Authentic Egyptian Experience – 15 April 2017 – Andrew H, Legian, Indonesia
The crew at Mara House are some of the most hospitable people we have ever encountered travelling. We were made to feel very special and the service was exemplary. The tours are high quality and thoughtful, accommodation is high class and the food is top restaurant quality and authentic.
Whilst other supposedly cheaper tours take you to shops where they get kickbacks and refrain from telling you admissions are extra, Mara House includes everything and only has in mind providing the best service and best time spent for the whole trip. We packed an enormous amount into 10 days but never felt rushed or uneasy. The guides, drivers and all the staff were so friendly and immensely competent making us feel always at ease and intrigued but the beauty of this uniquely interesting country.
We felt completely safe too the whole trip, I only wish we could have stayed longer so we will be back and will be coming to Mara House again.
Reviewed on TripAdvisor. Couple – Egypt Holidays package Cairo, Luxor, Aswan, Nile Cruise
Well-organized, thoughtful, fun, and memorable experience – 5 April 2017 – Kevin & Fiona Gordon
If Egypt is on your bucket list, as it was on ours, then hesitate no longer because Mara and her wonderful crew are here to make your visit to the Land of the Pharaohs all that you dreamed of and more. All the glowing accolades you’ve read about “Egypt with Mara” are true. We’ll give you a few highlights.
– Pre-trip communication: Before our trip, Mara answered each and every question we had, no matter how niggly, via email promptly and in great detail. We were as prepared as we could be having taken Mara’s advice on what to bring and what to expect. (And for those who wonder “Is Egypt safe?”, the answer is yes. Never once did we feel otherwise. And just to make sure, there was an armed security guard on our van,as well as a military escort.)
-Welcome to Egypt: Mara’s right-hand woman is Fatma,a lovely young Egyptian whose smile brightened our time in Cairo. She greeted us at the airport, escorted us to the hotel and made sure we felt like part of the family. Fatma is a gifted multi-media artist, intelligent and insightful, and it was delight to learn about the life of contemporary Egyptian Muslims through her.
-Hit the ground running: From the moment we arrived, our days were packed from morning to night with visits to the major sites up and down the Nile. Mara’s guides were knowledgeable, friendly and patient. We had a succession of Mohammeds, but the one we spent the most time with was with us from Luxor to Aswan. He looked remarkably like Barack Obama and good-naturedly crammed as much information as would fit into our whirling heads. He rounded up the stragglers, kept things moving and made sure all questions were answered.
-Go with the flow: While we did everything that Mara promised we would do, the sequence of events sometimes had to be rearranged because Egyptian schedules can be somewhat vague.
She advised early on that we’d have a much better time if we simply went with the flow, and that occasionally things worked out even better than planned. That being said, if someone in the group had something special in mind to do, Mara was delighted to make every effort to see that it was done.
-Shopping: Mara is strictly about making you happy.. We were there to see the wonders of ancient and modern Egypt, not to spend time in souvenir shops or alabaster and papyrus factories. However, Mara understood that most visitors like to bring something home with them, and there is an afternoon devoted to the market Khan Al-Khalili, where guests are not directed to any shop in particular for the commission, but pointed toward the section of the market where you’ll find what you want.
-Conclusion: Of course, a written description can never convey the experience of actually being there, but you can expect a well-organized, thoughtful, fun, and memorable experience if you throw in your lot with Mara. Her delightful Irish wit kept things light and enjoyable. She also has a deep grasp of the esoteric side of the temples, tombs and monuments of ancient Egypt and understood when I unexpectedly had what she called “a moment” in the Temple at Abydos.
We recommend without reservation “Egypt with Mara” for your visit to the land of the Pharaohs.
Traveled as couple and joined the Mara House Group Tour for the March 2017 tour
OH MY! Where to start!!!! – 3 April 2017 – Nesa Gonzales USA
I joined the Mara House 11 day tour back in November 2016. It was THE.BEST. DECISION. EVER!!!
To start off with, I had originally contacted Mara to do a solo tour for a few days (4-5) and then return home but after speaking to her and finding out more details and her honest opinion about a solo trip there, I weighed my options and decided it would be best to join in on her 11 day tour (and for the price-how could I turn it down). She was ALWAYS super fast on responding to my emails and very professional.
As time got closer to the trip, she kept me in the loop about new sites that were open to tourism and offered the opportunity to be able to go see them, if I wanted to, along with estimate prices.
Now, a few days before I took off, my flights had shifted (by a day!) and I would then be arriving the day that everyone else was having their first day of sight-seeing. I was so disappointed. However, keeping in touch with Mara she assured me that I would still be able to see what I had missed on the first day (Giza Plateau) and that we would talk about it when I landed.
When I landed I had a driver waiting for me outside, he did not speak much English but he was very polite and professional. He drove me to the restaurant where the group was headed to eat and spoke to the “reception” desk, so they knew who I was waiting on. Once everyone arrived, I felt so welcomed!
Everyday I was blown away by the knowledge that was passed to us by her tour guides, they were all so very knowledgeable and friendly. We got to see so many things! I didn’t even realize how much we saw until I got home and sorted through all of my tickets. We were on the go everyday but it didn’t feel like too much.
The stay at Mara’s House Luxor was by far the best experience of Egypt! You can tell her and her employees have great relationships. The food at the Mara house was phenomenal!!!! Her cook takes great pride in his skill. The rooms were beautiful and comfortable. It felt like a home and not just another room to sleep in. Mara and her team made sure to accommodate everyone, even with the smallest requests. Everyone knows that in groups it’s hard to please everyone but I think Mara and her team did a superb job in fulfilling people’s requests.
I was able to get to the Giza Plateau on the last day of my trip, and for me that really pulled the entire trip together.
Mara really goes above and beyond what is expected from a tour experience. I felt completely safe the entire trip and I am looking forward to going back, hopefully with my son!
Traveled solo and joined the Mara House Group Tours for the Nov 2016 tour
Joined a Small Group Tour – glad I did – 1 April 2017 – Barry Fitz, Australia
Having just finished a tour, here are some thoughts on why you should choose to travel in Egypt with Mara on one of her small group tours.
Firstly, her hand-picked local staff and guides are exceptional, both in their abilities and consideration of the needs of each group member.
Things like airport departures & arrivals, luggage handling, transport, hotel check-in, etc. are all simplified.
Airline boarding passes and entry tickets to the various Houses, Tombs, Museums, Pyramids, Monuments, Mosques, Churches, etc. all seem to appear as if by magic.
Mara’s people also seem to make buses and small boats appear at will.
Because it is a small group, you easily get to know each member of the group. The inevitable question “where is Jack/Jill” is usually answered quickly.
Some of the areas in the places you visit are small in size and can only comfortably accommodate a small group plus a guide.
You may get access to some normally closed areas (like our group did).
You can help to shape the tour in terms of what to see or do and how long to spend at a site.
You will get to see Mara House in Luxor – a wonderful oasis in the rustic streets of an ancient city.
Mara herself has a great understanding of old and recent Egyptian history and culture – most importantly she is willing to share her thoughts and knowledge.
You might wonder how you get to see so much in a relatively short time. Part of the answer is that you don’t spend any group time in places like perfume houses or fabric shops. That’s where the big tour companies will probably want to take you.
You will get time to shop in a big market and also at places where there is no bargaining or pressure.
If you would like to improve your bargaining skills then the Egyptians are ready to teach you a few things. You will get to see what Mara promises and probably more.
Finally, please don’t even think of coming to Egypt, renting a car and driving yourself to see the sights. The traffic in Cairo is crazy – I imagine you would not last 5 minutes before becoming lost, mentally unhinged or both.
Traveled solo and joined the Mara House Group Tours March 2017 group tour
Traveled Egypt with lovely group – 30 March 2017 – J. Fisher, USA
My husband and I were with Marie in November, 2016. We had been to Egypt several times before but hesitated to go back alone as we had in the past. We decided to try to see how Egypt was now and I came across Marie’s site, Mara House.
Marie organizes small groups so everyone has an opportunity to see what they came to Egypt for. She is the only person I have met that although there was an itinerary, she wanted to know personally was there something you wanted to see in particular. She made every effort to accommodate your wishes.
At Mara House, the food was the best and her staff seemed to love all of us personally. That is the Egyptians for you. All of the sites were fantastic, but Mohamed and Marie knew additional facts that made it all the more interesting.
We are planning to go back soon and plan to stay in Luxor more, as we have stayed all over Egypt but very little in this area. I cannot say enough about how hard Fatma and Marie works to make sure you do not feel unsafe. I never had one concern and we went off on our own several times after our tours.
Thanks so much Fatma and Marie and Amir, we will be back. Mohamed, stay on top of the Egyptology, things are being discovered every day.
Couple – Joined the Mara House Group Tours for Nov 2016 tour
Great tour packages – 8 March 2017 CameliaLTB, Shanghai, China
Like some previous reviewers, I was originally a little concerned about the price of this hotel compared to others in the area. However, I decided to book because I felt my husband would appreciate the tour package for his birthday since he and Mara share a love of Abydos and Dendera. We found it was all worth it because that the team behind Mara House is absolutely fantastic, and their care and efforts are what make the place special. The real value is ultimately not in the location, or even in the hotel itself (although it is lovely), but in the tour packages they provide and the team that works to make the experiences memorable.
We got their 3-day Luxor package, and also booked through them for some Cairo tours. I cannot sing enough praises about the outstanding tour guides that Mara House provided for us. Hamdy, Fatima, and Mohamed were so knowledgeable and fun and were happy to talk about all topics, not just ancient Egypt. We learned so much from them.
Ahmed and Amr, the staff of the hotel, went to great lengths to make us comfortable. Ahmed rebooked a tour for us extremely last minute and was on top of every detail, and Amr even got my husband a delicious birthday cake on our last evening.
Ending note: If you are looking for a more relaxed vacation (like with a pool), to care for your budget, or for a traditional “high end” hotel experience, perhaps look at other options. But if you want some seriously good touring and a more intimate introduction to Egypt and it’s culture, book this hotel. The team will make it a great experience.
Mara House Tours – 1 March 2017 – David, UK
We did four consecutive days of tours with Mohamed as our guide, all arranged by Mara: Luxor and Karnak temples; the West Bank; Abydos and Dendara and Aswan. These all went very smoothly indeed. Mohamed was an excellent and very knowledgeable guide who exceeded all our expectations. He is obviously very familiar with all of the sites and this enabled us to see far more than we could have seen on our own. He was particularly helpful in allowing us to select tombs to be visited on the West Bank. When we mentioned we would like to try a felucca trip, he immediately arranged this for us. We would not hesitate to use Mohamed again on any future visit to Egypt and our thanks to Mara for setting this up.
Luxury – 24 Jan 2017, Sandra B, USA
We just came back from a 10 days trip in Egypt with “Mara”, we did the itinerary proposed by Mara from Cairo to Luxor and the cruise on the Niles to Aswan. I don’t think there is a better way to visit Egypt. The tours and the entire 10 days were perfectly organized, and we did not worry at all during the entire trip.
From beginning to end we were very pleased with the guides, the drivers and the housekeeper. Mara house in Luxor is a fabulous oasis. The room are spacious, the food is amazing and the staff very helpful and friendly. When I think of my trip in Egypt all I think of is “luxury”. For a SAFE and a REAL vacation in Egypt, if you are eager to learn and visit the best of Egypt I highly recommend everyone to book with Mara.
Reviewed on TripAdvisor Jan 2017. Traveled as couple. Egypt Holidays Package
Note from Mara – This review was deleted from TripAdvisor 24 hours after it published.
Hospitality is priceless here!!! 10 Jan 2017 – Jacey W, USA
I doubted the stay before but when i decided to take the 3 nights package to relieve my planning headache, it was the best decision ever made in Egypt. Well planned and I need not worry about anything, even to the extent of getting a train ticket with help of Ahmad. Mara House shows me there are genuine locals who are welcoming and proud to talk about their culture and history. I will come back!!!
Reviewed on TripAdvisor Jan 2017. Traveled solo Luxor Holidays 3 night packag
A fantastic, real Egyptian experience – 30 Dec 2016., pgnewton, Perth, Australia
By staying at Mara House, my family experienced a real Egyptian hotel/apartment. The rooms are very spacious and the decor is full of authentic rugs, lamps and furniture. The staff are very helpful and friendly and the food is amazingly good (make sure you book a dinner because the chef is 5 star trained). Our tours of Luxor were well organised and reasonably priced. Highly recommended
Unexpected Luxury – 22 Dec 2016 – John Cappello, Argyle
My wife and I stayed at Mara’s House for an extended vacation and were very pleased with the accommodations. The stairs were a bit challenging but the rooms were very good. The food and service were outstanding. The staff very accommodating. This is an oasis in a typical Luxor neighborhood. We were even visited by camels!
More than I could have ever hoped for! – 20 Dec 2016 – Dawn C., USA
Mara House was simply amazing! The hotel was stunning and the rooms were just as beautiful. The staff was great. They went above and beyond to make me feel welcomed and comfortable during my stay. The food was amazing. I was hoping to get as much authentic Egyptian cuisine as posible during my stay and I was not disappointed in the least. Overall my stay at Mara House was a dream and I highly recommend anyone traveling to Egypt to stay at Mara House, you will not be disappointed.
Reviewed on TripAdvisor Dec 2016. Traveled with friend with Mara House Group Tours package
WOW…Just WOW! – 13 Dec 2016 – GGAmore, Beaufort, South Carolina
First, I want to say that Mara is a very professional woman and is super expedient on her responses to any and all questions I had for her. I often wondered if she ever slept, that’s how quick she responded!
I had decided to join her 11 day tour of Egypt, November 2016, and I am SO SO HAPPY I did! All of her employees are super friendly, professional, knowledgeable and were just all around great people to enjoy the experience with! I’m not sure I would have had such a great time if I had scheduled the trip by myself. I’m very blessed to have come across her Hotel site when I did!
The Mara House Luxor was a beautiful stay. The rooms were spacious and cleaned daily. The food was DELICIOUS! It was the best food I had my entire trip in Egypt. The cook definitely took a lot of pride in his skill- just mouth watering good! Her employees made sure to accommodate us on even the smallest requests.
As she says on her page, the hotel is set up as a local home would be, so you can experience true Egypt; honestly, I felt like I was home there. I was really amazed and so thankful for the whole experience. I will be back again, hopefully next time with my son!
Reviewed on TripAdvisor Dec 2016. Traveled with friend with Mara House Group Tours package
This was awesome – 12 Dec 2016 – Jimmie F, USA
We have been to Egypt many times but hesitated after the Revolution. We were extremely safe at all times and Mara and her staff only wanted we had the best experience possible. Each day, she asked to be sure she had accomplished our dreams. Fatma met us at the airport, all of our transfers were handled, everything was adjusted to make sure she gave you everything promise us plus anything that could be arranged. We will be back to Luxor and stay as home base with Mara and her most wonderful people.
Reviewed on TripAdvisor Dec 2016. Traveled as couple with Mara House Group Tours package
Amazing Egyptian Adventure – 11 Dec 2016 – surrealbox, Los Angeles
Ok so am not really much of a writer but I wanted to review an incredible trip I just took with Mara House. I have never travelled overseas before and had always dreaed of going to Egypt and was fortunate enough to find Mara’s Egyptian adventure online which was a 10 day journey including Cairo and Luxor as well as a cruise to Aswan.
From the beginning Mara was absolutely super speedy getting back to e with details about the trip. The itinerary was well packaged with many sightseeng advetures. On this trip I made some incredible new friends and got to explore many destinations that Mara organised. In addition, we also got to spend a few nights at Mara House in Luxor which was a splendid cozy and decorative bed and breakfast where we were treated to several authentic Egyptian Feasts.
The 10 days I sent with Mara and our group were so wonderful and I really appreciate all of the great details she added to the trip which truly made it a great adventure. I am more of a photographer than a writer but in closing I want to say that if you’re considering coming to Egypt please give Mara House a shout, you won’t be disappointed.
Reviewed on TripAdvisor. Travelled solo Nov 2016 with Mara House Group Tours
(Note from Mara: Lynn posted this to TripAdvisor but they deleted it)
Best Egyptian Experience – 10 Dec 2016, Anzalone24, New York City
I was in Egypt for 12 days, visited in November 2016 as a solo female traveler! A place I’ve always wanted to visit and it surpassed all expectations especially with the help and guidance from Mara House and her staff. She helps plan tours all throughout Egypt, giving you far more than the “tourist experience”. All her staff were really dedicated to their work, making sure you got the most out of your stay and were SO knowledgable about their craft, anywhere from the egyptologist to the chef!
I initially had my concerns about traveling there (as most do) especially being female and going by myself. But i think its more so how the media portrays Egypt. It is a very safe and welcoming country to travel to and anything that you are feeling unsure about, mara house staff was always there to lend a helping hand and offer guidance.
The location of Mara House is very central in Luxor, the downtown is within walking distance but the hotel is on a quite side street so your away from all the noise (Egyptians seem to start another day after 10pm lol). The place is very clean, well decorated (that sort of thing matters to me *shrug*), and affordable. Really would recommend to anyone, great for all ages and kids. I will be back! 🙂
Reviewed on TripAdvisor Dec 2016. Traveled solo with Mara House Group Tours
“Thank You” email from Teresa – 25 Sept 2016 – Teresa, USA
Good evening from Egypt Mara!
My goodness….what an incredible place you have here! I could not have been more fortunate and owe you a debt of gratitude! All of the men have taken such good care of me — from the room and meals to the tours. They have been gracious, patient, attentive “handlers” and I could not have asked for more.
The heat has been an issue for me. I have experienced 123 degree F heat in Arizona but that does not compare to this.
Last night my stomach felt queasy and this morning was worse. That combined with the heat I made the decision to cut our long day of touring short. I feel bad but I knew that my feeling poorly would cause more problems if we kept visiting temples. Coming back Ahmed was gracious in getting me the “Mara medicine” and now, at almost 7pm I am beginning to feel better.
So Mara…..I have only one suggestion. Way too much food! I feel embarrassed to only eat an amount that is appropriate for my stomach and then leave so much left. I do not like waste!
You have truly put together a wonderful package for travelers and I will tell everyone I know! Also, you are so very well respected…as we were out and about so many said such positive remarks!
The staff that you have along with drivers and tour guide are all treasures…so very fortunate to have been in their presence!
Thank you again Mara…
Wonderful Experience – 22 Nov 2016 – Stacy E, Kansas
We stayed at Mara House for 5 days in November 2016. It was the best hotel we had while in Egypt. Why? From the moment Mara’s staff picked us up at the airport to the moment we checked out, we felt as if they really cared about us. They knew us on a first name basis and always greeted us as we were coming and going. We really liked that Mara House was in a neighborhood where we could go walking every night and enjoy the Egyptian culture. The perk of it being in a more residential area is that you can walk the streets without the hassle of all the touts. We had many people approach us on the local streets to welcome us to Luxor and they genuinely wanted to talk to us, not sell us something. The room was clean, big, decorated well, and had good air conditioning. Mara arranged all our tours in Luxor and for our trip to Aswan. We also had her arrange our tours in Cairo. We are very independent travelers who do a lot of research before we travel and are not a big fan of tours…but, in Egypt I recommend having guides. They are inexpensive compared to other countries and they can help with the cultural & language differences.
Local Immersion in Egyptian Life – 20 Nov 2016, Jamie P, Melbourne, Australia
We are a same sex male couple who recently travelled to Egypt.
Mara House Luxor is off the beaten tourist track in a safe and respectable part of Luxor, Egypt is a country of contrasts and to really experience how Egyptians live, book your stay at Mara House and live amongst those who rely on working in the tourist areas. Simple.
The staff are unbelievably flexible and are totally dedicated to helping you to have a “Mara House Experience”. Seriously dedicated. Not a fault in sight in this regard.
If you yearn for Ancient Egyptian monuments and mystery, this is an ideal place to pursue your desires in this regard. Mara and her extremely capable staff have connections with some extremely knowledgeable local guides such as Mohammed and deserving of particular mention (for us anyway), Ahmed, whose mastery of story language will have you mesmerised on the Nile temples and itching to visit the next temple/site. Mohammed is like a walking encyclopedia on the Luxor sites, ask him any question and he will happily provide the information for you.
You can’t do all this without the support of the stupendous drivers such as Mahmoud (if he likes you you get to call him by his nickname – much easier to wrap those western vowels around, but you have to earn it), whose road mastery was a lesson in diligence and safety. He knows those roads backwards, he has some great shortcuts that will give you photos no-one else could provide. Bonus if you are a smoker and ask to stop in the middle of the desert!
If you yearn for an ‘authentic’ experience, this is also a place for you. Just discuss with Mara or Ahmed what it is you would like to do and hey presto it is done. An enviable thing to arrange things in Egypt so quickly! If you ask for the moon, be prepared for at least a 12 hour wait while Ahmed and Amr organise it for your next day! Truly amazing.
The food and service and feeling of secure safety more than compensates for any supposed inconveniences westerners may feel by having a wet room as part of the bath rooms. Don’t compare to western style five star hotels, you will not enjoy yourself if you do, and that will be your own fault, not theirs. Toughen up and focus on why you are there. Mara House becomes your bolt hole from which to experience both Modern AND ancient Egypt. Vital to your stay. Location is great for quiet walks where you can say good morning to the neighbours, have a local coffee and chat with real Egyptians.
Did we mention already, the food. Incomparable Amr has a real gift of his heart when he prepares your food. My partner was taken shopping in the local markets to gather the ingredients for our feast that evening. That experience alone is more than enough excuse to visit. The food is to die for, really. There are not enough superlatives to describe it, you must visit to experience genius, good simple and wholesome food. (I had a cold while there, was given the ‘cold’ drink – next day boom I felt fantastic.) We in the West seem to have forgotten this and rely on pills and ‘modern’ medicine. The Egyptians have been doing this for millenia, tried and tested.
Again, did we mention the food ?
Seriously, Ahmed and Amr were welcoming and we were treated as part of their family. Having a local with you while you walk the streets is invaluable to help you communicate and learn (also to help you avoid being taken advantage of when trading – listen to their advice – it works). As Mara says you gotta walk like an Egyptian – watch how you are then treated compared to westerners who perhaps don’t. Much more respect and people are much more likely to invite you for Shisha or tea, without the hassle. A great chance to kick back, relax, watch life and have some GREAT international conversations that lead to better understandings between the West and Egypt. Ask questions and be prepared to answer questions, it will be revealing I am sure, if you have an open mind and heart.
Again, did we mention the food ?
Seriously worth considering, read terms and conditions and have no expectations when you arrive for a mind blowing and memorable experience of Egypt.
You should know that a mosque is close by so take your good earplugs that first call to prayer in the morning is loud!!
Reviewed on TripAdvisor Nov 2016. Traveled as couple. Egypt Holidays 9 nights
Superb Experience! 19 Nov 2016 -tkikuchibr, Sao Paulo
If you’re going to Luxor, it’s worth spending a couple of days at Mara House. You’ll feel like you’re at home among friends! Never felt so safe traveling abroad – if you want to discover the mysteries of Egypt without the pileup of tourists, this is the time to go!
Reviewed on TripAdvisor Nov 2016 Traveled Solo. Luxor Holidays 3 night package
Mara House is simply amazing in every way – 16 Nov 2016 – Alan D, Portland, Oregon
Mara House is a truly special place in the world and much more than a place to lay your head. We have travelled to over 35 countries in Asia, Africa, Middle East, and Europe and have not experienced a better staff, guides, food, and accommodation. It is truly a home away from home.
The Saladin Feast is one of the best meals We’ve ever had. The cook, Amr, comes from a background of 5 star hotels and personal chef for Egyptian leaders. The host, Ahmed, is personal, professional, kind, knowledgeable and willing to help out in any way possible to make your stay enjoyable.
Guides Fatma, Manar, and Mohammed are exceptionally knowledgeable (like walking encyclopedias), friendly, kind, and became truly friends. Egyptology is complex and can be overwhelming, but these guys made it entertaining and so much fun to learn the layers upon layers of Egyptian history while visiting the temples and museums.
Go to Egypt and experience the magic of Mara House! You will be amazed.
Reviewed on TripAdvisor Nov 2016 Traveled as couple, Luxor Holidays 3 nights package
Excellent, Stay Here! 6 Nov 2016, phuerta, New York City
Mara’s House is excellent and I’d stay here again. She’s from Ireland but has been living in Egypt for a long time, so she knows a lot about the place. Hotel is spotless and she makes sure you feel great too. I used her touring services too not only in Luxor, but in Cairo, and she didn’t dissapoint. Mohammed was my tour guide and he knows a lot about Egypt. Glad I stayed with Mara.
A Cool Oasis in Luxor – 6 Nov 2016 oztravler, Australia
Mara House is little gem in Luxor. From the warm welcome by Ahmed the manager to the excellent services provided by Amr the chef, the driver and Mohammed the guide to the ancient Egyptian sites in the Luxor region, it was an experience to remember.
The rooms were cool, extremely spacious, comfortable and spotlessly maintained.
I would not hesitate in recommending Mara house as a base to explore the archaeological points of interest in the area.
Used the Luxor Package
Best tour of our entire Middle East trip! 10 July 2016 QCourts, Minneapolis
We’d like to thank and recommend Mara’s services for providing a safe, solid, and unforgettable tour of the Giza Plateau, Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, Khan-el Khalili, and the Islamic district of Cairo. Mara was very straightforward and accessible via email as we booked our last-minute tour and thank goodness we did because arranging visits to these amazing sites in Cairo is definitely challenging, even for the more experienced international traveler.
Our guide, Manar, was just precious and is literally one of the most educated and kind tour guides we have EVER been paired with. She knows literally everything about Egyptian history and culture and we felt so safe and spoiled with her the entire time.
We entered the tomb of Khufu’s pyramid, saw the solar boat, Sphinx, and Valley Temple in the morning before the heat really set in. Our driver was very safe and efficient (Cairo traffic/driving is seriously overwhelming) and it was a newer air-conditioned Toyota minibus.
We just loved Manar’s tour of the Islamic district and Khan el-Khalili. Even if you consider yourself a more experienced international traveler, we highly recommend booking through Mara if you are visiting the sites in Cairo. I can honestly say we 100% would have encountered incredibly frustrating situations had we not been with our guide Manar. Now, we have amazing memories of our trip to Egypt without a single hassle! Thanks so much!
Traveled with friends. Reviewed on TripAdvisor July 2016 Tours in Cairo
“Thank You” Letter from Steve 27 July 2016, Australia
Sorry I haven’t got back to you sooner but I was waiting untill the end of the stay to be able to sensibly comment. We are really impressed with your Boutique Hotel – great room size, spotlessly clean, all required facilities (can’t tell you how appreciated constant hot water is !)
Service provided by Ahmed and Amr has been first class- nothing is too much trouble. The meals just got better each time we ate, and were a step ahead of any thing we tried on the street.
I can see the location of the hotel might shock a few novice travellers, but from the moment one stepped inside, all those worries would evaporate.
Really pleased with the 3 day package – it was great value and all the included tours and activities meant that we didn’t have to arrange transport and tickets ourselves.
We leave tomorrow and we will certainly recommend your place to other future travellers- good luck and I really hope future tourist numbers pickup again.
Solo Travel to Egypt – Luxielu2002, Coburg, Oregon, – Sept 2016
I’m just now getting around to writing reviews from my travel experiences this summer. I spent 4 nights and 5 days at Mara House and absolutely loved it. My room was VERY big, quiet, and comfortable. Mara’s team does everything possible to make sure their guests have a comfortable, safe and pleasant stay.
My luggage was lost during my flights to Egypt and I had only one change of clothing. But Ahmed made sure I had fresh, clean clothes ready every morning, so I barely missed my luggage.
The food at Mara House is wonderful, fresh and plenty! I especially appreciate how Mara arranges and plans the tours. No stress! And as for price…
You can *try* to coordinate your hotel, transportation, tours, tour guides, meals, etc yourself but you probably will pay more and things will not go as smooth as what Mara has in the plan. Mara does all the work for you and it’s a blessing! It is a science!
I recommend Mara House to everyone. Everything went according to schedule, yet I was never rushed. I even had free time in the afternoons and evening to experience Luxor. If you’re a solo female traveler wondering if Egypt is safe, it seemed very safe to me.
I’ve been to several countries, but Egypt was my first Middle Eastern holiday. Egyptian people are very warm, friendly and welcoming. I hope to return many many times.
Reviewed on TripAdvisor July 2016 Luxor Holidays 3 night package
Mara’s House is Wonderful! Kate59601 – 25 July 2016 Helena, Montana
We wanted to visit Luxor and found Mara’s House through a friend. I am so glad we did!! Mara helped us plan our 3 days in Luxor and took care of finding is awesome guides and drivers. THEN she asked if we needed help with planning our Cairo stay! She arranged the worlds best guides (Fatma and Manar) for Cairo and we wouldn’t have been able to see all that we did with out them. I seriously think we saw more than possible in 2.5 days because Mara was so organized and helpful!!
Also the food at Mara’s house was AMAZING!! I would highly recommend getting in touch with Mara if you are planning to come to Egypt!!
(Note from Mara – Kate put this on TripAdvisor but it was deleted and efforts to submit another came to naught.)
Take the Cairo Tours too – 9 July 2016 – Mealadvisor, New Zealand
I’ve put off writing a review because I’ve been trying to think how to do justice to Mara House. Anyone who looks Luxor up online is bound to find the incredible resource that is Mara’s website. There was never any question I was going to book my stay through her. But I wasn’t prepared for how helpful and comprehensive a service Mara offers. She’s full of information and tailors a trip to exactly what you want. I’ve never had a tourist experience quite like it. My stay and the tours in Luxor were exceptional (and the Egyptian breakfast was to die for).
But what I really want to recommend are the tours in Cairo. My two tour guides there were the best I’ve ever had anywhere. In fact, I enjoyed meeting them more than the amazing sites they took me to! Such sweet and interesting people. I only booked my Cairo tours through Mara as an afterthought, but they were the best decision I made, and the tours were the highlight of my time in Egypt.
Incredible Service – 2 May 2016, Danny H, San Francisco
All the staff at Mara house really went above and beyond any reasonable expectations for generosity and kindness. Best food we had in Luxor, expert tours, and the chef volunteers to track down an ebony vase at the market for us at a great price. Good Times, Danny
Traveled as couple May 2019 Reviewed on TripAdvisor Luxor Holidays Package
Mara House Experience 1 May 2016 GUK67, UK
Mara carefully organized every detail of our vacation, airport transfer, 3 tours, flucca picnic at the Nile & a calesh ride around town. We also had 2 amazing dinners in their restaurant which is a must try!
Rooms are clean, large, suite sized. Ahmed, the manager and Amr were extremely helpful. Mohamed, the tour guide is well knowledged.
Mara House is a small amazing place hidden outside the usual tourist area, a wonderful experience.
Travelled as couple Feb 2016 Luxor Holidays Package
A fantastic place to stay in Luxor – 27 April 2016, Mike Toole, Australia
While Mara House is not on the Nile, it is a fabulous place to stay. I was with my sister and we had a comfortable two bedroom suite. The manager Ahmed looked after us so well — he arranged great tours of the Valley of the Kings and Abydos/Dendera as well as a reliable taxi driver and caleche. Strongly recommend a stay in Mara House.