I could say that Mara House is a hotel, even a boutique hotel.  It is all that – but it is so much more.  It was built to fill a need felt by myself initially – a need for there to be somewhere in Egypt for the travellers who wanted more than just a bed for the night and some specifically tourist-orientated tour offerings, peppered with shopping expeditions by day.

Egypt, to me, is one of the most important (in so many ways) places on the planet and the fact that it has survived the upheavals of 2011, compounded by the problems of the intervening years, intact only serves to make me more sure of that.  Egypt deserves people who appreciate it’s very real treasures – both ancient and modern, and is prepared to do whatever is necessary to share and experience it’s uniqueness.

I started building Mara House in 2003 and opened the doors to my first guests in 2005.  While Mara House can sleep up to 20 guests – we actually take a maximum of 6 bookings per night.  Because the accommodation at Mara House is in the form of 6 apartment sized suites.

Mara House is for the independent, discerning traveller whose priority in coming to Egypt is the quality and scope of the experience.  We do not compete on price – so we are not for the traveller who is looking for the cheapest option.  Nor do we quote low prices with hidden or added on costs.  For our tours and our accommodation we are transparent in our offers – what you are quoted is the price you pay.

As a result of personal recommendations, great online reviews and consistency in the value of our offers most of our guests now take our complete Luxor package which includes the tours.  Many also avail of our Cairo and Cruise packages.   As tourism to Egypt is improving we are finding more and more visitors prefer to relax and leave the planning of their entire Egypt trip to me and out of that our full 9 night Egypt Package has evolved.

Our promise and our focus is for our guests to experience the best of Egypt in it’s myriad of shapes and forms.

Mara House is NOT ON THE TOURIST strip, nor on the Nile.  We are in a normal, ordinary Egyptian street, among the locals, behind the train station.  Despite our best efforts the streets are dirty and a western person could be forgiven for thinking we are in a poor area.  We are not.  It is simply that Egyptians do not have the same priorities we do when it comes to what is outside the front door.  If you want to see what it is like among the locals then Mara House is for you.  If you prefer the usual 5 star hotel surroundings in the street then you need go to the tourist strip.  When I built Mara House I choose not to be in the tourist strip and among the souvenir shops.  I choose my street as a place where tourists could get a feel for Egypt as it is today and an opportunity to understand a different culture.


Please take time to note your accommodation at Mara House is not just a room it is a apartment sized suite.   Whether you are a solo traveller or a couple your accommodation will consist of a large bedroom which also has a sizeable seated area, separate private sitting room and a bathroom.

If you are a family or group of between 3 and 6 persons your accommodation will consist of 3 separate bedrooms, extra large private sittingroom cum dining area and bathroom.  Most people do not take this in during the booking process are are surprised and delighted when they discover the size and furnishings of their suite.


  • airport or train transfers on arrival and departure
  • apartment sized accommodation per night incl breakfast
  • great tours to the best sites in Luxor with wonderful guides
  • a minibar stocked with drinks and snacks in your suite at reasonable prices
  • laundry service (wash and iron only, no specialist or odd stain removal service)
  • free early check-in and free late check out whenever possible
  • free travel and sightseeing advice
  • internet at Mara House is free wheras most places impose a charge
  • library/book exchange
  • best traditional food in Egypt is the Salahadeen Feast – only served to in-house guests.
  • 3 night package designed to save you research, time and avoid the tourist traps, making the most of your experience in Luxor – the LUXOR package

FOOD and RESTAURANTS in LUXOR  The Salahadeen Restaurant at Mara House is one of the best restaurants in Luxor serving authentic Egyptian family food The Salahadeen Feast is well known and has been a great success with all guests.  Each feast consists of 15 different dishes so you really get to taste a good cross-section of real home cooking.  The restaurant is currently only serving to in-house guests and the Feast is included in the “Luxor with Mara” package on two nights.

What makes Mara House the friendliest hotel in Luxor – more than just a bed?


Finally, the rooftop garden is a haven of green peace and tranquility.   A vast array of cactus and desert plants as well as the famous ever flowering bourgainvillea makes it a peaceful and relaxing space to end the day – a cold beer under the stars on a warm Egyptian night is the perfect end to a lovely day.

SINGLE TRAVELLERS – are welcome – we do NOT charge you extra single supplement on accommodation.

FAMILIES – I am a grandmother myself and I love having families with children come to Mara House.  Our Family Suites mean the family is in the one apartment sized suite not having to go between separate rooms as in most hotels.  If you contact me with the ages of your children and the number of persons in the family or group I will give you a SPECIAL FAMILY QUOTATION.

Please check out our Terms & Conditions before booking.  Payment of deposit is taken as confirmation you are familiar with and accept our Terms & Conditions.

By the way – Egypt is quite safe for tourists   and you can contact me directly here to ask any questions   you might have.  I look forward to hearing from you.


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  1. Terri Chinn, Bonn 29/02/2016 at 8:45 am

    Having visited Cairo and Luxor, I can now relate to and appreciate what Mara writes in her blog. Sadly these are not cities to navigate on one’s own and having Mara organise our tours took off a huge burden. All we did was immerse ourselves in the splendour of ancient Egypt. Mara House is an oasis to return to each day, and Ahmed the manager is a wonderful host. The dinners whipped up by their resident Chef is a delicious sampler of Egyptian cuisine.

  2. Steve G. 03/02/2016 at 4:21 pm

    We were picked up as promised at the airport even though our flight had been delayed. This boutique hotel is located on a quiet back street, which is great because of the noise on busy Egyptian streets. Our suite was great and perfect for traveling with our two kids.

    Ahmed and Amr were the staff during our stay and they were great. Amr is an amazing cook. Our breakfast had a variety of interesting Egyptian foods. We treated ourselves to dinner and the sauces and soups were outstanding. Definitely have dinner there.

    They kept the mini-bar updated which is great since my kids live on snacks.

    Our horse carriage driver, Ramadan was a hoot. He let my daughter have a try at driving the carriage.

    We stayed for six days in order to get a feel for Luxor. Luxor is some much cleaner and quieter that Cairo. The restaurants were good and of course the temples are unique in the world.

    Great place. Great people. Great food.

  3. Evie, Caberra 02/02/2016 at 11:55 am

    Mara House is exactly what we look for when travelling – a small boutique hotel that caters for guests tired of large hotels and indifferent service who want discreet, professional care from a team who know exactly what they’re doing.
    It’s the small things that count, right? Bedrooms are huge, the bed itself heaven; towels were plentiful, the water hot and everything is beautifully appointed with understated luxury. The rooftop terrace was a favourite spot with a cup of (complimentary all day) tea or coffee and the hotel is on a quiet street (not the huge hotel strip where you’re cheek by jowl with everyone else).
    The real point of difference with this hotel however was the service. This began before we arrived. The owner, Mara, responded promptly and generously to all email inquiries. No question was too small and her responses were direct, incredibly helpful and aimed at ensuring we had the best experience for us, not anyone else, possible – no waffle, no sales pitch, just generous info and honesty.
    Her team is also spot-on, both in the hotel and around Luxor. We’re not ones for guided tours of any kind but decided to give it a go and found it so enriching we kept her guides for the whole time. Do the day-trip to Abydos and Dendara temples if you can – worth every second.
    I’ll end by saying come to Egypt, folks. We’re a middle-aged Australian couple from Canberra who just spent a month here and the welcome, security and overall experience was incredible thanks in no small part to Mara.
    P.S About that “Mara House” service? We decided to do a last minute day trip from Cairo and emailed Mara for help. She arranged it all over night and we woke up to another seamlessly easy and fabulous day out!


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