Saturday, August 16, 2008

Our first guests

Someone wrote on Trip Advisor about being one of first guests and I was looking back at some of those early people. A surprising number are still with us. I say surprising because in those early days we were just a little bit less organised than we are now. I can remember driving to the airport to meet a guest and telling the driver to come back really slowly as when I left the flat there were no windows in it!!!! Bedrooms had beds but that was all. Still Mahmoud fixed it, he always does.

Neil Berry from the UK was the first actual guest to stay at the flats. I am on LinkedIn and very recently we reconnected he wrote such a nice recommendation for the Flats
“Stayed in Flats owned and run by Jane in Luxor. Wonderful place to stay and hosts were very hospitable. My whole family had a wonderful time there and Jane is a helpful and caring host. A holiday with a difference and great value for money - my four year old had more fun in Luxor than EuroDisney!!”

Mike Williams from New Orleans was the 6th guest, I still use the fantastic recommendation he wrote on the Lonely Planet forums in my auto response to Tour Egypt enquiries
“The flat was beyond my expectations !!!!! This place was the best deal in all of Luxor for independent travellers.

You get 3 large bedrooms, large kitchen, large bath with hot water, large living room, and a balcony with the most beautiful view of the lush farms lands and the barren mountains of the "Valley of the Kings".
In the early morning you can watch the balloon flights over the "Valley of the Kings". From the roof top you can get a view of the Nile River. Also, it was just a short walk to the village and the ferry to the east side.
This place is definitely worth staying at. I highly recommend that any independent travellers going to Luxor check out this place.
Jane is very knowledgeable about Egypt, and her husband Mahmoud and his brother Ahmed are available for tours of the area and felucca rides.
The best thing is that it is located in a small village and there are no large hotels as on the East bank.”

Not only that but he was also a customer of Waleed Mohammed in Cairo and was instrumental in get us together. Waleed has been my man in Cairo since then, when Mike came here. Mike was affected by Hurricane Katrina and it was never racking when Waleed and I could not get hold of him for several months. I actually got an American friend to track him down at the hospital he worked in for me. Thank God he was OK but substantial damage was done to his home

My first Japanese guest Rina wrote a fantastic reference some 3 years later to another Japanese lady nervous of coming being independent. Can’t tell you what it said as it was in Japanese :)

Maggie Bowen, Ireland, also came in 2004 and she is another of my LinkedIn recommendation. As a marketing person she gave us some terrific ideas and was also a customer of Waleed.
“If like me you want to get off the beaten track and meet local people but enjoy a little luxury then stay with Jane and her family in Luxor. On the same bank as all the sites you can escape the madness that is Luxor and enjoy five star hospitality. I would recommend them to anyone!”

Next on the list has to come Michael Campbell-Smith who in the words of the Remington advert ‘like the place so much he bought one’ yes Michael is our man on the roof. An adopted member of the family now, he spends his winters in Luxor and was the first person to buy a flat from us.

Ann E is next, she stayed with us for several weeks and recently revisited with her entire family, Keith Jones came on his honeymoon and became such a good friend he supported Mahmoud application for a visitor’s visa to the UK, we stayed with them one night on our trip to the UK in 2006.

Paul T who just recently rebooked, Antonia who did a desert tour with us and recommended us to all in sundry, Richard S who introduced us to Mohammed Ismail and another one who is coming back this autumn. Bob E from Australia who spends at least a month here every spring. Prof Dee Wymer, USA, who came here after a dig in the delta and is a firm Facebook friend. Shareen my big buddy who has moved here. Jackie C who let us do a house swap 2 years later in 2006 and has rebooked yet again this year

All these from our first year of trading 2003/4, thanks to them and from others from subsequent years who have become special friends like my 1000th guests Heidi and group from Finland.

No comments: