Our first guest review for 2014 puts Mara House Hotel in Luxor in a nutshell. I am so happy this wonderful man really got it that my motivation genuinely is to see my guests have the best experience possible in Egypt – and that my expertise and willingness to provide help and information extends beyond Luxor.
“We had a wonderful stay at Mara House last month, and the real gem is the proprietor Mara Vaughan. Although her place is beautiful, immaculately kept and hospitable, it was Mara who singlehandedly assisted me and my fiancee plan the trip of our lives to Egypt. She was giving and kind, helping me throughout the months leading up to our Dec. 2013 trip there with endless emails and advice. She organized our tours in Luxor and tours in Cairo, and although she does not make a lot of profit on the Cairo tours, I really do believe her motivation is to see others have a wonderful trip to Egypt. She helped me more than she knows, and we had a flawless trip as a result.
On Mara House itself: It is situated close to all the major sites in Luxor, as well as selected restaurants. Upon arrival, we were greeted with welcome tea, and given a lot of information about our stay, surrounding sites and suggestions for activities. Our place was a suite, and was plenty of room for the two of us. The staff were attentive to our needs, including laundry service and tea on demand. The room and bed were very comfortable, and the decor was had taste and was thoughtful. Our fridge was stocked with plenty of drinks, wine, snacks, all for a nominal fee, and although we were so busy, the rooftop lounge looked mighty appealing after long days exploring the temples.
Amr, Mara’s assistant, kindly took us around Luxor several nights, arranging taxis and coordinating our trips out to town. He was really essential in making sure our Luxor experience went smoothly, from the minute we got there. The breakfasts were good, and Amr packed me a boxed lunch to explore Abydos and Dendera on my birthday (my fiancee was in bed with “mummy’s revenge), which helped quite a bit. You might want to pack ear plugs or listen to some relaxation music before bed, as the street in front of Mara House tends to get loud, especially on wedding weeks (we happened to hit one down the street).
Mara has a few suggestions for restaurants in the area, including Taste of India and Sofra, the latter being our go to restaurant for several meals. We were disappointed not to be able to eat at Mara House’s restaurant, Salahadeen, but the low volume of tourists dictated it’s closure for now. Ask Amr for the “orientation book,” in which you’ll find all the suggestions Mara has vetted for you to optimize your trip to Luxor.
The other bonus is that Mara knows how to find all the right people, from staff to drivers and tour guides. We had a very talented and experienced tour guide and driver during our time in Luxor, as well as Cairo. Luxor has been hit badly by the lack of tourists. This is glaringly obvious everywhere you look around town. My hope is that reviews like this will spur people to come back to Luxor, and to Egypt in general.
At no time in Luxor, or Egypt for that matter, did my fiancee and I feel threatened or even uncomfortable at the sign of danger or political volatility that would have prevented us from doing activities or being around certain places. The people of Luxor are kind, giving, professional and desirous of more touristic activity, so go there. You’ll have the experience of your life. And stay with Mara at Mara House.”
The above review is on TripAdvisor – Mara House Luxor