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“Fantastic Stay!” 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 #4 of 57 Hotels in Luxor
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Seattle, Washington
1 review
“Fantastic Stay!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 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, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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358 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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 (22)
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English first
IA
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 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, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 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.
Brighton, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 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, 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Branson, Missouri
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 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, 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.
Holland, Michigan
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
17 helpful votes 17 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.
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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
#6 Family Hotel in Luxor
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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 
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Also Known As:
Mara House Hotel Luxor
Mara Hotel Luxor

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