More about Mara House
like staying at your Mom's house....
My girlfriend and I stayed at Mara House last week for two days. We had been doing a lot of rigorous traveling, and it was great to stay somewhere that was low key--away from hagglers and tour groups. The service was great--better than what we had in other parts of Egypt. We had a complimentary ride from the airport to Mara House, which was greatly appreciated. The flat we stayed in was very nice and very roomy. Mara is a very friendly and helpful person; she gave us instructions on which sites to visits in the area, the ones to avoid, how much we should pay for a taxi to take us from site to site, et.al. When we return to Luxor, there is no doubt where we will be staying.
Wonderful Place to Stay
At the end of October, my daughter and I stayed at Mara House in Luxor. We were both absolutely delighted with our choice of Mara’s. We had an extremely spacious suite with three bedrooms. The room was very clean and in excellent condition.
Mara House is more like a Bed & Breakfast than a hotel, so if you like staying at B&Bs, this is the place for you in Luxor. The breakfast isn’t much, though, but I found that to be the case at other small places in the Egypt, too. The atmosphere is wonderful and Mara makes herself available at all times to assist you in any way possible. She provided excellent information on what to see, in what order, and what it would cost, and she arranged transportation and guides for our visits to the sites, both near and far. She is also available just to chat about her place, her experiences in Egypt, metaphysics, and more. I love the intimacy of a small place like this, where the guests can talk directly to the owner and get a better sense of a place like Luxor. Much better than dealing with a concierge at a large hotel.
Be sure to thoroughly explore her website as it contains a wide range of information . The section on Travel Tips, for example, is a terrific source of invaluable information—better than any other source I found.
The location of Mara House is one of the things I liked about it, although others might be less thrilled. It is not in the midst of the tourist area or near the large hotels but, instead, is in a residential neighborhood of Luxor. However, the center of town is a short and inexpensive taxi ride away, or even within walking distance (if you haven’t exhausted yourself on tours of temples and tombs). The location gives you a better sense of daily life in Luxor, which is most appealing to me.
The food at her restaurant, Salahadeen, was very good and the atmosphere terrific. Be sure not to miss it (reserve with her the day before or early in the day because they need to buy the food fresh for the evening). There is also a bar room that is very nice, although the price of alcohol in Egypt is not cheap.
Mara’s is one of my new favorite places, and the value is without equal. I look forward to going again and recommend it most highly.
My first visit to Egypt and first place I stayed. 5 nights initially and returned a week later to stay another night before my flight home.
The owner, Mara provided (what i found was) invaluable information about Luxor and indeed Egypt which set me up for a memorable visit.
The room was great, very clean and with tv, fan, A/C and hot shower. Although i say room, it had a living room, kitchen, bathroom and bedroom.
It's about 15minute walk to Luxor Temple located in a friendly neighbourhood.
The staff speak decent english and are most helpful.
A place I will recommend to anyone.
How can you miss Mara and her beatiful house?
Personally I am sure that staying in Mara house will offer any tourist a chance to achieve more interesting experience in Luxor besides the already planned trip. Mara did help a lot during my trip in Luxor. The appartment is beatiful, silent, clean and comfortable. Additionally, she could help to organize a wonderful plan in Luxor according to my experience. The only thing that I missed is the dinner inside Mara house. I hope if I have another chance visiting Luxor, I will definitely come to enjoy the dinner with her. Thanks Mara!
---Jing and Qi (china)
Perfect place to stay on the East Bank in Luxor
What a true home from home Mara House turned out to be. After the hustle and bustle of Cairo it was great to be in the quiet part of town. The three of us flew Egyptair from Cairo to Luxor on a early evening flight and Mara organised the pick up from the airport. On arrival we were shown to our large three bedroomed fully furnished apartment. A quick shower and down to the restaurant for dinner. This set the tone for what was to be a truely excellent six days. Each morning a breakfast of bread, yoghurt, jam, honey, juice and tea was brought up to our very own dining room giving us plenty of time to get ready for the different tours Mara had organised for us. We have travelled in Egypt before as part of an organised tour group and were quite specific that as 'independent travellers' we wanted to spend time at the places we had chosen to visit rather than be herded around to fit in with someone elses time table. Mara organised transport and arranged for us to be accompanied by our excellent guide Naveen. Naveen knew her stuff and she also knew lots of the 'right' people so we managed to get to see many thngs that other tourist just don't get to see, Hatshepsuts statue at Karnak being one of them. Nothing was rushed except the trip to Abydos & Dandara and only because the tourist convoy set the pace. Naveen could also read Heiroglyphics so a lot of the inscriptions were explained to us in great detail. We also spent an afternoon visiting two very old Coptic churches and a Monastery, a very enjoyable time and something completely different.
Mara House was everything we expected from the website and turned out to be much more. Comfortable, spotlessly clean and homely. Mara House is no five star hotel but the service is top notch and the food is excellent. Sayeed the young man who helps around the house and waits in the restaurant was on hand during the day and evening to help with taxis and directions even down to making sure we paid the right price for our off the cuff trips.
I can genuinely say that we arrived as guests and left as friends, in fact we were quite sad to leave our home from home in Luxor. As a recommendation we would all give Mara House top marks all round. We thoroughly enjoyed our time with Mara and her team and look forward to returning in the not to distant future.
Allan, Brian & Niels
A wonderful stay
We (a mid aged couple from Scandinavia) stayed with Mara for 3 nights. We really became curious when checking reviews and Mara's House suddently popped up as nr. 2 in the luxor area, so we decided to visit and we never got disappointed. Initialy the cab driver had huge problems finding the house, even we had the street name written down. But we called Mara and passed the phone and our problem was solved. The location on the "wrong" side of the railroad, is only 15 minutes walk from Luxor Temple, but far enough away to secure absence from the much annoing hassle with calesh owners, taxi drivers and felucca agents - which is usual around the most hotels and the Cornishe. This was our eight vacation to Luxor and staying with Mara was an all new but also much pleasant experience. Minor details in the house could function slightly better, but it was all more than well compensated by Mara's friendliness, and her desire to secure that all house guests are comfortable, safe and happy all over. Mara's much devoted younger male staff spoke decent English and with a bit more experience, they also will become superiour care providers as Mara. Assad, Mara's local "limo" driver also is a win win bargain, with top reliable service and one completely escape the usual hassle with unreasonable taxi drivers unfair price demands. Assad even shops for you and secure your buys, at prices that only few foreigners can find in Luxor. The "room service" is fab and very unique. All you need, is to lean over the railing and call your wish - i.e. coffee as to our pleasant surprice was complimentary. Actually we were pampered on, or above the level, that we are used to from staying weeks, at all of the five best five 5* hotels in the greater Luxor area. However we never had any of the cheffs cooking our own favorite breakfast porridge to perfection. Here Mara to our amazement and joy even beated the most expensive hotels. In the future it is going to be very interesting to follow how long in advance one needs to book to secure vacacy. With only nine flats and the all positive feedbacks that Mara consistently gather from new devoted guests, she will soon surpass the many years no. 1 review - 5* Maritime Jolle Ville- (now really dated and renovation needed for years) and probably have fully booked long time ahead. Mara's house is truly spotless clean and the accomodation on level with the nicer 3 star hotels - but it is fair to say that the service is much above, and when the house soon has fully WIFI Internet, there is not much more to desire within reason, especially not when the price level is considered. We wish Mara and all her staff good luck and a bright future, as the traveller's favorite home in Luxor Egypt.
Loved Mara House & love Mara, It truly felt like a home away from home
Mara House is by far the best place to stay in Luxor. I’ve been to Egypt several times with groups and stayed at different hotels in Luxor each time, all 5 stars. None of them can hold a candle to Mara House. I was able to completely relax without the hustle and bustle that is experienced at the other hotels in Luxor. I travelled on my own this time and spent 8 days at Mara House in mid Nov. I very much appreciated the quite, home like environment of Mara’s and when it came time to leave, I left feeling like I was leaving home rather than going home.
I have a huge amount of respect for Mara and the House she’s created; it’s absolutely beautiful in every way. Without repeating all the wonderful things already expressed in the other reviews, I’ll say that I’m in total agreement in recommending Mara House to everyone, whether it’s your first visit to Egypt or you’re a seasoned traveler going the independent route . One of the things that really stands out, is Mara’s attention to detail and her genuine devotion to your care and comfort while in Luxor.
Unlike most of the arranged trips or hotel tours, where you’re rushed through the sites without really being able to connect with and explore the areas, this truly is the best way to see Luxor. By letting Mara take care of arranging your guide and driver, trips to the West Bank sites and East Bank temples are relaxed and at a pace that you set. By choosing to stay at Mara House you get to see and experience far more of Egypt than you would otherwise.
During our trip in Egypt, we have spent 6 days and night in Luxor in a wonderful place : THE MARA HOUSE !!!
Mara is an Irish woman who has realized a wonderful environment with nice rooms and the best egyptian restaurant of LUXOR !!! All of that for a very reasonable price !!! (30 pounds per night).
Mara is welcoming anyone with her great heart and her strong experience of egypt. She helped us organising our trips around LUXOR, to DENDERAH and ABYDOS, down the Nile river and finally to HURGHADA.
So, our experience was great because she has a very good balance between egyptian and occidental culture.
Mara is the best!
Mara is so awesome. The day we arrived we had a hassle finding the place so she sent someone to pick us up. Right when we walked in Mara was awesome. i also had a great expirence since mara house is out of town and in a poor neighborhood and i met this little boy who i played soccer with. Luxor is not a very good town but Mara makes up for it.
Recommend calling to confirm your booking
I sent an email inquiry to Mara on Dec 8. She replied on Dec 8 that she had rooms available. I replied on Dec 8 saying I would like to make a booking and asking if any additional info was required. Then, I received an email from Mara on Dec 12 saying no rooms are available. Lesson learned is to call or else followup with another email if you don't hear back soon.
The babies of my new friends
Statue of Tutankhamun and his wife @ Luxor Temple
Twilight in the Nile
A Karnak Obelisk at night
Hot-air balloon rides in Luxor, any suggestions??
I want to go on a hot-air balloon ride in Luxor. Can anyone please tell me if early morning is the best time to do that? What time do the rides start and how much do they cost? And from where do they start in Luxor? Has anyone had any experience of this adventure and which are the cheap and best operators to go with?
Re: Hot-air balloon rides in Luxor, any suggestions??
We had a bad balloon accident here in April, after which all the hot air balloons were grounded until just a few weeks ago. During the time they were laid up, all the pilots had to undergo new training schedules and pass a new flight test. New procedures have been adopted regarding everything to do with balloon flying here in Luxor, so much so that I believe that there has never been a safer time to undertake this excursion. (Although I am personally still to be persuaded that this could ever be a good idea!)
Under normal circumstances, I would suggest that you would get the best price from one of the many tour operators scattered along the Corniche. However it seems that some of the actual balloon operators are now offering better prices to the public than they are to the trade. Shop around, as I've heard of prices between 363LE and 1000LE being bandied about over the past few weeks since they started to fly again.
The balloon flights all take place early in the morning, as the sun's heat causes problems for the pilots, and are all organised by the Control Tower at Luxor Airport.
All the balloons take off from the same place on the West Bank, but your excursion starts and finishes at your hotel/lodging. The landing sites depend upon the prevailing winds and the pilot's experience and skill.
Every person I've spoken to who has undertaken this excursion has praised it very highly, no matter which company they've flown with.