Egyptian hotels that have hosted famous guests such as Churchill and Montgomery

In the lap of luxury: Egypt's historic hotels.

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Egypt's historic hotels have hosted the famous and the infamous.

The Shepheard


The hotel has been part of Cairo's history for more than 150 years although the original building dates much further back. In 1841, it was turned into a boarding house by Samuel Shepheard, a Victorian businessman. After the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, Shepheard's became a social hub and stopover destination for wealthy travellers journeying to India and the Far East. The original building was commandeered at the end of the 18th century as the headquarters and a private residence of Napoleon. The original hotel building burnt down in the early 1950s amid civil unrest and was rebuilt in 1957 overlooking the Nile. Renovation will start on the hotel this year and it will be reopened under the management of Rocco Forte.

The Nile Ritz-Carlton


Formerly the Nile Hilton, the hotel is being renovated and will reopen in two years with Ritz-Carlton as the operator. The property was opened in 1959 and has played host to royalty, statesmen and celebrities.

Winter Palace


This was the first hotel opened anywhere by Thomas Cook, England's renowned tour operator. It opened in 1887, after the Egyptian government gave Thomas Cook and his son, John, a monopoly on passenger steamers on the Nile in 1880. Among its guests have been the former British prime minister Winston Churchill, the author Agatha Christie and the French politician Georges Clemenceau. Howard Carter stood on the steps of Winter Palace to announce his discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922. The property is now managed by Sofitel.

Mena House Oberoi


Located near the Great Pyramid, the hotel started out as a royal lodge for Khedive Ismail, a ruler of Egypt in the 19th century. Oberoi Hotels and Resorts was appointed to operate the hotel in 1972.

Cecil Alexandria Hotel


This is a British colonial property that was built in 1929. Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery stayed at the hotel for a short period during the North Africa campaign in the Second World War. The hotel also served as the location of the British secret intelligence headquarters. Before the outbreak of war, guests included the author Somerset Maugham and the gangster Al Capone. This property, which has views over the Mediterranean, is also managed by Sofitel.

* Rebecca Bundhun