What's more appealing: a relaxing vacation in an air conditioned oceanfront condo or an adventurous camper van trip chasing waves along the coast? Why choose? The Truck Surf Hotel makes it possible to have both, driving to the best breaks around and parking face-to-face with million-dollar views. The expanding, two-story motorhome also packs much more space and comfort than your typical VW van, meaning you can have a luxury getaway and adventure road trip all in one.
The proprietor background section of the Truck Surf Hotel website reads like many a #vanlife blog, Instagram or YouTube page. Eduardo Ribeiro and Daniela Carneiro are a photogenic, adventurous Portuguese couple who have toured through Europe and Africa in a camper van, surfing, adventuring, making new friends, learning about different cultures and creating lifelong memories along the way.
But the duo broke from the usual #vanlife path, veering off on a related but unique journey. Instead of just enjoying the open road for themselves and perhaps chronicling their adventures for an online audience, they now share their camper van passion more directly, driving travelers around in a crazy-ass expanding motorhome. Visitors get a taste of the freedom, adventure and spontaneity of the surf-bumming, destination-hopping camper van life, all without the logistics of going all in on their own vans.
Basically the idea is that a bunch of guests load up in the Truck Surf Hotel and accompanying support vehicles and chase waves up and down the coast while stopping to explore cities and attractions along the way. The bunk-room set-up with shared kitchen, bathroom and living area is more hostel than hotel, encouraging guests to socialize and (hopefully) become friends and partners on the journey.
The Truck Surf Hotel may be inspired by van life, but it is much larger than any camper van. The custom design is both an intriguing concept in lodging and an impressive piece of road-going machinery. The motorhome stands on a Mercedes Actros chassis, and what looks like a large but basic motorhome box on back is actually an expandable module that more than doubles in size at camp.
We've seen motorhome slide-outs before, but the Truck Hotel takes it to the extreme, popping straight up while also expanding out from both sides and the rear. So it drives to camp like a regular truck, then pops open into a two-story oceanfront townhome with all kinds of space.
Inside, the truck hotel is split into a living area and a sleeping area. Downstairs, you'll find a living room with couch, a fully equipped kitchen, a bathroom area with toilet and shower, and a dining room with table and benches. An underbody slide-out creates an attached deck. There's also internet on board.
A staircase leads to the guest rooms upstairs, where visitors can book a bed in one of four double-bunk rooms or an entire private couple's suite with double bed. Each room has air conditioning and a private locker for security.
Wood walls, nautical-themed painting and decor and plenty of windows help create a surfy atmosphere that ties in with the local scene.
The Truck Surf Hotel took its maiden voyage in Summer 2017, and Ribeiro and Carneiro offer winter/spring Morocco trip packages and summer/fall Portugal trips. Advertised prices for surfing packages start at €499 (approx. US$600) for a weeklong single-bed stay. Packages include things like full-time staff assistance, use of a surfboard and wetsuit, surf lessons and/or guiding, and local city tours. Optional add-ons like massage and food tastings are also available.
If the idea of hitting the long, open road with a bunch of maybe friends/maybe annoying strangers in a surf-bound motorhome sounds just a little too millennial for you, you can also put together your own group trip and have an adventure with folks you already know, starting at €3,995 ($4,790).
Source: Truck Surf Hotel
Want a cleaner, faster loading and ad free reading experience?
Try New Atlas Plus. Learn more