Category Archives: Lost Egypt

Lost or endangered bits of Egypt’s built history.

Memories of the Parisiana

When a few years ago I interviewed the owner of Cairo’s Windsor hotel, William Doss (who was then 94), his earliest memories of the place were not of the hotel but of the bar–restaurant that once occupied the ground floor. … Continue reading

10 Comments

Filed under Lost Egypt

The view from (and of) the Semiramis

In a column headed ‘Hotel Life: Semiramis Hotel’, the Egyptian Gazette of 27 November 1907 ran the following: Many additions and alterations have been made to this enormous hotel, which before the end of December should be completely finished. Already … Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Grand hotels, Lost Egypt

The New Hotel

I recently managed to acquire the interesting photo, above. If it looks familiar but at the same time something seems slightly off, that would be because you might recognize the view but not necessarily the hotel. The scene is Cairo’s … Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Grand hotels, Hotels then and now, Lost Egypt

Then and now: the Eden Palace

Although it was hotel for only around 20 years, and the last guests checked out 93 years ago, the name of the Eden Palace lingers in Cairo – it’s there in large letters on the pediment of a corner building … Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under Hotels then and now, Lost Egypt

Last days of the Semiramis

The caption for this vintage news photo, issued by the Associated Press in January 1976, reads, “Nile landmark to go: The Semiramis Hotel, for years a landmark along the Nile River in Cairo, will soon disappear. The hotel, named for … Continue reading

6 Comments

Filed under Grand hotels, Lost Egypt

The Golden Books

When Shepheard’s went up in flames back in January 1952, one of the notable losses was the hotel’s set of Golden Books, the ledgers in which decades of distinguished guests had been invited to sign their names. It used to … Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under Grand hotels, Lost Egypt

It’s called adaptive reuse

Some years back, well before the calamity that has befallen the country, I stayed at the Zenobia hotel at Palmyra in Syria. It has the most extraordinary location, away from the modern town and right on the edge of the … Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Grand hotels, Lost Egypt, Shepheard's

Heliopolis, the Clapham Junction of the African skies

By coincidence, shortly after I posted the pic of the flying boat in front of the Winter Palace (see the post before last), a piece appeared on the BBC News website by Gerald Butt, titled Frank McClean: Forgotten pioneer of the … Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under Lost Egypt, Shepheard's

You’ve got mail

How much more evocative could this photo be? That’s the magnificence of the Winter Palace there, lording it over the west bank of the Nile at Luxor. Moored in front of the hotel, low to the water is an elegant … Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under Lost Egypt

Hotel du Nil

If anybody talks about the properly historic hotels of Cairo, then invariably it’s Shepheard’s that gets mentioned. Rightly so – until it was destroyed in 1952 it had renown and a guestbook to rank with any hotel in the world. … Continue reading

9 Comments

Filed under Egyptologists and Egyptology, Grand hotels, Lost Egypt