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The Rolling Hotel: Where Travelers Are Passengers By Day And Hotel Guests By Night

Rotel Tours is a hotel on wheels catering to travelers who want to visit far-flung places but aren’t quite up for roughing it. In this red rolling hotel, guests are seated passengers during the day, but at night they move to the back of the bus to their capsule room to sleep.

Travel with Rotel Tours – the rolling hotel.

Uniq Hotels
Uniq Hotels

The buses are typically custom modified Mercedes 0404’s with 24 seats in the front and 26 rooms in the rear (the driver and tour guide each get a room). Claustrophobics beware, the rooms are only 6’ wide x 6’ long x 3’ tall, and come in single or double configurations.

In some rooms, a dividing wall can be removed to convert a single room to a double, making the number of single vs. double rooms versatile in all the Rotels.

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Uniq Hotels
Uniq Hotels

Each room includes a window that can be opened, a curtain, a mosquito net, interior lighting and a cargo net. Bedding and linens are provided by the tour company. Luggage is stored under the bus and travelers are recommended to carry a separate 3-day travel bag with them because luggage can only be accessed every three days.

There are always three rooms above one another in the buses.


Aside from a single toilet, the Rotel doesn’t provide guests with any showering facilities. Instead the buses stop at campgrounds with bathing facilities whenever possible. The Rotel does have a drop-down “camp kitchen” providing breakfast and dinners to guests.

Chairs and tables are set up outside during meal time and if the weather turns gray, meals can be eaten inside the bus where all the seats come with a table.

Uniq Hotels
Uniq Hotels

The German tour company was founded in 1945 and seems to focus on the German-speaking demographic. Rotel Tour drivers and tour guides are exclusively from German-speaking countries and their mother tongue is German.

The company specializes in large expeditions. Rotel Tours has 4 different types of buses that can carry groups of 20, 24, 34 or 36. The smaller groups are in an all-in-one bus, while the large groups are in buses with their hotel rooms towed behind.

Some Rotel buses can sleep up to 36 travelers.

Uniq Hotels
Uniq Hotels

Travelers can choose to visit various locations all over the world: Europe, Africa, Asia, Middle East, Australia and New Zealand, North America, Central America, and South America.

Travel the world with Rotel Tours.

Uniq Hotels
Uniq Hotels

Trips go to remote places like Mongolia and Kyrgyzstan and to cities like Shanghai and New York City. The length of a trip varies from 7 days to 30 days on the road, with focuses on culture, nature or a combination of the two!

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