Al Moudira Hotel
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Travel Blogs from Luxor
I am hoping my hotel, the Moudira, will be as nice as I was told. I really need one night of pampering and, insha'allah, I won't be disappointed. Horoun is my driver to the hotel. He loves telling jokes like many Egyptians. He holds up his right index finger. "Why don't the Japanese use this finger?" "I don't know, Horoun, I think they do use it …
(Jim) One of the most startling things about Egypt is the geography of the country. As you fly south toward Luxor in Upper Egypt, once you leave the environs of Cairo there is nothing but desert. And this is not semi-arid Southwest U. S. type of desert, with tumbleweeds growing sparsely in front of scenic red-rock buttes, nor a Lawrence of Arabia …
The Al Moudira Hotel is a gem! We awoke this morning to a domed ceiling painted and inlaid with thick colored glass that created rainbows of light around the room. The horns of Cairo were replaced with bird song and what sounded like a million donkeys braying. As it turned out it WAS a million donkeys braying – there is a …
Luxor and Karnak Temples
Early morning start to 2 of the jewels of Luxor. Luxor has frequently been characterized as the "world's greatest open air museum", as the ruins of the temple complexes at Karnak and Luxor stand within the modern city. Immediately opposite, across the River Nile, lie the monuments, temples and tombs on the West Bank Necropolis, which include the Valley of the Kings and Valley of the Queens. This city used to ...
... the Valley of the Kings to the Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahri. I’ve never done this hike. There are some details in the Lonely Planet, but the signs in the Valley of the Kings explicitly say "No climbing on the cliffs". The good thing about being in Egypt is that almost everything can be done for baksheesh. A man in a pale blue galabiya approached Nick and I as we started hiking. There was no way to shake him off, so ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Al Moudira Hotel Luxor
A Very, very different Hotel !!
Firstly Al Moudira is different. Very,very different from the main stream Hotels operated in Egypt.
My wife and I stayed for 4 nights in September 2005 and we personally considered the prices charged as a "rip-off"
Whereas our room had its own fountain(which we never saw working) this does not substitute for the lack of cleanliness.
The gardens are overgrown and by Western standards the furniture is a load of junk looking as though it was purchased from the local souk.
If you are aged 25 years and younger the place will probably appeal, for the more discerning Traveller having an eye for quality - Beware - Don't stay !
Sadly we chose to ignore the earlier criticisms posted by people who had stayed at Al Moudira. Regretably their comments proved to be correct in all respects.
Unfortunately the overall appearance of the "Hotel" shows abject neglect.
A very special place...with quirks and flaws
Al Moudira, as you will see from its website, is a beautiful hotel with unique rooms done in a vaguely Egyption/Arabic/Italianate style. The hotel is located in a quiet rural section of the Luxor valley well apart from the business and tourist section of Luxor located across the river. The location is a good and bad thing -- if you wish a rest from the noise and bustle of tourist luxor, the short cab ride to al Moudira allows you to escape it. You can spend your evenings wandering the quiet grounds and staring at the stars and hills marking the edge of the nile valley. The location also puts you much closer to the tourist sites on the west bank of the nile. On the other hand, if you want to easily eat somewhere else, or stroll outside to do some shopping....you can't. There is nothing around within walking distance of the hotel that would come remotely close to being a tourist facility.
I would not recommend al Moudira for those with kids. Rather, it is a place for adult travelers to enjoy a boutique hotel with unique rooms in a beautiful setting. There is an outdoor pool (unheated and thus almost unusable in December/January), but little other recreational facilities. Bring a book, enjoy the view and spend the day looking at the tourist sites. If you have kids, the lack of dining options (there is only one hotel restaurant and it has rigidly defined serving times) is a huge problem. When we tried room service, it was a long time coming. Not a good thing with a demanding three year old famished from a day at the temples and tombs. For those wanting a hotel more in the thick of things (with a myriad of restaurants open 24 hours), I would suggest the Sonesta St. George. Not anywhere near as special or romantic, but much more convenient.
Perhaps I was spoiled by the 4 Seasons Cairo, but I found service here to be OK but not great. Room service was a problem and the quality of English, even at reception, was poor. This hotel caters largely to Europeans, so perhaps I would have better luck with French. The grounds are well maintained and clean, as was the pool, but you have nothing like the 5 star pool service that you get at the 4 Seasons (sharm or cairo).
A definite Highlight
This was defintely the highlight to a wonderful tour of Egypt. We spent 4 wonderful nights at this hotel, which has the feel has the feel of staying at an Egyptian Millionaire's house with charming hosts.
We were made to feel most welcome during our stay, which was out of season, at a time when the hotel is unusually quiet. However the staff more than make up for the lack of guests and proved to be charming companions, teaching us a little arabic during our evenings in the bar.
The hotel is beautiful and the rooms are elegance personified. Our room was massive with a turkish hamman style bathroom set around a beautiful courtyard. During our stay there was no timetable, only our own, with the hotel staff going out of their way to provide breakfast whenever and wherever you wanted it. The hotel is a short taxi trip and a local ferry ride to Luxor, but is well worth the small expense to get there. It cost us about £4 sterling by return for the hotel to organise a taxi, and only about 10p for the short ferry trip, which is well recommended if you want to experience Egypt. The hotel were also able to organise a fantastic sunset sail on a felucca up the nile, where we had our own boat with two guides for about an hour and a half, all for about £5 sterling for both of us. The crew even made us a cup of tea...
I cannot recommend this hotel highly enough, and can only suggest that the last guests did not put their heart and soul into experiencing this hotel. Like all things in life, if you put in a little effort with the staff etc, you will reap rewards, and leave with many fond memories, not to mention friends.
We will definitely return to this hotel.
A huge disappointment
Our stay at Al Moudira was to have been the high point at the end of our trip, but was anything but. The place was soul-less, uninviting and very poorly maintained. The welcome was non-existent; the garden stewn with weeds and the whole place had a sad and abandoned atmosphere. My wife and I are staggered that other guests at this hotel have apparently given it a five star rating - which beggars belief.
A magic place
A very special and beautiful hotel. This is more a boutique hotel than a standard luxury hotel. It is a very relaxing place for soul and mind. It is a 20 minutes ride away from center of Luxor, but that is no problem as taxi is very cheap and easy to find. If you appreciate a beautiful setting and special interial design, go there. If you arrive after dark, you are lucky because then you can really feel the magic of this place
Beautiful and relaxed
We have just returned from six nights at this stylish but relaxed hotel. The hotel itself is a beautiful mixture of Moorish and Italian architecture dotted with small courtyards and gardens. The rooms are large. We thought the first room we were shown was nice but not exceptional. We were moved without much fuss to a spectacular room: it had columns, antique furniture and even its own internal fountain!
The place looked well run and in very good condition. Both the owner and the assistant manager were apparent and keeping an eye on everything. An earlier review talked about an air of neglect, salt deposits from rising damp etc. That review strikes us as just being plain wrong. The "salt deposits" were the chalky residue left as a result of the trompe d'oiel paint scheme which is the whole theme of the place - there was no rising damp (remember this is on the edge of the desert!). Gardens were also well cared for.
Food was generally good and the menu changed every day (although there were variations on a theme which returned over the space of a few days). Food and wine were reasonably priced (about 300LE for two people with a bottle of Egyptian wine) and served in a very attractive courtyard.
There were a few drawbacks. It is in an isolated position, about 20/25 minutes from Luxor (60LE by taxi) through some fairly biblical-like villages and occasional heavily armed police check points. But it is about 20 minutes from the Valley of the Kings and the other sites of the West Bank, so closer to those than many of the hotels in Luxor. One guy on reception's English was not good and this led to a slightly amateurish start but generally staff and service were good.
Highly recommended if you want to escape the hassle of Luxor and mix sightseeing with relaxation by the pool.
Pretty but lacking in substance
My wife and I just stayed for 4 nights and enjoyed it mostly. The Moudira is a very beautiful spot, very unique to luxury hotels and is a great place to relax at the end of a hot and dusty Egyptian day. The food is very good and the breakfast is very good also (for Egypt) and not that overpriced. The rooms are very large and well kept and unique in their decoration. Bed was very comfortable, bathroom enormous and nice, good shower pressure. The hotel is a bit isolated from the scene in Luxor as you probably know already and the hotel has worked out taxi fares that are public knowledge. This is good and bad, since the taxis know the prices for the various destinations, there is no bargaining to be done, I tried. This results in higher costs for you, but the no-bargain taxi ride may be worth something if you aren't up for the usual hassle. The hotel is close to the sights on the West Bank, we had a driver for a 5 hour tour for only about $25US. To get to the East Bank, I would recommend taking a taxi to the ferry for 25 pounds and then the ferry is only 1 pound, if not its 50 pounds by taxi to town. The ferry is not fancy but it gives you the chance to see how the real people get around and we talked to some locals who were nice, of course they did try to get us to go for a camel ride. The service at the hotel is not great. The guy who checked us out wasn't competent on the credit card machine and charged me twice by accident. The maid service is suspect, they took a wet towel off the floor and hung it up to be used again. The waiters are very slow but try hard to please. The bug situation wasn't good either, we got bites in our room and in the public areas, so bring bug spray for sure. The hotel offered a bad exchange rate and the mixed drinks were absolutely ridiculously price, this leaves a perception of being gouged and that is not the best feeling to have when you are already spending upwards of $200 per night. We considered moving to a hotel in town but it wasn't worth the hassle. If I ever went back to Luxor I would stay in town either the Winter Palace, Mercure, or one of the others are more central.
A bleak experience
We checked in to this hotel after a wonderful 7 day cruise on Sunboat III. We planned 4 nights R&R at the end of our holiday. We were bitterly disappointed. The hotel is seriously run down with a pervasive air of neglect. The flower beds, of which there are many, haven't been weeded or tended for many months and the shrubs poke through a jungle of undergrowth. The walls are stained throughout with salt deposits due to rising damp and there is peeling paint everywhere. We received no welcome and our room was vast and bleak. We checked out after half an hour. Interestingly two other guests from Sunboat III were checked in to the Al Moudira for 2 nights. When we told them we were leaving they said that they had thought about it but had decided to stick it out as they were leaving 36 hours later. Later that evening we ran in to them in the bar of our new hotel. They said they had managed 5 hours but then found it so overwhelmingly depressing, they could stand it no longer. Perhaps it looks better in very hot weather. We were there in mid-February when it was quite cool.
Hotel gem on Luxor's west bank
We learned about the hotel almost by accident, through a review in the Lonely Planet and then following up with the pictures on the hotel's web site. The beauty of the hotel surpasses the pictures on the web site. The hotel has many pluses: an intimate, quite environment, with beautiful plantings; large rooms; charming decor; excellent food in the dining room (steer towards the Lebanese and North African dishes for the very best cooking); helpful staff; and a wonderful masseur on call. The only potential limitation is that the hotel is on the West bank of the Nile and visiting the town of Luxor itself on the East bank of the Nile requires a little time and effort (manageable).
War and peace
I stayed at the Al Moudira on the eve of war with Iraq. It was almost completely deserted and there were very few tourists around Luxor in general. The hotel is architecturally stunning and the pool is beautiful. The rooms were huge and excellent but had a somewhat unfinished feel, as if they ran out of money and had to resort to the trompe-de-oeil decor as a result. "Al Moudira" means "the boss" in Arabic and Zeina, the proprieter, is a real "Grande dame" and a great character. She couldn't do enough for us and lent me a suit so that we could dine at the Winter Palace across the river. The west bank of the Nile is much less developed than the other side which can be dreadfully touristy - the real Egypt is much in evidence here. We felt really safe and were provided with an armed police escort whenever we took a taxi into town. Food in the restaurant was mediocre, but that may reflect the desparate economic circumstances brought on by the immanent war. I suspect that once things have returned to normal, Zeina will bring Al Moudira up to scratch and make it one of the great hotels in Egypt - she had an air of determination which is not easily beaten.