This article is from the May 2002 The Mexico File
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What a Way To Go!
by Gordon Jett
Gordon Jett is a regular contributor to Mexico File. He and his wife, Betty, have lived in San Miguel de Allende for the last seven years.
Germany has a well-designed reputation for efficient travel vehicles – Mercedes Benz, BMW, Lufthansa, high-speed trains. But this, to my mind, is the greatest – an RV which “sleeps” 24 people. It is called a “Rotel” (rolling hotel) and is made by Mercedes Benz. Fleets of them roam the world. The one pictured here spends winters in Mexico and summers in Alaska. Others tour the U.S., Europe and Africa.
I found this one in San Miguel de Allende. It is operated by a husband and wife team who have been doing this for over twenty years. He drives and she is “hostess.” During the day, the passengers ride in air-conditioned comfort in the front of the bus just like any bus travelers. But once they pull into a campground, it is a different story.
With the push of a button (quite a few buttons, actually), the bus transmogrifies into a combination motel and restaurant. The left side opens up into a restaurant-size kitchen and tables and chairs are set up close by. Hier, your driver, becomes your chef.
Meanwhile, the right side sprouts a stairway up to the read half of the bus, which contains beds for all 24 passengers, plus crew. There are sleeping cubicles stacked three high, each with its own small window. Some are singles and some are doubles. But who’s checking?
The passengers sign up for a package tour, including roundtrip airfare from Germany, meals, etc. hte ones I talked to really enjoy traveling this way and a number of them had been on Rotel trips before, in other parts of the world.
I would say that a Rotel provides effortless, luxurious travel to exotic places, probably for a very good price. And I would be tempted to travel in one myself – except for one thing. There are no toilets on board!