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. “Perfect place to stay in Luxor”

    My husband and I spent 4 nights at Mara’s House.  It is a perfect place to be in Luxor.  Mara House is a short walk to shops and restaurants.

    Mara’s is located in a typical neighborhood and you get the real feel of living in Luxor.  Mara and her staff are OUTSTANDING, she is always quick to respond to any and all questions.  The entire house is very clean and the entire staff takes pride in that.  The fridge is stocked with bottled water.

    The staff is friendly and always available to bring you a cup of tea. Zahry is so kind and always greets you with a smile,,,,,thank you Zahry for making our stay enjoyable. We booked all of our airport transfers and sightseeing with Mara.  I would reccommend this as well.  The drivers were on time and the cars were clean and well care for.  Booked Luxor and Karnak Temples, Abydos and Dendera also West Bank of the Nile.

    All tours were outstanding and the guides were well versed and very professional….well done by all.  Sitting on the roof top talking with Mara about what it is like living in Egypt was very interesting too.

    Mara and her staff make you feel very special during the entire stay, I wish we could have stayed longer. Four nights in Luxor at Mara’s House is really not enough.

    Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple Reviewed on Tripadvisor by:  RebeccaA602, Holland, Michigan

  2. “Your practically a local now”

    Luxor makes a good base from which to explore pretty much the whole of Upper Egypt – that’s from Abydos to Aswan – and more. Mara House became my little home from home from which I ventured out, mainly across the river to the west bank, where I walked, cycled, motorcycled, bused and taxied all over the place visiting temples and my friends in Qurna, the community of people whose villages ring the ancient Theban necropolis on its eastern flank. (visit http://www.mandoxegypt.wordpress.com for more stories about all that.) One could also ride (horses or camels but that ain’t really my thing)

    Whereas West Bank and Qurna is a very much more rural, very quiet experience. Mara House is situated in the Inner City right behind the very busy railway station and just 15minutes walk up El Nozri to Luxor temple and the lively area around the souk where little restaurants like Ali Baba offer has nice food (Egyptian or International) and beer plus one of the best views of any restaurant.

    So I lodged my entire two weeks at Mara’s where they looked after me very well.  I was in room 4 – one floor up on last time – very nice quiet room – with a large glass topped dinning table on which i could lay out my books and laptop. Very comfortable there.

    I also had the opportunity to go on one of the longer day trips to Abydos in the company of Mara, Mohammed and Amr. There should be links to some film of this on the mandoxegypt site or youtube.  Journeying to this famous pilgrimage site has long been one of my ambitions. The journey on this new desert road was fantastic – desert scenery all the way then a gem of a temple – with not one but two guides to show me the special bits. We had a lot of fun and even managed to step briefly onto the Osireion, which was dry.

    Several hours there wasn’t enough enough and I must go back – if only for more gossip from Mara (but I am a nerd). We then got to Dendara for last two hours – which is best time to see it – more than enough there to keep one busy for the day.

    Coming back in rush hour I think on reflection I’d get off at Jazeera on the west back and catch the public ferry over and walk back to Mara’s rather than spend an hour via Luxor Bridge which is quite far upstream. Even so its probably a detour one should make at least once – just to see the bridge and uptown or is it downtown Luxor.

    Many thanks to Noor, Asdar and Sahry for looking after me so well in the Hotel.  Keeping my room looking so fresh and providing such nice breakfasts every morning and tea whenever I needed it.  Coming back late I’d often get a call from Sahry just to make sure I was OK – which is nice really – people in Egypt really do go the extra mile … thank you – hope to see you all on my next expedition.

    Stayed February 2013, travelled solo

    Reviewed on Tripadvisor by:  MandLuxor, Oxford, United Kingdom

  3. “Mara House-Irish hospitality in the heart of Egypt”

    My friend and I stayed at Mara House for five nights in February 2013.  We chose Mara House because of Mara being english-spoken and because of her expertise and vast knowledge of Egypt.  Right from the off, when we were emailing Mara back and forth with our ever-changing itinerary, we knew that we were making the right decision to stay with Mara. Mara’s prompt replies (always within 24 hours) reassured us that we would always be in good hands. That was so true, from the moment our plane touched down in Egypt. Mara had one of her drivers meet us and take care of our visas before taking us to Mara House.

    It was lovely to be greeted by Mara at the door of the residence. Right away she made us a very welcome cup of tea and had our luggage taken to our room. We felt straight away that we had been friends with Mara for years! She was so welcoming and her Irish hospitality was second to none. Nothing was too much trouble for Mara. She organised all our tours to Tombs and Temples and even packed a breakfast and/or lunch for us.

    At very short notice, she helped organise (through her many contacts) a hot air balloon ride over Luxor.  Our suite was spotlessly clean.  We couldn’t fault it in any way. The fridge was well stocked with water, soft drinks, wine, beer, chocolate bars and crisps, all of which were replenished each day.  Staying with Mara made our trip so enjoyable and took all the hassle away.  She’s a remarkable lady!  Thank you Mara for making or trip so exciting.

    Stayed February 2013, travelled with friends

    Reviewed on Tripadvisor by: Kayk1, London, United Kingdom

  4. “Loads and character and great service from Mara”     

    Mara House has loads of character and was a brilliant change from the faceless 4* hotel we were staying at in Cairo.  Roof terrace is a nice place to relax and read, and the rooms are huge.

    Mara herself is really friendly and always on hand to help out with a last-minute request for a trip or a guide or whatever, and the centre of Luxor is just a short walk.

    Totally recommend.

    Stayed February 2013, travelled with family Reviewed on Tripadvisor by: Ray M., London, United Kingdom

  5. “Great place to stay in Luxor!”

    I loved this place.  It’s away from the touristy area in a local neighborhood.  You get to see more of real Luxor.  Its like a 15 minute walk from the Luxor Temple. Totally safe area. The rooms are huge and so clean. I walk every where usually to get a feel for everything…but if you want they will have a cab or horse carriage there for you in minutes.  All around an awesome hotel.  With Mara and the staff it’s like staying with family…I honestly felt sad when I had to say good bye.. Hi Mara! 🙂

    Stayed February 2013, travelled solo Reviewed on Tripadvisor by:  IWannaTravel365, Branson, Missouri

  6. “Great time, great service, awesome food, go now!”

    Wow, what a great experience I had in Luxor with Mara House. The staff was incredible, the food they had was excellent. They even helped you with tipping advice, stomach bug issues, a great mini bar including local wine and arranging my tours and airport pickups. Loved it there! In a time when tourism is down, it’s great to support the local businesses. Check them out, they rock!

    Kathy Gruver, Santa Barbara, California  – Stayed February 2015, travelled solo (Reviewed on TripAdvisor)

  7. “Irish hospitality in Luxor – the amazing Mara!”

    Stayed at Mara House 11-16 Feb 2013.  Chosen because we felt we would be happier staying with a woman who spoke English.  On arrival at the airport we were met by one of Mara’s drivers who took care of our visas etc and guided us through the airport to the waiting car and driver.

    On arrival at Mara House the lady herself was on the steps to greet us in person.  A member of her team took our luggage while another made us a very welcome cup of tea. Within minutes we felt completely at home.

    Our apartment was spotlessly clean and well appointed.

    We’d pre-booked some of Mara’s trips but late one night we wondered, rather hopelessly, if we could also squeeze in a hot air balloon flight for the following morning.  A quick call from Mara to one of her contacts and it was done.  Egypt could have been a chaotic and daunting experience, especially when one doesn’t speak the language.

    Mara’s expertise and knowledge of Egypt took all the hassle away – leaving us to have an amazing, carefree, wonderful holiday. Thank you so much Mara.

    Stayed February 2013, travelled with friends

    Reviewed on Tripadvisor by:  JoyEssex_England, Essex, England.

  8. “So glad we stayed at Mara House” 

    We – me, my husband and our fifteen-year-old son – just got back from a fantastic week at Mara House.

    Full disclosure first: this is not a 5-star luxe hotel with a view of the Nile.  If you want that, don’t come here.

    If, however, you want to experience a little of what living in Luxor might actually be like, email Mara right now.  She’ll answer all your questions quickly and carefully and once you arrive make sure you have a hassle-free trip – no mean feat in a city where hassle is a given.

    We were met at the airport and shown our comfortable and spacious triple suite (three bedrooms, sitting room, bathroom, kitchenette) and felt immediately at home. The house is on a residential street the ‘wrong’ side of the railway tracks, but a swift 15-minute caleche ride or 20-30 minute walk to Luxor Temple.

    Mara organizes tours of all the main sites and we had pre-booked three of them.  Our guide Mohammed escorted us to Luxor and Karnak Temples, to Dendera and Abydos and to the West Bank, taking in the Valley of the Kings, the Tombs of the Noble and of the Workers and the Medinet Habu.  They were long days, but good ones.  We learned a vast amount and it was all smooth and straightforward.  We were met at the hotel, taken to good restaurants for lunch and returned to the Mara House at the end, where we could relax and absorb all that we had seen, whether in the cool of our room or on the roof terrace.

    Going out in the evening was a breeze, too. Mara’s team (Zahry and Amr, who doubles up as chef at Mara’s restaurant, Salahadeen) call one of the caleche drivers they use (we were lucky enough to have Ramadan, who was great) to pick you up, take you where you want to go and take you back to the hotel afterwards. T his is a huge plus as it means you don’t get ripped off and you don’t get overly hassled by the dozens of taxi drivers and other caleche drivers looking for business.  And you can understand why they might be.  Tourist numbers are massively down since the revolution, and Luxor is very, very quiet.  But don’t let the political situation put you off.  Cairo is 300 hundred miles away and Port Said even further. And most of the people you will come across are polite, funny, kind and if you treat them civilly, even when haggling, will do the same to you.

    We’re so glad we went – and so glad we stayed with Mara. We could have stayed in a posh hotel and spent our week in a protected bubble, but this way we got to see a little bit of the real city and to do it in a very easy and pain-free way.

    Stayed February 2013, travelled with family

    Reviewed on Tripadvisor by:  Hotelsarelovely, South West London

  9. “Great Stay in Luxor”

    Our 3 generation extended family spent two nights at Mara House in January and the only problem we had was that we couldn’t stay longer! Mara communicated well with us as we were making our arrangements prior to our visit, and everything came together as we hoped. Her staff, namely Amr and Sahry, were exceptionally attentive and helpful. They were always ready with a cup of tea and good advice. All the arrangements they made for us, from the hot air balloon ride to the tours to the calesh ride through Luxor, worked perfectly.

    Our tour guide, Mohammad, was interesting, patient and knowledgeable. The apartments were spacious, comfortable and clean and the rooftop terrace was lovely and relaxing. All nine of us would highly recommend Mara House.

    Stayed January 2013, travelled with family Reviewed on Tripadvisor by:  MichiganScout, Michigan

  10. “Great Stay – We Were All Sorry to Leave”

    Hi I stayed at Mara House for 5 nights in January along with 8 friends. The rooms were huge and beautifully decorated, and they did a great job of organising trips for us during the stay.  Above all Mara and the team really made us feel at home and secure.

    Stayed January 2013, travelled with friends Reviewed on Tripadvisor by: Duncan_Doughnuts, London

  11. “A home away from home”

    I was part of a trip of nine who stayed at Mara House in January 2013 and I can’t rate it highly enough if you’re looking for a good-value B&B with excellent service. Even before we arrived, Mara (Irish lady who owns the place) sent us loads of advice and dealt effortlessly with our questions and schedule changes.

    Arriving at Mara House is a little bit of a shock, as it’s on a backstreet that (to our untrained Western sensibilities) looks a bit rough – but nothing could be further from the truth. The front door opened to an oasis of tranquility and calm, the people in Luxor are lovely and when we got there, Mara and her staff (Amr and Sahji) bent over backwards to accommodate us.

    Mara arranged all our excursions, Amr accompanied us and arranged all the driving and let’s not forget Mohammad, our hotel-appointed tour guide, who opened up a world of understanding at the sites including the Luxor and Karnak temples, Abydos, Dendera and the Valley of The Kings. If you stay with Mara, I thoroughly urge you to take advantage of the full service package they offer for excursions etc – you won’t find a better deal.

    On the longer excursions (requiring an early start) they provided packed breakfasts, which were just the ticket.  And if you stay here and they offer you Amr’s home-cooked Egyptian feast one evening, make sure you take them up on the offer.

    Oh, and of course – the rooms were huge, spotless and comfortable, the service was impeccable and the roof terrace provided a lovely escape from the hubbub below.

    If you don’t know what to expect, in the first couple of days the Islamic call to prayer at 5am will jolt you awake – but it doesn’t last long and you will have the same experience if you stay at the most expensive hotels. This is Egyptian culture – embrace it!

    Thank you Mara and team – you were an essential part of making Luxor a great experience.

    Stayed January 2013, travelled with friends

    Reviewed on Tripadvisor by: Smudgeboy, London.

  12. “Mara House”

    I stayed at Mara House with my son for 4 nights in January 2013. The accomodation is in a “genuine” Egyptian neigbourhood away from the other hotels and about 5 minutes from the railway station. The accommodation was a large living room with a large bedroom.  Breakfast, which was included in the price, was continental in nature and perfectly fine.  Unfortunately time precluded taking some of the tours that Mara organised and unfortunately we were not able to attend the Egyptian feast as the chef was ill on the relevant day.

    The biggest plus of Mara house is that the staff (and I will no doubt spell these names wrong) Sahry and his colleague (Amr). They genuinely cared that you had a good experience in Luxor and were always anxious to ensure that the visit was as hassle free as possible.  In particular, we had a difficult situation with a calesh driver who upped his fee by a great deal and became very aggressive.  Sahry and Amr came out of Mara House at what was 1 am in the morning and spoke with him, arranged a reasonable fee and directed us inside.

    Overall I would recommend Mara House.  Being in a genuine Egyptian neighbourhood, you really benefit from meeting real Egyptians who are not out to hassle you and we were touched by the acts of kindness shown to us (such as a local giving us a “no obligation” ride on the back of his moped to Mara House when we got slightly lost one night). It is slightly out of the town centre (15 minutes walk to Luxor temple) compared with other hotels and did not have a TV (if this is important to you) etc, but if you are willing to walk or use the fixed rate taxis/calesh that Mara House organises and wish to experience a less touristy side of Luxor, it is perfect.

    Stayed January 2013, travelled with family

    Reviewed on Tripadvisor by: smcm980, London, United Kingdom

  13. “The Perfect Oasis In Luxor”

    Over the holidays, I stayed at Mara House with my parents (in their 50’s), my sister (in her 20’s), and my husband (in our 20’s). We were a group of 5 Americans visiting Egypt for the first time.  My husband and I live in Kuwait, so we knew a bit of what to expect, but were nervous to take my parents around the Middle East in such a busy country like Egypt. Thus, we booked Mara House.

    Mara House made our vacation an absolute dream; we couldn’t ask for a more helpful, friendly, hard working staff. The facilities are spotless and well-maintained. We had a whole “apartment” to ourselves, with breakfast included, at a great price!  The beds were the most comfortable beds I’ve slept in the Middle East.  Every night was a silent night’s sleep; no honking horns to keep you awake!  You arrive to a fully stocked refrigerator of local wine and beer (reasonably priced), chips, candy bars, and water, so you don’t have to stress about finding the nearest bottle shop or corner store at the end of a long day.  There were two sitting areas, a television, and a spotless bathroom. Trust me, this place is the cleanest, most organized places I’ve been to in all of the Middle East, and I’ve traveled to many, many places!

    Mara House roof top

    Not to mention Amr and Sahry (Mara’s righthand men) helped us order felafel, hummus, even pizza every night we didn’t feel like going out. They made us laugh endlessly. They arranged taxis, helped us with directions, recommended things to do, they are natural hosts. We genuinely miss both Amr and Sahry; I have traveled over 20 countries, and never have I been to a B&B where I felt this cared for.  We wanted to hire a felucca one day, and had met a man along the Nile who we wanted to book with. Amr and Sahry wanted to make sure we had a good experience, so they called the man on his mobile (we got the guy’s phone number when we met him) to talk to him about his services. They were super concerned about everything we did in Luxor, and wanted to ensure we loved every moment.

    If you are looking for a comfortable place to relax, bask in the sun on their beautiful rooftop garden, talk with the friendliest people, and have a helping hand to make sense of the crazy tourism in Egypt, then book with Mara. You won’t regret it.

    Need I say it again? The place is spotless. Quiet. Safe. Friendly. Helpful. Great food. Good price.

    Mara is a pro at email. She will email you back within 24 hours. (A rarity in Egypt!) Send me a private message if you want to know more or get a feel for what my itinerary was.

    Stayed December 2012, travelled with family Reviewed on TripAdvisor by:  Kimberly J, Madison Wisconsin.

  14. “Best host you could hope for!”

    Stayed at Mara’s House in both Cairo and Luxor. Both Mara and Stephen were most helpful and welcoming to us, and kept us clear of the usual tourist traps that are rife in Egypt. They even recognised our food poisoning symptoms before we did and gave us special ‘Egyptian grade’ medication to prevent the onset, so we owe our whole trip to their helpfulness since it would’ve otherwise have been quite unpleasant.

    They helped us organise tours, recommended restaurants, told us the do’s and don’ts and generally gave us a lot of inside info that we would’ve never found out ourselves.  Accommodation was clean, tidy, comfortable and good value. Would not stay anywhere else and glad we found them.

    You won’t be disappointed!

    Nov 2012, travelled as a couple. Reviewed on TripAdvisor by: Aussie-in-the-desert, Perth, Australia

  15. “Great Egyptian Experience.”

    Mara House in Luxor was truly an inspired find. It was a great bonus to discover the house is set back in the town and away from the large hotels and very insistant vendors in the markets. A walk along the street from the house will bring you by Egyptian front doors to be met by welcoming hello’s from local adults and children.

    Mara House is a new development built to a very high standard with large rooms or apartments, fully equipped to cater for yourself if you wish. Do not miss the “feast” a scrumptious meal of Egyptian cuisine, beautifully cooked and presented by the staff in the house. No shortage of help or advise with booking trips and arranging transfers from the airport or to the Nile.

    All the arrangments for our visits to the Luxor temples, Dendera and Abydos were made easy by the Mara House staff. The occasional power cut was the only down side and proved only a minor inconvenience. I heartfully recommend Mara House for its friendly service and excellent accommodation. I would gladly book it again and hope to do so in the future.

    Stayed November 2012, travelled with friends

    Reviewed on Tripadvisor by:  Pat F., Dublin, Ireland

  16. “Great fun, great value, great food. Do try staying here!”

    Completely different from all the big hotels with their corporate beige interiors. Mara House is a genuinely attractive Egyptian house off the tourist track in the centre of Luxor. Bursting with colour and style, clean, bright and with a friendly welcome.

    We stayed in an attractively decorated large double room. Good quality Egyptian cotton sheets and very effective air conditioning. The en suite shower room was large and clean.

    Dinner was honestly fantastic – lots of different small dishes and the best soup we tasted during our three week holiday in Egypt. Breakfast comprised tasty fresh bread, cheese, yoghurt and fruit juice.

    It is difficult to `star rate` Mara House. We arrived there having just come from the Oberoi Mena House rated the best 5* hotel in Cairo (it was excellent, see my separate review) and so you may wonder why I have also given Mara House 5* rating when its facilities are so obviously different. Well, Mara House is a taste of the real Egypt; something often missing from even the best big hotels. A real travel experience. Something authentically different from the norm. It is also amazing good value for money and I recommend it whole heartedly.

    Mara also helped me book internal flights with Egypt Air. She was able to access flights considerably cheaper than I could – and without seeming boastful, I reckon I know my way round airline booking engines!! We also booked a private tour guide though Mara for our three day stay in Cairo. Again, I cannot recommend Mara`s service highly enough. Our guide spoke good English, the car provided for us was clean, air conditioned and fairly new and the driver expertly negotiated the horrendous Cairo traffic.

    Do try staying at Mara House in Luxor if you can, you won`t regret it!

    Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple

    Reviewed on TripAdvisor by: Supermummy, East of England.

  17. “A Real Gem”

    We arrived at Mara House early in the morning after an exhausting night train journey from Cairo to Luxor; I myself had contracted what I thought was food poisoning only 7 hours before. Upon arriving, Mara’s staff were more than accommodating by providing us with both tea and medication to sooth the detrimental effects of what I would later learn to be ‘Pharaoh’s Revenge’ (a nasty bacterial bug that mimics the stomach flu). After hearing that I was ill, Mara immediately called to both inform me of the course of action I had to take to rid myself of this bacteria (using Antinal) and to confirm the day trips we had conversed about ahead of time via email.  Everyone was incredibly helpful.

    I have never been so ‘spoiled’ as I was during the 4 days we spent at Mara House. Our room and the house more than exceeded my expectations. It was obvious that considerable thought had gone into creating a traditional Egyptian atmosphere that felt both welcoming and homey, especially after long day trips. Sahry and Amr, the two male staff members running the place, were the most gracious of hosts. They both are completely devoted to making your time spent at Mara House relaxing and enjoyable. Their cooking was unreal; be sure to indulge in the Egyptian feast.

    The West Bank, Karnak/Luxor Temple, Abydos and Dendera, and Aswan Tours were incredible and extremely well organized, providing us with an excellent Egyptologist as a guide to the history associated with each. Well worth the money.

    I would recommend Mara House to anyone visiting Luxor. If you’re looking for a place to help create memorable experiences that will last a lifetime, then Mara House is where you’ll want to stay.

    Thank you so very much Mara!

    Aleisha & Kathleen

    Oct 2012, travelled with friends. Reviewed on Tripadvisor by:  CanadianAG, London, UK

  18. “Great hotel in Luxor”

    I stayed the nights of October the 16th and 17th 2012 at Mara House. This hotel is a great place to stay. My room was spacious, nicely furnished and most important to me super clean and neat. The hotel staff was polite, professional and always attentive to my needs. I arrived by plane and her taxi driver was waiting for me at the airport, I used this same driver for trips around town and he was friendly and his fares were economical.

    I booked with Mara tours of the Karnak and the Luxor temples one day and a complete tour of the West Bank the next day (highly recommended as this is an expansive area that would be a bit challenging to do independently on a time limited trip). Mara also arranged for me several excellent tours in Cairo, where i had spent four days prior to visiting Luxor. I was totally satisfied with them, my guide was a great friendly young man, Mohammed, that gave me not only an insight into the historical sites we visited but also was great teaching me about contemporary Egyptian culture.

    Anyone considering a trip to Luxor (or Cairo) should visit Maria’s website as this is a great source of information.

    Stayed October 2012, travelled solo. Reviewed on Tripadvisor by: Michael C. Davie, Florida

  19. “Superbly comfortable & atmospheric hotel”

    Trip Advisor’s reviews of Mara House looked promising, and I found Mara’s website helpful in the early stages of planning this trip. Mara herself was most helpful in the planning stages for the trip, and though she was away when we arrived, she kept in touch by email & continued to offer helpful advice. The highlights of our actual stay in Mara House were: firstly, the impeccable service provided by the staff, particularly Sahry and Amr, who were attentive to every need, and constantly offering help and advice; secondly, the beautiful, spotlessly clean and artistic decor which greatly enhanced the experience of staying there; thirdly, the excellent Salahadeen Feast offered by the restaurant.
    Mara offers a good range of trips and activities, but we had booked these through another company so I am unable to comment on this aspect of her service. I would thoroughly recommend the guest house, and can vouch that the staff all take great pride in providing an excellent service.

    Oct 2012, travelled with family. Reviewed on Tripadvisor by: Jackie E, Taurinva, Languedoc-Roussillon, France

  20. “Great stay at Mara House Luxor”

    From the pick up at the airport (charged separately) to the wonderful tour guide and tours to the well-appointed rooms, our stay at Mara House was great!

    We arrived early on a Thursday morning and the guide was already at the house ready for the West Bank tour. We requested something light to eat as we had not had breakfast and it was served with warmth and hospitality. We spent the first day on an abbreviated West Bank tour in the comfort of an air conditioned van.

    For dinner that night, a taxi pick up was arranged and we ate at an Indian restaurant recommended by Mara. Run by an expat Brit, A Taste of India was delightful and the food was excellent. The cold beer also went down a treat. 🙂

    Friday we took Mara’s suggestion and left the house with packed lunches and seven or eight other guests in a large air conditioned bus, from a tour of Abydos and Dendera. Our same knowledgable and friendly guide, Mohammed, accompanied us on this trip as well.

    On Friday evening, we ate at the Mara House restaurant and enjoyed an Egyptian feast. We left, happy, on Saturday morning.

    I can highly recommend Mara House both for its accommodation and arranging of tours. In fact, I already have.

    Stayed October 2012, travelled with family, Reviewed on Tripadvisor by: S Rushton, Houston