If you have read many of my blog posts you will know that I love talking about the Universe and how it lines things up for me. It lined quite a bit up for me at the end of 2019 when I was invited by the Dutch Embassy to attend a seminar in Cairo about green and sustainable tourism. The seminar was wonderful and I came back to Luxor full of new ideas and determined to change the way we do some things at Mara House in 2020. Little did I know then what was to come and how much more life at Mara House would change.
WATER FILTERS to replace plastic bottles
- We now have a 9 stage water filter in our kitchen and we use this for washing all fruit, veg etc.
- We are discouraging the use of single use plastics so we ask our guests to either bring your own re-usable personal bottle or buy one at Mara House when you arrive.
- Each Suite at Mara House has it’s own 3 stage water filter and a normal sized fridge. So we are providing our guests with the opportunity to use filtered water and cool it. I thought about putting a portable cooler with the big bottles of filtered water in every suite. However, when I looked into that option I found out that we would just be substituting huge plastic containers for lots of small bottles as the big bottles for these coolers are still mostly disposable here.
WATER & ENERGY CONSERVATION
- Normally our guests stay at Mara House no longer than 3 days so we do not change sheets daily. If guests stay longer than 3 – 4 days we do a sheet change after 3 days.
- We encourage guests to hang their towels up after use and not change them every day. When you do wish to have fresh towels you will leave the old ones in a basket outside your door and we will give you fresh ones.
- Each bathroom has it’s own water heater for showers etc. This normally takes from 15 – 30 mins to heat water depending on the time of the year. So, guests wishing to help us conserve energy will turn them off after use instead of leaving them on permanently.
- Most of our roof plants are desert plants and various forms of cacti.
- We encourage you to turn off all lights, air-cons, water heaters etc. on leaving the room and when not needed. Where possible we use low wattage and energy saving light bulbs.
CLEANING & SANITIZING
- We use chemicals as little as possible.
- Vegetables and fruit are washed in a solution of vinegar and filtered water.
- Vinegar instead of fabric softener is used in the final laundry rinse as it removes any remaining traces of detergent, deters flies and aids colour retention
- Vinegar is used to clean windows, glass, mirrors
- ethyl alcohol 70% sprays on work surfaces, door handles, taps, toilet flush buttons, light switches, all frequent touch areas.
- Apart from the cleaning we do ourselves, we also provide an ethyl alcohol spray bottle in each suite for use by our guests on surfaces.
- Mara House, as with all other hotels and boats we use offers an inexpensive laundry service. I urge guests to use these services before checking out everywhere, and avoid carrying dirty or dusty clothing in their luggage from hotel to hotel
- You will notice as you travel through Egypt that rubbish is a huge problem. At Mara House we take the following measures
- We use disposable items rarely – lunch boxes etc are all washable and re-useable
- our paper, cardboard, plastic and metal is collected once a week by private agreement with a street collector.
- vegetable/fruit waste is given at the end of each day to a neighbour who keeps chickens and goats
CHANGES TO IN-HOUSE SERVICES due to COVID
- We used to have stocked fridge in each suite – In the interests of eliminating multi touch items in the suites I believe you will now be more comfortable buying items such as soft drinks, chocolate, crisps, beer, wine etc. in our downstairs Moh Ali Lounge on a daily basis, and keeping them in the fridge in your suite. This eliminates the worry of these items having been touched by previous guests.
- We removed the tea and coffee makers from each suite and instead will deliver free tea and coffee to you in your suite or in the Moh Ali Lounge downstairs.
- We will no longer clean suites on a daily basis during our guests stay, only on departure and prior to arrival of new guests. This is following government guidelines until further notice.
- Our restaurant tables are between 1 and 2 meters apart. Any guests wishing to have their meals served in their suites will be facilitated. Each suite has a dining area and also a mini kitchenette with kitchen sink.
- Hotel information which we usually give you on arrival will be now be available only online after check-in.
- Luggage is now sprayed everywhere on arrival so bear this in mind when choosing what type of luggage to travel with.
Mara House is a small hotel and our tour numbers are usually between 2 and 8. We will be looking at this on an on-going basis to ensure a safe level of distance and travel for our guests and in consultation with our guests. We always try to choose times at the sites that are least busy, for example we usually manage to get to the pyramids as soon as they open and if necessary we can change schedules rapidly if things are not going according to plan. Our aim will be to minimize the amount of contact you have with other people as much as possible.