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“Feels like home!” 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
Canterbury, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Feels like home!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2012

We arrived at this beautiful place on the quiet West Bank of Luxor to find ourselves the only guests. For 6 days we were treated like Pharaohs. Ashraf, the owner, had upgraded us to the best room in the hotel at no extra charge. We had the run of the beautiful gardens. The pool was the perfect place to recover from the intense August heat and far from an 'add on' as a previous reviewer had commented (our teenage son loved it). Ahmed, the cook, prepared the loveliest lunches and dinners for us and aside from one terrific meal at Sofra restaurant and a lunch at the Sheraton to appease our son's appetite for pizza, we dined at the lodge.

We shall always remember our afternoon chats and Chai Limoon (Lemon tea) served to us by Abdul, the gardener, the kindest and gentlest of men, for whom nothing was too much trouble. Mohammed served us our food and was delighted when we greeted him in Arabic and encouraged us in our further attempts to speak the language. Another Mohammed, the Lodge's driver, took us to the West Bank souk at our request, which is an experience not to be missed. On the final drive to the airport, he made us a present of CDs which he had been playing in the vehicle during our stay, which we had liked.

This was typical of the generosity of the people we met on the West Bank and a sharp contrast to the hard sell of the East Bank Corniche. It is true that the hotel is a little distance from the Nile and from West Bank sites but for us that was also its virtue. We allowed ourselves 6 days to see Valley of the Kings, Valley of the Nobles, the temple of Hatshepsut, Deir El Medina, Karnak and Luxor temples, Luxor museum, Howard Carter's house, visit a local family and take a balloon and felucca ride. We set off very early in the morning to avoid the fiercest heat and took diarolite to help prevent dehydration. Desert Paradise was the perfect place to return to for afternoon relaxation and cooling down before evening visits. In this way we were able to fully enjoy the wonders of Luxor without succumbing to the heat of August. The hotel is designed in a very tasteful Nubian style and is a genuinely delightful place to unwind in. We felt very much at peace here and don't believe that this feeling would have changed so much with other people there.

I would strongly disagree with a previous reveiwer who said that this was something of a tourist trap. Ashraf was completely at ease with our requests. We never felt there was an agenda. We booked a couple of tours with yet another Mohammed, who gave us an informative insight into The Valley of the Kings and Hatshepsut temple. Ashraf helped secure a very good price for our balloon flight but we also explored the East bank ourselves and visited a local family to help them prepare a meal which we all shared. This visit was organised by Real Egypt tours and was one of the highlights of our stay in Luxor. However independent you wish to be is up to you.

Although we clearly benefited from the current lull in tourism in Egpyt, it was quite sad to see such a special space empty. We enjoyed the most fabulous time in Luxor and a large part of the reason for that was the extraordinary generosity of Ashraf, the warmth and humanity of his staff and the delicious tranquility of Desert Paradise Lodge. It became like a second home to us and we wish it many more visitors.

Room Tip: We were upgraded to Room 10 which is palatial.
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  • Stayed August 2012, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ashraf E, Manager at Desert Paradise Lodge, responded to this review, April 5, 2013
Thank you for your choice of Desert Paradise Lodge to recent stay in Luxor.

Can you provide a comment on our facility on TripAdvisor? Often our guests tell us to what extent they read comments from previous guests have useful to them before they book their visit to us. We always crave to know what you like and how we can get better.

Thank you again and we hope that is your choice on Desert Paradise Lodge in next time you visit the Luxor.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 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 (10)
Date | Rating
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English first
Luxor, Egypt
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2012

After just twenty minutes i fell in love with the place! . Food was authentic and tasty and rooms spotlessly clean as was the pool which was most unexpected but a real pleasure. I will be back again in the autumn.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Ashraf E, Manager at Desert Paradise Lodge, responded to this review, April 5, 2013
Thank you for your choice of Desert Paradise Lodge to recent stay in Luxor.

Can you provide a comment on our facility on TripAdvisor? Often our guests tell us to what extent they read comments from previous guests have useful to them before they book their visit to us. We always crave to know what you like and how we can get better.

Thank you again and we hope that is your choice on Desert Paradise Lodge in next time you visit the Luxor.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2012

It is the kind and generous owners and staff of Desert Paradise Lodge that make this such a special place to stay. Fareda and Ashraf made us feel so welcome - we enjoyed our stay here immensely. My son was sick for the first couple days of our visit, and they took care of him as if he were one of their own. The food was incredibly good, the rooms were very comfortable and the location excellent. It was wonderful to cool off in the pool in the afternoon heat. As a response to the previous reviewer, I would suggest that if this person had stayed longer than twenty minutes, his opinion may have been different. At least it would have been informed. We chose our own activities, were never pressured and were grateful for the services and recommendations Fareda and Ashraf provided. This was not my first visit to Egypt; when we return, I look forward to staying once again at this Desert Paradise Lodge.

  • Stayed June 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ashraf E, Manager at Desert Paradise Lodge, responded to this review, April 5, 2013
Thank you for your choice of Desert Paradise Lodge to recent stay in Luxor.

Can you provide a comment on our facility on TripAdvisor? Often our guests tell us to what extent they read comments from previous guests have useful to them before they book their visit to us. We always crave to know what you like and how we can get better.

Thank you again and we hope that is your choice on Desert Paradise Lodge in next time you visit the Luxor.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2012

I booked this Lodge but was so disappointed after twenty minutes there I left and found somewhere else.
The room I was offered was rather pokey and functional (two smallish beds, little natural light)
The pool is clearly an 'add-on' and not that attractive.
I'm more interested in value than price, but at 300LE this does not, in my opinion, offer value compared to other places on the West Bank that offer far superior rooms, location and atmosphere, mostly at much less cost.
I got on fine with the manageress until I declined her offer of an airport pick-up as I could get one from a normal driver at half the price she had quoted (she then said he probably wouldn't be able to find it, but he had no trouble whatsoever). She then repeatedly implied I was a cheapskate and I found her manner rather offensive (perhaps if it had been the owner showing me around I might have stayed even though it does not, in my opinion, offer value for money - Ashraf seems a nice man and the atmosphere is an important element after all.)
I was told "You won't find anywhere quieter than this" which was just assuming ignorance on my part and quite incorrect (Desert Paradise is in the built up resettlement area, surrounded by other densely packed buildings, unlike most of the Old Gurna hotels that are in quiet woody groves.) Not to mention the television blaring in the courtyard . . .
Other reviewers seem to feel it is "ideally located;" - ideal, if your only other comparison is the East Bank - but it would be hard to find many places that are further from the Ticket Office or the hub of main attractions than Desert Paradise, so you are dependent on their taxis and prices.
I felt this is the sort of place that likes to be in charge so you don't have the chance to compare. You do it their way or not at all. I didn't stay to try the food, which sounds great (but so are many other places). At 300LE I would expect something a little bit special - big beds, wi-fi or something that you don't always get (but often do) at cheaper places in the area - none of these, though she did offer to "lend me her stick" for internet (not much good to me using an iPhone). And that peppered with warnings that the electricity was not working all the time.
To the people who have given this place such high praise, I would ask, where else on the West Bank have you stayed??
But having said that, there is a definite niche for hotels that basically run everything for you, even at cost. It can be very reassuring for someone to help take the reins on your first visit to Egypt or even to Luxor.

Room Tip: Check the other reviews and read between the lines - eg if you want a room without bugs, the upper f...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Ashraf E, Manager at Desert Paradise Lodge, responded to this review, April 5, 2013
Thank you for your choice of Desert Paradise Lodge to recent stay in Luxor.

Can you provide a comment on our facility on TripAdvisor? Often our guests tell us to what extent they read comments from previous guests have useful to them before they book their visit to us. We always crave to know what you like and how we can get better.

Thank you again and we hope that is your choice on Desert Paradise Lodge in next time you visit the Luxor.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richmond, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2012

I am going to cheat a little here and simply agree 100%, yes 100% with everything Halo44 has written about this wonderful gem of a find on the West Bank. Every element of that review fits my experience. Though I did not have the same guide, mine is called Said, he was also excellent.

I came to Egypt for the first time not as the usual sightseeing, beach, cruise tourist but to finally fulfill a life long yearning to visit the country of ancient Egypt that has fascinated me since as a 12 year old I purchased the penguin book on Tutankhamen by C. Desroches-Noblecourt. The stories, the history, the monuments, the images, the aesthetic, the grandeur and mysticism of that civilization has fascinated me all my life.

So as you can imagine this trip for me was more than a holiday it was loaded with expectation and a degree of childhood emotion.

As I planned this 7day trip with a view to immersing myself in as much of the ancient past as possible I had to find a base that was close to the areas I wanted to visit. On my tight budget where to stay? I checked out all the Luxor hotels, some West Bank hotels and as an avid trip advisor reader I stumbled upon the Desert Paradise Lodge (DPL). Its reviews were incredible. Could it really be that good? Well it was far, far better than I had dared to expect. When I travel I like my money to go to the local community as much as possible. I am no fan of the big impersonal hotels so DPL certainly ticked the invest in the local economy box. The email booking with Fareda was uncomplicated. I would be met at the airport by Hamade in the air conditioned minibus. So it was and I arrived in the 40C heat and was taken the 40min ride to DPL where I was made very welcome by both Ashraf and Fareda. At the end of my first day and as a direct result of experiencing the DPL I decided to extend my stay from 7 to 14 nights.

In my first evening there I mentioned that I wanted to do a Ballon trip. Within an hour it had been arranged for the next day. It was a great flight over all the key areas: Valley of the Kings, Queens, Habu, Hatshepsut etc. The best possible introduction to the area and start to this trip.

This very quickly proved to be the perfect base for all my trips. Initially with a guide as an introduction and then I revisited the sites alone in my second week to explore at my own pace. The DPL arranged all my trips as well a taking me to the ferry area to go across to Luxor. The staff and service were attentive and excellent throughout my stay. My meals were mainly at the DPL and were a good balance of carbs, meat, fish and salads great fuel for the next day. In my room I also had room Nr 1, the bed was made every day, cotton sheets, fresh towels, it was clean, airconditioned which I struggled to get used to and had a relaxing atmosphere. Just perfect for the pm snooz I needed after the early start and 7 hours on site. Early starts to beat the heat were not an issue. I like to walk the local peaks so a light snack at 5am before I set off was not a problem. On my last days DPL arranged to take me to the start of the walk up to the peak overlooking the Valley of the Kings via Hatshepsut at 6am. Nothing was too much trouble. Even on the last day when I got a stomach bug Fareda helped me with local medication which dealt with it immediately.

This was my little trip of a lifetime realizing a childhood dream and the DPL along with a wonderful swiss couple who eased me into the Egyptian culture helped make it simply perfect.

Finally Egypt is going through the birth pangs of democracy at the moment and I left on the day the first round of presidential elections took place. I was alone on this trip and with my hat etc looked typically european but In all my time in both Luxor walking alone and on the West Bank I always felt safe and never experienced any problems.

I will be going back to the Desert Paradise Lodge and Luxor hopefully again later this year.

  • Stayed May 2012, 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.
Ashraf E, Manager at Desert Paradise Lodge, responded to this review, April 5, 2013
Thank you for your choice of Desert Paradise Lodge to recent stay in Luxor.

Can you provide a comment on our facility on TripAdvisor? Often our guests tell us to what extent they read comments from previous guests have useful to them before they book their visit to us. We always crave to know what you like and how we can get better.

Thank you again and we hope that is your choice on Desert Paradise Lodge in next time you visit the Luxor.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
96 reviews 96 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
91 helpful votes 91 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2012

We have travelled a lot but we had never been to Egypt before and we almost booked a big hotel for our 3 nights in Luxor and then I found Desert Paradise on Trip Advisor....and we were so glad we stayed here. It is a hundred times better than staying in an impersonal, bland chain owned hotel room. Our room (room 1) was beautiful. The driver from the hotel, Hamada, met us at the airport and pointed out landmarks to us as he drove us to Desert Paradise. Based on the West bank of Luxor, Desert Paradise Lodge felt much more authentic and more peaceful than the east bank which has more tourists and is more crowded. On arrival we met the owner Ashraf who greeted us at the door and even though it was late at night he still offered us food and drinks if we wanted them served in our room. He kindly sent tea to our room at our request. The room was lovely. Designed in the Nubean style with dome ceilings, lying in bed or sitting in our lounge we could look up in to a beautiful dome of warm coloured brick. A really stunning feature and one that felt authentic. The walls were painted white and doors and window shutters were natural wood. The bed was comfortable with white sheets and pillows. The bathroom was immaculate with a good shower, hot water and large towels. We had a dressing table and mirror and a separate lounge plus another separate area with wardrobes and a fridge. We also had our own balcony which overlooked the lovely gardens. Everything was immaculately clean and really well designed. Breakfast was served in the garden where a covered area to the side features long natural wooden tables and benches with more tables in the open. We had omelettes served in hot griddle pans, yoghurt, fresh juice, tea, bread etc...and we chose the time we wanted to eat. Ashraf (Egyptian)and his business partner Fareda (Swiss) were really friendly and helpful. Ashraf arranged a driver and guide for us to visit the main sites of Luxor over a 2 day period. It was incredibly good value for money and Mohammed our guide spoke excellent English and really knows his history. We don't often use guides but in this instance it was the best thing we did as Mohammed really brought the history and mystery of Luxor to life for us and made it exciting. We absolutely loved our 2 days with him visiting Karnak, Luxor Temple, Habu Temple, Valley Of The Kings and much more and we wish we could have spent another day with him. It was genuinely fantastic and he's easily one of the best guides we have ever spent any time with. We ate lunch in town on one day but we took evening meals and our other lunch at Desert Paradise Lodge because it fitted in better with what we were doing. The food was fantastic with plenty of fresh vegetables, fish, salad etc...and beer or wine if you want to order it. Sitting in the garden in the evening eating dinner was also so much nicer than sitting in a big restaurant. Fareda cares for lots of animals that she has rescued locally and some of the income from Desert Paradise is donated to the welfare of sick and rescued animals. We would love to go back to Desert Paradise Lodge one day and I have already recommended it to many of my friends and family. This is a far more beautiful and spacious place to stay than a boring hotel and you will be made very welcome in gorgeous and peaceful surroundings. We saw a lot in Luxor in 2 days because we followed the advice of Ashraf and booked his driver and guide. Without this invaluable service we would have wasted time and money and not seen as much as we would have wanted to. Our only regret is that we only had 2 full days; if you have the time it is definitely worth spending at least 3 full days in Luxor before heading towards your next destination in Egypt. I wish we could have spent a week at Desert Paradise Lodge! They are planning to open a private flat within the grounds very soon for people to rent on a longer term basis fully equipped with its own kitchen etc.

Room Tip: Room 1 is spacious and quiet with lovely views over the garden
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  • Stayed March 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ashraf E, Manager at Desert Paradise Lodge, responded to this review, April 5, 2013
Thank you for your choice of Desert Paradise Lodge to recent stay in Luxor.

Can you provide a comment on our facility on TripAdvisor? Often our guests tell us to what extent they read comments from previous guests have useful to them before they book their visit to us. We always crave to know what you like and how we can get better.

Thank you again and we hope that is your choice on Desert Paradise Lodge in next time you visit the Luxor.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Castricum, The Netherlands
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
51 hotel reviews
Reviews in 59 cities Reviews in 59 cities
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2012

Based on the many very good reviews in Tripadvisor, I choose the Desert Paradise Lodge to celebrate a special birthday of my wife. I was definitely not disappointed! All that has been written in previous reviews is true. This place is a heaven of peace and service is very personal.
The owner Ashraf is a perfect and reliable host. Every day he will sit with you to discuss plans for the day and give you good advice. Reservations and email are taken care of by the neighbour Fareda, a Swiss lady who loves animals. She will answer all your questions. Prices are very reasonable.
The lodge is situated at the west bank in a quiet place. Transportation is wonderfully arranged, because the lodge has its own driver Mohammed who will pick you up at the airport and will drive you to the various sights in a new comfortable minibus.
We stayed in room # 1 which has a little balcony overlooking the pretty garden, a perfect place to read a book. Every room (there are 9 rooms in total) has a separate sitting and bedroom, a clean bathroom with hot water and a walk-in closet with a fridge. But room #1, one floor up, is special with two lovely domes having little windows in it, a very nice sight when you awake in the morning. The room was kept clean and bed linen and towels were changed daily.
In the morning we enjoyed a tasteful breakfast with a sizzling hot omelette in the garden served by friendly Abdul and Ahmed. Since we decided to go out for excursions during half the day and relax the other half, we usually had lunch and always had dinner at the lodge. Unfortunately, it was still too cold to use the swimming pool, but there are many places in the garden and on the roof terraces where you can enjoy the sun or sit in the shade. Dinner is in Egyptian style and truly delicious!
Because of the revolution there are less tourists than usual. However, I can assure you that there is no danger whatsoever in Luxor. There were moments that we had the famous monuments of the necropolis at the west bank all for ourselves! There is so much to see that you will need weeks to explore each temple and tomb. Do not miss the excursion to Dendera to visit the best preserved temple of Egypt dedicated to Hathor. The countryside of the Nile valley is very beautiful and the traditional way of living of the farmers is like going back in time.
This was my third visit to Luxor (and my fifth to Egypt) but we will be back some day. And for sure, we will stay in the Desert Paradise Lodge where you are treated like a special guest.

  • Stayed March 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 6
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

Also Known As:
Desert Paradise Hotel Luxor
Desert Paradise Hotel
Address: Qabawi | Qurna, Luxor, Egypt
Location: Egypt > Nile River Valley > Luxor
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 28 B&Bs / Inns in Luxor
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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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