entrance, stairway and seating area at Mara House

Mara House Luxor: Where History and Hospitality Converge

Discover Mara House, an exclusive haven nestled away from the bustling tourist strip in the legendary city of Luxor, a mere 10-minute stroll away from the ruins of the renowned Luxor Temple.  This hidden gem resides within a regular Egyptian neighborhood, where life moves along at it’s own unhurried pace.

Our Street and our Neighbours

Our street is named Salah al-Din as-Ayoubbi after the legendary Saladin of the Crusades.  Almost every building in the street is home to an extended family unit of parents, children, their grandparents and in a few instances even great grandparents.  The tradition is for a family to buy a piece of land and build each floor as they can afford it, every floor being a complete family apartment for one of the generations.  The primary focus is on completing livable units and completing or decorating the exterior is the final focus.  The street is relatively quiet in winter but in summer time it is teeming with children playing and neighbors mingling, taking advantage of the relative cool night weather until the early hours.

Street weddings and engagement parties are still the norm here.  The nearby mosque can be annoying to some visitors but the early call to prayer is taken by most guests as part of the local cultural experience for which they choose to stay at Mara House.

Mara House: step across the threshold and enter a by-gone era

As the weighty iron doors of Mara House swing open, time itself seems to succumb to the enchanting allure of the past, ushering you gently into a bygone era.  Stepping across the threshold, a treasure trove of history unfolds within the interior, revealing an eclectic blend of Middle Eastern furnishings, art, and decoration.  Here, with a little imagination, you may immerse yourself in a symphony of history, as tales of ancient intrigue and romance seem to whisper through time.

Find yourself enchanted by the Muhammad Ali sitting room, an exquisite enclave adjacent to the entrance hall, paying homage to the illustrious lineage of Egypt’s rulers.  Adorned with a unique collection of images and photographs, this room unveils the illustrious genealogy of Egypt’s Royal Rulers, spanning from the era of Turkish Sultans to the modern-day descendants of King Farouk, whose reign unexpectedly ended in 1952.  Mara herself shares a profound connection to this royal lineage, entwined within her family tree through a series of ancestral and modern unions.

Mara House’s Exclusive Suite Accommodations

Within the walls of Mara House, the concept of “rooms” transcends the mundane definition of hotel accommodations.  Here, guests get to experience a touch of grandeur from bygone eras before the majority of hotel suites were downgraded to mere bedrooms.  Each suite at Mara House provides not only a bedroom and bathroom but also the indulgent luxury of a private sitting room with balcony.  The Family Suites, a testament to cherished togetherness, offer the added splendor of two or three bedrooms, allowing families to bask in the comforts of home, unlike the customary hotel setups with separate chambers.Mara House, a sanctuary where history breathes life into the present, beckons you on an extraordinary journey.  Traverse the delicate balance between antiquity and modernity, as the ethereal allure of this timeless escape leaves you with unforgettable memories etched in your heart.  Request a rate now from Mara and join the ranks of our esteemed circle of discerning guests and independent travelers, who relish the private ambience of this timeless retreat.

SALAHADEEN RESTAURANT: a culinary experience not to miss

Amr – the House Manager is also our amazing Chef.  

The restaurant was the brainchild and work of my son, Stephen and his wife, Sara. 

Steve & Sara

The popularity of the authentic “Salahadeen Feast” served in the charmingly elegant Mara House restaurant gracefully catapulted Mara House to the pinnacle of TripAdvisor’s rankings during its public opening, a position it held until it’s closure to the public due to the events of 2011.  Our culinary offerings embody the very soul of traditional, nourishing Egyptian cuisine, a cherished heritage lovingly passed down through the generations.  The remarkable Chef, Amr, learned his culinary skills from a tender age, from his own mother.  Today, the Feast stands as an exclusive indulgence, a cherished delight reserved solely for esteemed in-house guests.”


At Mara House, the roof terrace is a serene oasis adorned with cacti and bougainvillea.  It’s the perfect spot to unwind and enjoy the night sky, after a day of sightseeing, as the clear skies offer an excellent opportunity for star-gazing.  During winter, the newly built BBQ becomes a hot favorite, where guests can savor delightful meals outdoors even in the Egyptian winter.

Mara House welcomes a diverse range of guests:

  1. Independent travelers seeking a unique accommodation experience akin to an old-style private house rather than a standard hotel. Enjoy the luxury of spacious personal sleeping and living areas, distinct from the common spaces like the roof terrace, restaurant, and downstairs sitting room.
  2. Families yearning for a private sanctuary to unwind and converse at day’s end, free from the hassle of moving between separate hotel rooms.  Mara House caters to families, ensuring a family-friendly and child-friendly environment.
  3. Adventurers hungry for fresh perspectives, seeking unique insights and off-the-beaten-path tales about historical and contemporary Egypt.
  4. Food enthusiasts craving nourishing, wholesome, and authentic home-cooked meals that reflect the rich traditions of Egyptian cuisine.

Mara House caters to these discerning travelers, offering an inviting haven where cherished memories are woven into the tapestry of a memorable Egyptian experience.


You can book the entire Mara House for a diverse array of private events, providing exclusive experiences for our esteemed guests:

  1. Individuals seeking utmost privacy by reserving the entire house, while exploring Egypt’s wonders incognito, accompanied by family or close friends.  We can arrange properly trained security personnel to ensure your comfort and peace of mind.  Experience a different facet of Egypt without the formality of black tie service, as we value and respect your privacy without compromising on exceptional service.
  2. Dreaming of a destination wedding that transcends the ordinary, an experience that exudes authenticity, spirituality, and a touch of magic?  Look no further.   Our offerings are enchanting yet tastefully curated, ensuring a special day that’s far from cheesy, but deeply rooted in the romance of Egypt through the ages.  Amidst the marvels of ancient sites, your love story will find its timeless backdrop.
  3. Companies seeking to treat their valued employees to a unique and intimate team-building holiday experience  will discover Mara House as the ideal setting.  Our offerings are tailored to promote team building, encouraging meaningful connections, and providing ample space for getting to know each other better.  The focus is on a rejuvenating and memorable escape, where shared experiences become lasting bonds.
  4. Celebrate family milestones and reunite with loved ones from different corners of the globe in an extraordinary holiday location that extends beyond sun, sea, and sand. Mara House offers a captivating backdrop for cherished family celebrations, ensuring a meaningful and unforgettable experience for all.

Mara House embraces the spirit of exclusivity and personalization, crafting private events that leave an indelible mark on the hearts of our cherished guests.

Mara House is only bookable via direct email to Mara.

You may see Mara House on some online booking engines, they do not have permission to do so and are not agents for Mara House – hence once you click on their links to book Mara House you are directed to a page which shows no availability and you are advised to book another similar property.

Book your accommodation now at Mara House – simply click here and send me a brief message telling me your preferred dates and how many people traveling.  Feel free to ask me any questions also.

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  1. A great place to stay!

    I have recently stayed at Mara House in Luxor Egypt and thoroughly enjoyed my time here!

    I opted for a three night stay and the three day tour of Luxor.

    The accommodations are incredible! The room really blew me away. It doesn’t feel like a hotel, it feels like someone’s home. The location is in a residential area but a short walk to downtown Luxor and the Nile. The staff are amazing. Amr, the property manager, literally went above and beyond to make sure the trip was perfect. I cannot speak more highly of someone who just wanted to actually make my stay nice! The room is immaculate, the showers are awesome, air conditioning is cols, internet is fast, and the breakfast was delicious.

    Staying at Mara House was was highlight of my trip. Definitely recommend.

    – Reviewed on TripAdvisor 14 Oct 2021 – booked Luxor 3 Nights Package

  2. Words cannot describe how awesome Mara is. I am a seasoned solo traveler and never hired a guided tour, it’s not my thing. Until I found Mara.

    I carefully plan my trips and I have never had major issues, but when I started researching the Egypt leg of my Middle East and Africa trip, I realized I may need to cave in and go on some sort of tour. Some sort… I didn’t want to go on these inflexible tours that did not leave me any time to wander by myself.

    I started asking around, a friend of mine recommended me a tour guide that she said was “fantastic”. I asked him for quotes, he was promising me a great hotel but doing further research I was told that the hotel was in an area not up to North American standards (this is not exactly what the Egyptian person I consulted said but let’s leave it at that). In addition every service you think you are entitled to, as spelled out in your country’s Constitution or the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in my case, is extra and this includes the use of toilet paper.

    I then decided to ditch the guided tour and do it by myself, that is when I came across Mara’s web page. Her blogs helped me realize that I really needed help if I didn’t want to end up getting into a brawl over money in a foreign country. Her level of detail is second to none, for instance, when I got to the Cairo hotel, a suitcase lock and a box of antibiotics for gut bacteria were waiting for me. Her guides are deeply knowledgeable, respectful people and you are treated like a human being, not like cattle going in and out of a bus. Mara was extremely flexible with the schedule of tours, activities, time off to myself, arrival and departure times, etc… so many things to mention! Her house in Luxor is so beautiful and Amr’s cooking so incredible that I regret not having eaten enough, it was ridiculously hot in July after all. One day I will go back just for the cooking.

    I could probably go on and on about Mara but at this point I am probably losing you, so I am getting to the deal maker for me. Mara’s service includes EVERYTHING, except for tips, and this should not come as a surprise if you read her blog about tips, which regretfully I did not, and it is on me. She goes above and beyond by paying extra to her tour guides so they do not make you waste an afternoon shopping at a bazaar in exchange for commissions, something that every tour guide does and would have bothered me. You can go to the bazaar by yourself if you want to, Mara’s tours leave a fair bit of time for you to do as you please if that is your preference. Don’t get me wrong, it is not the cheapest way to go but definitely the most money-wise one.

    Sorry folks, getting to the end now. If you truly want to live the Egyptian experience within North American standards, Mara is your person. Her house is located in a Luxor neighbourhood, not in the five star hotels strip, and that is what I loved about it. The house has all the comforts: very spacious suites, comfortable beds, A/C, extremely clean and beautifully decorated. The cooking is sublime, I still dream about the food I could not eat because it was 46 degrees in the shade.

    One last observation: if you suffer the hot weather avoid Egypt in July – August at all costs, unless you want to have the temples and tour guides all to yourself. Sometimes tolerating a bit of heat has its rewards.

    Best of luck on your trip to Egypt and I hope you have as much of a blast as I did! If you don’t, there is an “I told you so” with your name on it. 🙂

    Traveled solo July2019. Reviewed on TripAdvisor June 2020. Booked Luxor 3 Nights Package plus Cairo 3 Nights Package

  3. Wonderful Egypt Vacation thru Mara House
    I typically like to book events on my own for my trips. I was researching Egypt and realized that trying to get myself around was not going to be easy. As I searched online, I found Mara. I worked with her for several weeks to setup a 10 day visit to Cairo and Luxor. After many e-mails we basically came up with here standard tour….lol.

    Mara and her setup guy / fixer in Cairo, Ahmed, made the entire time go very smoothly. Every day for the 5 days we were in Cairo, Ahmed met us at our hotel with the guide for the day and made sure everything was going well. The 5th day he gave us the Medieval Cairo tour himself. That was the day it rained and Cairo was totally flooded. In addition, we were to fly to Luxor that afternoon but no flights flew that day due to a sandstorm in Luxor. Ahmed helped us thru the whole ordeal including booking an extra hotel in Cairo for that night. Because of this problem our itinerary was messed up. Mara stepped in and made changes so that we still could do all the temples, etc. we had planned to do.
    Also, this was during the corona virus scare. All of our flights inside and outside of Egypt were cancelled and changed. Ahmed helped to identify a direct flight to the US that got us home before any closure happened from Egypt.

    Even will all the tenseness, we had a great visit. I would recommend, if you are doing your bucket list Egypt trip, give Mara a shout. I’m sure you will be happy you did.


    Wow what a lovely place Mara house is. Very easy to communicate with Mara who offered loads of advice to get the best from our stay. We had already booked all tours for our trip around Egypt so we didn’t use her travel services but I’m sure they would be great if the organisation and professionalism of her staff is any indication.

    When we arrived, Amr noticed I used a walking stick and immediately offered us a lower floor room ( had booked room 8 on the top floor), which I thought was a very insightful gesture. As I have no problems with stairs we stuck with the original which was lovely. Sitting room, huge bedroom, wet room ( common in Egypt) and balcony. Amr is super helpful and showed us round the neighbourhood including how to get to the souk. Luxor is easy to navigate and Mara house is very well located, about 10 mins from the station and 15 from the souk.

    We loved the neighbourhood. If you want to see real Luxor and not some carbon copy hotel on the tourist strip, then stay here. It’s real life – kids playing in the street and women making bread on their doorstep. The locals are friendly and when they greet you with a ‘welcome’ you know that they are being genuine and not trying to sell you something. It’s so refreshing in Egypt to not be hassled for a taxi/horse carriage/boat trip every time you step out of the door!

    We ate in the hotel each night because after walking around Luxor all day we were simply too tired to go out again. And why would you when Amr prepares the most delicious meals for such a reasonable price. There is also beer and wine available to complement your meal.

    Totally recommend Mara house. We certainly wouldn’t stay anywhere else if we come back to Luxor.

    Traveled as couple. Feb 2020.  Reviewed on TripAdvisor 2 March 2020.

  5. We spent a fantastic 4 days with our 4 children ( 4, 8, 10 and 12 years) exploring Luxor and its surroundings. Mara has a great set up and we had a very spacious 3 bed apartment for the duration. Each day was action packed with great day trips to Luxor’s East Bank Temples, its West Bank tombs, including the Valley of the Kings, and a day trip the temples at Dendera and Abydos. All rounded off with a Felucca trip on the Nile.

    If you are looking to avoid a standard hotel experience, Mara House is the place for you. Hats off to Amr for the great care and attention he gave us.

    Bottom line is the kids’ loved staying at Mara House,and they are very hard to please. Highly recommended and a great change of pace.

    Ireland will have a direct flight from Dublin to Cairo from June 2020, so why not use it to come to Luxor and stay at this charming holiday option!

    Reviewed on TripAdvisor 23 Feb 2020. Luxor Holidays 3 Nights Package

  6. If you are interested in more than the usual tour offerings to Egypt, do not look past Mara. She organises excellent tours out of Cairo as well as Luxor where Mara House is located. We did the Gayer Anderson House and Medieval Cairo walking tour. It wasn’t easy to find a tour that visited the former, and our guide Ahmed brought the stories of this amazing house to life. If you have an interest in Islamic architecture and art this gem of a house museum is truly a ‘must see’. All our guides organised through Mara were knowledgeable, with added inclusions built in such as the Solar Boat at Giza and Mummy room at the Egyptian Museum. Her tours might not be the cheapest but we found them to be excellent value for the standard of guiding provided.

    Booking directly with Mara was easy, all replies were prompt and I found her blog to be an excellent resource for planning our first trip to Egypt. Mara House itself is in a residential part of Luxor but getting into town was easily arranged with taxis. Yes, the road outside is unpaved, yes it is in a local street with all the colour and noise that goes with it (bring ear plugs for the morning call to prayer) – however the welcome from Amr and the team is warm and genuine. Our room was large and spotlessly clean. The roof top garden would be a pleasant in the winter sun although we did not have time to use it.

    If you are an independently minded traveller, looking for something outside of the usual tour offerings, I would not hesitate in recommending Mara and her capable team. We were very well looked after for our first trip to this amazing country.

    Reviewed on TripAdvisor 22 Feb 2020 Cairo Holidays 3 Nights and Luxor Holidays 3 Nights packages

  7. I contacted Mara early on in my planning to return to Egypt to explore the Upper Nile having already done Cairo. Mara was great to work with and I enjoyed finalizing arrangements with her for my travels there and stay at Mara House.

    I bought a full package of room and meals plus touring for 4 days. Mara House is great. My apartment was beautiful and the food served for all meals was excellent. The tours were well arranged with driver and guide. While some of the travel was long over land, it provided an opportunity to see real life in Egypt along the way, as did staying at Mara House in the city of Luxor.

    Her staff, led by Amr, were always welcoming, helpful and very friendly. I would not hesitate to stay again and I would strongly encourage anyone to make a stay here as part of their Upper Nile experience.

    The photos shown on the website for Mara House are accurate. There is no elevator, so you may want to consider that in terms of which floor you may be placed. But the staff will handle all your luggage. The roof top terrace is a lovey place to share a drink and conversation in the evening.

    Traveled solo – reviewed on TripAdvisor 14 Feb 2020 – Luxor 3 night package plus extra tours/nights

  8. Me and my son were in Egypt Jan 5th to 19th for a liveaboard diving trip in Red Sea on “Emperor Echo”. On arrival to Cairo we were met by Ahmed tour guide, and spent 3 days doing tours with him. He was a great knowledgeable and intelligent guide. Flight to Luxor, and overnight stay in Mara House. In a morning 6 hours car ride to Marsa Alam. 7 days liveaboard diving. Met by Mara’s driver and transferred back to Luxor. Spent 3 nights in amazing HOUSE ( one has to see it to understand and appreciate the beauty of it!). We lived in 2 bedroom apartment. Housekeeper Amr was the nicest person we met on our trip. His cooking skills were amazing. Tour guide Mohamed showed us all the best of Luxor Temples for 3 days. All above accomodations were done before via emails conversations with Mara personally. She gave us plenty of valuable tips on whatever to expect on during the whole trip. Mara’s website is also very informative. I am and my son Martin are very happy we arranged all above activities with “Mara’s House”. Greatly recommended!

    Reviewed on TripAdvisor 5 Feb 2020. Cairo package and Luxor Package

  9. Comfortable and spotlessly clean guesthouse. Delicious Egyptian breakfast provided and an evening dinner of Egyptian food offered on one night – beautifully cooked by Amr. All arrangements were seamless for our airport collection by Ahmed and expert guiding by Mohammed visiting some of the area’s outstanding sites – places that we just wouldn’t have got to if we had been on our own. It was a relief not having to think about all the admin and hassle that could have been involved, allowing us to see so many wonderful treasures in a short period of time. Thank you!

  10. We can’t thank Mara (for arranging) and Mo (for guiding) enough. We wanted to see a lot and we had a limited amount of time. Mo was so thorough and patient with us. He was such a wealth of knowledge and really made these ancient sites come to life. We would absolutely recommend any tour Mara is offering and would also highly recommend Mo as your guide. Thank you so much for making our time in Luxor so memorable!

    Booked Tours in Luxor and Tours in Cairo

    After planning for so long my Egypt trip I contacted Mara House and planned the itinerary for our group of three. I knew all the key points I wanted to visit in the West Bank, and the surrounding area such as Abydos, Abu Simbel, etc. and left the details to Mara. I did say that I wanted to be “all Eypted-out” and I was not disappointed. Our guide, Mohamed, through our 4 days is a wonderfully trusted, serious, and amiable person who knows just about everything and everyone. At one point I thought…I could skip some of the smaller sites in the West Bank to make more time in the bigger sites….but I am so happy I continued with Mo’s suggestions for the Workers & Nobles tombs…smaller but i found them quite beautiful and tender.

    When you don’t know the language or the places or much else you always feel a little lost but with Mohamed & the drivers from Mara House, we just always felt in good hands as we zipped back and forth fulfilling a life’s dream.

    I just need to go back soon to continue!

    Tony, USA traveled as family. Reviewed on TripAdvisor 20 Jan 2020 Tours in Luxor

  12. Hi Mara,

    Thank you for checking in and we really enjoyed our travels in Egypt. It was made truly special by you and your team!

    My wife, Anjali, had this childhood dream of visiting the pyramids and Abu Simbel and I made her dream come true ably assisted by your excellent and professional team.

    We were saved from all the hagglings which come associated with touristy places. Your team members made sure we were well informed and saved from anyone over charging us.

    Mohammed I who guided us in Cairo was amazing and knowledgeable. Mohammed ll who guided us in Luxor and Aswan is truly remarkable and a treasure trove full of knowledge about everything. We spent the Maximum time with him and miss him already.

    A special mention for all the drivers who drove us around in Cairo, Luxor-Aswan and Abu Simbel. They are RockStars!! Safe, smiling and humble guys!

    I loved dealing with you Mara and cannot recommend you enough.

    Keep in touch and keep doing the excellent work you all are doing!! Kudos!

    Kindest Regards

    Letter from Guest 8 Jan 2020

  13. My husband and I just got back from Egypt and we had a wonderful time staying with Mara House during our time in Luxor. We took up her 3 day Luxor package (you can find the details on her website) which we found to be a great deal.


    Mara was very responsive to my emails, and she also helped to answer questions I had about the rest of Egypt e.g. the situation regarding protests in Cairo. She was also very accommodating in holding my preferred dates until I could confirm my availability.

    On arrival to Luxor, although she was out of Luxor and busy with her group tour with other guests, she still made the effort to check-in on us during our stay, which we really welcomed.


    (a) Room comfort

    The room we got was HUGE. We got a spacious living area attached to the bathroom, and an equally spacious bedroom. Our room was beautifully decorated and reminded me so much of home. Everything is also very clean.

    The bathroon is a wet bathroom with no shower partition but this didn’t bother us because we are Asian and many Asian countries have this sort of bathroom design. The bathroom uses a water heater that pre-heats a fixed volume of water when switched on, so you have to wait 30 minutes before using it, but the water is nice and hot once it is ready. If you indulge for too long the hot water will run out and you will need to wait for it to heat up again, but the amount that is heated each time is honestly sufficient for a normal length shower for one person (and even sufficient for two people if you don’t indulge).

    The bedroom has both air-conditioning and a fan that is available for use. Wifi was hard to access as we were at the very top floor of the house but since we had a local sim card with plenty of mobile data, we didn’t mind this.

    The comforts of this accommodation aren’t meant to match the luxuries of a 5 star hotel, so I think it will be very unfair to expect it to be of the same standard as that of a 5 star hotel.

    (b) Location

    Mara House is located in a residential area away from the main tourist belt. The airport is quite close at about 20 minutes drive away, and Luxor train station is at an easy walking distance.

    We enjoyed a walk to the train station to explore the fruits and vegetable market and we were not hassled by anyone along the way; it is safe and a great look at local life. If we had more time in Luxor, I would have liked to walk all the way to Luxor temple and enjoy the beautiful promenade along the Nile.

    Also, I wouldn’t call the streets outside Mara’s House ugly. I think they have a very quaint charm to them (in fact I think the street can be very pretty with its colours–have a look at my picture if you’ll like). This is REAL Egypt. If you do not like how real Egypt looks then you will probably have to stick strictly to the tourist belt and luxury hotels for the sanitized version of the country.

    You might want to bring earplugs just in case, as the locals had a wedding party on one of the nights here, so it got quite noisy. But for the rest of our time here it was very peaceful and quiet. You will hear the call to prayer in the early morning, but we went back to sleep easily enough once it ended.

    (c) Hospitality & Food

    Although Mara was not around, Amr and his team still provided amazing hospitality in looking after us. Bottled water is complimentary and the snacks and drinks provided for sale are as good as local prices (way cheaper than back home, and also without any trouble of bargaining or facing any hassling).

    You’ll get a good taste of Egyptian fare here and this was actually some of the best Egyptian food we’ve had on our trip. Everything is hygienic as well and we had zero stomach troubles during our stay. I have attached a photo of the Salahadeen feast we enjoyed as part of our package.

    On our last day we wanted to get some souvenirs before returning to Cairo, so Amr actually took us out personally at night to the money changer first as we needed some EGP, then he took us to a trusted store and reminded us to bargain very hard 😉


    We took up Mara’s 3 day Luxor Package which covered one half day visit to Karnak temple and Luxor temple, one full day visit to Abydos and Dendera, and one full day visit to the best sights of the West Bank (e.g. Valley of the Kings, Temple of Queen Hatshepshut, Medinet Habu, Tomb of the Nobles and Tomb of the Workers).

    There is a packed lunch provided for the long day to Abydos & Dendera (we had tuna mayo sandwiches with chips, chocolate croissant snacks, and water–simple, but good enough for me!). For the tour of the west bank we stopped at a restaurant overlooking the Nile and the food here was really good!

    We had a great time on tour with Mohammed, and while visiting the Valley of the Kings it was revealed to us by other tour guides that “we were very lucky to have him because he was their professor”!!! I liked how his explanations were simple enough for the normal tourist who was not crazy about Ancient Egyptian lore e.g. my husband, while at the same time I could go a bit more crazy asking about every single detail I saw on the walls…

    Note: Do NOT miss Dendera!!! It is mindblowingly beautiful. I have attached a photo of its beautifully first hypostyle hall with its restored colours.


    Mara House served all our needs perfectly and was a home away from home for a country that could get a little difficult at times even for seasoned travellers like my husband and I.

    I feel the need to mention that my husband and I are usually independent travellers and we did try visiting several sites in Egypt on our own without a guide… but going with a guide really makes a huge difference to your understanding and appreciation of the sites especially those from Ancient Egypt. For example, in the Temple of Philae in Aswan we were absolutely clueless as to what we were looking at even though I had found some information online as a reference of things to look out for. So I fully recommend going on tour with a good guide to the sites in Egypt as much as possible.

    Lastly, I’ll like to mention that finding a host / tour provider that you can trust in Egypt is absolutely essential in keeping your trip pleasant.

    As an example of how things can go sour very quickly, we unfortunately booked a horse riding day trip in Cairo that worked in “Egyptian ways” e.g. the tour ended up unlike what was marketed on their website; the guide didn’t bring us to a place where we had already paid entrance fee and then claimed to the owner it was a miscommunication issue due to language; the guide badgered us mid-tour for MORE tips when we already gave him 10USD at the start (as was requested by the owner to solve the problem of no change), the 3 hour ride became just 2 hours…

    Thankfully we had none of that #@#$ during our stay with Mara. No feelings of being shortchanged or cheated, no feelings of being hassled for tips during your tour or being told your tips are not enough, and really just genuine, SINCERE hospitality, so that you can remember your trip and all the amazing sites you’ve seen with fond memories forever!!!!

    Thank you, Mara, Amr, Mohammed, and the rest of the team with Mara House Luxor!

    Travelled Nov 2019 – Couple. Luxor Holidays 3 nights – Reviewed on TripAdvisor

  14. Mara’s guesthouse was just what I was looking for as a solo traveller not wanting an anonymous hotel. Mara and her staff bend over backwards to help you with whatever you need, the house and rooms are lovely, clean, comfortable, Mo the guide was superb (and the sites absolutely spectacular), the food just excellent. Lots of stories and good tips too. Recommend.

    Traveled solo Aug 2019. Reviewed on TripAdvisor. Luxor Holidays 3 night package

  15. I would highly recommend Mara House. Mara was very helpful in organising my stay and tailoring tour options to suit the time I had available. She was also very accommodating, allowing me to return to the room after my day of touring and rest and shower before my flight in the early hours of the following morning. The house itself is beautifully decorated and comfortable, and I really appreciated the fact that it wasn’t on the ‘tourist strip’.

    The tour itself was brilliant. Mohammed was very knowledgable and friendly and made my tour of the Valley of the Kings and associated sites, plus Luxor Temple well worth the visit! Ahmed the driver was also wonderful.

    Overall I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Mara House to anyone visiting Luxor

    Traveled solo July 2019 Individualised itinerary. Reviewed on TripAdvisor.

  16. Mara House is, without a doubt, the best place to stay in Luxor if not all of Egypt! Everyone was so kind and helpful throughout my stay and they helped me to plan the absolute best trip during my time in Egypt. I cannot thank Mara enough for all of her help as well as Ahmed and Fatma for being the best guides! My room was wonderful and everything about Mara House made my stay in Egypt perfect. It is the best!!

    Reviewed on TripAdvisor May 2019 Taveled June 2018. Booked Luxor Holidays 3 Nights package and Cairo Holidays 3 Nights Package

  17. This is a private house turned hotel. Its owner, Mara, is a woman from County Cork Ireland who came
    to Egypt looking for a new life. What she and her family and staff have created is a home fit and
    outfitted for a sheik! She has used Egyptian aesthetic, furnishings and feel to make an amazing place to
    stay while in Luxor.

    She offers full packages on her website including meals, event tickets and a tour
    guide. If you find her online, her suggestions on what to pack, dealing with the heat, etc you will find a
    treasure trove.

    The rooms are suites. I stayed in #2 which is a queensized bed with a sitting are plus a real sitting area with
    a mini-bar, sink and counter. Everything is made, done and completed with commitment to making the
    guest feel comfortable and welcome.

    The staff, headed by Amr, his wife and three year old son, is superb. He is the host and chef and is
    miraculous. His meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner are wonderful and served with grace.

    Mohamed is the house guide. He is knowledgeable, speaks excellent English and shows you everything
    at the antiquity sites, will take you down the Nile if you choose that package (I’m sitting on the boat
    waiting to start the journey from Luxor to Aswan), and does not try to take you shopping.
    Mara House uses three different drivers who will take you safely from place to place.
    I give this house not a five star rating, but twelve.

    Jean, USA traveled solo June 2019. This review was submitted to TripAdvisor but has not appeared there. 3 night Luxor Holidays plus 4 nights Nile Cruise with Mara House.

  18. Mara, Amr, Mohammed, et al. took terrific care of me from start to finish. The food was delicious, the care genuine, and the tours fascinating. I was looking for connection to both ancient and modern Egypt and found it in conversations at and the tours around Mara House. Mara and Mohammed have a tremendous passion for Egyptology and answered any and all questions I had. The place is kept immaculately and though fairly new, has a designed character. I cannot thank Mara enough for all of her help nor recommend her place more highly.

    Traveled solo June 2019. Reviewed on TripAdvisor and Google Maps. Luxor Holidays 3 nights modified

  19. Thank you Mara house for such a wonderful stay!
    We truly appreciate how Mara individualized our tour so thoughtfully – we had limited days in Luxor & Cairo and she organized our itinerary to maximize our time to see & enjoy Egypt. I also really appreciate Ahmed – he was so organized & communicative. He confirmed all our trip plans via text or phone call while in Egypt (it felt nice knowing every detail was being looked after). He also told memorable stories that made the history of medieval Egypt really come alive. Amr took such great care of us while at Mara House. We miss his hospitality, delicious cooking, and evenings spent on the beautifully renovated rooftop patio! Thank you for making our trip so special! Carol & Sara

    Reviewed on TripAdvisor May 2019 – Booked Luxor Holidays 3 Nights Package and a tour in Cairo

  20. On my second stay at Mara House, my friends and I chose the 3 day package. This allowed us to relax, sheltering from the sun, while Amr arranged all our necessities. Great food and knowledgeable guides. Mara House has the feel of a home away from home.

    Traveled with friends April 2019. Reviewed on TripAdvisor and Google Maps. Booked Luxor Holidays 3 Nights Package