Shepheard’s Hotel was the leading hotel in Cairo and one of the most celebrated hotels in the world from the middle of the 19th century until it was burned down in 1952 in the Cairo Fire.
Shepheard’s Hotel was famed for its grandeur, for its guests, and as a base for the military. It was renowned for its opulence, with stained glass, Persian carpets, gardens, terraces, and great granite pillars resembling those of the Ancient Egyptian temples. Its American Bar was frequented not only by Americans but also by French and British officers. There were nightly dances at which men appeared in military uniform and women in evening gowns. Tourist shops faced the hotel from across the street, and there was a storeroom where officers could check their excess luggage.
One of the admittedly dubious pleasures of writing historical fiction is to be found in discovering wonderful places and then devastate them.
And if it is true that the Shepheard’s was destroyed by a fire in 1952, it is also true that after my characters passed through it in 1934, in the first episode of AMARNA, the place certainly required some refurbishing.
So, while we wait for the betas to finish reading and I deliver copies of the First Episode of AMARNA to my patrons, to mr Bezos’ oompa-loompas and to my revived Gumroad account, we can feast our eyes for a moment on the beauty that was the Shepheard’s Hotel in Cairo in the 1930s.