Lille: The first itinerant hotel-bus was created by a Northerner
Take a road trip of a few days with full board in a double-decker bus transformed into a traveling hotel. This is the principle of the Chill Bus, a unique concept that has just been launched by Pierre Lebat. At 30, the Lille resident, passionate about travel, has finally completed a project launched seven years ago.
“I wanted to create an unusual accommodation to make people travel. In England, I had discovered a static bus which acted as a bed and breakfast. And that’s how I decided to fit out a bus to organize road trips, ”says the Northerner.
Seven years of work to finally reach the goal
Except that things are going to take a lot longer than expected. After having unearthed a double-decker school bus in Manchester, Pierre will fight for four years with the administration to approve his vehicle. Then, three additional years will be needed to completely redesign the bus. with the help of a childhood friend. But between the Covid and financial galleys in a concept in which he invested 100,000 euros in seven years, the funny hotel bus took a long time to hit the road.
“There were lots of technical unforeseen events, administrative delays, the project also changed a bit along the way. It was really hot. I only worked on it for seven years”, recognizes Pierre, relieved to finally reach the goal.
Eight people can travel and sleep on board
Because the hotel bus is ready to hit the road. Inside, everything has been fitted out to embark passengers in optimal conditions. On the ground floor, there is a small kitchen, a shower, toilets and large comfortable benches to sit on during the journey. Upstairs, eight berths have been fitted out to be able to sleep in good conditions. And on the roof of the bus, a terrace has even been set up to be able to drink aperitifs in various unusual places.
Because the Chill bus hotel has planned to adapt to the wishes of customers. “We can make privatizations on demand” recognizes the creator of the concept. Even if the program for this summer is already well marked out. In June, it is already possible from Lille to take a road trip in Hauts-de-France (Saint-Omer then Côte d’Opale) for two days and two nights for 250 euros per person (all meals are included).
Varied itineraries according to the seasons
This summer, the Chill Bus will be in Brittany for routes from Rennes along the pink granite coast. And every weekend until mid-July, the vehicle will crisscross the region’s festivals (Dunkirk, Main Square, Bailleul, Dour) to offer original accommodation on site. “Rates will be set according to the festivals,” says Pierre, who has decided to donate part of the profits to associations that help underprivileged children go on vacation.
One thing is certain, you will have to know how to take your time on board the Chill Bus. Limited to 70 km / h, the vehicle does not take the highway and quietly travels the national and departmental roads of the country. Its height (4.30 m) also does not allow it to take certain areas limited to large vehicles. “The objective is above all to have as much fun as possible and to receive as many people as possible”, rejoices the owner of the place, happy to finally be able to launch his strange traveling hotel.