10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Dream vacation in Luxor
"This was my first trip to Egypt and I loved it so much. I owe that to Jane from Flats in Luxor. She was recommended to me by a mutual friend in Miami and I am so greatful. Two friends and I stayed in her flats which were spacious and beautiful - what a deal for the price - you can't beat it. She hooked us up with amazing tour guides and we had an incredible time. She is very passionate about Egypt and wants her guests to experience the 'real Egypt'. She also hooked us up with someone in Cairo to put together tours in that area. This was a trip of a lifetime. I suggest everyone visit and stay at Jane's flats!!!"
- Travel date: Wed 19th of November 2008
Jane asher a first class and a honest hardworking person
"I have just read the terrible review of Flats In Luxor and I am incensed enough to write and put my penneth's worth in.
We first used Jane on our first trip to Luxor where we stayed at the Isis and used jane for all our trips with our 8 year old daughter. The prices were fair and the Guides brilliant and we could go at our pace not herded from place to place. Jane arranged our trip to Cairo and had a wonderfull time and on our second trip out Jane did all our trips out again this time with my brother and sister in Law including an unforgettable couple of days in the white desert.The Driver Ragheb was great and really knew the out of the way places which we enjoyed more than anything else. The hot water springs outside Kharg are GREAT
and we returned to see the Family there again this year again arranged by Jane.Jane arranged all the trips for my Eldest Daughter and Son in Law on their honeymoon last year and even the surprises arranged by email went off without them finding out till the day. I can honestly say that Jane Asher Does a terrific job and I have never found her to Hard sell anything. If you ask for advice it is freely given with pro's and con's explained for you to make the ultimate decision. We love Luxor and will be back next year with my daughter and granddaughter and WE WILL use Jane again. I would Advise anyone to stay at Janes or use her tour services as you are an Individual not part of the Herd. I can only surmise that this person from Prague ????
is a sheep with no brain and no Idea how to get the best from another person WHO TRIES VERY HARD to give YOU an UNFORGETTABLE HOLIDAY. I can be contacted by email if required to ask any further questions. Jon Beecroft [email protected]"
- Travel date: Thu 13th of November 2008
Recommend Flats in Luxor
"I was surprised by the earlier poor review for Flats in Luxor. I have just been out to Luxor again with my 13 year old granddaughter in March and had a wonderful week in Jane and Mahmouda's flats. The early morning sight of about ten baloons floating over the surrounding countryside was second to none.
I found that all the services arranged by Jane were excellent and were all trusted business associates that were known to the family (NOT all relatives) for many years.
Any trip we fancied was arranged efficiently and quickly by Jane and camels, donkeys, horses, etc all appeared miraculously at the front door. The donkey trek, particularly, was one which demanded a very experienced guide as the path over to the Valley of the Kings is very steep and winding over loose rocks. Ashra, our wonderful guide, knew exactly when to offer support and encouragement; when to offer extra assistance; and was quick to ask us to get off and walk for a while on the hard bits. We fell extremely safe at all times. He also took my grandaughter on a horse ride and I was very impressed with his attention to safety at all times and he would not allow her to take risks or do anything which could be dangerous. We had a sunset falouka ride with a wonderful young falouka owner assisted by YES! Mahmoud's lovely younger brother Ahmed who was great and drove us up and down to the river and helped with the rowing (for half an hour - an exhausting process) when the wind dropped. Two perfect gentlemen - would recommend them to everyone.
Luxor is a small town. Everyone does knows everyone. I would much rather book tours through someone like Jane and Mahmoud who know the ropes but are building up a reputable business and have a lot at stake if the service is not up to scratch, than risk haggling down at the river Nile to save a few bucks and not know who you are going with or, alternatively, be ripped off big time by the big travel companies who really do charge over the odds and often have little experience of anything other than the bog standard Karnak, Valley of the Kings, Hatshepsut's temple trips. Jane has studied Egyptology for many, many years. She is extremely knowlegeable. That is how we came to meet her when we visited Egypt several years ago and booked one of her quiet trips to some really interesting and out of the way tombs where she guided us expertly and we had lots of time away from the crowds/guides and hastle.
I did not feel at any time we were being overcharged. I know times are hard and sometimes services are offered by Egyptians who are desperate for some trade and understandably will take anything rather than nothing, to be able to put food on the table. However, I felt we were always charged a fair rate and would have been uncomfortable paying anything less."
- Travel date: Tue 11th of November 2008
Keep Going Back
"We stayed at Goubli 1 appartments, which is a new development. We were fully informed when booking what facilites were currently available. Our appartment was well furnished and spotless. The kitchen was more than adequately equipped, however more often than not we chose to enjoy the excellent meals prepared by the resident chef Jamal and his team. Sarah's mother is recovering from a recent hip replacement so relaxing in and around the pool was the order of the day. During our stay at the Al Gezera appartments in Septemer 2007 accompanied by Sarah's mother, Jane and Mahmoud arranged well thought out itineraries with mobilty in mind. The drivers and guides showed great courtesy and consideration in adjusting the pace of the tours. Our previous stay at Al Gezera in April 2005, accompanied by Sarah's brother, his wife and two boys aged 8 and 10 demanded a more energetic programme. Jane and Mahmoud both organised and suggested excellent itineraries. From our experince, staying at Flats in Luxor allows a flexibility rarely possible in comparison with the normal package holiday."
- Travel date: Tue 11th of November 2008
5th visit to flats in Luxor
"My wife and I ,from Australia, are on out 5th visit to Flats in Luxor in February 2009 for a 2 months stay.We look on the flat "Horus" as our 2nd home now.The Luxor experience for us ,coming from Australia, is so unique.Jane , an english lady, and her husband Mahmood opened the Flats in Luxor in 2003 and provide for a wonderful stay in Egypt.Our flat has 3 large bedrooms with balconies in each and wonderful views over the Thebian Hills to the Valley of the Kings one way and towards the Nile the other direction. We can even see The Temple of Queen Hatshepsut from the balcony.
We have a short walk to the village where we can buy our supplies and then to the ferry for a ride to the East Bank and all it has to offer.
Her staff ,both Mohammeds ,are wonderful for support during our stay and of course Jalan is a master at making one feel so welcome in the Egyptian way with copious cups of chai-tea.
With Jane's help we have visited all the main Luxor East and West bank sites over the past 4 years and all of her guides have been amazing with a good command of english and a great knowledge of the history of the area.
Bob and Dale
- Travel date: Mon 10th of November 2008
Wonderful relaxing holiday
"We have just got back from our holiday in Luxor . We have been going for 12 years now always staying on the East Bank ,but decided for a change to try the West Bank Jane and her husband flats in Luxor looked like just the thing we were looking for .Things couldn't have been easier we where picked up from the airport by Jane and taken to the El Goubli appartment If you are looking for hussel and bustle this is not the place for you , but if you want to see the real Egypt then this is ideal.My first words on seeing the appartment was WOW a large comfortable flat everything you needed. We took a second floor flat and Hatchepsut,Habu and Luxor Temples can all be seen from the balcony these views were stunning .There was a pool and plenty of sunbeds and shade for my hubby .Also on site was a chef who would make you breakfast and given a couple of hours notice lunch or dinner .Food was very good .At the entrance to the building was a large fridge stocked with beer wine and soft drink available on a self service basis. Ken was pleased to see they had an internet connection so he was quiet happy .There was a taxi driver who was on hand when ever you needed to lift to the ferry or site seeing trips . If you are looking for a quiet relaxing hassel free holiday on Luxor try this we certainly be going back .Jane and her husband Mahmoud made us very welcome and all there staff were keen to run any arrands you wanted them to .We are loking forward to our return"
- Travel date: Mon 10th of November 2008
This is the place to stay!
"I'm an archaeologist who has worked in Egypt on expeditions for the past five years now - including working on tombs on the West Bank (Luxor) this past summer. I originally found about Jane's Flats in Luxor through her website when I wanted to take one of my students down to Luxor from our northern Egyptian site for some relaxation and study tours after our dig closed. I was absolutely impressed with Jane's place and with Jane herself!
Look folks - I know Egypt quite well...I've stayed in the absolute most expensive 5-star hotels (like Mena House) as well as literally in the field in the countryside. You can do no better if you want a lovely place to stay and a kind, fun, and knowledgable hostess and host. Jane knows her stuff really well people!
And for the negative review - for heaven's sakes, obviously this person doesn't know how it works in Egypt!! Jane's 'family' IS the entire community and yes it makes sense to work through her for the basic 'tourist' needs. TRUST ME - you would pay far more for transportation and other stuff if you did it independently and the money DOES go to the community - I know because I've seen it first hand. And Jane is more than generous with her time and her expertise.
Over the years I've kept in contact with Jane, even visiting with her this past summer while on excavation.
So - you want your money to go to some wealthy international group...or to the very real and kind people of the countryside??! Plus her flats are GREAT!!! The new one she and her husband built is incredible - I want to retire and move into one of them!!"
- Travel date: Sun 9th of November 2008
Already planning for my next stay at Flats in Luxor
"Although this was not my first (or even second) trip to Luxor, I am not the most experienced of travelers; I know parts of Cairo well enough to make my way around, but Luxor is very different. My stays there had been either very brief with a single companion or with a travel group. So when booking this excursion of four days, I--an American woman traveling alone--decided to take particular care. For my second trip I'd booked a room at a nice mid-range hotel on the East Bank, where the overwhelming majority of tourist hotels are, and was prepared to do so again.
But... I was up for a change, something less insulating. After all, my hotel in Cairo wasn't exactly the Sheraton. (Well, for my first stay it was, but that was atypical.) So, after much consideration, I booked my three nights in Luxor with Flats in Luxor.
Flats in Luxor consists of several properties; I can comment only on the Original Al Gezera Flats, where I stayed in "Isis," on the third floor, which offers a stunning view of the Theban hills. The flat is extremely spacious, and easily sleeps six (one bedroom has a comfortable queen-sized bed; two others each have a pair of twin beds). Provided is a television and free Internet access, and the air conditioning (with remote control, at least in the master bedroom) works great. The bathroom is nicely appointed with a full tub and shower; towels (but not washcloths) are on hand. The kitchen is simple but had pretty much anything I could have wanted, if I'd cooked any meals: a gas oven/stove, a refrigerator with freezer, cooking pans, dishes, flatware, etc. The stainless steel sink had plenty of food preparation area on either side. The living area offers a dining table and chairs, in addition to upholstered furniture--and there is lounge furniture on the outstanding balcony. The flat was neat and clean and decorated with very nice prints and pharaonic knick-knacks. I felt entirely at home.
Jane Akshar, who owns the flats with her Egyptian husband, went out of her way to make me feel at ease and to provide a special excursion trip I had long wanted to make to a site a bit difficult for the average tourist to access. (It's a bit obscure, and the police arranging the tourist convoy seemed to doubt its existence, even when presented with our site tickets.)
Although I perhaps (but by no means definitely!) could have negotiated slightly lower fares for transportation other than the ones recommended to me, I was happy to pay what MIGHT have been a BIT more convenience and reliability, and I never felt pressured to rely on these recommendations. They were, in fact, helpful, and even necessary, as I gained a feel for the territory. And, indeed, at times I did not rely on them; once a bit familiar with things, I made my own arrangements, typically on short notice. I should note, too, that taxis in Luxor are very commonly more expensive than those in Cairo; so don't compare Cairo fares with what you encounter in Luxor. (This knowledge comes from personal experience and from a conversation with an American professional resident in Luxor, who does not know the Akshars and has never dealt with them.)
Although aside from the one "exotic" excursion I did not travel in Jane's company, I know from our extensive conversations that she is knowledgeable, entertaining, and accommodating. If I weren't already something of a specialist myself, I would have been happy to be guided by her.
The Al Gezera flats are a short walk to the Nile, where water taxis, camels, and other transport is easy to pick up, either prearranged (through the Akshars or otherwise) or "on the fly." Along the way are shops where food and other essentials can be purchased, and, if I remember the name correctly, the Nile Valley Restaurant (also recommended!). I believe there are other restaurants in the vicinity as well.
Staying in the West Bank flats presents an experience different from staying at the East Bank hotels, which are more "urban." After a couple of weeks living near the incredibly noisy Midan Tahrir in Cairo, I found the surrounding farms to be an utter delight.
I am already trying to plot my way back for another, lengthier, visit. I have eagerly recommended the flats not only to friends but also to a major organization/corporation that often brings consultants to Luxor for long-term stays. And I do not make such recommendations lightly."
- Travel date: Sun 9th of November 2008
Caution Flats in Luxor
"The flat itself was fine in some ways - it was clean and the view from the balcony was lovely. However it was clearly made to look good in photos, rather than to live in eg the kitchen was less than basic etc. This was OK however. The main problem was that the owner put pressure on us to use all her services (donkey rides, taxis, felucca rides etc etc with the line that using local service is better for the community. However towards the end we discovered that all the 'local' services she was organising for us were actually all her husband's relatives,and the she was adding 100% markup on the already inflated street price.
By all means stay there (knowing that you could get a cheaper option elsewhere), but be very cafeful not to use her 'recommended' services. She lives in Egypt and operates exactly like them, using the system for her benefit. Also, DO NOT use her doctor - he was very negilgent in treating my family.
- Travel date: Thu 6th of November 2008
wonderful family holiday in flats in luxor
"We are a family of 4 with two teens and just came back from a 10 day visit to Egypt. We stayed for 5 nights in flats in Luxor at El Gezira (west bank). The flat we stayed in (Osiris) was huge with 3 double bedrooms, large living room, kitchen , bathroom and lovely balconies. The flat has both AC and fans in each room, large windows, and comfortable beds.
We loved to stay on the west bank because it was so peaceful and no hassle. It is close to all the sights (valley of the kings etc.), just a short taxi ride. You can walk to the local ferry, or stroll in the nearby village were there are some good restaurants (Africa, Al-Nakhil, etc).
From the balcony you can watch the hot air baloons rising every morning around 6:00 AM above the hills. The sunrise and sunset were amazing.
The owner, Jane Akshar, is a very nice English lady. She helped us a lot with picking us from the airport, good advice on sightseeing, and arranged us one of her famiy members as a driver around the sights of the west bank. Makhmud, the driver, came every morning at 6:00 AM and waited for us while we were touring the sights. There is a nice pool at the flats. We payed 50 US$ per night, a good value for money. We loved our stay in Flats in Luxor very much."
- Travel date: Mon 3rd of November 2008