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“One of my favourite places in Luxor!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Desert Paradise Lodge

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Desert Paradise Lodge
Qabawi | Qurna, Luxor, Egypt   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 28 Luxor B&B and Inns
Luxor, Egypt
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“One of my favourite places in Luxor!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2012

I spent some time at Desert Paradise Lodge earlier this year, and recommend it to anyone who would like some peace and quiet away from the mayhem that is the East Bank. The setting is beautiful, the rooms are lovely, and Ashraf and Ferida could not be more helpful or welcoming.

Room Tip: Rooms one and two (the suites) have the best views, but all rooms are quiet and lovely.
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  • Stayed January 2012, 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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83 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (11)
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English first
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
31 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2012

Ashraf, Fareda, and the entire staff made us feel we were truly in paradise during our three-night stay in early January 2012.

From the moment we walked up to the lodge, Ashraf greeted us at the door, confirmed we wanted lunch and gave us options for dinner: chicken, fish, etc. He quickly showed us to our suite and explained that he wanted us to relax and not worry about a thing, there would be plenty of time to explore the lodge and Luxor, he promised. This ended up being a ritual for the remainder of our stay – Ashraf greeting us at the door, emphasizing the importance of happiness and relaxation and taking care of all our meals for us, while also arranging well-priced tours of his beloved hometown and taking care of any extraneous requests. For example, when I asked to go to a bazaar for shopping, he took us to his alabaster factory, set up sheesha for my husband, and gave us an excellent deal on his goods – don’t miss this opportunity to buy some hand-made alabaster goods!

While Luxor is a true treasure chest of Egyptian antiquities, Ashraf’s easy planning made everything feel so relaxed, even though we saw three sites a day! In Ashraf’s hands, we knew we were getting the best of Luxor. A full day tour cost us EGP 350 for two people total plus the cost of admissions to the sites. Given the prices we saw elsewhere through our research, it was certainly a good deal! The price includes your personal car, driver, and your tour guide – Ashraf doesn’t believe in grouping his guests together which worked out really well for us because we were so happy to have one-on-one conversations with our tour guide about everything from Egypt’s history to its current political climate. Ask for Mohammed, an extremely knowledgeable Egyptologist whose passion for his country’s history is obvious in his heartfelt discussions. Extremely soft-spoken, he was a refreshing change to “quack” tour guides who often make things up as they go.

The lodge is beautiful and serene, with a grand view of the mountains, especially from the upper balcony which is open to all guests at all times – this is also the perfect spot to sip some tea and watch the sun set. The courtyard is charming, with grass and trees, lined with a variety of stone statues. The free-of-charge teas and sheesha Ashraf tags on makes you feel you are at home! His entire staff is there to make you as comfortable, happy, and relaxed as possible and they do a fabulous job! Ashraf upgraded us to the honeymoon suite free-of-charge and it was such a treat! The bed was huge and very comfortable, and the extra living area was great for storing our things and taking tea in our private balcony overlooking the courtyard was wonderful. And everything was tip top clean. They made the rooms every morning, including on our check-out day even though we did not pay for that day, not even half board!

The food was excellent! Our favorite breakfast of our Egypt trip! It consisted of buttery, fried egg – so so yummy! Milk, to die for. It was so good!!! And an assortment of many other things: homemade bread, jam, package cheese, yogurt, juice boxes, breakfast cake, and tea/coffee. The lunch was so simple, yet so fresh and delicious – an assortment of fresh vegetables, fried breaded eggplant, French fries, and a different soup each day along with homemade bread! The dinners were elaborate and made at your request each night – whatever meat you are in the mood for, Ashraf will make it for you! Along with the main, there was one prepared starch daily such as rice or pasta as well as bread and soup. And of course, the highlight of all our moments there, the teas and sheesha that followed every dinner!
Other costs: EGP 120 each way for the car transfer to the lodge, EGP 50pp for lunch, EGP 100pp for dinner, beers and wine are not included with the price of your meal. Laundry is available for EGP 1-2 per piece. Our load came back a couple of days later and still damp. It’s certainly great that he makes that service available, but allow yourself plenty of time!

The lodge is fabulous, but Ashraf and his staff make it a truly memorable experience. Go there to be taken care of by experts!

We love you Brother Ashraf and wish you and your staff much success in the coming years and cannot wait until we can return to your paradise home one day soon! With all our love and best wishes, Sumaya & Frank.

Room Tip: Ask for the honeymoon suite!!!
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  • Stayed January 2012, 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
27 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2012

The owner, Ashraf, repeated this phrase many times! He is a very gracious and helpful host who did his best to make us happy. Desert Paradise Lodge is situated in a town called El Qurna, outside of the main city of Luxor. If you arriving by plane, they will have their driver meet you at the airport for no charge (just a tip). The ride from the Luxor airport is roughly 30-45 minutes. Note that because of where Desert Paradise Lodge is situated, many taxis, drivers and even tour companies will charge you a "service charge" for the supposed extra distance.

When we arrived, we were immediately shown to our room by Ashraf himself. We were in room #7, which is on the ground floor. The room consists of a bathroom, bedroom and sitting room. The bathroom is very small, but with all the basics: sink, toilet, shower and is very clean. One thing to note: do not flush anything (toilet paper, etc.) down the toilet. The water gets very warm and the water pressure is great. There are no amenities in the bathroom aside from a bar of soap and toilet paper, so make sure to bring whatever you feel you will need. The bedroom consists of two beds, which, even though my husband tried to push together to make one bed, did not quite line up, so we pushed them back to their original spots. The beds were very comfortable, however. The room doesn't have a television or telephone, so you definitely want to bring your own entertainment because if you don't have activities/tours lined up, it could get very quiet. The sitting room consisted of a desk w/chair, vanity, chaise-lounge type thing and a rather large refrigerator. Bottled water is also included in the room. The sitting room has a window that opens up to the garden area, but aside from that window, there are no other windows in the room, so you will not get much natural light in the room. We were there during a particularly chilly time, but the heat in the room worked very well. Looks like there were maybe 12 rooms at the lodge, so it's very small and quiet. The whole place is very clean. A few brown ants crept into the room, but I'll take ants over roaches or any other crawlies any day! (And I really mean a few--maybe three ants our entire stay--hardly a nuisance.)

The lodge grounds were very well-kept and there are lots of areas to kind of chill out and relax. The garden area is where breakfast (included in the room cost) is served and there's a couple of couches with a tv. Not sure what types of channels there are, but we saw Ashraf watching tv and whatever he was watching was in Arabic. There is also a room off the garden with a computer in it, but we never ventured in there, so we're unable to comment on whether there is internet available to guests. Note that there is no WiFi, though. As the pictures indicate, there's a pool w/an outdoor shower with some cushioned lounge chairs and lots of shaded and unshaded areas to relax on the several terraces (also many outdoor electrical outlets). On the very top level, there's an indoor lounge with carpet, couches and other seating. It was too cold during our stay to even think about getting into the pool, but I'm sure it's a God-send when the weather is hot.

They can provide all meals at the lodge and we took all of our meals there. Breakfast consists of a fried egg, bread, cake slices, instant coffee, juice and water, which is the standard menu. As breakfast is eaten outside in the garden, be sure to bring a light coat during the "winter" because it can get very cool before the sun has a chance to come out and heat things up a little. Lunch is also a standard menu of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, (goat?) cheese, fried aubergines, french fries, soup and bread. Such a simple menu, but very delicious and filling. For dinner, Ashraf (or Fareda) will ask what you want to eat. For example, one morning at breakfast, Fareda asked "do you want chicken, fish, beef, vegetarian..." They'll also arrange your meals according to your schedule, so each morning they'll ask when you want to eat lunch/dinner depending on your tours, etc. Lunch was 100 Egyptian pounds total for two of us. Dinner consists of soup, bread, rice, salad (ie. tomatoes) and some type of meat (if not vegetarian) and a side dish. Very, very delicious. It didn't appear that there were any places to eat within walking distance so unless you're going to eat in Luxor city, you can get your fill right on the premises. Dinner was 150 Egyptian pounds total for two of us. The dining room is indoors and has some books and magazines in a variety of languages that are available for you to read. If you want to lighten your load, you can also leave any books or magazines you're finished with for the next guests.

The service was very good. Ashraf literally said to us numerous times "smile...I just want you to be happy" because he really did! He was very attentive. Actually, I don't know if it's because we are younger-looking, but he almost felt like our father...asking to see what we purchased in town and asking how much we paid for things to make sure we paid a fair price. Don't be put off by the huge picture of him at the front desk--he's really a very humble man. The other men he has working are also very friendly and hard-working and took care of setting up for and cleaning up after meals. I think they may have even been responsible for cooking the meals. Whoever cooked did a great job! During our email correspondence with Fareda, we were told we could only pay in cash (Egyptian pounds) but when it was time to settle the bill, we were able to pay with our Visa card, so double check the payment options when you go.

This is a basic lodge, but the small touches don't make it feel so basic afterall. I definitely recommend Desert Paradise Lodge to anyone looking for a homey feel with very attentive service.

Room Tip: All of the rooms appeared to be of equal value/comfort, but there are two or three rooms on a higher...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2012

Firstly I should say that this is a fantastic time to visit Egypt as there are so few tourists due to the media coverage of the recent political demonstrations. We travelled with our 2 daughters (11 & 8) and felt completely safe at all times - even when we were in Tahrir Square in Cairo on the day of the elections !

We stayed at the DPL for 6 nights for a post xmas break. Rooms were basic but spacious and clean; meals were home-made and plentiful; hospitality was excellent. Meals were relaxed and served in the garden. The Lodge is in a quiet village area on the West Bank so although it provides a relaxing haven at the end of the day, you need to make your own entertainment - bring books, playing cards, etc.

The Lodge is part owned and run by Ashraf, who sat down with us each day to help us schedule the next day's itinerary and to sort out our transport and guide requirements. He seems to know everyone on the West Bank of Luxor and can 'fix' anything that you need. He arranged a felucca for us to sail on the Nile at sunset (negotiating a good rate for us), and phoned to arrange a hotel room for some fellow guests for their visit to Aswan. The Lodge has its own drivers and transport, who are very reliable. The guide that we used (Said) was knowledgeable and friendly.

If you want a 5-star luxury Hilton-type hotel then the Desert Paradise Lodge is definitely not for you. However, if you want to get closer to the real Egypt and its people, then DPL provides the perfect venue.

  • Stayed January 2012, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Budapest
Level Contributor
39 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2012

I have heard about Desert Paradise Lodge (DPL) first by owners of another guesthouse, Bet-el-Kerem, in Aswan.
So, I have contacted Fareda and we (my mother and myself) spent 10 nights in DPL for Christmas 2011 and the New Year.
We did not want to be at home in the holiday season, but wanted to go somewhere there is warmer and more sunny than in Hungary, and we did not want any Christmas gala dinner and/or New Year’s eve party and so. Nice surprise for us, in DPL no supplement to pay for Christmas and/or New Year days.
We spent 10 nights there, paid for 9, one night was free.

My mother is 78 years old, not cripple or handicapped, but wanted to save her feet and energies for tombs and temples climbing – no worry, in DPL max. 8 stairs to climb, from rooms 3-9 to garden, up and down. Rooms 1-2 are on the first floor, so more stairs to climb. We had room 9, with bath, toilet, sleeping room and sitting room. Ashraf has alabaster factory, so all decoration in the room is alabaster: lampshades, the grip-button of the cupboard, vase, candle holder… very beautiful all! From room 9 window we could look at the Theban mountains, that are very close.
Rooms were cleaned every day, as a general rule, where there is a garden, one must take care not leaving any food in the room, because ants come.

If one goes there in winter, take in consideration, we are in the desert, so temperature difference can be big between day and night!
December we had some chilly nights, but no problem, we got an electric heater, so no freezing nights for us.

We wanted to be individual, so we could use the minibus and driver of the lodge for our trips, and if not, Ashraf organized car + driver + guide, as we wanted. We think the prices for such tours are very good, compared to what travel agencies ask. Our most expensive trip was to Dendera, car + driver + guide 400.- LE, for we 2 from ca. 9h until ca. 13h. The car + driver + guide prices depend on if East Bank or West Bank tour one make and also the duration; we just had either morning or afternoon trips.
We had 8 full days, visited Karnak and Luxor temple (again) and also many new things: Deir-el-Medina, the workers village with tombs, nobles tombs, Ramasseum and the temple of Sethi I., Medinet Habu and Merenptah temple. Compared to 2003 the Luxor Museum is extended, we spent ca. 2h only in the new part of it; also visited the Mumification Museum, which is very-very interesting.
2 trips we shared with other guests, so we shared the car + driver + guide price as well.
Our New Year’s Eve party was to go to Karnak Sound and Light show!

We had all our meals in DPL, did no go to eat anywhere else!
Our Hungarian stomach is ready for spices, so we loved the Egyptian tastes Ahmed was preparing for the guests. I don’t how they make it, but the coated aubergines were sweet, here at home always bitter… Beside aubergines, we got tomatoes, cheese, cucumber + bread for lunch. Also soup is possible. Their “balady” (local, pita-like) bread is very good! For dinner we got chicken, “kufta”, beef and liver, roasted, with spices – hmmm… very nice! Always with salad and also soup, when we wanted.
It was no problem to get beer, wine is better to ask for, maybe one day earlier, and it was no problem to bring our own wine to dinner.
All the food, breakfast, lunch, dinner was very good, very healthy and absolutely safe to eat, no digestive problems! (We both are physicians, so very critical concerning this field.)

Unfortunately, we could not make our planned visit to Abydos.
Ashraf and Fareda ment, that is not a good idea to go there now, since the revolution. Otherwise it was absolutely safe to go everywhere, not even a loud sneezing took place in Luxor… One must go and visit now, not so many tourists (unfortunate for them), easy to get in all the sites. Don’t believe all in the media, simply experience by yourself and be sure: Ashraf, Fareda and their crew will be there 100% for your safety and will always know what is not recommended!

We also recommend to visit “Balady handicraft”, very nice things to buy (for self and presents), made by local people in the village. Not “tourist robbery” prices and I think it is nice idea to support the local handicraft industry once we are there, outside of the “big tourist industry”.

There are so many things left, even 8 days were not enough to explore everything and missed Abydos is a definitive reason to go back! I think we are more advanced Egypt travelers, but still – many new things to see, excavations go on, always something new pop up! We will go back for sure and if Luxor, then Desert Paradise Lodge, nothing else!

Thanks a lot for Ashraf, Fareda and their crew and all the best for 2012!

  • Stayed December 2011, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bruxelles
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2012

We have spent 5 nights at the lodge and... WE LOVED IT!! We appreciated to be out of Luxor city, we found the location perfect. We want to thank Ashraf and Fareda for their welcome, their smile, their kindness, their organisation skills. Also thank you staff, you do a great job! Lodge is beautifull, a lovely garden, great terrace, the room was very clean with good beds, food was great! We really enjoyed our stay! We recommend the lodge to everyone who wants a taste of Egypt, the real Egypt. We want to add that we felt safe there should be no reason NOT to travel to Luxor.

  • Stayed December 2011, 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Port Stanley, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2011

We stayed two nights at the Desert Paradise Lodge and we were looked after extremely well.
Food was great, accommodation super, and the service amazing.
It was wonderful to be outside of downtown Luxor and to be away from the noise and hustle and bustle. Yet close enough so we could visit the sights.

We were able to use the Desert Paradise Lodge driver to drive us to the sights we wanted to go to.

A wonderful, warm environment.
People should go anytime. We were very safe.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Desert Paradise Lodge

Address: Qabawi | Qurna, Luxor, Egypt
Location: Egypt > Nile River Valley > Luxor
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 28 B&Bs / Inns in Luxor
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Desert Paradise Lodge is the ideal starting point to explore and experience Egypt on your own, away from the crowds and the noise of Luxor. In the immediate vicinity you will find unspoiled countryside, and experience the local culture. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Desert Paradise Hotel Luxor

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