The Royal Hotel Ending, Explained: Why Do Liv and Hanna Burn Down the Hotel?

Directed by Kitty Green, ‘The Royal Hotel’ is a thriller film loosely based on the 2016 documentary ‘Hotel Coolgardie‘ by Pete Gleeson. In the movie, two backpackers from Canada, Hanna and Liv, reluctantly accept a job at a hotel in a remote Australian small town. However, while working as barmaids, Hanna and Liv face an unsavory situation due to the nature of the bar patrons. When things start getting widely out of hand, the women fear for their safety in the remote and isolated surroundings. As a result, viewers must be looking for answers about Hanna and Liv’s fate and their actions. In that case, here is everything you need to know about the ending of ‘The Royal Hotel.’ SPOILERS AHEAD!

The Royal Hotel Plot Synopsis

‘The Royal Hotel’ follows Hanna and Liv, two backpackers from Canada traveling across Australia. However, when they run out of cash, Hanna and Liv are forced to look for a job. They are offered a job as barmaids in a remote Australian mining town. While Hanna is skeptical of taking the job, Liv convinces her that they desperately need money. Hanna and Liv arrive in the town in Western Australia near Perth, where they are picked up by Carol, who drives them to the Royal Hotel. At the pub, Hanna and Liv meet two English women they are supposed to replace as barmaids.

Later, Hanna and Liv are introduced to Billy, the pub owner who quickly trains them for their new job. While the duo learn the ways of their new isolated surroundings, they quickly realize that the bar patrons can be overwhelming. When the patrons start making inappropriate comments about Hanna and Liv and make unwanted sexual advances, Hanna starts doubting her decision to accept the job. However, she quickly warms up to Matty, a bar patron who previously made some crass comments about her. One night, Hanna notices Dolly, a creepy bar patron, following her to their upstairs bedroom after closing time and worries about her and Liv’s safety.

Hanna tries to convince Liv to leave the hotel as the men continually objectify them, and their safety is compromised. On the other hand, Billy is an alcoholic who can barely run the bar. He becomes dissatisfied with Hanna and Liv as the women refuse to engage with the bar patrons and indulge them. Nonetheless, Liv insists on staying a few more weeks to make some money so they can continue their backpacking. In the meantime, Liv also warms up to Teeth, a stoic bar patron who appears caring and kind-hearted.

After Dolly causes a scene at the bar, Hanna locks herself and a drunk Liv in their bedroom. However, when a snake appears in their bedroom, they are forced to take Dolly’s help. Meanwhile, Billy continues to drink heavily and refuses to pay the women. His girlfriend, Carol, the pub’s cook, confronts him about the unpaid wages. On the other hand, Hanna tries to get Dolly banned from the pub because of his creepy behavior. During an argument with Carol, Billy gets badly injured, and Carol is forced to take him to the hospital, leaving Hanna and Liv in charge of the pub.

The Royal Hotel Ending: Why Do Liv and Hanna Burn Down the Hotel?

Towards the movie’s ending, Carol warns Hanna and Liv to make some more money at the pub and leave over the weekend. On their last night at the Royal Hotel, Hanna throws a party for Liv’s birthday. All the regular patrons of the bar attend the party. However, Dolly takes advantage of the situation and tries to take a drunk Liv with him to the hills. Hanna intervenes and stops Dolly from taking advantage of Liv. Hanna saves Liv by axing down the tires of Dolly’s car. However, Dolly creates a misunderstanding between Hanna and Liv. As Liv tries to leave the pub, Matty and Hanna get into a scuffle, and Hanna injures her face. Seeing Hanna hurt, Liv comes to her senses, and the women reunite inside the bar.

Meanwhile, Teeth fights Dolly and tries to claim Liv for himself, angering her. In the final moments, Hanna starts breaking things inside the pub, and Liv joins her. After destroying the pub’s beer stash, the women set the Royal Hotel ablaze before departing. Throughout the movie, we see the bar patrons harassing Hanna and Liv during their time at the Royal Hotel. However, such behavior is common to the patrons and appears to be a part of their culture. The bar patrons objectify Hanna and Liv from the moment they arrive. While Hanna is easily offended by the crass remarks and inappropriate advances, Liv takes a more open approach to dealing with the patrons.

Eventually, it becomes evident that Hanna and Liv are unsafe in the hotel. The women are harassed regularly, and the patrons feel entitled to form sexual relations with them. The bar patrons such as Dolly, Matty, and Teeth are unused to hearing “no” from women working there. As a result, they assume Hanna and Liv will also fall prey to their predatory methods. However, Hanna and Liv take offense to such behavior but find themselves helpless and facing overwhelming odds. During Liv’s party, the men cross all limits and openly try to take advantage of Liv while physically hurting Hanna.

Ultimately, Hanna and Liv decide to retaliate against the unsavory men of the town who mistreat and objectify them. The burning of the bar is a culmination of the fear the women live in during their time at the hotel. The Royal Hotel symbolizes the blatant misogyny and sexism of the local men. Therefore, Hanna and Liv burn down the establishment as a form of retaliation against those who not only harassed them but tried to harm them in more ways than one. Thus, the film ends with an empowering moment as Hanna and Liv finally take a stand against the town’s regressive and offensive behavior towards women.

Read More: Is The Royal Hotel Based on a True Story?