I have finally found a way to bring reviews and comments about Mara House and our Salahadeen Restaurant together within my own website. Sadly, I have been unable to find many about the Salahadeen because it has been open only to Mara House guests for some years now and Tripadvisor has deleted the reviews. The reviews here are gathered from sources such as Tripadvisor, Google Maps, guest blogs, letters from guests etc etc. I hope they give you a feeling for what Mara House and ourselves are all about. Enjoy – Mara
NOTE 8 Oct 2023. I have temporarily stopped adding new reviews to this page – you will find the latest guest comments at the end of the Mara House Page here
We arrived at the Salahadeen Restaurant and Bar, at Mara House Luxor, at 7.30pm on 4th September 2008. Joining the other diners in the bar, we were enchanted by the pleasent atmosphere which the decoration and furnishings created.
Although we stick to soft drinks, there were wines, beers and spirits available. (I noticed that Heiniken was LE 10 and most of the spirits were LE35,)
It wasn't too long before Mrs. Vaughan personally led us into the lovely restaurant, where we were seated at a good solid table, on matching meshrabeya chairs. A nice touch was the fountain in the middle of the room, and the elegant drapes which served to partly divide the dining areas
The meal is advertised as an "Egyptian Banquet," which it certainly was. We worked our way through 5 courses, and 19 dishes!
The starter was a selection of 5 cold Mezzas with baladi bread, followed by a delicious soup. Then came a selection of 7 hot Mezzas, also with bread.These were followed by the main course consisting of 5 dishes, which were, rice, sweet potato, lamb tagen, moussaka, and lambs liver with onions. The meal culminated in a selection of sweet Egyptian cakes, washed down with black Egyptian tea and hot Karkadeh (hibiscus).
I would defy anyone to manage to eat everything placed in front of them.
Although there were two dishes which I didn't try (simply because I don't like them) everything else was a treat.
Tastes which I hadn't bargained for joined with well known and loved ones to further the experience of my palate. Even though I've lived in Luxor for over 12 months, some of these tastes really took me by surprise!
I thought the cost, at £10 per head, was very reasonable, as it also covered the cost of picking up the diners and returning them to their lodgings when they had had their fill!
We certainly had a taste of the REAL EGYPT. Excellent!
After a few truly amazing days in Luxor with all its intoxicating sounds, smells and sights we were verging on the brink of sensory overload as we stepped into the quiet refuge of Salahadeen Restaurant situated in Mara House. I confess to having inkling as to what we would find given that I had read a review on Trip Advisor and had taken the opportunity to visit the website http://www.salahadeen.com.
My family and I were not disappointed. Mara House is a tranquil oasis from the hustle and bustle of the city situated on the outskirts somewhere behind the train station – just ask any taxi driver to take you there or Mara will arrange, with her compliments, a taxi to collect you from your accommodation.
On entering Mara House we were greeted warmly by Mara herself and as we sipped karkadeh in the beautifully decorated bar area, it was interesting to hear her story of how, once bitten by the Luxor bug, (so many of us have been) she decided to move from her native Ireland and build Mara House. The house itself is a rather large, grand building which comprises a number of apartments available to rent together with the Salahadeen restaurant. Mara is indeed a brave lady taking on such a huge project in a foreign land but she has done a fantastic job. The house is beautifully decorated in true sympathy with its surroundings and Salahadeen restaurant is both comfortable and sumptuous. A great deal of attention to detail has been given to everything from the alabaster wine goblets to the feature fountain which is the focal point of the room.
Mara sensibly serves a fixed menu at 8pm each night and ravenous after our day of adventures we eagerly awaited what proved to be an enormous feast of wonderfully flavoursome Egyptian food. The first taste of Mara’s food was a selection of cold mezze style starters with a plentiful supply of flatbreads – delicious! Then arrived bowls of steaming soup followed by another large assortment this time of hot mezze style dishes and even more flatbreads. Just when we thought we could eat no more the main course arrived!!!! This was a homemade tagen with a large baked sweet potato and enough rice to feed the population of Cairo. Thankfully, pudding was no more filling that a bowl of deliciously sweet mango. How we managed to move from the table is beyond me but with great difficulty we forced ourselves to leave - with the promise that undoubtedly, one day soon, we would return.
Salahadeen is a true gem. Go quickly whilst you can book a table – the word will surely be out soon!!!
"Whilst this hotel may not have all the amenities of the big hotels it more than makes up for it with the personal welcome you receive on arrival. Mara was very helpful in organising tours to the Valley of the Kings and Abydos & Dendara and other recommendations of things to see and do. The area surrounding the hotel and the walk to the station and beyond to the Nile give you a real flavour of Egytian life and was a great experience. Our room was in fact a small appartment, spacious, clean and made for a very pleasant stay as did meeting other guest who were like minded travellers. The only down side of our trip was having to spend our last night at a different hotel as Mara could not accommodate us but the 6 nights we spent at Mara House were fantastic."
"Mara House is a great escape from the hustle and bustle of Luxor - a comfortable and comforting retreat when you have had your fill of monuments and baksheesh. It revives you for another daily foray into the fascinating world of the Pharaohs and the no less beguiling contemporary life on the streets..
Mara herself is an excellent host (as you would expect from an expatriate Irishwoman) with plenty of sound advice, especially for the first time visitor to Egypt. Her consideration for her guests even extended to being up at the crack of dawn to make sure that our pick-up for a hot air balloon trip went smoothly.
Our stay in Egypt was stretched by an unexpected 10 days because of the disruption to flights caused by the volcanic eruption in Iceland. We were due to fly from Cairo and would have been homeless had we not been fortunate enough to obtain an apartment from "Rooms in Cairo" which is run by Mara's son Stephen and his partner Sara. The couple proved to be just as helpful and hospitable as Mara. The apartment was cool and spacious, simply decorated and very well situated in downtown Cairo. Stephen took us on a tour of the area, showing us places to eat and shop. This is a great part of Cairo where you are not constantly hastled for tips and taxi drivers charge reasonable prices. Cairo is the dirtiest, noisiest, smelliest, friendliest and most populous city we have ever been in and we enjoyed every minute of it not least because of our pad in Adly Street..."