Pros:A must for fans of the film.
Cons:A bit tacky, touristy, and overpriced
The Bottom Line: Oh come you know you want to go here just for one drink.
"Play it Sam. You played it for her and you can play it for me."
The lines are from one of the most well known movies of all time, the screen classic Casablanca. It had everything, humour, suspense and above all romance. Everyone also knows that the war time drama, while set in the North African city was actually filmed on a Hollywood sound set. The question remains though, is the real Casablanca anything like the one in the movie. More importantly is there really a Rick's Cafe?
Modern Casablanca bears little resemblance to its screen counterpart. It is a modern and very western city, especially when compared to other Moroccan cities. It is the industrial and economic capital of this vibrant nation and a bustling seaport. For many visitors it is also the entry point into Morocco, either through its International Airport or via one of the many cruise ships that call here regularly. It is from Casablanca that one heads inland to explore the older ancient cities, the mountains, and the deserts.
Most importantly Rick's Bar does exist after a fashion. The main bar of the Hotel Hyatt Regency is named Bar Casablanca and is a virtual tribute to the movie. The decor is straight from the film, movie posters and photos adorn all the walls. In a corner there is even a shrine of sorts with Bogart's trench coat, and other artifacts from the film.
The place is very touristy almost kitschy, and even the staff get into the act. The waiters rush about in the evenings serving drinks in trench coats and fedoras. The bartenders are always taking time from mixing drinks to sell some tourist an official Rick's Casablanca hat or T-shirt or other souvenir. Even the menus are for sale.
The bar like the hotel caters to the business traveler and upscale tourists. It is lavishly appointed and there is of course a Piano. Nowadays it is more often ignored in favour of the banks of satellite televisions though. Drinks it should be noted are of course overpriced. This combined with the touristy atmosphere should make it a place to avoid, but somehow it's not. Corny as it may be, somehow it wouldn't seem right to visit Casablanca without coming here at least once. Like they say in the movie, "eventually everyone in Casablanca ends up at Rick's".
Other Articles on Morocco
Fast Crossing to Morocco
A Moroccan Plumbing Primer
The Leather Souks of Fez
Buying Carpets in Fez
Hotel Sofia Fez
A Little Encounter in the Djemaa El Fna Marrakech
Berber Fantasy Night
A Close Shave in the Djemaa El Fna Marrakech
Hotel Atlas Marrakech
The Great Marrakech Moped Incident
Hassan II Mosque Casablanca
Hassan Mosque Rabat
Hotel Chellah Rabat
Hotel Chellah Lobby BarRabat
Late Night Taxi Tour of Rabat
Soluzar Hotel Tangier
Read all 9 Reviews
Write a Review
Best Suited For: Couples
Best Time to Travel Here: Anytime