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. Five years after the original one was destroyed, a new hotel was built nearby and named the Shepheard Hotel.
Originally under the name Hotel des Anglais (English Hotel), it was established in 1841, by Samuel Shepheard, and renamed Shepheard's Hotel. Shepheard, who was an English gentlemen once described as "an undistinguished, apprentice, pastry chef" was from Preston Capes, Northamptonshire, England, co-owned the hotel with Mr. Hill, Mohammed Ali Pasha's head coachman. Mr. Shepheard did prove to be a successful entrepreneur and businessman, when soldiers staying at a hotel were suddenly moved to another country, leaving unpaid bills, Shepheard personally went to collect payment.
In 1845, Hill relinquished his interest in the hotel, and Shepheard became the sole owner. Shepheard sold the hotel in 1861 for £10,000 and retired to Eathorpe Hall, Eathorpe, Warwickshire, England. Richard Burton, a close friend of Shepheard, left a detailed description of his generous character and successful career, describing him as "a remarkable man in many points, and in all things the model John Bull".
All in all, Shepheard's Hotel was famed for its grandeur and opulence, though a frequent complaint was that its cuisine left "much to be desired".
Mark Twain was not impressed:
We are stopping at Shepherd’s Hotel, which is the worst on earth except the one I stopped at once in a small town in the United States. It is pleasant to read this sketch in my note-book, now, and know that I can stand Shepherd’s Hotel, sure, because I have been in one just like it in America and survived: