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

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