Desert Paradise Lodge
8 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
A Traveler's Dream Experience.
"I have been living in Egypt for 9 months and frequently travel the country. This is absolutely the best place I have found in Egypt and one of the best places I have stayed throughout all my world travels. Staying here was like staying with my family; it is true Egyptian hospitality at its absolute best. The rooms are artistic and original, the home cooked food is outstanding, and the people and company are warmer and more hospitable than any hotel or bed and breakfast I have ever experienced. After only two days there my brother and I came away feeling as though we made lifetime friends. Whether you are a frequent traveler, an independent traveler, or a first time traveler, everyone at Desert Paradise Lodge will make sure that you have a great experience with as much or as little help as you prefer. If you are in Luxor, do not pass this place up. It is a rare and wonderful experience. I plan to return as much as possible."
- Travel date: Sat 12th of June 2010
A perfect oasis
"We traveled for a month throughout Egypt, and of all the places we stayed, this was absolutely the best. Spotless rooms, gracious hosts, outstanding food and top-notch service all combined to make our stay relaxing and very enjoyable. It's located away from the dust, noise and grime of the city, yet close enough for easy access via ferry across the Nile. Our hosts catered to our every whim. They arranged a private guide and transportation to tour temples and monuments at very reasonable prices. They recommended the best places for shopping, site-seeing and museums. The beds were comfortable, the rooms clean and modern, the grounds spacious and relaxing, the pool crystal-clean and oh-so-refreshing! Breakfast was included, and supper extra, but well worth it! Outstanding authentic Egyptian food was delicious and plentiful. Can't recommend it enough! Staff was incredible!"
- Travel date: Tue 1st of June 2010
The perfect place to be in Luxor
"I spent 6 wonderful days in the Desert Paradise Lodge with my boyfriend and two close friends. We all had different needs and expectations and it was the perfect place to be for all four of us. The location is extremely beautiful and the building standard is of high quality. The interior design of the studios is made with all local material and furniture, very tasteful and well arranged. The garden with many plants and trees such as papyrus and eucalyptus and the swimming pool is just heaven. There are plenty of benches and tables in the shade but there is also a lot of space on the several roof terraces.
Fareda, the Swiss manager, is running the lodge with her partner Ashraf and 3 employees, Mansur, Ahmed, the tall one and Ahmed the small one. They are a great team and always ready to help or to give an advise on a very professional and friendly level. We could choose between local and European meals. Food was always fresh and deiicious, and we always got a selection to choose. I highly recommend the Egyptian beancurd (fool) for breakfast and the Egyptian pizza for dinner. The Desert paradise lodge has sort of 3 areas that are in one location but still seperated. The lodge with the studios, the garden and the pool, Faredas private home and the animal area. If you are not an animal lover you won't be bothered by them at all. I am an animal lover. I was the most happy person during these days and I spent quite some time with the donkey, the goats, the sheep, the cats, the rabbits and Aische, the most beautiful Afghan hound I have ever seen. We did a 1-day excursion to Abydos and Dendera, both sites are worth a visit. Ashraf organised a driver and it all worked out well. On another day my 3 travel companions walked out of the logde, caught a local taxi and spent a great day in the Kings valley while I discovered the neighborhood of the lodge which is desert but also small villages. There is an abundance of sites and things to do in the West part of Luxor and it is very easy to access it from the lodge. Christian and I have already decided to spend our Christmas vacation in the Desert Paradise Lodge."
- Travel date: Mon 17th of May 2010
Wonderful Hotel - Amazing Hosts!
"On our recent trip to Egypt, we packed in a ton of travel, from flying into Cairo, renting an SUV, and driving from Cairo to Alexandria to Siwa (and back again!), then hopping the Abela sleeper train for an overnight trip from Cairo to Luxor. Needless to say, we were exhausted.
Thank goodness for the Desert Paradise Lodge, and our hosts Fareda and Ashraf. When we arrived at 6:30am, Fareda was waiting for us with a taxi van and driver (who remained at our service for our entire stay). We were whisked to the West bank of the Nile river - near the Valley of the Kings, Valley of the Queens and other popular sites, and far enough away from the noise of downtown Luxor. The small but attentive staff showed us our rooms so we could freshen up, and then set out a beautiful Egyptian breakfast, including falafel, omelettes, beans, wonderful breads, and tea and coffee. We requested this breakfast every morning - we couldn't have had it often enough. Once washed and fed, we set out for the sights near our hotel on the west side. When we returned late that afternoon, we were met with lunch, a casual spread that included roasted chicken and potatoes, salad and cheese, more of the local bread, and large cold bottles of Egyptian Stella beer.
We then spent some time that afternoon shopping for alabaster and stone carving souvenirs for friends back home, and this is when I truly appreciated Ashraf and Fareda's guidance! Ashraf is from Luxor, and Fareda has been there for over a decade (originally from Switzerland), so they know their way around the marketplace. That afternoon, and again the next day, they both gave us invaluable help navigating the aggressive sellers in the souk, providing insight on the best shops and reputable vendors.
That evening, Ashraf arranged for a felluca boat tour for us at sunset -- taking care of all of the connections to and from. A quick ride to the west bank, where we were greeted by the boat captain. When we were finished, the car arrived to ferry us back to the hotel. We were greeted with more cold bottles of Stella, and sat in the tranquil courtyard for hours with Fareda and Ashraf (and some of Fareda's many rescued pets!) recounting the day.
Day two was a FULL day in Luxor, first accompanied by Fareda in the marketplace, then a trip to Animal Care Egypt (ACE). Fareda is a staunch animal lover, and a portion of the proceeds from your stay at the Desert Paradise Lodge go toward supporting this fine facility. (for more information about ACE, go to www.ace-egypt.org.uk). Late that afternoon, Fareda left us to our own devices, and we set out for tours of the Karnak and Luxor temples. Ashraf kept in touch via cellphone, and had a water taxi and car arranged for us when we were ready to return home. Upon our arrival, more cold Stellas (they had us all figured out!), and a surprise. Ashraf picked up on our desire to be pampered, and had a professional barber waiting in the wings if we wanted his services. We all lined up for a professional straight razor shave, followed by "threading" - my first experience - where I emerged plucked, clean-shaven and expertly groomed. A few more beers (counted in pebbles on the courtyard table), and then off to bed.
Day three started with a light breakfast, and a cooking demonstration on making falafel, followed by hour-long massages for each of us. At this point, we were not sure we ever wanted to leave. After, we spent some time catching the remaining sights on the west side, including Howard Carter's house, and the Hapshetsut Temple, until a huge sandstorm blew in and cut our sightseeing short. We retreated to the hotel for some quiet time, and a late lunch before our departure to the airport that evening.
We departed amid many hugs and a few tears. In all my travels, I can't remember having made such a connection with two complete strangers who became fast friends. We found out about the Desert Paradise Lodge from the internet and Trip Advisor, and hope you discover this amazing little jewel as well. Staying there felt like being welcomed into someone's warm home - we were free to come and go, but found ourselves wanting to be there more than trekking through the sights. Ashraf and Fareda, along with the staff, were wonderful, warm and caring people who were attentive and professional, but made us feel like family. Due to Luxor's relative proximity to Hurghada and the Red Sea, we hope to return soon with some of our scuba-diving friends for a combination tour of sand and sea. Until then, we have excellent memories of our wonderful stay."
- Travel date: Fri 26th of March 2010
"If you have never been to Luxor, and you would like a bit of a local feel yet, inside the compound feel like you are at ease, then this is the place to stay for a few days.
From trekking the sites to exploring antique shopping, Ashraf, Fareda and staff treated you like extended family. And after a few days on the road, it is nice to have home cooking. We even had the opportunity to have a shave..."local" style that made such an impression...very unique experience at this lodge."
- Travel date: Tue 23rd of March 2010
GRACEFUL AND SARENE
"Four of us arrived at Luxor at 6am via the sleeping train from Cairo. We were met by Fareda Elfi in her infamous red hat from Paradise Lodge Hotel. She lead us to the awaiting van and off to Paradise Lodge. Fareda made us immediately feel at ease as if we had been picked up by a family member and this feeling of comfort and ease continued through our entire stay. After arriving at Paradise Lodge we met Ashrof who has a heart of gold. Between Fareda and Ashrof we felt at home.
THE ARCHITECTURE is reminiscent of authentic building methods such as stucco walls and domed ceilings in the main dining room and the upper level suites. All rooms have ensuite bathrooms and small sitting rooms toward the back that opens up to the internal courtyard. The beautiful internal courtyard, which all the ground level rooms open, serves the morning breakfast and also evening gatherings. There is also a large terrace on the upper level with several suites and a communal lounge.
THE FOOD served at breakfast was excellent authentic local cuisine and plentiful Several nights we had diner at the hotel that was also amazing. Fareda and Ashrof made sure both the meat eaters and the vegetarians were taken care of with perfection.
THE LOCATION is on the west bank close to The Valley of the Kings, Valley of the Queens, Medinet Habu, Ramesseum, The Colossi of Memnon. Luxor is across the Nile reached by a continuous flow of boats at a nominal cost to visit Luxor temple and Karnak Temple. Our preference was to be in a relaxed atmoshpere away from the hustle of the main area of Luxor. This is it.
SERVICES Ashrof made driving and boat arrangements for us to visit all the sites along the West Bank and Luxor. Professional Masseur are also arranged upon request which we did and highly recommend.
THE PEOPLE everyone at the hotel was incredibly accommodating and kind. Walking through the Souk in Luxor with Fareda was like walking with the local Mayor of the town. Vendors recognized her and treated us incredibly well. The four of us were very fortunate to have found this hotel and the amazing people that have created it, Ashrof and Fareda.
We will go back again.
- Travel date: Tue 16th of March 2010
The real desert paradise
"This is a place to relax and come down from the stress of buissnes. The stuff is very nice and friendly, the management is very concerned about the amenities of the guests and also the rooms are very pretty.
The guidance here is familial and friendly.
In about 5-10 minutes, you can be on the nile and have a good time on it. For example, you can go sailing with the "felukas" or go shopping on the market.
Our personal insider tip is sailing on the feluka called "Tom and Jerry".
stay one week in "desert paradise lodge" and will never go home again ;)"
- Travel date: Sat 28th of November 2009
Tourist trap but has a pool and is pleasant compared to most East Bank hotels
"This is a nice place but the only thing that distinguishes it from hotels in the area at half the price is a small swimming pool. I booked expecting something rather upmarket from the reviews; but to say it is ideally located is an exaggeration. It is in a less desirable area, a long way from the main ticket office, amidst a scruffy resettlement suburb. You can find hotels at half the price in this area or the nicer Old Gurna area, that really are havens of peace and quiet and good value in terms of West Bank prices. The condescending Swiss lady helped to make up my mind. Since I know the West Bank I objected to the price hike she wanted for the airport pick-up as well as other half-truths she was bare-faced telling me. I spent twenty minutes there looking round and waiting for the owner (who seems a genuinely nice guy) before declining, thankful I had not paid in advance, and going round the corner to Elphardous House Hotel which has nicer rooms and is quieter (at least on my visit) although none in this area can compete with the traditional charm of the hotels in the central West Bank, the nearby facilities cannot compete with the proper shops down by the ferry, and it is so far from anywhere you are at the mercy of hotel taxis to ferry you about. None of the main sites are easy walking distance. "
- Travel date: Fri 22nd of June 2012