Shepheard's Hotel
Shepheard's Hotel was the leading hotel in Cairo
Cairo , is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, and the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. Nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life...

 and one of the most celebrated hotels in the world between the middle of the 19th century and 1952.

Originally operating under the name Hotel des Anglais (British Hotel) in the early 1840s, in 1860 the hotel was renamed Shepheard's Hotel, after its owner Samuel Shepheard (1816-66). Shepheard, an English entrepreneur from Preston Capes
Preston Capes
Preston Capes is a village and civil parish in the Daventry district of the county of Northamptonshire in England. The population at the 2001 census was 188.-External links :*...

, Northamptonshire, England, became co-manager of the hotel (with a Mr. Hill) in 1841. In 1845 Hill relinquished his interest in the hotel, and Shepheard became the sole owner. Shepheard sold the hotel in 1861 and retired to Eathorpe Hall, Eathorpe
Eathorpe is a small village five miles east of Leamington Spa, in the English county of Warwickshire. It is in its own parish, in the electoral ward of Cubbington. It is very close to the B4455, which follows the line of the Roman Fosse Way, and the River Leam...

, Warwickshire, England. Shepheard's Hotel was famed for its grandeur and opulence, though a frequent complaint was that its cuisine "leaves much to be desired". It was extensively renovated in 1891, 1899, 1904, 1909 and 1927.

In the First World War, the hotel served as British Headquarters in the Near East. The hotel was totally destroyed in the "Cairo Fire
Cairo Fire
The Cairo Fire , also known as Black Saturday, was a series of riots that took place on 26 January 1952, marked by the burning and looting of some 750 buildings -- retail shops, cafes, cinemas, hotels, restaurants, theatres, nightclubs and the country's Opera House -- in Downtown Cairo...

" anti-British riots on January 26, 1952, in the course of the civil unrest that led to the July 23 Revolution.

The current Shepheard Hotel was erected in 1957 by Egyptian Hotels Ltd. in Garden City, Cairo (downtown Cairo), at a location which is about 1/2 mile from the site of the original hotel. The new hotel and the land on which it sits is owned by E.G.O.T.H. (Egyptian General Company for Tourism and Hotels). For quite a while the hotel's operations/management company was Helnan International Hotels, and the hotel, accordingly, was known as the Helnan Shepheard Hotel. Recently, as per a contract signed on September 29, 2009, the Rocco Forte Company was chosen as the hotel's new management company. Under this contract, the Rocco Forte Company will operate the hotel on a trial/experimental basis from July 2010-June 2011, after which time the hotel will be closed for extensive renovations.

The hotel had many notable guests, both real and fictional. Among the former were Henry Morton Stanley
Henry Morton Stanley
Sir Henry Morton Stanley, GCB, born John Rowlands , was a Welsh journalist and explorer famous for his exploration of Africa and his search for David Livingstone. Upon finding Livingstone, Stanley allegedly uttered the now-famous greeting, "Dr...

; Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener
Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener
Field Marshal Horatio Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener KG, KP, GCB, OM, GCSI, GCMG, GCIE, ADC, PC , was an Irish-born British Field Marshal and proconsul who won fame for his imperial campaigns and later played a central role in the early part of the First World War, although he died halfway...

; Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

, Ronald Storrs
Ronald Storrs
Sir Ronald Henry Amherst Storrs, KCMG, CBE was an official in the British Foreign and Colonial Office. He served as Oriental Secretary in Cairo, Military Governor of Jerusalem, Governor of Cyprus, and Governor of Northern Rhodesia.-Biography:The eldest son of John Storrs, the Dean of Rochester...

 and T. E. Lawrence
T. E. Lawrence
Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence, CB, DSO , known professionally as T. E. Lawrence, was a British Army officer renowned especially for his liaison role during the Arab Revolt against Ottoman Turkish rule of 1916–18...

. The hotel formed the setting for a number of scenes in The English Patient
The English Patient
The English Patient is a 1992 novel by Sri Lankan-Canadian novelist Michael Ondaatje. The story deals with the gradually revealed histories of a critically burned English accented Hungarian man, his Canadian nurse, a Canadian-Italian thief, and an Indian sapper in the British Army as they live out...

. It was portrayed in the 1934 Egypt-set British film The Camels are Coming
The Camels are Coming (film)
The Camels are Coming is a 1934 British comedy adventure film directed by Tim Whelan and starring Jack Hulbert, Anna Lee, Hartley Power and Harold Huth...

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.