Shepheard’s Hotel in Cairo was apparently the first hotel of the kind that become fashionable and famous for their opulence, like Raffles of Singapore. It was built and owned by Samuel Shepheard, an Englishman, and was the place to stay for European travellers to Egypt or to India and the east. It was built in the 1840s, replaced at the turn of the century with the structure you see in the photo, and destroyed by fire and riots against the British in 1952. During the war, British Officers on leave (including Australians) could relax in the wicker chairs on the terrace, though I’ve read that ordinary troops would not have been welcome. In the film The English Patient, the hotel was the setting in some scenes, but since it no longer existed, another hotel (in Venice) and a set were used. While some early 20th-century travellers boasted of staying there, a few writers complained of mosquitoes, lice, and other unpleasantness. Edward Lear said it was like a ‘horribly noisy railway station’.
In 1957, a new Shepheard’s Hotel was built a short distance from this one.
In this photo, the car amuses me, the driver out in the weather while the passengers are covered, imitating a horse and carriage arrangement.