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“Nubian hospitality par excellence”
Review of Bet el Kerem

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Bet el Kerem
Ranked #2 of 20 Aswan B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 23, 2012

We booked three nights at this superb Nubian guesthouse on the west side of the Nile during the Easter period and we were absolutely delighted. We had a simple but spotlessly clean twin room with air-conditioning and sink and access to two shared bathrooms with great showers. There was a big room with ping-pong table for those who like to be active, but the highlights were really the garden, where the owner, Abdullah, and the local ever-so-friendly young men who worked in the hotel for him, were often to be found welcoming you after a long day of sightseeing.

As well as this, I thoroughly recommend paying for the dinners. A buffet-style choice of so many local Nubian traditional dishes was just irresistible. Vegetarians will have no problem here, but even the meat we did have was just super. At 10 euros for dinner, it's a little more than you might pay in a local (non-tourist) restaurant but it's well worth it for the company and chat with the hotel staff and other guests. One night they served us 'omali' for dessert and it was just amazing!

Breakfast was also super and is included in the price, along with a constant supply of bottled water and free soft drinks throughout your stay, within reason.

What we liked, too, was the fact that the money we paid was being directly invested into the local Nubian village community and we were fairly sure that leftover food from buffet mealtimes was distributed to needy local families, too, which we were happy about.

We also recommend taking a wander out of the guesthouse (turning left) and walking through the Nubian village to meet the people there. Chances are you'll be invited in for tea somewhere and although the family would probably appreciate a couple of Egyptian pounds as a thank-you, they're not looking for it.

One last thing - the public ferry from the main town of Aswan runs frequently but please note: the locals only pay 0.25 Egyptian pounds. You may be asked for up to 5 pounds the first time you travel on it. We confronted the boat operators about this and pointed out that we didn't want ripped off for three days and agreed to pay ONE pound each time (only 10p in the UK) but do not let them charge you 5 - just slap your 1 egyptian pound down and walk past on to the boat!

Room Tip: I saw in a couple of rooms and they all looked as immaculate as each other, although I don't thi...
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  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank fraseyboyd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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71 - 77 of 130 reviews

Reviewed April 1, 2012

My wife and I had the good fortune of staying here albeit only for 2 days & 1 night. We had a lovely room on the ground floor with entry off the garden. The room was spacious, the bed very comfy (and in March, not very hot yet). The washroom was just outside our door.
We asked the Guesthouse to arrange an overall tour of Aswan but not including the High Dam (we have lots of dams in British Columbia!). The guide took us to Philae, then by motorboat to Sikel Island where we hiked up to see the "Famine Stella", the unfinished obelisk, and the Tombs of the Nobles which were right beside the Guesthouse and a scrumptious dinner.
Our host was Abdel, the owner. He was so generous with his hospitality you really did feel like part of an extended family. The Australian ladies also staying there felt the same.
If you want to stay somewhere other than a Hilton and actually try to experience beautiful Nubia, the Beit el Karem is an excellent choice.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank rsdickson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2012

We would just like to say Abdel is a great host. He treats you with class. The staff is great, friendly, and authentic to the Nubian culture. This was our favorite place in Egypt and we will be back. I suggest eating dinner, and breakfast there. Take a Nile cruise at sunset, let them set it up.

Abdel, thank younger wonderful memories.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Seeralon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2012

My girlfriends found this place as the pick of the 2008 lonely planet. It is possible that the place was okay in 2008 but now, the room was terrible and the owner is an overbearing and intolerable man. The place is also not very convenient. If you want to be hassled while you're eating and relaxing by an insincere and talkative owner who cannot stop talking about himself, sleep on a very hard old bed for a small child, stay up all night from people going in an out and pay too much for everything, stay at Bet el Kerem.

Room Tip: Don't stay here if you want a good room.
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  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with friends
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11  Thank zibam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 11, 2012

My wife and I stayed one night in Aswan towards the end of October 2011. I had visited Aswan a couple of times before and knew I wanted to stay on the west bank on the edge of the desert so this was a great find. Our host, Abdel, was extremely attentive and organised boat and camel trips for us very soon after arrival. When we changed plans this was no problem and all of his 'team' were very friendly and helpful. A genuine surprise was the lovely little green garden the owners have nurtured here on the edge of the desert. The accommodation was comfortable if not spectacular, but very much as we would have expected on this side of the river. The views towards the desert hills and Qubbet el Hawa (Tomb of the Wind) from the room and the rooftop were wonderful in the morning and evening. In the evening the crew cooked up a wonderful meal on the rooftop and we enjoyed good conversation with Abdel and the other guests, an American couple - socialising is something Abdel enthusiastically encourages! The day we left, after an excellent breakfast (again freshly prepared), the owners had arranged for a taxi driver to take us to Philae and Kalabsha temples and then on to Aswan airport for our flight to Cairo. Again, this was very well organised. In conclusion, this was a very short stay but a memorable one, in no small part due to the infectious enthusiasm and efficient organisation of Abdel with help from his team. We look forward to our next visit!

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Tim C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 21, 2011

First of all Bet el Kerem is not meant for everyone. If you are looking for a place to just relax at the hotel there are probably better places to stay. That being said, if you are looking for an educational and interesting place, this is one of the top places I've stayed.

The location is a bit out of the way on the west bank, but is easily accessable by the ferry - which is also an interesting way to see how the locals live. It is also a lot calmer than the east bank.

Lots of possible activities to the enjoy the region and Aswan. Got to go fishing on the Nile, which was a great experience and eat at a Nubian house which was educational with good food. Speaking of food, the cooks at Bet el Kerem made some of the best grilled chicken I had ever eaten and the free drinks was a big plus.

Rooms are basic, but have everything necessary, but like I mentioned, if you just want to relax in your room all day, this isn't the best place to stay.

Bet el Kerem serves as a de facto cultural center for all the Nubians who live in the area, and the best part about staying wastalking to the host, neighbors and staff about the history of Nubia and their own individual stories about living in the region.

Really welcoming and friendly place with good staff. Highly recommended place to stay in Aswan.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled solo
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2  Thank MattinParis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 13, 2011

So what was wrong? On the plus side, the food was excellent (delicious buffet dinner), free water and soft drinks) and quiet. But our room was vastly overpriced at 45 E: it was dark (the only window opened to a wall), beds were exceptionally hard, the mosquito netting was dysfunctional (torn and too small), and while we had asked for an ensuite, the toilet was down the hall. I mentioned our disappointment when the owner pressed us as to how we liked the room but was dismissed with the reply, "It says 'ensuite bath and shower,' no mention of toilet.'" In fact the owner was the main reason why we didn't enjoy our stay: we found him overbearing, arrogant, and dismissive. As I said, this was our only negative experience in 6 weeks of travelling in Egypt.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank Caminoista
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
experiencenubia, Owner at Bet el Kerem, responded to this reviewResponded December 17, 2011

To be honest, we are rather dissapointed about this review; for several reasons. So we really feel the need to react. The guests stayed in one of our best rooms; people always like this room because it is quiet, large and cool. The private toilet is directly next to the room.
We really invested in the quality of the matrasses in our guesthouse; we never heard any complaints about this before!
In every room we have a list with information about what to see and do in and around Aswan. We wrote there on the front page: "we appreciate your feedback". Now we find out that this wasn't done to us personally, but to the world on the internet. We don't understand why that was necessary. For sure, Abdel is straight in his communication (which is often necessary in this business), but most important to him is that our guests leave the guesthouse happy. So he is very helpful, also in this case. When the guests could't manage to book a room in a hotel in Abu Simbel, he contacted the owner there and arranged it for them. He gave all the possible ways to go there and a lot of bottles of mineral water when they left. So we really don't understand this hard judgement.
Ellen & Abdel, the owners of Bet el Kerem

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bet el Kerem

Address: Nagh el Kuba | West Aswan, Aswan, Egypt
Phone Number:
Location: Egypt > Nile River Valley > Aswan Governorate > Aswan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 20 B&Bs / Inns in Aswan
Price Range: $30 - $44 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Bet el Kerem 3*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The only guesthouse in Aswan on the West bank. Top location near the Nile, the desert and the Nubian villages; beautiful view. Private chef services healthy meals. Peaceful atmosphere, friendly, hospitable staff. “Feels like staying with family”; “a home away from home”.2 floors, 8 double rooms, 1 family room, beautiful garden, roof garden with restaurant; marvellous view. The local ferry - within walking distance from the guesthouse - brings you in 10 min. in Aswan centre. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bet El Kerem Hotel Aswan

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