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Reviewed 16 September 2017

We arrived into Luxor at noon and were promptly greeted by an employee of Mara house. Following check in, we relaxed for an hour in what could only be described as an apartment, and then left for the first day of tours, visiting two amazing temples (Luxor and Karnak). The next 2 days, beginning at 8 a.m., we visited a number of sites in the area with a very capable guide by the name of Mohammed. Intelligent, knowledgeable and very patient, Mohammed showed us the best that Luxor could offer. His English was impeccable and he took the time to make certain our questions were answered.
Each evening when we returned "home", the host at Mara house, Ahmed, greeted us warmly and inquired on what we had seen. To our surprise upon returning each day, he has turned on our room air conditioners (it was 114 F our final day), so that our rooms were comfortable. Ahmed went out of his way, morning and night, to make us feel welcome and comfortable.
The refrigerator in our room was stocked with cold drinks, wine and chocolate, as well as other snacks to munch on. But the golden gem of Mara house were the meals. Amir prepared a delightful breakfast each morning. Delicious and plentifil, we left for our daily tours full and content each morning. One evening we were treated with a "traditional " meal. The time and care Amir put into preparing this meal was obvious. It was superb!
Every detail at Mara house was well thought out to provide for comfort and a feeling of being cared for. With out a doubt, for lodging, tours and meals, this is the place to be.

Room Tip: All rooms are large and comfortable. We had room 5, upstairs. No elevator, but easy access.
  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank Donnald R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 August 2017

Marie Vaughn really cares about her people and the people who stay with her. She has a blog that reflects all her happy customers. I plan to return again next year and spend time with her because she will take me anywhere that is safe to go and will help me to have a great time.

Room Tip: Every room is unique. Marie can help you find one to suit your tastes.
  • Stayed: November 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Jimmie F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2017

I traveled to Egypt with two women in June 2017 and completed the Mara House Luxor package. Looking back, I wish I had used Mara House services for my entire time in Egypt! It was absolutely wonderful to have everything taken care of in a culturally sensitive way, allowing for explorations of the true uniqueness of Egypt without falling into tourist hypes.

Upon landing in Luxor, we were greeted at the airport by someone from Mara House clearly holding a sign so we knew where to go--exactly as Mara had instructed in her email. (As a type A individual, I greatly appreciated Mara's detailed communication). We were driven to Mara House, which seemed more on the local side of town--something myself and my group were grateful for; we wanted to experience more of the "true" side of Egypt. Ahmed greeted us at the door--I cannot stress how wonderful Ahmed was in his attentiveness and respectfulness for our every need, going out of his way to assist in personalizing our trip and helping in any way possible. When we were guided to our suite (as we had more than two in our group), my travel companion gasped out loud because of how ecstatic she was with the room--a complete difference from our made up hotel room. It was luxury in what our minds was a dream of Egypt: traditional furnishings, pillows, tapestries, etc. This is exactly what I wanted for my once-in-a-lifetime trip to Egypt!

There is little time to catch your breath, as you are quickly whisked off to begin touring of temples in the early afternoon of the arrival day. Our tour guide was Mohamed for the three days, as well as accompaniment with a driver--Mohamed explained there is typically a driver because many individuals do not want to drive in Egypt because of how hectic the streets are! (very true) The first day was filled with Karnak and Luxor temples--iconic sights which were largely empty. This was true for two reasons 1) it was the off season during summer, but 2) the tourism industry in Egypt has suffered greatly since 2011 and is still recovering. While this has to do with many individuals not feeling Egypt is safe to travel to, this is false. We did not feel unsafe during our time in Egypt; the people even went out of the way to ensure our safety, sometimes giving us accompanied police escorts. The second and third days were filled with seeing sights I have only read about--such as the Valley of the Kings/Queens and Abydos Temple. Mohamed explained what we would see in detail within the tombs prior to us going in them because of tours could not be given within the tombs. I personally appreciated our guide's tips throughout our time with how to respond when locals approach us and how to properly behave in a culturally sensitive way. Although seeing so many sights was at times exhausting, our time was paced in such as way that we never felt overwhelmed. Further, as the tour was essentially personalized one-on-one, we were able to make certain requests, ask questions, and not feel rushed. At many of the sights, a large tour group would arrive and leave in far less time than we were at a sight. I was happy for the time we could choose to do what we wanted without pressure to move on.

On our departure from Luxor to Cairo, Ahmed and Mara's team truly went above and beyond to provide us with exceptional service. We had an extended layover in Cairo before moving on to our next destination, approximately 12 hours. Instead of having us sit in the airport, Ahmed arranged for us to be met by a driver and tour guide from the Mara team to show us around some of the sights in Cairo we had missed in our time there earlier. This service was a fraction of the cost I had been attempting to research for finding somewhere to store our bags so we could explore the city--and included taxing around. We also got to meet Fatima, Mara's tour guide in Cairo--who was just was wonderful and knowledgeable as Mohamed in Luxor.

I cannot stress how amazing my time in Luxor was. If I ever go back to Egypt again, I certainly plan on doing the extended 10 day trip which covers Aswan, Cairo, and Luxor. I was hesitant to do all of Egypt this way because I consider it incredibly important to personalize travel and be able to learn about the true history and culture of a country. However, after such a wonderful time with Mara House and team, one which fulfills those goals I have for travel, I highly recommend using these services to make the most out of a beautiful experience!

  • Stayed: June 2017, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank KelleCrown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 July 2017

June 28 to July 1, 2017.
Mara House and Ahmed made me feel very welcome. It's a beautifully appointed hotel
( more like someone's home) and from the moment you are greeted at the door by Ahmed and his colleague Amr (I spelled his name incorrectly...my apologies) you feel welcome and safe. Ahmed helped me in small ways (eg. got me toothpaste) and in more complicated ways eg. he lined up for 40 minutes at the train station to buy my train tickets to and from Cairo and Alexandria. He didn't have to; I didn't ask him to; but he volunteered to it which shows the quality of the man and level of customer care of Mara House.
My guide, Mohamed, was exceptional in his knowledge and willingness to share his country's history and culture. The drivers I had were good. No problems at all.
I never did meet Mara, but my interactions with her via the Internet were always exceptionally professional.
If I was to ever return to Luxor I would not hesitate to use Mara House again...

Room Tip: No need...I think they're all good. Mara is obsessed ( no insult intended) with cleanliness and it shows.
  • Stayed: July 2017, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank Nick Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 June 2017

This was my first trip to Egypt and I was a little unsure what to expect. Mara House couldn't have been a more perfect choice! The location in Luxor is fantastic - just a few minutes to the Nile, the temples, and the markets. The hotel is beautiful, with an open sitting area, large formal dining room, and large suites with a small in-suite kitchen and mini bar.

The staff are fantastic - honestly, the best group of people I've ever worked with through all my travels. The hotel manager, Ahmed, is warm and accommodating; every detail is worked and runs like clockwork. He is there if you need anything. The guide for Mara House - Mo - is so knowledgeable about both modern and antiquities Egypt and answered every question I had. He provides information about each one of the stops on the tour, so you get more than just snapshots on your trip. All of the drivers for Mara House are fantastic and will get you anywhere you want to go.

The itinerary Mara House has worked for the "3 Day Luxor Package" is perfect. You see enough sites without feeling rushed or overwhelmed. And with Mo's help, you'll understand the significance of each stop in the itinerary.

Overall, an incredible experience from start to finish. I would absolutely recommend Mara House to anyone, whether it's your first trip to Egypt or your 20th.

Thank you to Mara and the staff at Mara House!

  • Stayed: June 2017, travelled solo
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank p15funk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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