - but expectations will be exceeded!) and on the helpful advice Mara provided via email when we were planning the trip. The three of us (parents and one daughter) were indulged in a three bedroom suite, beautifully decorated. We came on the overnight train from Cairo/Giza, to be met at the station and checked in right away so we could freshen up for the first of two days sight-seeing (Abydos/Dendera the first day, Karnak/Valley of the Kings/Luxor the next). We picked the room/tour package, which is the best value approach, and Mohammad adjusted the itinerary a bit as our energy flagged the first day. Of course we were spoiled by the attention we could be afforded because of the low tourist numbers - all the more reason for you to visit now - there are really no safety concerns in Luxor or even in Cairo if you are sensible.

Other aspects to highlight: the lovely roof garden; a location that gives you a feel of actually living in the city; chatting with Mara about ancient and modern Egypt. Also, there were not enough guests for Mara to open her restaurant, but she pointed us in the direction of Sofra Restaurant, which was wonderful.

One thought - the dirver meeting the train was at the main entrance although we thought we would be smart and go out on the other side of the tracks where Mara House is (and where it is much less frantic). Maybe Mara could make the choice explicit.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2013

Mara House has loads of character and was a brilliant change from the faceless 4* hotel we were staying at in Cairo. Roof terrace is a nice place to relax and read, and the rooms are huge.
Mara herself is really friendly and always on hand to help out with a last-minute request for a trip or a guide or whatever, and the centre of Luxor is just a short walk.
Totally recommend.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bath, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2013

It was through tripadvisor that I found out about Mara House when I was looking for accommodation in Luxor for the final part of a family holiday that took us from Jordan to Egypt.

My wife and our two kids stayed 3 days in Luxor and Mara House was the perfect place to base ourselves. Mara was excellent in helping with our arrangements, including excursions, before we set off on holiday. She provided a level of support you simply won't get from the usual hotel chains. The hotel itself is full of character and the rooms are lovely. It is very much 'off the beaten track' and those of you more used to Hiltons and Marriotts (I include myself here!) will find this a very different kind of experience. Mara House is in a regular Luxor neighbourhood nowhere near the tourist spots (although you can easily walk downtown).

The highlight for us were:

1. Great help in organising tours, which will include guides who take you a bit more off the beaten track and show you aspects of ancient Egypt that the river cruise brigades won't see.

2. If rooms are free, Mara will be happy to check you in early (our flight got in at 0830) and let you check out late (our room was needed by another family but Mara provided a different one in which we could shower and freshen up before our flight home).

3. The experience itself. Yes, you're still a tourist, but you will see a side of Egypt that is both friendly and fascinating.

If you are looking for a place to stay in Luxor I wholeheartly recommend Mara House.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South West London
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

We - me, my husband and our fifteen-year-old son - just got back from a fantastic week at Mara House. Full disclosure first: this is not a 5-star luxe hotel with a view of the Nile. If you want that, don't come here. If, however, you want to experience a little of what living in Luxor might actually be like, email Mara right now. She'll answer all your questions quickly and carefully and once you arrive make sure you have a hassle-free trip - no mean feat in a city where hassle is a given. We were met at the airport and shown our comfortable and spacious triple suite (three bedrooms, sitting room, bathroom, kitchenette) and felt immediately at home. The house is on a residential street the 'wrong' side of the railway tracks, but a swift 15-minute caleche ride or 20-30 minute walk to Luxor Temple. Mara organizes tours of all the main sites and we had pre-booked three of them. Our guide Mohammed escorted us to Luxor and Karnak Temples, to Dendera and Abydos and to the West Bank, taking in the Valley of the Kings, the Tombs of the Noble and of the Workers and the Medinet Habu. They were long days, but good ones. We learned a vast amount and it was all smooth and straightforward. We were met at the hotel, taken to good restaurants for lunch and returned to the Mara House at the end, where we could relax and absorb all that we had seen, whether in the cool of our room or on the roof terrace. Going out in the evening was a breeze, too. Mara's team (Zahry and Amr, who doubles up as chef at Mara's restaurant, Salahadeen) call one of the caleche drivers they use (we were lucky enough to have Ramadan, who was great) to pick you up, take you where you want to go and take you back to the hotel afterwards. This is a huge plus as it means you don't get ripped off and you don't get overly hassled by the dozens of taxi drivers and other caleche drivers looking for business. And you can understand why they might be. Tourist numbers are massively down since the revolution, and Luxor is very, very quiet. But don't let the political situation put you off. Cairo is 300 hundred miles away and Port Said even further. And most of the people you will come across are polite, funny, kind and if you treat them civilly, even when haggling, will do the same to you.

We're so glad we went - and so glad we stayed with Mara. We could have stayed in a posh hotel and spent our week in a protected bubble, but this way we got to see a little bit of the real city and to do it in a very easy and pain-free way.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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
Location: 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:
#4 Romantic Hotel in Luxor
#5 Family Hotel in Luxor
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Mara House is a newly refurbished hotel 10 mins. walk from the train station and Luxor Temple. Three course Salahadeen Egyptian feast on request. Fully licensed bar downstairs and roof terrace. Special offers available on accommodation/tours packages. Irish owned and run. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mara House Hotel Luxor
Mara Hotel Luxor

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