Howdy all and welcome to another RETRO Review, the review where I take you and mostly myself back in time to a place that I stayed at many years ago and try and do my best to recall it and how I found it. And today it’s a destination famous for film buffs – Casablanca. And the hotel? Hotel Foucauld, which was a budget place I stayed at that from memory was really good value for money.
I was in Casablanca at the end of my 2007 trip, a trip that took me to the Baltics, Russia, the UK and West Africa. A real hodge-podge of destinations, which is often how I like to travel. Just look at my most recent trip, only 75 years ago now, where I managed Central Asia, Spain, Portugal, Israel and Belarus all into the bargain!
So folks, I don’t usually go this far back. Almost all my ‘retro reviews’ are from 2011 or more recently because I still have, at least, my ratings and a few notes hidden in my diaries. But for Hotel Foucauld, I wouldn’t have even remembered the NAME, but I was recently-ish editing old footage that I’d found for another hash tag vlog (will be up at some point next year) from Casablanca and there was some stuff shot in the hotel room showing the bathroom, view from the window, the room itself and the very very cool old style lift (elevator if you prefer) and memories came almost flooding back.
The footage for much of Casablanca is horrid. It was recorded on digital tape and the tape was damaged, sadly. I used what I could to piece together a 10 minute presentation by using a bunch of effects (like to make it look like an old film reel) but the stuff inside the hotel room has too many blips and squeaks to make it usable (too be honest, I don’t think I got away with what I used).
However, it did give me a few moments to see what the room was like as well as the bathroom and the setting on the street below. There was a very cool bookshop down the street for example and I know there were a couple of Iranian style ‘hamburger’ joints nearby too where you see the meat displayed in a cooled window to the passers-by.
The room was basic but comfortable. It had old blankets and I remember that it did not have a heater. It was November at the time and it wasn’t very warm and quite cold at night and remember also using my sleeping bag to keep me from getting too cold, which was an issue as I had had a persistent cold in Senegal leading into Morocco for over a week which had made me a bit miserable. A few weeks earlier in London I’d had a bad throat infection and nearly didn’t make the flight to Africa and I image if it was today I might not have been allowed on the flight thanks to you know what!
The bathroom was well sized really, with a sitdown toilet and a decent shower. What more could one ask for? I remembered the room and bathroom as small, but it wasn’t the case and it was strongly recommended as value for money by Lonely Planet. If I stayed there in 2007 it wouldn’t have been any more than around $15USD, so I think it’s excellent. And looking out the window at the passersby was great fun from that vantage point.
Sadly, I looked it up and I don’t think it’s there any more. There is a Hotel DE Foucauld, but I am pretty sure it’s a different place. Which is sad because I’d definitely stay there again. I also remember the receptionists being friendly and helpful, and quite a bright lobby. The photos I’ve used today are actually screen captures from the video, which I’ve had to grab at points where there wasn’t too much jetson-flotsam on the shot. I realise I don’t bring a lot of memory to this post, but there’s something about this place I liked. Street noise was bad, I say that in the video – at night. Actually not bad in the day!
Anyways, would love to know if it’s still there in some form and if the Hotel de Foucauld is the same place or not! Thanks for reading, no ratings today. Take care – and May the Journey Never End!