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Salah Al Din Al Ayoubi, Luxor Egypt
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#2 of 74 in Luxor
Mara House is an Irish owned, unique, private hotel catering to the tastes of discerning travelers who want to be sure they experience the best of Egypt. I help my guests with itinerary planning for all of Egypt, will steer you clear of tourist traps and ensure you have a relaxing stay. I know the importance of holidays with family and friends. The number 1 priority of everyone who works with me is that you have the best possible Egyptian experience. - Mara
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Property amenities
Free parking
Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
Free breakfast
Airport transportation
Rooftop terrace
Laundry service
Non-smoking hotel
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Air conditioning
Private balcony
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Non-smoking rooms
Family rooms
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Popular mentions
Joan B. wrote a review Apr 2022
Chicago, IL2 contributions
I chose Mara House because of her helpful and informative blog. I found Mara herself to be equally helpful and informative at all stages of my travel planning. She knows Egypt well and was invaluable at helping us to prioritise what we could do during our short stay. For us, the highlight of the trip was Cairo. Mara's guide Suzy was excellent--knowledgeable, friendly, and overall a complete delight. She helped us negotiate our camel ride at Giza and buy things at the grocery store without getting ripped off, and she directed us to restaurants with prices printed on the menus so we didn't have to negotiate the price of dinner. She made visiting Cairo completely hassle-free, which was just wonderful for us. We also enjoyed staying at Hotel Steigenberger in Cairo, which booked through Mara. She was able to match the price of booking.com but threw in free breakfast for the 5 of us (and the breakfast was excellent!). In Luxor itself, we had a nice stay too. Mara House is a B&B off the beaten path. Our room was very spacious--more room than we needed for our family of 5, which was a surprise and delight. Amr was friendly and hospitable and a great home cook. We were surprised to have our sleep disturbed at dawn by the call to prayer, but in retrospect we shouldn't have been--that's just life in an Islamic country! I think we would have preferred to stay closer to downtown Luxor, but again, in the context of a comprehensive travel solution that included a chauffeur for anywhere we wanted to go, it was not a deal-breaker. Mohamed, our guide in Luxor, was also very knowledgeable and personable, and did his job as a tour guide well. However, I found him less assertive than Suzy at protecting us from the hassle of street vendors and unwanted "helpers" at various points along the way (especially on the Valley of Kings tour). I think Mohamed is empathetically looking out for the livelihoods of the people whose economic circumstances are regrettably not great by not denying them opportunities to earn tips--and I understand and even respect that (even though it feels a bit like emotional extortion to have to tip for a service that was neither desired nor useful). But I was a bit disappointed at the level of hassle for me while touring Luxor, especially after a perfect trip to Cairo with Suzy. But all in all, I would recommend Mara House as a travel agency as well as a B&B. We had a great trip and the level of hassle was lower than it would have been without the presence of our guides and drivers in both destinations. And I very much appreciated Mara's help as a travel planner--she saved me from several potential pitfalls and guided me towards a vacation we will always remember.
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Date of stay: February 2022
Sleep Quality
David S wrote a review Mar 2022
23 contributions7 helpful votes
We had a great stay. We were very comfortable in our suite and were extremely well looked after by Anr and the team. The guided tours worked out perfectly. And we found getting in and out of central Luxor quite easy. A great opportunity to see an area of the city that’s untouristed. Thank you Mara
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Date of stay: March 2022Trip type: Travelled
Explore691424 wrote a review Nov 2021
2 contributions
This is a review to cover both a stay at Mara House, Luxor itself (3 nights) and the more general tours package organised by Mara. Mara House: Excellent place in downtown Luxor. Approx. 10 min walk to Luxor railway station and so about 15min walk to Luxor temple and various streets of shops (both "regular" and "tourist focused") coffee houses, etc. Amr, the House Manager, is one of the nicest and most helpful people I have met - was more than happy to walk around Luxor on my first (free) day to try find some things I had forgotten to pack and also get a local SIM for my phone. Also a great cook (even if he always seemed to cook enough for 2 of me - and I have a hearty appetite)! He also came and found me when I found that the location of Mara House on Google Maps is actually not correct and so I was struggling to find my way back after a walk one evening. I will also mention that you get far more space for your money at Mara House than you would at any conventional hotel. Only downside of the house itself is the shower - namely the fact you have to turn on the heating c. 30mins before you want a shower, otherwise you get lukewarm (ambient temp) water. The optional extras I did in Luxor were the Luxor museum and a felucca trip in Luxor (organised by Amr). Luxor museum (unguided): only takes about an hour but worth the 140 LE fee. Ensure you see the 2 mummies there as easy to miss . Felucca ride: as mentioned, this was organised by Amr and it was clear there was a particular boat he wanted to use. Unfortunately, it was a shambles and we spent over half the time punting along the bank of the Nile. Amr kept saying the issue was the lack of wind, but other feluccas seems to be managing just fine. This was 300 LE (approx. £15) and something I could have done without. It also would have been nice to be told the cost upfront (along with the cost of a taxi for the afternoon - not really needed as everything was actually quite walkable - at another 400 LE (£20)). Tours: I did the full suite of tours from Luxor down to Abu Simbel, all organised by Mara. Abydos & Dendara: Both definite "must do's". It is though a lot of driving. Valley of the Kings: I paid the extra to do the Rameses V/VI (80 LE) and Seti I (1,000 LE) tombs and thought both were definitely worth it. I also paid the 300 LE for the photo pass (required to use a proper camera inside, rather than just a mobile phone). While the ticket does not state a limit, practice seems to be this allows you to take photos in 3 tombs, although the ticket is not always asked for, particularly if you let a guard take some photos of you and give them a decent tip (20-50 LE depending a bit on the tomb and how helpful the guard is). N.B. Other than 1 tomb at the Tombs of the Nobles, guides are not allowed inside the tombs (they are allowed at the outdoor sites though). I did not go to Valley of the Queens as the only tomb there on the itinerary is an optional extra (tomb of Queen Nefertari (1,500 LE entry fee and you are officially only allowed 10mins inside)). Karnak temple: Another must. Massive and amazing in equal measure. Luxor temple: Very much the "smaller brother" of Karnak. Did not get the best of it as there was a lot of scaffolding up, staging, etc. for a big event (the official opening of the Avenue of Sphinxes, connecting Luxor and Karnak temples) in early Nov. Nile cruise: personally, this was not to my tastes. Each to their own, but think this is better who want a slower pace, starched uniforms and international food. Personally, I would have preferred an extra day at Mara House and then done a day trip down to Aswan, covering the temples en route (early morning and buy day, but that is fine by me), and shaving a day off the itinerary. Temple of Horus at Edfu (Idfu) and Kom Ombok: definitely worth a visit if you are passing, but add little to those you will see in Luxor. Temple of Isis at Philae: Note this is not actually at Philae island anymore - like Abu Simbel, it was moved due to the construction of the Aswan High Dam. By this point, I was probably getting a bit templed-out. Abu Simbel: long drive, but definitely worth it! I do though very much recommend you look to leave Aswan between about 8-9am so you arrive late morning/just gone midday so then the crowds (from all the tour busses) will be leaving/have left. That does though mean that when you are outside (e.g. walking between the carpark and the temples, or between the temples) you are in the midday sun - so prepare accordingly. However, If you leave Aswan at c. 6am like most do, expect it to be a zoo! The temples though are amazing (do see both - if anything, the small (Nefertari) temple is actually prettier than the Great (Rameses II) temple). N.B. Guides are not allowed inside and you also need to purchase a photo pass (another 300 LE) to use a camera other than a smartphone. The main road back to Aswan closes at 5pm so you need to be aback t the checkpoint (Abu Simbel side) by about 2:30pm - otherwise you will have an enforced overnight stay. Mohammed was my guide for all the tours (inc. those visited via the Nile cruise). Lovely guy, very softly spoken - reminded me of an old fashioned university professor! Always helpful and it was nice to have the guided tours then be given a bit of time to wonder around sites myself. It definitely was a pity not being allowed to have a guide inside the tombs/Abu Simbel though. Also, personal preference, it would be nice to have had a bit more talk about things other than the temples when travelling between sites (particularly on the long journeys) - I did find that car journeys were pretty quiet. Overall, while it is possible to do a lot of this solo, I do think having things organised on a private / small group basis can really help in Egypt and I think Mara does this well and she is very good at answering any questions you have between booking and arrival and I would definitely recommend Mara House for your time in Luxor.
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Date of stay: October 2021
Justin_U_CGAM wrote a review Oct 2021
Atlanta, Georgia5 contributions1 helpful vote
I have recently stayed at Mara House in Luxor Egypt and thoroughly enjoyed my time here! I opted for a three night stay and the three day tour of Luxor. The accommodations are incredible! The room really blew me away. It doesn't feel like a hotel, it feels like someone's home. The location is in a residential area but a short walk to downtown Luxor and the Nile. The staff are amazing. Amr, the property manager, literally went above and beyond to make sure the trip was perfect. I cannot speak more highly of someone who just wanted to actually make my stay nice! The room is immaculate, the showers are awesome, air conditioning is cols, internet is fast, and the breakfast was delicious. Staying at Mara House was was highlight of my trip. Definitely recommend.
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Date of stay: October 2021Trip type: Travelled
Tina S wrote a review Jun 2021
4 contributions
When our flight to Cairo unexpectedly was changed to a much later departure, Emo Tours booked us into Mara House so that we would have several hours to rest and relax before heading to the airport. It was a good choice -- the gentleman who checked us in very friendly and polite and the room was comfortable with good mini split AC and otherwise well appointed if we had been staying longer (kitchenette, living room area). We also appreciated that 30 minutes before our scheduled pickup for the airport, the same gentleman provided a wakeup reminder.
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Date of stay: May 2021
Sleep Quality
Response from Marie Vaughan, Owner at Mara House
Responded 13 Oct 2021
Thank you so much for taking the time to write the lovely review. I am happy you enjoyed your brief stay. :-) Mara
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Frequently Asked Questions about Mara House
Which popular attractions are close to Mara House?
Nearby attractions include Lotus Papyrus (1.0 km), Luxor Market (1.2 km), and Voyage sur Le Nil (0.9 km).
What are some of the property amenities at Mara House?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free wifi, free breakfast, and free parking.
What food & drink options are available at Mara House?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast during their stay.
Is parking available at Mara House?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.
What are some restaurants close to Mara House?
Conveniently located restaurants include Sofra Restaurant & Cafe, Tutti Frutti Restaurant, and Quick Pizza Luxor.
Does Mara House have airport transportation?
Yes, Mara House offers airport transportation for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Are there any historical sites close to Mara House?
Many travellers enjoy visiting Temple of Karnak (2.9 km), Valley of the Artisans (Deir el-Medina) (6.3 km), and Howard Carter House (7.2 km).