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"

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Tahrir Villa

Mahmoud has been trying to come up with a good name for our villa in the desert with the upside theme, bedrooms on the ground floor and living space on the floor above. He hasn't liked the names we had come up with so far Malkata Villa, Desert Villa, Upside Down Villa and we were talking last night and he has come up with the perfect name Tahrir Villa. Tahrir is the Arabic for freedom or liberation

1) It commemorates 25th January and the events of the last few weeks while the villa is being built
2) The location is in the middle of sugar cane and the fields, so free from development, noise and hassle
3) For the buyer or renter it is freedom from the rat race, freedom from grey skies and rain, freedom from the minutia of everyday life in the west, freedom to enjoy the Egyptian way of life, freedom to enjoy Egyptian culture and history

Friday, March 04, 2011

Responsible Travel to promote Egypt

Flats in Luxor is a member of Responsible Travel. As their ethos is very local economy aware I asked them if they could promote Egypt, Just got this in reply
"Thank you so much for your email. I’m so sorry to hear that your bookings have suffered so drastically. I can ensure you that Egypt is top of mind for us from a PR & media perspective. We’re always approached by journalists looking for ideas and holiday recommendations for features so we are pushing our Egypt trips and accommodations as much as possible and will do so even more following your note! We’ve also made the decision, since receiving your email that we will be sure to include an Egypt holiday/accommodation in each of our regular ezines which go out to customers."
. It is great to get this support "Support Egyptian democracy visit Egypt".

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Easter Special Offer


GET TWO WEEKS FOR THE PRICE OF ONE Offer valid until 30th April on holidays starting before 30th April

Support Egyptian democracy, come to Egypt