Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Looking Forward to Egypt 2012



After the events of the last year we are all looking forward to a fresh new Egypt and lots of exciting events in Luxor. We have the lectures back on again. Last week Francesco Tiradritti spoke about the last 15 years at the tomb of Harwa. February sees the Luxor marathon, March the opening of Sphinx Avenue and so it goes on. We are all optimistic about the future especially after having met our new Luxor representative Dr. Abdul Mawgoud Dardery who is so supportive of tourism he went to America in December to promote Luxor. Although Luxor is very quiet, it makes it an excellent time to visit as the sites are not crowded. Looking forward to seeing you in 2012.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Egypt Reverses Duty-Free Alcohol Restrictions

Egypt Reverses Duty-Free Alcohol Restrictions: In the wake of soaring prices on the black market and mounting criticism from the Egypt Free Shops Company and the tourism ministry, the decision to restrict alcohol and cigarette purchases is withdrawn.

On 13 December, Egypt's government decreased the entitlement of duty-free alcoholic beverages from four to one bottle, and of cigarettes from four to one carton, leading to prices on the black market to soar.

"I went to my regular dealer and found out that a whiskey bottle that used to cost around LE300 went up to LE550 or even LE600. The dealer told me he will be raising the price even more," says Ahmed Shawa, a twenty-five year old computer programmer.

Shawa was very displeased with the decision, which he said was taken "just to make an already complicated life even harder".

Egypt's Ministry of Finance has now withdrawn its decision to constrain the sale of alcohol and cigarettes through duty free shops, according to a statement issued by Egypt Free shops Company (EFSCO) and delivered to the stock market.

"The decision was devastating, not only for duty free shops companies, but also for the tourism industry as a whole," says Bahaa Soliman, head of EFSCO.

Soliman explains that many tourists bought their alcohol from the duty-free shops. "The tourists will just go to Israel or any other country that does not impose much restriction on alcohol," he said.

Imported alcoholic beverages are sold at extremely high in Egypt's local markets, as they are burdened with a heavy custom tariff that goes up to 3000 per cent. Accordingly, buying alcohol from free-shops was a sound economical alternative for tourists, as well as Egyptians coming from abroad.

"Ever since the decision to limit purchases, we have been faced with hundreds of angry tourists in our shops. Obviously, the decision was not properly thought through," Soliman adds.

The decision was also slated by tourism officials, and the tourism minister is reported to have interfered to reverse the decision.

The decision caused astonishment across Egypt, especially its timing coming at the start of the Christmas and New Year season.

Some speculated that Egypt's elections, which resulted in an overwhelming win for conservative Islamist parties might have been a factor in the decision to restrict the sale of alcohol. But Soliman says, “I don’t think Islamists had anything to do with the decision. It is just bad administration on the part of the government.”

Prices of alcoholic beverages on the black market are reported to have doubled and even tripled following the ban.

The black market for alcoholic beverages in Egypt is a thriving market, with the locations of dealers in the Cairo districts of Zamalek and Heliopolis well-known amongst those who consume alcohol.

On New Year’s Eve, the Heliopolis street that houses "Albert", a well known grocery shop that illegally sells high-end alcoholic beverages is usually full of young Egyptians, carrying bottles in black plastic bags in broad daylight.

Many of the bottles sold on the black market carry the free-shops sticker.

For their part, Ministry of Finance officials explained that the decision was initially taken to decrease smuggling of custom-free products into the local market.

"If they wanted to combat the black market they could have done it in a million ways without hurting other businesses and sectors,” Soliman says. “Anyway, we are thankful the decision has been revoked.”

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Finance Ministry prohibits selling duty free alcohol, cigarettes outside airports | Al-Masry Al-Youm: Today's News from Egypt

Finance Ministry prohibits selling duty free alcohol, cigarettes outside airports | Al-Masry Al-Youm: Today's News from Egypt:

إحدي متاجر بيع الخمور بوسط القاهرة ، 26 يوليو 2010 .


Photographed by تحسين بكر
Archived

Egypt's Finance Ministry has ordered the Egypt Free Shops Company (EFSCO) to stop selling alcohol and cigarettes anywhere other than its branches in Egyptian airports, a company source told Al-Masry Al-Youm.



The company source said the decision, which comes days before the celebration of the new year, will grant buyers at the company's outlets in Egyptian airports a customs exemption for one bottle of alcohol and one carton of cigarettes, instead of four of each.



The same source revealed that the new measures have stirred a crisis both in the company and airports, predicting negative repercussions for the company sales.



As part of the new initiative, custom exemptions will also be limited for merchandise and presents brought into the country through airports, the source added.



Alcohol and cigarettes will only be available for buyers in official EFSCO stores upon their arrival at the airport, the source said.



He said that price tags must be placed on items sold at the EFSCO's airport branches to ensure they are not resold outside. The Finance Ministry will provide the company with the price labels, he explained.



Recently authorities at Cairo International Airport have apprehended a number of its workers who have been borrowing the passports of passengers to buy cigarettes and alcohol which they resold to merchants outside of airports in return for hefty sums.



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Monday, December 26, 2011

Flats in Luxor - Jane Akshar - Review of Flats in Luxor, Luxor, Egypt - TripAdvisor

Great Review on Trip Advisor. BTW They have changed the rules for owners of businesses and you have to enter a credit card to prove who you are. Flats in Luxor - Jane Akshar - Review of Flats in Luxor, Luxor, Egypt - TripAdvisor: We travelled to Luxor in June, shortly after Egypt’s Arab Spring revolution and stayed one week with Flats in Luxor. We opted for the Al Gezera (West Bank) self-catering apartments for the views over the Theban Hills. At 5am we’d watch balloons sailing over the Hills and in the evening watch the red sun setting behind the Hills, which were then lit up overnight.

The apartments are spacious and comfortable with air conditioned bedrooms and comfortable beds. We always slept well. The summer heat is extreme and can go as high as the 50 degree mark, making a dip in the pool welcome. There’s also a jacuzzi and a roof terrace with pool table, plus 24 hour security. If you’re not eating out that day, it’s easy to order meals. We had several tasty and generously portioned Egyptian meals brought to us from the Goubli restaurant that were set up in the apartment for us.

Jane, her family and Staff are also very accessible and friendly. This makes it easy to book trips; ask anything you want to ask, or have fetched anything you want fetching. For example, we were grateful for the boxes of water brought to us from the village, which we’d have struggled to manage ourselves. If you do want to go into the village, the shop keepers are pleasant and we bought things like fruit and juice without any problems. The village comes alive at night (when it’s coolest) and though it’s safe to walk about, conservative clothing is best.

We booked all our trips through Jane and considered this well worth it. We had the use of a comfortable, air conditioned car with driver and we could go at our own pace and we felt safe with the people who were taking us about Luxor. Also, we felt that our tour guide was a cut above the rest as his knowledge and interest in Ancient Egypt is extensive. This was especially noticeable when we had the chance to listen in to some of the hotel tours doing the rounds, which were variable to say the least.

We experienced a range of tomb and monument tours and excursions, organised through Jane, and the quality and enjoyment was always there. We were never let down and our holiday was truly enjoyable. Particularly notable was our trek up the Theban Hills on a donkey, which I’d recommend as the experience and the views across Hatchepsut’s Temple and the Valleys of the Kings and Queens are stunning, but I’d soaked up far too much sun to fully appreciate the traditional Egyptian breakfast at Ibrahim’s (which is well worth it, especially for the cultural experience).


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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Lots of best wishes for the holiday season from all at Flats in Luxor.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Dinner on "The Roof" in front of Luxor Temple


I am very fond of Snacktime but had never eaten in the Egyptian restaurant on the roof. The views are even more spectacular than lower down and it is a great place to study the temple in detail. I had the Lamb Chops and the Chocolate Brownie with Ice Cream others had the mixed meze salads and the kebabs and we all enjoyed it. Recommended

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Food in Luxor

One of the joys of staying in a self catering villa or Flat in Luxor is the chance to cook with fresh, organic, tasty food. Or not!!! So you can choose to eat out all the time or too cook or a combination of the two. These videos should make your mouth water.

Here is shopping in Luxor


And here is eating in Luxor

Monday, December 05, 2011

A Nubian "Green" Holiday Village in Luxor, Egypt - Green 2b

A Nubian "Green" Holiday Village in Luxor, Egypt - Green 2b: Villas in Luxor from Flats in Luxor, the perfect holiday escape experts.

Its creators aimed at constructing a Nubian village in the 21st century, respecting the local architecture and the natural environment.

Thus, the one bedroom villas are set amidst newly planted fruit trees and a thriving vegetable plot which supplies the complex's restaurant, and they were built by craftsman from Edfu with traditional domes and arches.

The accommodation consists of a large main room or studio with a double bed and dining area followed by a wet room with shower, toilet and wash hand basin and a small kitchen. Outside a shady veranda overlooks the Theban Hills. Stairs lead to the roof, perfect for bird watching and star gazing, just one mile away from the Nile!

Residents of the village have access to a swimming pool, children's pool, library, free Internet and restaurant.

As Jane Akshar, co-owner of the complex says "Looking for that hassle free holiday, want to help the local economy, need a more adult environment then our villas could be perfect for you. A hotel room with a kitchen set in lush grounds, admist the local Egyptian village. Within view of historical sites like the temple of Hatshepsut. This is what Egypt is all about!"

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Sunday, December 04, 2011

March Madness from Flats in Luxor

March is my birthday and I want to spread some Egyptian holiday fun. Want a great Luxor holiday bargain? Let us match any Luxor self catering flat offer for the month of March. Yes that is right, send us details of any offer you have had and we will match the price. Don't forget we are the only Luxor flats with a swimming pool so you get better accommodation for the same price. To get this great Egyptian holiday offer for a spring break in Egypt, please quote MM2012. Email us info@flatsinluxor.co.uk

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Unrest in Egypt unlikely to pose threat to tourists: MD

Unrest in Egypt unlikely to pose threat to tourists: MD: I write to clarify a tremendous misconception that is being purveyed about Egypt and the problems facing it.

The press in general is portraying Egypt as a country in considerable disarray. At worst, the common misconception is that the situation in Egypt is extremely dangerous and that the country should not be visited.

I spent the last two weeks in Egypt. I visited Cairo, Kom Ombo and Edfu, Aswan, Luxor and Sharm el-Sheikh. I visited all accompanied by my wife and my daughter, Stephanie. While we were always accompanied by a tourist guide and people who had invited us, there was never, for one moment, a question we were in danger or threatened in any way. We of course did not venture to Tahrir Square, nor to any area where there was news of disturbances.

But let's be realistic. This is a matter totally between the Egyptian people and their government, which is currently a military dictatorship.

No guest or visitor is in danger. In fact, an Arabic principle is that guests are protected. Visitors are revered and treated well. We were treated like royalty - pampered, in fact. While it behooves visitors to be responsible and use common sense, one can still visit Egypt safely and in comfort. We are very glad we were in Egypt. We cherish our memories and we have made many new friends.

Dr. Barry Lycka, Edmonton

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

New Bakery in Al Gezera



Finally got to try the new bakery, omg totally wonderful

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Finessing The Art Of Market Haggling | Fox News

So pleased with this artillery by Fox News about bargaining.

Finessing The Art Of Market Haggling | Fox News: Jane Akshar co-owner of Flats in Luxor Group lives in Egypt and advises Westerners on how to shop. She says knowing a little of the language goes a long way and displaying a good sense of humor is the ultimate price charmer. “The most useful phrase is ‘fil mish mish’ which literally means ‘when the apricots bloom,’” says Akshar of the Arabic phrase. “It is like saying ‘you haven’t got a snowballs chance in hell.’ This is a colloquial saying and immediately identifies you as someone in-the-know.”

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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Latest Press Release

Flats in Luxor is delighted to announce that they are now the official Luxor home of the Theban Mapping Project, under director Kent Weeks. The new facility will comprise accommodation for the offices of TMP as well as a public reading library A long-held dream of Kent's has been to provide guides, tourists, students, foreigners and local Egyptians with a library where they can learn more about Egypt and Egyptology, Egypt's natural history and its modern people, read English and Arabic novels, and generally enjoy books. No such facility has existed in Luxor--until now. Flats in Luxor had the ideal flat that could be converted to perform this function, in the heart of the west bank.

Kent Weeks said ‘I often get Egyptians on my team who are keen to learn more and want books. This library will be my gift to them, opening the world of literature and knowledge.”

Jane Akshar said “We are privileged to be able to provide a home for this wonderful educational facility and to Theban Mapping Project. We look forward to a long and happy association. “

Theban Mapping Project http://www.thebanmappingproject.com
Since its inception in 1978, the Theban Mapping Project (TMP, now based at the American University in Cairo) has been working to prepare a comprehensive archaeological database of Thebes. With its thousands of tombs and temples, Thebes is one of the world's most important archaeological zones. Sadly, however, it has not fared well over the years. Treasure-hunters and curio-seekers plundered it in the past; pollution, rising ground water, and mass-tourism threaten it in the present. Even early archaeologists destroyed valuable information in their search for museum-quality pieces.
Today, however, we realize that the monuments of Thebes are a finite resource. If we fail to protect and monitor them, they will vanish, and we and our descendants will all be the poorer. The TMP believes that the first and most essential step in preserving this heritage is a detailed map and database of every archaeological, geological, and ethnographic feature in Thebes. Only when these are available can sensible plans be made for tourism, conservation, and further study.
During the last decade, the TMP has concentrated on the Valley of the Kings. Modern surveying techniques were used to measure its tombs. From the data collected, the TMP has prepared 3-D computer models of the tombs. And of course, the TMP is continuing its excavation of KV 5. For the TMP staff, sharing their work with the interested public is just as important as what they do in the field. This has been done through a series of publications and this growing and award winning website.
Flats in Luxor http://www.flatsinluxor.co.uk
Established in 2003 by Jane Akshar and Mahmoud Jahlan, providing quality accommodation to independent travellers and long stay visitors to Luxor. Now with 2 swimming pools, a restaurant, 27 apartments and 5 villas, it has featured in Sunday Times, Boston Globe, Lonely Planet and A Place in the Sun.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Quad Bikes in Luxor



Great family fun in Luxor, quad bikes in the desert near Medinet Habu, Luxor. Real safaris no man made tracks.

We arranged this for a lovely set of guests, the kids were more confident than the parents.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Visita Virtual a la Tumba de Djehuty - YouTube

Djehuty TT11 fantastic graphical video showing the tomb

Travelmag - Luxor’s little luxuries

Great article about a real Egyptian holiday. I especially loved the comment about hassle "Yes there is a little of the sometimes overpowering ‘banter’ between tourists and those locals who rely on them for survival. And sometimes this banter seems overpowering. But in a way it is no worse than being on a tube with fifty grumpy commuters who speak the same language, live in the same part of the city and can barely raise a smile to each other or even give up their seat for a pregnant lady. Nowhere is perfect." Travelmag - Luxor’s little luxuries: - Sent using Google Toolbar

Monday, October 10, 2011

Mabrouk to Captain Ali



Captain Ali has had a baby daughter!

Mabrouk to Captain Ali

Hallowen in Luxor


Many of my American friends have started talking about their plans for Halloween, well we did a party one year and great fun it was. Yes even Luxor can have Halloween :)

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Is it safe to travel to Egypt now? State Department, Embassy Warnings - National global travel | Examiner.com

Nice to see Luxor is recognised as calm, whoop whoop. Is it safe to travel to Egypt now? State Department, Embassy Warnings - National global travel | Examiner.com: If you can travel to Egypt, you will be faced with smaller crowds and cheaper hotel rooms.

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Thursday, October 06, 2011

Nile Cruise | Sailing Boat Cruises on the River Nile | Egyptian Cruises



Nile Cruise | Sailing Boat Cruises on the River Nile | Egyptian Cruises: When you charter a boat from us for a Nile Cruise because the crew is at your command they go the extra mile. Just had some guests who had a birthday on-board and the the crew made a cake and held an impromptu party. Looks like great fun Nile sailing.

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Want to get away from Christmas?

Want to get away from Christmas?: Bah Humbug, Scrooge had a point :)

Christmas not for you, want to ignore the festive season, you can. Although we cater for Christmas in Luxor we understand that not everyone wants to join in. We have had people recovering from family problems who would rather not have Christmas shoved down their throats. No Christmas dinner thank you, no Merry Christmas, no decorations. They want to get away from Christmas. Of course non Christians (Muslims, Sikhs and Buddhists) don’t really want to celebrate this very Western festival. This is not a problem at Flats in Luxor. Our Christmas parties are totally optional and our Nubian Eco Village is a peaceful tranquil family free zone. In fact it is a totally touristic event in Luxor as the Egyptian Christians do not celebrate Christmas on 2th December but 6th January so apart from tourists nobody in Luxor is celebrating anything. Which means you can just have a normal holiday and ignore Christmas totally.

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Bah Humbug - Want to ignore Christmas

Christmas not for you, want to ignore the festive season, you can. Although we cater for Christmas in Luxor we understand that not everyone wants to join in. We have had people recovering from family tragedy who would rather not have Christmas shoved down their throats. No Christmas dinner thank you, no merry christmas, no decorations. They want to get away from christmas

Monday, September 19, 2011

Christmas in Luxor - Are the Luxor sites open Christmas Day?

Luxor does not close anything for Christmas Day, 25th December, in fact as the locals are a mixture of Muslim and Coptic Christians there is no local that celebrates anything on that day. Coptic Christians follow the old calender (also known as the Julian or Coptic calender) and celebrate Christmas 13 days later than the West which uses the Gregorian calender. Muslims whilst they revere Jesus as a prophet do not celebrate his birthday, in fact birthday celebrations are not common full stop. So there is nothing happening on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day except at tourist establishments. Hotels and restaurants seeing the demand have started offering gala dinners to their guests and decorating the buildings but do not expect anything more than that.

New Year is likewise, it is not a local holiday as the Muslim and Coptic new years fall on different dates and even then there is no tradition of celebrations. So only expect celebrations in tourist establishments.

There is no effect on site openings, indeed the sites never shut not even for Eid, the only event that does effect the sites is closing times during Ramadan. Opening times remain the same.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Christmas in Luxor

Looking for a get away at Christmas, guaranteed sunshine, lots of famous sites to see and direct flights to Luxor from many European airports.

Luxor is the quiet sleepy part of Egypt, if you want city life go to Cairo, if you want discos go to the Red Sea but if you want history, Luxor is the only place to stay in Egypt. With 24 ticketed sites as well as local culture we have enough to fill a complete 2 week holiday.

Give your children a head start as Egypt figures on the British national curriculum. We have lovely family apartments in our Al Gezera and Goubli buildings with in-house restaurant at Goubli and many local places close to Al Gezera.

Luxor is the home of Tutankhamen, Hatshepsut and Nefertari and it can be your home for a fabulous Christmas holiday

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Cheap flight Luxor - Book cheap flights to Luxor - airberlin.com

Coming from Germany to Egypt, fly direct with Air Berlin. They are offering really good deals at the moment and you avoid the hot spots of Cairo. Luxor is peaceful and quiet, the worlds biggest open air museum, so plenty to do and see. The home of Tutankhamen, it has an excellent Museum of selected and cared for items, Karnak, Hatshepsut and Luxor temples as well as many others. the Valley of Kings, Queens and Nobles, the workman's village and the recent restored Carter House. Cheap flight Luxor - Book cheap flights to Luxor - airberlin.com: Get exceptional prices on cheap flights to Luxor with airberlin: We are continually expanding our route network on an annual basis. As the only hybrid carrier in Europe, we offer bargain flights to countless locations around the world coupled with first-class levels of service. Fly to your dream vacation from our departure points in Germany

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Egypt second quarter tourism drops 35 percent

So true, sadly so true. Egypt second quarter tourism drops 35 percent: “It’s better than nothing,” he said. “We do have some tourists, but they only stick to certain places; right now for example, Luxor and Aswan are really suffering badly.”

When it comes to families who reside in cities like Luxor and Aswan, which are located in the southern part of Egypt, tourism is often their main, if not only, source of income.

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Friday, September 09, 2011

"Can't wait to get back! " - Review of Flats in Luxor, Luxor, Egypt - TripAdvisor

Thanks to the lovely Ave "Can't wait to get back! " - Review of Flats in Luxor, Luxor, Egypt - TripAdvisor: I arrived before the rest of my family from an East Bank hotel, I was picked up by captain Ali and taken over to the West Bank where I met Jane, her husband Mahmoud and Little Mahmoud. They took me to the Goubli Apartments where I was amazed by the size of the rooms and the fact that our flat (Maat) opened onto the pool! A big point for my 9 year old who was delighted. i got settled in then Jane took me to the airport to pick up my husband and daughter , all very easy and dinner was on the rooftop when we returned. Great service!
The flats have a great view of the Theban Hills which you can enjoy from the flats or the roof terrace where you can have your meals cooked by the excellent chefs. Mahmoud kept us entertained and tried to teach us some arabic. You just order food the day before or a few hours in advance and its ready for you when you wish. reasonably priced too.
It is much better than staying in a hotel as you have your own freedom, its great to be in the middle of local life, people tending their fields, animals etc and seeing the real Egypt.
Jane and her team could not be more accommodating, organising any trips we wanted or just a taxi for the day so we could visit sights at our leisure. We are keen on all the history, I am a fellow student with Jane at Uni of Manchester, Egyptology Online Course, so very easy to see the sites with them on the doorstep. But equally just as good for members of the party who are not so obsessed! To lounge by the pool or to take the ferry to the East Bank to sample the delights over there.
We cannot wait to go back in November, look forward to seeing you all soon.

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No visas on arrival in Egypt, says government - Bikya Masr : Bikya Masr

No visas on arrival in Egypt, says government - Bikya Masr : Bikya Masr: An Egyptian Cabinet official told Bikyamasr.com that although no official date for the new regulations has been given, the new rules could be implemented as early as next week.

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Egyptian Visa changes

further update strong rumour is suggesting this from Sept 20th!!!!!!


I suggest that you check this out if travelling here and get a visa in advance. Western visitors to Egypt must obtain visas before arrival | Al-Masry Al-Youm: Today's News from Egypt: Mohamad Hegazy said a new government decree will require that all visitors apply for a visa from an Egyptian embassy abroad.

Hegazy did not explain the motives behind the new measure or say when the new regulation will take effect.

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Update
One of my guests who ALWAYS gets her visa in advance says.
All you need to do is download a form from the Egyptian consulate site fill it in send it off with postal orders and passports, of and paid return envelopes-its all on the site. ours have never taken more than a week to 10 days.
It was 15GBP for visas per person, then cost of postage and return, both recommended recorded or tracked at very least


Another guest says

Getting a visa in the UK is easy and if you are in London its just a quick visit in the morning with your documents and you can pick it up in the afternoon.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Saving The Temple of Amenhotep III at Thebes (ft Dr. Hourig Sourouzian) - YouTube

Saving The Temple of Amenhotep III at Thebes (ft Dr. Hourig Sourouzian)

This video is a bit old but it is so nice and I only just found it!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Well located, great self-catering flats on the West Bank - Review of Flats in Luxor, Luxor, Egypt - TripAdvisor

New review on Trip Advisor, we now have 77 reviews from our lovely guests. Thank you all so much. It really makes a difference when people are deciding whether to stay that they can check reviews. Well located, great self-catering flats on the West Bank - Review of Flats in Luxor, Luxor, Egypt - TripAdvisor: “Well located, great self-catering flats on the West Bank”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2011 NEW

I stayed in one of Jane's flats for two months during this summer and was really pleased that I did. Her flats are ideally located on the West Bank, extremely close to most of the major historical sites as well as being a short walk from the ferry to take you across to the bustle of the East Bank. Jane herself is extremely helpful and Mohammed who works in the flats is a fantastic guy who runs errands to make your stay more comfortable. It is also a bonus having a swimming pool at the flats which you can access anytime!

Stayed July 2011, traveled solo

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Our Glaciologist at Flats in Luxor

I just had to take this photo of our glaciologist leaving Flats in Luxor about to go shopping. Yes I know he looks as thought he is about to attempt the Eiger. He said he didn't need his ice axe but had a snow shovel in his pack. We are not quite sure whether to believe him or not.

He is on a dig using the equipment they would normally use to investigate glaciers to investigate tombs, Fascinating stuff. So he can look down obviously but only a certain depth but also whilst in a burial chamber can look across to see if there is anything at the same level. I have no idea what Flinders Petrie or Howard Carter would make of the advances in Egyptology.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Give your kids a jump start with an Egyptian holiday.

Egyptology features as part of the UK National Curriculum and children love mummies and pyramids. Having an Egyptian holiday can really spark their interest and help them at school.

I should know, I got interested when I was 9 and it has been my hobby and now my work. We can help you with attractions that children will enjoy, even a little bit of homework.

I recommend the Egyptian Echo and Horrible History Awesome Egyptians as pre holiday reading.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

HIDDEN LUXOR: LOCAL EGYPTOLOGIST REVEALS EGYPT'S TOURIST GEMS

The Valley of the Kings, Hatshepsut, Karnak Temple ... exciting names that most people will know are in Egypt but few would be able to name another site in the town of Luxor where they are found. A lady determined to change all that is Jane Akshar who was born in Sussex and studies Egyptology at Manchester University. Jane has now been living in Luxor for 8 years.
“Luxor is so often offered as a day trip or at best three days and yet there is so much here that people just don't get a chance to see. There are 23 ticketed sites here of major interest to travellers in Luxor. How can you do that in a day? I want to introduce people to the Hidden Luxor.''

Examples of these gems of history are the tomb of Rekhmire in the Valley of the Nobles, the prime minister of Egypt during the empire period with its full range of Egyptian crafts and foreigners bringing tribute, the tomb of Pashedu, a worker in ‘the Place of Beauty’, in the workman’s village, the Assasif tombs from the period of the Black Pharaohs and the wonderful mini museum of Merenptah, possibly the Pharaoh of the Exodus.

Jane, who visited the country for 32 years before she became a resident, first got interested in Egyptology aged 9, loads of reading and seeing the Tutankhamen exhibition as a teenager further stimulated her obsession. Although there is nothing like going Abu Simbel and the Pyramids it was Luxor that captured her heart and her interest. Billed as the world’s largest open air museum it is rich in ancient history and local culture.

Jane is offering an e-book guide, a series of lectures about the sites and their history and a week long study course. Site visits are with local guides reflecting her commitment to providing employment for local residents.

Hidden Luxor the e-book guide to Luxor sites
Hidden Luxor the video series is a set of lectures on the sites with historical background and the latest excavation knowledge
Hidden Luxor the holiday is a week long Egyptology Extravaganza of daily lectures with site visits.
Also available Hieroglyphs Holiday, a full week unlocking the code of the Pharaohs from the eminent lecturer Suzanne Lax-Bojtos
They are all featured on the website www.hiddenluxor.com

Saturday, August 06, 2011

BBC News - Fast Track - How do you persuade a workaholic to take a holiday?

This article is so true, I have had many guests who have to work on holiday and who check emails continually. That is why I offer free Wi-Fi at Flats in Luxor. It is just expected these days. BBC News - Fast Track - How do you persuade a workaholic to take a holiday?: "Advances in technology have made all this possible. Most business travellers would argue that wi-fi at hotels is more important than the obligatory turn down service. And so more and more hotels are recognizing this as an opportunity.

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:: Luxor Caravanserai ::

My favourite shop got a new website. :: Luxor Caravanserai ::: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Friday, August 05, 2011

Luxor Travel Tips

After watching my Hidden Luxor video series one of people said they would like to see some Luxor tips as well so I am doing some. Here is the travel tips.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Hidden Luxor Press Release - HIDDEN LUXOR: MANCHESTER STUDENT REVEALS EGYPT'S TOURIST GEMS

The Valley of the Kings, Hatshepsut, Karnak Temple ... exciting names that most people will know are in Egypt but few would be able to name another site in the town of Luxor where they are found. A lady determined to change all that is Jane Akshar who was born in Sussex and studies Egyptology at Manchester University. Jane has now been living in Luxor for 8 years.
“Luxor is so often offered as a day trip or at best three days and yet there is so much here that people just don't get a chance to see. There are 23 ticketed sites here of major interest to travellers in Luxor. How can you do that in a day? I want to introduce people to the Hidden Luxor.''
Examples of these gems of history are the tomb of Rekhmire in the Valley of the Nobles, the prime minister of Egypt during the empire period with its full range of Egyptian crafts and foreigners bringing tribute, the tomb of Pashedu, a worker in ‘the Place of Beauty’, in the workman’s village, the Assasif tombs from the period of the Black Pharaohs and the wonderful mini museum of Merenptah, possibly the Pharaoh of the Exodus.

Jane, who visited the country for 32 years before she became a resident, first got interested in Egyptology aged 9, loads of reading and seeing the Tutankhamen exhibition as a teenager further stimulated her obsession. Although there is nothing like going Abu Simbel and the Pyramids it was Luxor that captured her heart and her interest. Billed as the world’s largest open air museum it is rich in ancient history and local culture.

Jane is offering an e-book guide, a series of lectures about the sites and their history and a week long study course. Site visits are with local guides reflecting her commitment to providing employment for local residents.

Hidden Luxor the e-book guide to Luxor sites
Hidden Luxor the video series is a set of lectures on the sites with historical background and the latest excavation knowledge
Hidden Luxor the holiday is a weeklong Egyptology Extravaganza of daily lectures with site visits.
Also available Hieroglyphs Holiday, a full week unlocking the code of the Pharaohs from the eminent lecturer Suzanne Lax-Bojtos
They are all featured on the website www.hiddenluxor.com

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Testimonails, Reviews and Endorsements

It has been a busy few days on the review front. Lots and lots of endorsements on LinkedIn. Jane Akshar LinkedIn Reviews on Trip Advisor Flats in Luxor Trip Advisor (I do like Syd's request for world peace and a video testimonial from Carl. This is a really nice one that talks about the honesty of a local taxi driver. One that I use and recommend myself.



Thank you to everyone that has reviewed us. Real reviews from real people make a difference and we really appreciate them.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Jane Akshar | LinkedIn

Want to know what real people say about my apartments and more about me. Check my LinkedIn profile. Lots of recommendations for my writing and my flats as well as my past life. Jane Akshar | LinkedIn: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mahmoud in The uk Slideshow | TripAdvisor™

Mahmoud just came back from a trip to the UK. Part business and part pleasure. He got a chance to go round a UK building site and also to see some DIY super stores. He has come back with brochures & videos and will be putting some of these things he has learnt into practise at our various sites. So improve our flats for our guests.

He also did a tour on a London bus and went to Liverpool Football Club. The funniest thing was he didn't ask the price and had a shisha at Edgware Road, it was £18 GBP!!!!! we only charge our guests 50p lol. So he learnt a lot and it was a pretty full week. Mahmoud in The uk Slideshow | TripAdvisor™: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Testimonials about Flats in Luxor

This summer I have had the delightful students of Swansea University staying with me and a couple of them leave tomorrow and this is what they said about their stay with Flats in Luxor.



and

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Great place and great people! - Review of Flats in Luxor, Luxor, Egypt - TripAdvisor

Great review from a great guest who was here digging. Great place and great people! - Review of Flats in Luxor, Luxor, Egypt - TripAdvisor: "the accommodation was clean, spacious and nicely decorated. The staff were extremely helpful with Jane herself being a fascinating and kind person. I will definitely be returning to the flats and recommend to any going to Luxor!

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Monday, July 04, 2011

Great trip. Plenty of opportunities to meet the locals - Review of Flats in Luxor, Luxor, Egypt - TripAdvisor

Great review on Trip Advisor of Flats in Luxor, from a recent guest. Great trip. Plenty of opportunities to meet the locals - Review of Flats in Luxor, Luxor, Egypt - TripAdvisor: "I stayed in May with some friends. I have been to Egypt before to the Red Sea, this was my first trip to Luxor.

I enjoyed seeing the culture of Luxor, visiting the temples and the Valley of the Kings.

The flats are on the West Bank, which is great for seeing the old sites, and just a quick ferry boat ride to the East Bank.

We were well looked after, getting picked up on time to see the sites, plus our own Ferry man we could call to take us to the East Bank.

Had lots of fun doing the ballooning and the quadbiking - everything was organised for us by Jane and Mahmoud which was great.

THey also told us about some great places to eat - £3 for breakfast for two, and just £4 for a pizza in the evenings,at a restaurant overlooking the Nile.

Felt well looked after - we had plenty of indepenedence, but knew we had someone to help us out with anything we wanted to do when we stayed.

Thanks for a great holiday. Will visit again. Prefered it to being in a bubble the Red Sea Resorts.

Stayed May 2011, traveled with friends

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Jane Akshar | LinkedIn Recommendation

A lovely review from a past client on my Linked In profile. I really ought to make better use of LinkedIn. Jane Akshar | LinkedIn: "“I rented one of Jane's Flats in Luxor in October of 2008. While not my first time in Egypt as a solo female traveler, it was the first time I traveled by myself much beyond the confines of Cairo. Jane's properties are first-rate and her knowledge of the archaeological sites is superb. She was able to get me the right connections for both land and water taxis around Luxor and even arranged for a visit to a remote site farther to the south. I felt right at home with Jane, and I look forward to returning to Flats in Luxor for another wonderful time.” July 2, 2011

Top qualities: Personable, Expert, High Integrity

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Friday, July 01, 2011

Great Time Thanks Jane - Review of Flats in Luxor, Luxor, Egypt - TripAdvisor

Lovely review on Trip Advisor, Luxor specialist lodgings by one of the Swansea crowd. Hope to see them back again soon. Great Time Thanks Jane - Review of Flats in Luxor, Luxor, Egypt - TripAdvisor:
Stayed three weeks with Jane, and if a problem occurred Jane was always on hand with her door open and resolved it.
Lovely apartments, with all the amenities you need. A five minute walk to the ferries to cross the Nile to go over to the Eat bank.
Shops two minutes up the road, where you can buy all your food, drinks, phone cards etc.
Mohammed is always around to help and was a gem, I sooooo wanted to bring him home LOL.
I have only been home 24 hours and looking forward to going back to stay with Jane and the gang.

Stayed June 2011, travelled with friends

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Egypt 2010 (Part 4 - Abydos And Dendera) Slideshow & Video

A Facebook friend used Trip Wow to created this great video of Abydos and Dendera. Egypt 2010 (Part 4 - Abydos And Dendera) Slideshow & Video: "TripAdvisor™ TripWow ★ Egypt 2010 (Part 4 - Abydos And Dendera) Slideshow ★ to Naj‘ Abū Ḑāḩī (near Luxor), Dendera (near Al Karnak) and Cairo. Stunning free travel slideshows on TripAdvisor"

Monday, June 27, 2011

Photos from Middle Egypt

Middle Egypt Trip Slideshow: Jane’s trip from Luxor, Nile River Valley, Egypt to 4 cities Kharga, Al Minya, Sohag and Asyūţ (near Asyut) was created by TripAdvisor. See another Egypt slideshow. Create your own stunning free slideshow from your travel photos.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Hidden Luxor e-book, video lectures and now a holiday

With the launch of her study tour of Luxor, Egypt, Jane Akshar has completed her Hidden Luxor trio.

Jane explains
“Luxor is so often offered as a day trip or at best three days and yet there is so much here that people just don’t get a chance to see. Leaving aside local trips like camels and donkeys or fishing and sailing, there are 24 ticketed sites in Luxor, how can you do that in a day. I want to introduce people to Hidden Luxor.”


Her offerings are quite varied, an e-book guide, a series of lectures about the sites & the history and finally a week long study course. Her credentials are impeccable, a lifelong love of all things Egyptological, studying Egyptology with Manchester University, a resident of Luxor for 8 years and a visitor for 32 years she knows what she is talking about. She loves her adoptive homeland and wants to benefit the locals.

Although she conducts the lectures, the site visitors are done with local guides, reflecting her commitment to providing employment to local residents. All the revenue supports her tourism business during the downturn post revolution.

• Hidden Luxor the e-book guide to the various sites in Luxor
• Hidden Luxor the video series, is a set of lectures about the sites with historical background and latest excavation knowledge.
• Hidden Luxor the holiday is a week long Egyptology Extravaganza of daily lectures and sites visit.

They all on the website www.hiddenluxor.com

Saturday, June 18, 2011

1 independent review for Luxor holiday apartments, Egypt

This client booked through Responsible Travel and here is there review. 1 independent review for Luxor holiday apartments, Egypt: "Jeremy Martineau review 4 star rating
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Meeting local people, being invited to their homes and seeing the country as they see it and not just as a tourist.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Win the trust of local people, who can be genuinely friendly.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes, I know I put a significant amount in to the local economy through individual payments to local people, for services rendered.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Fantastic trip, which I have waited 50 years to do.

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Back to the Middle East: Egypt needs your holiday money | Travel | The Guardian

Back to the Middle East: Egypt needs your holiday money | Travel | The Guardian: "So, if tour operators won't run, do it yourself. It's really easy. And your money will go further, and more directly to the people who work for it. Book on Egyptair. Find hotels on the net and contact them. Everybody's offering deals.

And, truthfully, many people in the industry were fed up with the big tour operators. Yes, they provide work for their core employees, but the package tours have meant that the businesses that have traditionally provided peripheral services for the tourists: restaurants, taxis, calèche drivers, shops and small factories have been squeezed almost out of existence. Let's find a new form of tourism, where visitors engage with the country, make their own choices and spread their money – and locals meet them halfway.

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Egypt holidays: Back to the Nile and the Valley Of The Kings before the crowds get there | Mail Online

I managed to get a comment on this article support my beloved west bank. Could you all 'Like' the comment on that Daily Mail page which will keep the comment at the top and help all west bank people. Egypt holidays: Back to the Nile and the Valley Of The Kings before the crowds get there | Mail Online: "Great review of Egypt and I would say to everyone if you want Egyptian democracy please support Egypt by visiting. This review talks about the high end but there are plenty of small family run hotels and self catering apartments, try the West Bank in Luxor.

- Jane Akshar, Luxor, Egypt, 05/6/2011 09:30

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Latest Trip Advisor Review for Flats in LuxorLuxor, Luxor, Egypt - TripAdvisor

Really nice review from a recent guest. Loved the place - definitely going back ! - Review of Flats in Luxor, Luxor, Egypt - TripAdvisor: "Stayed for 2 weeks at the property - part business, but mostly pleasure. Wonderful building with great facilities (and wonderful staff). It is situated with a lovely view of the mountains, and you get to see an amazing sunset - worth climbing the stairs to the roof for. Only a 5-10 minute walk to the ferry to cross the nile, with only a very rare `Camel ride ?' offer from the locals...

Jane herself is an amazing character, with so much local knowledge and also so much specialist knowledge on all things Ancient Egypt. Nothing was too much trouble and she organised some trips which I will remember for the rest of my life - Hot air ballooning at sunrise over the Nile, Quad biking into the desert, etc. Awesome !

This is the real Egypt, in a really great way ! So go for it....
Room Tip: The ground floor is best for the pool !

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Monday, May 30, 2011

Luxor Egyptology Course

3rd November 2011, 6 day course in Luxor $1,500 excluding flights, visa and insurance including guides, lectures, site visits, half board and accommodation.

Jane Akshar presents a course on Luxor.


The structure of the course will be an evening lecture followed by a morning visit with an Egyptian guide. This enables you to get high quality Egyptology knowledge whilst still giving work to the locals. The guide is one I use regularly who has an MA in Egyptology and he will attend the evening lectures.

Here what people say about the course.


The course will also include some local cultural tours such as camel rides, felucca sailing.
Accommodation and half board are included in one of Flats in Luxor high quality apartments.
Day 1
• Arrival in Luxor
• Evening Meal
Day 2
• Breakfast
• Donkey Ride over the Ridge
• Lecture on Luxor Temple
• Visit Luxor Temple
• Lecture on Karnak
• Evening Meal
Day 3
• Breakfast
• Karnak Temple
• Open Air Museum
• Lecture on Valley of Kings, tomb of Ay and the Carter House
• Evening Meal
Day 4
• Breakfast
• Valley of Kings
• Tomb of Ay
• Carter House
• Camel Ride
• Lecture on Medinet Habu, Sennefer and Rekhmire and Roy and Shu Roy
• Evening Meal
Day 5
• Breakfast
• Medinet Habu
• Sennefer & Rekhmire
• Roy & Shu Roy
• Lecture Ramasseum, Assasif Tombs and Pabasa
• Felucca Sunset Dinner Cruise
Day 6
• Breakfast
• Ramasseum
• Assasif Tombs
• Pabasa
• Lecture Deir el Medina, Merenptah and Pashedu
• Party Dinner Night
Day 7
• Breakfast
• Deir el Medina
• Merenptah
• Pashedu
• Depart for flight back

Please email me jane.akshar@flatsinluxor if you wish to book this special tour of Luxor

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bed and Breakfast Suites in Luxor for Odd Shaped Families



Looking for accommodation in Luxor, Egypt that gives you separate bedrooms without paying single supplements?

You are a family of three and want three separate bedrooms on your Luxor holiday?

You are a single person who does not want to pay single supplements?

A married couple who love each other dearly but one snores, so you want two bedrooms.

Bed and Breakfast in Luxor, suites for odd shaped families.
We have the cost effective holiday solution for single parents, teenage brother and sister, argumentative siblings, two friends. No single supplements.

We don’t care how odd shaped your family is, you don’t even have to be a family. Three friends having a girl’s holiday get three bedrooms in our suites.

Our bed and breakfast suites can give you everything from one bedroom to three bedrooms and the price you pay is per person we don’t mind how many bedrooms you have. Yes that is right no more sharing with your kids. A good night’s sleep even on holiday with a snoring partner. No more having to put your teenage girl with her inquisitive little brother.

Single parent holidays, yes perfect for single parents, especially with older children.

The price per person per week is $280 USD (approx £175 GBP) and that is for half board, yes breakfast and evening meal is included in the price. Discounts for children under 6 and big groups.

The bed and breakfast suites are in our Arabesque House, there are four suites
- Three bedroom sleeps 6
- Two bedroom with lounge annex sleeps 6
- Two bedroom sleeps 4
- One bedroom sleeps 2

Meals are served on the roof terrace with a fabulous view of the Theban Hills and temple of Queen Hatshepsut at Deir el Bahri.

Contact jane@flatsinluxor.co.uk for full details.

PS EasyJet fly direct to Luxor from Gatwick

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Property Investor Show confirms Egypt is on the up

The increasingly positive mood in Egypt, regularly reported in the general media and clearly evident in investor enquiries during the build up to the recent Property Investor Show, shows no sign of abating.

The consensus opinion that the emergence of a new democratic nation and creation of a freer market will bring more prosperity to Egypt is being reflected in developer and agent enquiries to the show - with developer For Free Company,
Building and Tourism Development, Egypt being another addition to the confirmed October exhibitors.


"... Enquiries, particularly those from the UK investment community remain at very healthy levels confirming buyer confidence in the long-term future of Egypt – a future which looks even more positive now than in 2010.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tahrir Villa, Luxor, Egypt


The website for Tahrir Villa in Luxor is complete so please have look www.tahrirvilla.com. This villa is available for sale or rental please contact info@flatsinluxor.co.uk for more information.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Spring News from Flats in Luxor

Lots of news from Flats in Luxor
- Photo by Richard I'Anson
- Internet Marketing Event
- Tahrir Villa Completed
- Tahrir Villa Website
- Six Egyptology Essays exceed expectations
- Hidden Luxor e-book launched

Photo by Richard I'Anson
Someone showed me the new colour Lonely Planet Discover Egypt book as it contains an article by me but imagine my surprise to see a lovely photo of the Nile, cruise boats, Theban Hills and hot air balloons with the Goubli flats slap bang in the middle. The orange building. So I contacted the photographer and he kindly gave me permission to use it. So if you have ever wondered just how close Flats in Luxor was to the Nile now you can see.



Internet Marketing Event

My very good friend Colette Mason gave a free Internet Marketing Workshop, the very first in Luxor. This was an imitative to give a boost to tourism in Luxor post revolution. The audience was totally enthralled and she has some 6 follow up appointments before she leaves. A huge success. There is already talk of another one. For those of you that missed the presentation I have got copies of the DVD she handed out so please get in touch.



Tahrir Villa Completed
Mahmoud has completed Tahrir Villa. Our top spec, luxury villa with 4 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms. The bedrooms are downstairs to take advantage of the cool and upstairs is a totally open plan living area. All furniture is top quality from Cairo. The roof can contain hot tub, gym, barbecue, bar, there is plenty of room for lots of options. Colette and another friend Steve Mitchell have helped us with photos and these are currently being put up on a new website.

Tahrir Villa Website
Big thanks to Colette and Steve for setting this up. http://tahrirvilla.com/ There are lots photos and we will be adding more.


Six Egyptology Essays exceed expectations

I am so pleased my first e-book has sold so well and I truly appreciate your support buying it. Whilst tourism is so low it is a way of us keeping the business going until numbers pick up. If you want to buy it go HERE


Hidden Luxor e-book launched

On that same note I have launched my second book, this will be available on Amazon as a Kinde book or you can buy direct HERE. There is also going to be a video version. Lots of you know how much I love to guide and this is all my knowledge in book form.

Here is a video about it


I hope you enjoy all our spring news and we hope to see you soon.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Neith at Flats in Luxor, swimming pool, restaurant - Luxor Villas - TripAdvisor

Trip Advisor/Flip Key made me an offer I could not refuse. A free listing in their holiday rentals section. So now Flats in Luxor is under Specialist Lodgings and Holiday Rentals. If you have ever stayed at Neith, only that apartment is listed, then please put up a review. Neith at Flats in Luxor, swimming pool, restaurant - Luxor Villas - TripAdvisor: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Tourism in Luxor gets a boost

In January Colette Mason visited Flats in Luxor and helped us do a massive website upgrade & gave loads of internet marketing advice. While she was here she also helped out some other business for free. She really made a connection to Luxor, then we had a revolution and tourism plummeted. So Colette decided she would come back and try and help. She is organising this free event to help Egyptians in Luxor.


Join Colette Mason for an evening of practical advice on how you can market your business online using Social Media and Google Places.

Colette will be sharing the online stategies she has used for other travel and tourism businesses in Luxor, that are bringing in sales TODAY.

Attendees will get a FREE Google Places listing and a facebook fan page set up, with photos and videos about your business. Note: Please bring along your mobile phones so your business listing on Google can be verified.

Colette will be providing a handbook to all delegates that can act as a reference after the event.

Everyone's welcome, just let Colette know, as she is organising some snacks for all attendees.

There will be plenty of opportunities to speak to Colette and also network with fellow Luxor business owners.

Virtual attendees are welcome - all the training materials provided at the event will be available online.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Flats in Luxor (Luxor, Egypt) - Condominium Reviews - TripAdvisor

A great review from some guests who came post revolution.

Flats in Luxor (Luxor, Egypt) - Condominium Reviews - TripAdvisor: "Flats in Luxor Sail the Nile
A few years ago we visited Cairo and decided that one day we must do the other Egypt thing and sail down the Nile, see the tombs etc. I was all for going on one of those big cruise ships to avoid all the hassle sort of stuff that a more independent holiday can entail. But knowing that 'im indoors hates that sort of organised venture I agreed that it might be a good idea to organise our own little adventure with some help. After much deliberation 'im indoors found a website that had flats and boats He was very taken with the idea of some boats called dahabiyas which sail down the Nile.All this can be arranged for you and much, much more
In November all was booked and we were raring to go at the end of March. Then the revolution.... A few nail biting weeks were got through, we really didn’t want to cancel the holiday or indeed have it cancelled for us. Our flight was cancelled but we managed to get booked onto a flight that was leaving two days after the original one so we only missed two days of our holiday.
. We were met at the airport by Jane Aksha,(Co-owner of flats in Luxor).We were staying in one of their flats in Al Gezeera on the West bank of the Nile. The flats are about a ten minute walk to the ferry, and the ferry takes you to the other side of Luxor very near to the Luxor Temple.
The flat that we stayed in was huge and clean and nothing was too much trouble, if you wanted to eat in the flat it was quickly organised and the food was very good. The wonderful general help about the place Mohamed would even go to the shop for you if you didn't want to go yourself.
Jane was very informative and would organise trips and taxis recommending places to visit. Places to eat.
Jane had organised a trip to Aswan in a dahabiya for us.(They are also part of ‘Sail the Nile’. )There were supposed to be another seven people going on the boat to Aswan but they had cancelled so lucky us we had the boat to ourselves and the crew. The crew were a lovely bunch. Poor ‘im indoors wasn’t feeling too good, but they were lovely with him and did their best to make him comfortable. The boat trip was great we were really lucky and had lots of sailing. It was so peaceful and calm. Abdullah the guide was brilliant, very knowledgeable he had lots of funny stories. It was great seeing some of the sights and tombs that the big cruise ships don’t go to.
All in all we had a wonderful trip. So thank you Jane and your lovely co-workers.
Sandy and Brian

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Friday, April 22, 2011

Amazing deals on EasyJet

Easy Jet Gatwick to Luxor next March - £110 return. I know its a long way off but that's how you get the cheapies from EasyJet. Get in there!

Don't forget Flats in Luxor special offer book two weeks and get the second week free

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Sun hasn’t set on Egyptian tourism - Africa - IOL | Breaking News | South Africa News | World News | Sport | Business | Entertainment | IOL.co.za

An excellent article on what it is really like in Egypt.

Sun hasn’t set on Egyptian tourism - Africa - IOL | Breaking News | South Africa News | World News | Sport | Business | Entertainment | IOL.co.za: "Trust me, there’s nothing romantic about the Red Sea. I realised this after unceremoniously being ushered off the top step of a ladder, which was attached to a glass-bottomed boat, and plopped bum first into the light blue and freezing waters of the Red Sea – snorkel and all. Before the water’s icy temperature hit I surfaced to the welcoming embrace of a choppy surface, a water-filled snorkel and flippers two sizes too big – so I thought I was drowning and panicked the bejeezus out of the guide who, to the smirks of the Russians on board, man-paddled me back to the steps. As I said, nothing romantic about the Red Sea.

In all fairness, though, the diving spot we were at, with its Mediterranean-coloured water and pretty coral reef, is quite the sight – from the inside of the glass boat, that is.

And that’s the thing about Egypt, it’s really not what you’d expect. It was obvious that the underlying reason for the trip was to see how stable the country is following what the locals are calling the “Revolution” – which was really the ousting of the country’s ruler, the demand for the rewriting (not amending) of the constitution, and the measures being put in place for an election in the coming months.

Let me then say that there’s a distinct feeling of exuberance, optimism and even relief among the people of Egypt, which I found from the historic city of Aswan all the way down the Nile to Luxor, resting place of the ancient kings.

From hotel staff and clubs in the party city of Hurghada to the cosmopolitan melting pot that is Cairo, the attitude seems the same: Egypt has been reborn for the people. There’s no feeling of agitation or violence – in fact, citizens are painting where they rioted, and in discussions over hookahs about a more unified and organised Egypt.

This is, according to most I spoke to, not just a country rich in culture but a country of wealth as well. The Suez Canal is its number one form of income, described on more than one occasion as a goose strong enough to lay a $500 monthly golden egg for every family in Egypt.
iol travel april 11 ss egypt28

Standing tall, after thousands of years, at Karnak temple in Luxor.

INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

But the loss of tourists, seeing the chaotic visuals sensationalised across international television networks, has led to hundreds of millions of dollars in lost visitor revenue. And it shows.

For the record, let me say I saw not a single march or form of unrest anywhere in the country, and Tahrir Square, next to the famous Egyptian Museum, was at peace when I visited. The fruits of lost tourism can be seen in the faces of the market traders and the rickshaw drivers on the beaches.

Sad, really, as after the Suez Canal tourism is the country’s next biggest income generator.

The flip side of the coin, and perhaps this sounds selfish, was that we had the country to ourselves and for that I am a little grateful – when you see the infrastructure in place at some tourist spots you quickly realise how popular, and hectic, the attractions can become.

Our trip started in Aswan with a Nile cruise and yes, this is quite a romantic thing to do. But before I take one boat stroke further, let me clarify a key point that applies to every place we visited and stayed at – Egypt’s five star is about the same as our three, four at best.

And before you get all Queen Mary, the Nile cruise ships are generally around four to five storeys high, rooms all above water, and the top deck reserved for anundercover bar and dance area, and sun deck with pool and loungers.
iol travel april 11 ss egypt14

A resort in Hurghada on the Red Sea the meeting point for the glass-bottom boat cruise.

INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

When you’re booking, try to find the ships that have cabin balconies. This is a plus as the banks of the Nile, with its sandy dunes in the background, are quite special to watch as you cruise by. Also bear in mind that Egypt is largely an alcohol-free country, so stock up at the airport – places that do serve the odd cocktail make News Cafe’s prices blush.

But the real advantage of the relaxed three-night cruise, which ends in Luxor (apparently only commercial ships are allowed further) is that, like the pharaohs, you stop along the banks to visit various temples. Our cruise ship, the MS Nile Odyssey, visited a temple each day after leaving Aswan (the Philae Temple dedicated to the goddess Isis and the Kom Ombo Temple worshipping the gods Horus and Sobek), followed by two temples in Luxor upon berthing. In Luxor we visited the Karnak and Luxor temples, the first of which is a mix of ruined temples, including the temple of Amun. The Luxor Temple was to worship the gods Amun, Mut and Chons.

As soon as you step into your first temple and your guide starts relating its importance in detail, you realise that Egypt’s not what you expected. I wanted to visit Egypt to see the “celebrities” – Tutankhamen, the mummies, the sphinx, the pyramids, the Nile. But Egyptology, you soon realise, is mind-numbingly complex, going back almost 5 000 years.

It’s difficult to soak up the entire ancient civilisation, its temples and art, and almost impossible to understand where everything “fits in”. My suggestion: enjoy it for what it is.

Each temple, in terms of location, artwork and significance, is unique, detailed, and ignites your imagination. Fascinating really. The other revelation was my expectation, somehow, that having so many temples would translate into a practising religion, when in fact it’s to the contrary. The country is mainly Christian and Muslim, the temples are more relics and historic than places of worship.

Think, then, of the smaller temples along the Nile as teasers of bigger things to come. The hard-hitter for me was the Valley of the Kings in Luxor. Now this is a majestic spot, where the kings were buried in mountainside tombs going deep into the earth. The depth depended on the length of a king’s rule, as digging started when kings were enthroned. A normal entry ticket provided entry into Ramses the first, fourth and ninth’s tomb, all which involved a walk down passages and declines lined with the most amazing handpainted artwork.

The highlight here was Tutankhamen’s tomb, for which you pay extra to enter, but is the only one with a mummy still in its place. It really is something, standing in his tomb, alone, with him encased in a glass, air-conditioned coffin alongside. All his treasures sit in the National Museum, but you know standing there that it’s sacred ground, meant never to be discovered. A guide showed me where to stand so I could see that the young king was flat-footed, and that the cranium of his neck had perished. You have to remind yourself you’re in the presence of a ruler of Egypt.

Taking a break from the gods and heading to coastal Hurghada was a welcome relief, even though it is 300km away.

Our taxi drivers are nothing compared to these kamikaze pilots – they drive at night with their lights either on dim or off. The car in front indicates when there’s a bend, and they drive three abreast when overtaking. Nerve-shattering stuff.

Hurghada is kilometres of Ibiza meets Umhlanga, complete with a Hard Rock Cafe, Buddha Bar, Ministry of Sound, and many themed hotels (the Aladdin one looked cool).

One way to do it is to find a place like we did, the Grand Hotel, which is all inclusive of meals and drinks. But areas such as the Marina have many wicked local restaurants (did I mention my new addiction to Turkish coffee?), so all-inclusive may not be first prize. The Grand Hotel is huge with a very cabana type feel, a few restaurants and plenty of coastline. Service was good and the atmosphere quite chilled. I’d go back. And activity wise there’s everything from deep sea diving to Jeep and quad safaris in the desert, all at negotiable and reasonable prices. The Red Sea is the diving capital of the world.

And then we hit Cairo, Egypt’s answer to Mumbai. The city has a buzz, with people on the go in every direction and amazing shopping markets. The under-R2-a-litre petrol price also means plenty of traffic.

Walk into the National Museum (there’s a new one being built on the outskirts) and you know it’s one of the greatest on the planet. It’s filled with relics and classified in different time periods. The highlights are the thousands of pieces from Tutankhamen’s tomb, including the famous mask made from solid gold and all the pieces meant to help him through his afterlife. And the Royal Mummies Hall (requiring an extra ticket) houses various rulers, including one of Egypt’s greatest, Ramses the second.

The pyramids, to be honest, were a bit of a letdown. You picture them to be huge and isolated somewhere in a desert, when today they sit on the outskirts of town. They’re also nowhere near as monumentally big as you imagined them to be – they are massive, but not majestically so. And all three are plagued by vendors who rarely give you a moment to soak up the splendour. But in between plastic pyramid and camel ride sellers, it’s hard not to marvel at what was built, and the skill it took. I highly recommend a walk inside a pyramid – we did in the smallest, and it’s here that you’re free of the vendors. The sphinx, next to the pyramids, is currently having a bit of plastic surgery done to its neck, but with the pyramids as a background it is still something to look at.

Also, make sure to indulge in the many crafts unique to Egypt. Go and watch real papyrus being made and have it painted in something you like, watch them blow glass into fancy bottles, have a pendant orT-shirt made with your name in hieroglyphics, or splash out on vases or dishes handmade from alabaster stone (found near the Valley of the Kings) – the pharaohs had these in their tombs.

Egyptian food is also amazing. I had not a single bad meal. Indulge in tahini, kofta, falafel and shwarma to your heart’s content.

Also make sure you visit a perfume house and get a bottle of Five Secret and Ramsses, otherwise known as Chanel No 5 and Givenchy Amarige – I was told many perfume houses get their scent bases from Egyptian essence makers. And the last tip – do the Red Sea after Cairo, it makes more sense to relax then.

Travel restrictions to Egypt have been lifted by the US government, which is known to err on the cautious side in these matters.

Tourists in Egypt are raving about the absence of the usual large crowds and the excellent and courteous service received from the enthusiastic tourism industry as they work to re-establish their country as a top holiday destination worldwide.

It is widely reported that no tourists were targeted or hurt during the recent demonstrations, which is a clear message of the importance of tourism to all Egyptians. There could be no better time than right now to visit Egypt.

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Monday, April 11, 2011

Egypt honeymoon 2011 – 2012 | 101 honeymoon ideas

Flats in Luxor do honeymoons too and our Nubian Eco village with its one bedroom villas means you are in an adult environment. We will match the offer here and give you a free ticket to the Sound and Light at Karnak temple if you book your honeymoon with Flats in Luxor. Egypt honeymoon 2011 – 2012 | 101 honeymoon ideas: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Mohammed East Bank gets engaged

One of our staff got engaged tonight, isn't his fiancee lovely. We have a lot of staff called Mohammed so I nickname them. This Mohammed looks after our East Bank flats at night. He also runs my shopping errands on the East Bank.


Perhaps this little one is dreaming of her turn, she certainly had the biggest eyes I had ever seen, gorgeous.

Mohammed's family were all there to see the happy event.


Here is the the engaged couple.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Experience the real Luxor - Review of Flats in Luxor, Luxor, Egypt - TripAdvisor

Lovely long review on Trip Advisor by one of our guests. Experience the real Luxor - Review of Flats in Luxor, Luxor, Egypt - TripAdvisor: "“Experience the real Luxor”
5 of 5 stars
Date of review: Mar 28, 2011

Although I've visited Luxor a few times this was the first time I had travelled independently of a tour operator and this time took two friends with me who were on their first visit to Egypt.

I had met with Jane Akshar, the co-owner of Flats in Luxor before and had seen the flats so had a good idea of what to expect. Having stayed in various hotels on the East Bank I certainly wanted to get the feel of the real Luxor...

We stayed for 9 nights, pick up at the airport was inclulded in the price and this worked out brilliantly with Ishmail ready and waiting for us. We stayed in the Goubli block in the first floor flat Neith. We arrived late lunch time and having spoken with Jane earlier while still in Cairo a lovely lunch had been prepared for us. Gamal, one of the chefs is incredible but - be warned - the portions are big and we did have to ask for smaller portions!! The flat was large - 3 double bedrooms with a big kitchen, big balconies and two bathrooms, there is a pool and a restaurant on the roof. So, the choice then is yours, eat out, self cater or eat in. We always had breakfast there and depending on what we were intending to do for the day this would be taken either on the roof or it would be brought down to the flat. Most of our dinners were taken there as well. There is a book with suggested menus and we would just decide on the day what we wanted and if it was to be something that wasn't on the menu then not a problem, so long as they had a few hours notice and everything would be brought in fresh and was delicious. This was also very cost effective when you consider the cost of meals in the hotels on the East Bank.

I had managed to leave the charger for my mobile 'phone in Cairo. Not a problem - I was able to borrow one whenever needed and, in fact, nothing was a problem. The staff (mainly part of Jane's extended family) were always there and ready to help with anything, advice, arranging taxis, boat trips, Egyptian Arabic lessons (!) etc and her husband was calling in most days.

And - yes - if you want to see how Luxor really is do it here. You can walk to the ferry - about a mile - or take a taxi for about £1. Walk along the lane and see the local villages and the people and animals who live there. The West Bank is free of the hassles you can experience on the East Bank and OK everyone has a bit of English and will speak to you. A couple of afternoons we took a few Egyptian Pounds and some sweets and went walking and chatting to people and have some fabulous photos and memories from the trip. Of course another plus is that your are on the doorstep of the majority of West Bank sites thereby saving about 90 mins round trip time coming and going from the East Bank thereby giving you more time to see the sites or to relax and soak up the sun.

Capt Ali (a cousin) is very much worth a mention too. He has a motorboat and will take you on even a short trip across the Nile to the East Bank if you'd rather travel that way than on the ferry or what is a nice trip to do is to sail off to Banana Island after lunch, take your time and on the way back watch the sunset and have dinner on board.

Finally, I have to mention the wake up call, which we found wonderful especially as my friends are keen birdwatchers (and I know this probably wouldn't suit everyone). Each morning Mrs Hoopoo would come along - from the outside the windows look like mirrors and the hoopoo was not having another female coming after her mate! She was an absolute joy to watch and photograph

A final, finally (!) the view - of the Theban hills, by day wonderful but now lit at night are incredible. And in the mornings fabulous to watch all the balloons gracefully taking to the air.

You can see I'm hooked! and I'll be back - enshallah!

Oh - one thing you do need - milk jugs - I'll bring you a couple next time

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Camels in Luxor

I am on my way to Luxor airport to pick up guests and looking at the truck ahead.
Its a camel!!

Overseas Property Professional; News Article; Is confidence returning to Egyptian market?

Good news for the Egyptian Property market. : "All the people we spoke to agreed that the revolution was good news for the Egyptian property market in the long term. Al Deeb said: “The old regime was corrupt. The next one will be different. We’ll see more investors – corruption was stopping the big developers from coming to Egypt so the market will be more stable.”

McKenzie said: “There is a strong expectation for the Egyptian property market. Transaction levels were already high at the end of 2010 but after this brief pause, prospects are even better.

From an economic point of view, the advent of a new democratic nation is good news for business. For instance it will bring more prosperity, more transparency in large land deals, create more of a free market and allow more entrepreneurs and solid business figures to enter the market.

Overseas Property Professional; News Article; Is confidence returning to Egyptian market?

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Luxor, Egypt. List all flight departures-routes.

Wow I had no idea how many airports there are direct flights to Luxor:-
Amsterdam
Basel
Berlin
Birmingham
Bristol
Brussels
Cairo
Cologne
Doha
Dubai
Dusseldorf
Erfurt
Frankfurt
Hamburg
Hurghada
Kuwait
Leipzig/Halle
London Gatwick
London Heathrow
Luxembourg
Manchester
Marsa Alam
Milan
Nuremberg
Paris
Prague
Salzburg
Sharjah
Sharm el Sheikh
Vienna
Luxor, Egypt. List all flight departures-routes.
- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Good news for Americans wanting to come to Luxor

Officials at the US state Department have downgraded the travel warning for citizens considering travel to Egypt, urging Americans to consider the risks rather than avoid all nonessential travel.

The security situation in Luxor, Aswan, and the Red Sea Resorts, including Sharm-el-Sheikh, is now considered calm, the State Department said.


http://www.breakingtravelnews.com/news/article/united-states-relaxes-egyptian-travel-warning/

Monday, March 28, 2011

Tahrir Villa, Luxor, Egypt

We have started working on the outside of the Tahrir Villa, Luxor. I just love the water feature and the open aspect of the lounge. Isn't the view to the Theban hills lovely, Luxor's most famous site, Valley of Kings is just the other side




Saturday, March 12, 2011

Travel feedback of the week: March 5 to 11, 2011 - Telegraph

I have been posting comments on stories that have been reporting tourists experiences during and after the revolution. One of my comments has made the Daily Telegraph feedback of the week.Travel feedback of the week: March 5 to 11, 2011 - Telegraph: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Unforgettable adventure with our children in lush village location - Review of Flats in Luxor, Luxor, Egypt - TripAdvisor

Lovely review from our recent guests, post revolution! Unforgettable adventure with our children in lush village location - Review of Flats in Luxor, Luxor, Egypt - TripAdvisor: "We've just got back home from probably our most unforgettable winter holiday yet. Flats in Luxor was my wife's choice and to be honest I would probably chosen a boring hotel complex, just for convenience - but how glad I am now that we stayed in one of Jane and Mahmoud's flats. Why? Because although we enjoyed all the stunning attractions of the tombs and temples, and sunset trips along the Nile, and days spent by the pool in the Winter Palace Hotel, it was getting to know the villages and lush countryside around the flats by bicycle and on foot that really made this holiday special. We cycled along pathways under the palms trees and alongside banana, sugar cane and other plantations. We stayed at El Gezira (closer to the ferry), rather than El Goubli. Our youngest boy of eight got to play football in a nearby field with other children his age.
Although not as sophisticated a location as the big hotel chains on the other side of the Nile, the view from the rooftop of the flat was quite quite simply spectacular: the verdant plantations and beyond distant villages and palm trees, and in the distance the temple of Hatshepsut nestling in the hills in which also lie the valley of the kings and valley of the nobles. Also good for sunsets and stars at night. Much better for us as a family than staying in a hotel.
On arriving my wife's first comment was on the size of the apartment - 'we should have brought my parents too!'. Everything was in good working order, the water hot and the fridge cold.
We would certainly stay here again. The only thing I would change would be to heat the pool in winter. We could get in the pool to cool off after days out in the sun, but it wasn't warm enough to stay in for more than a minute or so at a time. But this wasn't that big a deal - we simply paid to go to the luxury pool at a 5 star hotel in Luxor and spent the day there when our children wanted time to simply play in and around the pool.
Jane is very well-informed - about Egypt past, present and future and a very interesting person to talk to. And her husband Mahmoud is well known in the surrounding villages, making it easy to make friends and get things done.
Bicycles were great, but the roads take a bit of getting used to (cars seem to beep at every other road user just to let them know they are coming). Bikes were also good for avoiding dogs and the constant offers of taxis, feluccas trips, camel trips etc made by traders all the more desperate to earn some tourist dollars in the quiet period after the revolution. Even though it is understandable that taxi and boat drivers and restauranteurs etc were in desperate need to find tourists (some told us they had not worked in six weeks after the revolution drove tourists away) we were overwhelmed at times by the constant barrage of approaches. We learnt to say no in Arabic and simply walk on without any further response which was hard at times given their persistence. Jane's and Mahmoud's trips may be slightly more expensive than shopping around, but involve significantly less hassle and we were happy with what we got for the money.
It would be unfair not to mention the many locals employed by Jane and Mahmoud and the genuine warmth they showed in welcoming and helping us during our stay. I'm also glad that most of the money we spent in Luxor will go directly to locals employed by Jane and Mahmoud, and not the shareholders in a large hotel chain.

- Sent using Google Toolbar"