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dr_aaltonen
Helsinki, Finland

Excellent expertise

Review of Minamar Hotel
5.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 Mar 2014
Yes – it's totally safe to go to Egypt, at least if you use services of a professional travel organizer, such as Minamar.
We had been thinking about a tour in Egypt for some years – we do have such a trip twice a year somewhere around the world – but due to the unstable political situation we had chosen another destinations. Around Christmas time we decided, that it shall be Egypt this February.
I did contact few tour organizers, as I always do. I had a preliminary tour plan: private tour for two people on route Cairo - Sahara (White desert) - Dakhla - Kharga - Luxor - Aswan - (flight) - Cairo, time limit of 9 days and desire fur luxury level accommodation.
Raed answered promptly, and showed excellent professional expertise in his answer. He suggested something we might value for our tour plan, and recommended to avoid something I had suggested. This is exactly how a true professional behaves: listens to the customer, but not blindly, and offers his experience for the benefit of a customer.
We ended up to have a deal very quickly: car, driver and a tour guide for 9 days, 7 nights in 5 star hotels (such as Old Cataract in Aswan and Hilton Spa in Luxor), one night in Sahara. Prepayment was made via internet without any problem.
We were received and welcomed at the airport, helped though customs, and our luggage carried to the car where Artif (driver) and Ahmed (guide) were waiting. These two guys were absolutely great – good professionals but also fun! Artif was a superior navigator in Cairo traffic, and Ahmed knew everything about anything.
All was executed as planned and expected. Not a once we saw or experienced anything extraordinary – no demonstrations (yes, we also visited Tahir square), not even a glimpse of anything I could say even remotely dangerous. All the people were extremely nice, and lower Egypt was actually half empty, not any tourist flocks buzzing around.
This is the best time to travel to Egypt: it's totally safe, as far as we experienced, it's extremely cheap, and as a bonus you'll have all the space you need at tourist sites. I encourage anybody exiting of a tailored tour into history to contact Raed at Minamar and ask an individual plan. I also strongly recommend Ahmed and Artif.
Tour in Egypt was absolutely among the best I have ever had, and I do have dozens of them.
Date of stay: February 2014
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
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      Reviews (34)
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      1 - 6 of 34 reviews
      Reviewed 13 February 2014

      This year Jan'14 we had planned a customised 11 day tour of Egypt and the itinerary was designed by Mr.Raed of Minamar Travels . It was one of our memorable trips with all round excellent facilities provided by them from the very beginning, starting from receiving us at Airport till our departure. The hotels, the cruise, the transport and food was all upto our expectations.

      Our special thanks to our knowledgeable guide Mr.Arabi who was with us throughout the trip. The best part of the tour was the overnight stay at the White Desert which we think is an unique experience and out of the world.

      Date of stay: January 2014
      • Trip type: Travelled with family
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      Thank juhee67
      This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
      Reviewed 15 November 2013

      We had a fantastik Holiday in Whole around Egypt, starte from Alex, where we visit of: Catacombs, Pompeii Pillar, Library of Alex, Qaitbay Fort, Montazah Garden. Next stip was Luxor and Nile Cruise, where we sailed from Lux - Aswan. From Aswan we saw Abu simpel Timpel and Aswan dam and much more, we got a very exaiting and mazing journy, the debt , for both Mr. Raed and his way to systematzing and orgnaizing, and Mr. Ahmed and his way to tourguid us and his magnific way to be friendly with us, and the last Ahmed and his way to take god car by meeting us and helping for the papper and hotels, we realy greatful for those Guys. We gonna use them in the future time.

      Date of stay: October 2013
      • Trip type: Travelled with friends
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      1  Thank derek20101
      This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
      Reviewed 18 April 2013

      We used Minimar travel for overnight stay in White dessert & then for the Nile Cruise. Before coming to Egypt we contacted Mr. Raed who helped us plan our tour. He also gave suggestions on others places we wanted to go in Egypt on our own. Service before & during tour was excellent. Prices were also cheaper than 5 other agents I had contacted.

      Date of stay: March 2013
      • Trip type: Travelled with family
        • Value
        • Sleep Quality
        • Service
      Thank Anonymous516
      This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
      Reviewed 15 April 2013

      Great service from a tour operator who was totally unknown to us. We were searching for a conducted tour of the White Desert over the internet and by chance we got to know the name of Minamar. We sent our specifications for the tour itinerary which was immediatly replied by Mr. Raed Sedky. He helped us to design the whole tour according to our suggestions and ultimately it came out to be a wonderful one. Initially we were bit sceptical but were satisfied when all of our queries answered and Mr. Sedky briefed us about all the details. He upgraded our hotel in Giza to a five star one and the Nile Cruise to five star deluxe. He was very much accommodative and changed our itinerary at the last moment without a glitch. We were thinking of cancelling the tour at the last moment because of the current political situation in Egypt but his reassurances made us bold and ultimately we are able to make it out. Minamar's splendid service started immediately after landing at the Cairo airport and continue without any hitches till our departure after 10 days. They made our tour a truly fascinating and memorable one. We toured from the extreme south (Abu Simbel) to extreme north (Alexandria) including the Nile cruise and the desert trip to Bahariya oasis and White Desert in 10 days but was planned in such a way that we were not dead tired; infact 6 of our members were senior citizens who also enjoyed the tour very much. We like to specially mention the name of another person, our guide, Mr. Arabi. He stayed with us all through out our tour; reaching out to all of us with his vast knowledge and good sense of humour. He was very methodical and serious about his duty. We had a wonderful time with him. The Nile cruise was fascinating but the best part of our trip was visit to the Bahariya Oasis and the White Desert with the barbecue dinner under the open sky. We sincerely convey or gratitude for arranging such a wonderful private tour at a very afforadable price. We would forever cherish our stay in a wonderful country like Egypt. We are highly recommending Minamar and Select Egypt for people who like to enjoy Egypt without any hassles. Please keep it up!

      Date of stay: April 2013
      • Trip type: Travelled with family
        • Value
        • Sleep Quality
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      Thank Calcutta1966
      This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
      Reviewed 6 March 2013

      If you don't want to be herded around in a big group of fellow British tourists and want the chance of seeing Egypt through the eyes of the locals then this is your chance! Our questions were always answered immediately by Raed in Cairo and we were reassured about all the little details before we travelled making us feel welcomed and very safe. We were met at Cairo airport and all aspects of immigration and hotel were taken care of in a courteous and professional manner. The next morning we were greeted by our personal guide Ahmed Lotfy who stayed with us throughout the trip. He looked after us like a son, making sure everything went smoothly. He had a vast knowledge about the history of his country and the amazing temples and sights we saw along the way. He was bouncing with enthusiasm for the history of Egypt and always full of good humour and tried to make every day a new adventure. We learned so much about the various temples, the Modern Egyptian way of life and we had all our many questions answered fully and honestly. We were transported throughout in our own mini bus, taxi or 4 x 4 in the desert for a fraction of the cost of such a trip booked from the UK and at all times feeling very safe. Ahmed helped us with explaining the quite intracate system of tipping so we got it right without causing offence. We were offered a balloon trip in Luxor but declined because we had had a nasty experience in the UK a few years earlier. There were literally dozens of balloons flying quite safely. Accidents can happen anywhere and you need to weigh up the risks yourself. The desert trip at the end was pure magic. It was Us, Ahmed and a local Bedouin driver out in t he desert and it felt like a true adventure but a very safe one. On the way we stopped at a water hole/ oasis for lunch iand sat around on cushions while they produced a wonderful picnic. They organised our camp in the desert while we sat around the camp fire. They made sure we were having the best time and cooked the most amazing supper over a camp fire under the stars....with just a few little desert foxes for company. All I would advise if you are going in February. The nights can still be chilly especially the desert nights. Take warm fleeces and wind proofed jackets, hats and warm socks for the camp. You won't need them for the rest of the trip but essential for the desert trip.
      So don't be put off with stories of how Egypt is unsafe. We felt safer than in London. The people are just so friendly, welcoming and open. Around the fire in the desert we were able to exchange views openly about all aspects of life and we came home having real respect and love for the Egyptian people we met. They are suffering this year with people not going because of the media hype about riots and balloon crashes. Our guides at Minamar made sure we were so well looked after that we would have no hesitation in going back again right now. One piece of medical advice. Like many other similar countries a lot of foreign tourists do pick up the odd tummy bug in Egypt. Be very careful not to drink the water, eat salad and use anti bac hand wash all the time. Our doctor prescribed a magic anti sickness pill which works immediately and is well worth taking to avoid missing any of the trip! Go on! Book it up!

      Room tip: Hotels excellent as was the Nile Cruise. The overnight train from Cairo to Aswan was more basic so be prepared with anti bacs and your own food and drink. That said the hospitality of the man on the train was excellent and full of good humour and it was part of the whole experience To do it seeing so much in the morning travelling south by the Nile to Aswan
      Date of stay: February 2013
      • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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      Thank Liz M
      This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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