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“A Hidden Gem” 4 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
Swindon
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“A Hidden Gem”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2013

Mara House is ideal when exploring the Luxor area. Large, clean suites which allows room to rest with a cold beer after a day of touring. Mara will organise tours of all the attractions, with Mohammed, an English speaking Egyptologist if required - we would recomend him, he's very good. She also arranged Ramadan, the calesh driver (a horse & carriage), who will take you anywhwere in Luxor (including the Temple at Karnak). The cost is no more than a taxi, and you will see so much more on the way. Ramadan arranged a feluca trip for us.Mara will also arrange collection and return to the airport. All in all, a great one-stop Luxor experience

Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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343 reviews from our community

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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)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2013

On arriving in Luxor, Mara had arranged a taxi which took us directly the Mara House; a hidden gem in a residential part of city. My boyfriend and I were warmly greeted by Mara and her staff and the hotel offered an exceedingly large and clean room (living, bedroom, bathroom and balcony area). Mara offered countless advice over our 3 days stay from being streetwise to the kind of temples we HAD to visit, (this is all organised as part of our payment) and she wasn't wrong! The temples were breath-taking and we found the people across luxor to be friendly and happy to help regardless of the unfair negative media press in the west.

All in all, i can't recommend Mara House enough, her generosity and personality exceeded our expectations. I genuinely felt touched and honoured to have spent time with her in her oasis enjoying and listening to story upon story.

I can only hope we will see each other again.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wollongong, Australia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 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, 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.
Stockholm, Sweden
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 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, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
Seattle, Washington
1 review
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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IA
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
50 helpful votes 50 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
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 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.
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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 ( Wi-Fi ) 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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