Hotel Royal Manoir: Does it Actually Exist in Casablanca?

The fourth episode of Hulu’s World War II series ‘We Were the Lucky Ones’ depicts Addy Kurc’s efforts to escape from Casablanca, Morocco. He goes to Hotel Royal Manoir to convince his partner Eliska and her mother Madame Lowbeer to join him to escape to Cádiz in Spain. The hotel is a remarkable setting in the episode as it succeeds in captivating the viewers with its opulent appeal, which is drastically different from the camp houses where Addy ends up after arriving in the African country. Even though the establishment has a small connection with the history of Addy, it is seemingly a fictional creation!

Royal Manoir and Addy’s Past

In reality, Addy Kruc did end up in Casablanca, Morocco, on his way to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. At the time, Eliska and her mother also stayed in a hotel, as Georgia Hunter’s eponymous source novel of the show details. “Eliska leaps from her chair when she sees him [Addy]. After a quick celebratory reunion, Addy suggests they go back to their hotel, where he can keep a low profile,” reads the book. However, there are no records of a hotel named Royal Manoir existing at the time in Casablanca. Hunter’s novel, which she wrote after interviewing the real-life Eliska, doesn’t mention the name of the establishment either, which indicates that she wasn’t able to find out where her grandfather tried to hide.

Royal Manoir reminds us of Royal Mansour Casablanca, one of the prominent luxury hotels that existed in the city. However, the former isn’t a fictional counterpart of the latter. Royal Mansour was opened in 1952, around seven years after World War II ended. Addy and Eliska arrived in Casablanca, as per Hunter’s book, in 1941, more than a decade before Royal Mansour was opened. Still, the hotel was one of the most preferred destinations for Morocco’s elites until it was closed in 2015 and demolished two years later, just like how Royal Manoir opened its doors to influential people like Madame Lowbeer.

The emphasis on Hotel Royal Manoir in the series may have a certain significance. Eliska and Madame Lowbeer’s stay in Royal Manoir is used to depict the social and financial differences between them and Addy. The musician ends up in a camp where he can’t even find toilet paper for basic needs. At the same time, the Lowbeers are able to stay in an opulent establishment, eating and drinking the best food and drinks available amid a world war. Addy gets together with Eliska after overcoming these differences.

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