My hotel in Giza -- The Mena House Oberoi, where one of the seven
wonders of the ancient
world is reflected on the surface of a modern
Mena House Oberoi
is set in 40 acres of jasmine-scented gardens with the Pyramids towering
above. It was originally a royal lodge used by Khedive Ismail, the King of
Egypt, as a house for himself and his guests while on hunting trips in the
desert or during visits to the Pyramids of Giza.
In the 1880s, the guesthouse was bought by Fredrick
Head who named it "Mena House" after the first of the 76 kings on the
famous "Tablet of
Abydos". It was once again sold to an English
couple, who turned it into a luxurious hotel. At a time when balconies
were unknown in hotels, the owners decided that every room should have an
open balcony overlooking the Pyramids.
In the 1970s
The Oberoi Group took over the management of The
Mena House, adding it to their worldwide chain and became a member of "The
Leading Hotels of the World".
the hotel witnessed one of the pivotal events in the history of
Egypt. All peace negotiations after the 1973 Ramadan War between Egypt and
were conducted at The Mena House Oberoi.
royal personalities and notables who stayed at The Mena House Oberoi
include Sir Winston Churchill, General Montgomery (Suites 623 & 706 are
named after them), President Roosevelt, the Agha Khan and his Begum, King
Mohammed, King Umberto, King Gustav (Suite 1014 is named after him),
Presidents Nixon and Carter, General Moshe Dayan, Dr. Henry
Kissinger, King Juan Carlos and
Dr. Michael Stecker
in June, 1985.
The Mena House Oberoi Hotel and Casino has also
played host to some of the most famous cinema stars including Charlie
Chaplin, Cecil B. DeMille, Robert Taylor, Omar Sharif, Mia Farrow,
David Niven and Peter Ustinov.