Switzerland’s outdoor hotel returns

Author: Sarah Theeboom
Photography: Null Stern

Switzerland's pop-up alfresco hotel room Null Stern has opened for a second season in the great outdoors, this time on a mountain 1,200 metres above sea level. Part B&B and part art installation, the "hotel" in the scenic countryside of the Appenzell region consists of a bed, two nightstands and a safe. The brand - which means "zero stars" in German - showcases Switzerland's bucolic landscape by relocating to a different spot each year, and dispensing with details such as a roof over your head.

"We got rid of all the walls so Switzerland itself becomes the hotel," says Daniel Charbonnier, who co-founded Null Stern with conceptual artists Frank and Patrik Riklin.

There's a butler, but no bathroom. (Photo by Claudio Baggeli)

The first hotel, in 2009, was located in a nuclear bunker, but last year they moved it outdoors and recruited local residents as butlers. Guest stays are overseen by farmers in bow ties who, for the first time this year, will serve breakfast in bed and deliver news headlines and the weather forecast through an empty TV frame. When it rains they escort visitors to an alpine hut 100 metres away, which is also where the nearest bathroom is located.

Despite the lack of traditional amenities, the hotel - which costs 295 Swiss Francs (about $AU400) per night - is already booked out for the season. Those seeking the zero-star experience will have to wait until next year, or do things the old-fashioned way and go camping.







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