Mena House Hotel
The Mena House Hotel is a hotel located just outside Cairo, Egypt, owned by the Egyptian General Company For Tourism & Hotels (EGOTH). It was built on the site of an 1869 hunting lodge, and in 1890 opened Egypt's first swimming pool.
The Mena House was initially a hunting lodge; it was a two-story hut nicknamed the "Mud Hut". It was built in 1869 for the Egyptian Khedive Isma'il Pasha.
Due to political matters in 1883, Isma'il sold the lodge to couple Frederick and Jessie Head as a private residence. The couple came across the building while on their honeymoon and once it was purchased they expanded it. In 1885, it was then sold to an English couple, Ethel and Hugh F. Locke King.They immediately began construction on the hotel and opened it to the public in 1886 as The Mena House. The hotel is named after the founding father of the first Egyptian dynasty, Mena or King Menes.
In 1890, the hotel opened Egypt’s first swimming pool and in that same year it was announced that the hotel would remain open year round. During World War I the hotel was requisitioned by Australian troops and occupied again by the Australians in 1939. Toward the end of the war it was then converted to a hospital for wounded Australian troops.
Oberoi Hotels took over management of the hotel in 1972. In December 1977 Egypt and Israel sat down together at Mena House in a quest for a peace settlement (also attending were American and United Nations representatives). The results of this Mena House Conference were to lead to the Camp David Agreement, which restored Egypt's sovereignty over the Sinai peninsula.
Renovations and expansions
Renovations and expansions: In 1920, 30 more rooms were added. In 1972, the Oberoi Group began managing the hotel, beginning with a refurbishment; it was completed in 1975. In 1978, they began construction on the garden wing, which was opened by the general manager Kaval Oberoi, a relative of the owner; 200 rooms were added. In 2007 and 2008 the hotel was renovated again. The term of the Management Agreement between The Oberoi Group and EGOTH, the owner of Mena House Oberoi, expired on 31 December 2012. The Oberoi Group ceased managing the hotel as of 1 January 2013. The Egyptian General Company For Tourism & Hotels currently runs the hotel. On 31 March 2015, it was announced that Marriott International will assume management of the hotel at the completion of a major renovation.
In 1889, Prince Albert Victor of Wales stayed at the hotel. In 1894, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his wife stayed there. In 1909, the future King George V and Queen Mary attended a banquet there. Circa 1914, Winston Churchill stayed at the hotel. In 1939, King Farouk of Egypt frequently visited. In 1974, President Richard Nixon visited. Other notable people such as Agatha Christie, Roger Moore, Cecil B. DeMille, Charlton Heston, Frank Sinatra and Charlie Chaplin have all stayed at Mena House Oberoi.
- Winship, Frederick M. "Egypt in Throes of Huge Tourist Boom." Sarasota Herald-Tribune (1978): 6.H. Web. 12 Sep 2010.
- http://www.cosmopolis.ch/travel/giza/mena_house_e0103.htm A detailed history of the Mena House Hotel in cosmopolis.ch
- "The Mena House: Review, history and photos of the legendary Oberoi hotel in Giza near the Pyramids." Cosmopolis 24 Jan 2008: n. pag. Web. 12 Sep 2010. <http://cosmopolis.ch/travel/giza/mena_house_e0103.htm>.
- Turner, Sarah H. (February 14, 2010). "Mena House Oberol in Cairo: Where Winston Churchill and Frank Sinatra made history". Daily Mail UK.