Category Archives: Hotel tales

Stories from the grand old hotels of Egypt

Looking for the heirs of Samuel Shepheard

I’ve posted many times here on Shepheard’s hotel, which, until it was burned down in 1952, was not only the most famous hotel in Egypt but one of the most famous in the world. But what about its founder, the … Continue reading

7 Comments

Filed under Hotel tales, Shepheard's

Marka Twain

Many of the items used to illustrate Grand Hotels of Egypt (and the forthcoming On the Nile) I’ve bought at auction. I’m on the mailing list of several auction sites, which notify me when they have something that may be … Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under Hotel tales

The other, other Savoy

I’ve posted previously on Cairo’s Savoy hotel, at one time the flagship for George Nungovitch’s Egyptian hotel empire, here. I’ve also mentioned in passing the Luxor Savoy, here, which used to stand on the east bank, a little north of … Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under Hotel tales, Hotels then and now, Nile steamers

Victor’s watch

Today I received another email from Peter Kuonen – who sent me the wonderful images of his grand-uncle Victor, who was concierge at the Winter Palace in its heyday (see here). Here’s the text of Peter’s email: Much to my … Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Hotel tales, Lost Egypt

Fire in Cairo

I knew that Shepheard’s was severely damaged by fire in 1868 from a dramatic illustration that ran in the London Illustrated News, below. But I was never able to find any further details, so the event only receives a passing … Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Hotel tales, Shepheard's

It’s Tony

Aha! Just received confirmation from Peter Kuonen that the painting in my post before last was indeed by Tony Binder. Thank you again, Peter.      

6 Comments

Filed under Hotel graphics, Hotel tales

Victor Kuonen 1875-1949

I was recently contacted by Peter Kuonen of Urdorf in Switzerland, who wondered if I would be interested in seeing some photographs of his grand-uncle, Victor, who spent more than 20 years employed at Luxor’s Winter Palace, and before that … Continue reading

10 Comments

Filed under Hotel tales, Shepheard's

Strange tales from Shepheard’s part 2

From the Dundee Courier of Tuesday 25 August 1936: A dissected corpse has been discovered inside a truck which had been left on the pavement outside Shepheard’s Hotel, Cairo. The trunk was left by a well-dressed young Egyptian in European … Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under Hotel tales, Shepheard's

Strange tales from Shepheard’s part 1

From the Yorkshire Evening Post of Saturday 4 June 1892: There are strange chambermaids at Shepheard’s Hotel in Cairo. A lady declares that the one who waited on her room and attended to all the duties of the calling, even … Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under Hotel tales, Shepheard's

Lions in the garden

In Grand Hotels of Egypt, I tell the story of two roaming lions. One morning, just before the 1914–18 War, the Gezira Palace hotel was visited by Lord Kitchener, then the British Consul-General, who was escorted around the grounds by … Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under Hotel tales