Sleep Under the Stars on the Side of a Mountain at This One-Room Hotel
Conceptual artists Frank and Patrik Riklin, as well as hospitality professional Daniel Charbonnier, have created a dreamy hotel with just a single room. The Null Stern Hotel is basically naught but a bed. No walls. No ceiling. Not much floor to speak of. More than a minimalist hotel, it's a piece of conceptual art where you can actually go and rest your weary head.
The first installation opened this month in Safiental, Grisons in Switzerland. The bed sits on a mountainside 6,463 feet above sea level and includes breakfast-in-bed served by a bow-tied butler. Though it's not all amenities. The bathroom is a 10-minute hike from the bed, making nighttime emergencies something of a health hazard.
It's the first of its kind, but with the support of the Alps Arts Academy and Safiental Tourism, the trio hopes to install similar beds throughout the Swiss countryside in collaboration with regional tourism boards.
For the Riklins, it's a twist of their first Null Sterns Hotel in 2008, which was just this exact bed set-up in a nuclear bunker. They billed it as "the first zero star hotel in the world," thus the name of the hotel which translates from German as Zero Star Hotel. While that succeeded as an engaging piece of art, it lacked basically all of the appeal seen here.
"Even though this version is radically different from the first one in the nuclear bunker," says Charbonnier, "the essence and the spirit of the concept remains the same: to put the guest at the center of the experience and to focus on the intangible by reducing everything else to the minimum."
At the new Null Stern Hotel, the bed is "owned" by local residents, who, according to the artists, "welcome guests while bringing an innovative spirit to the hospitality sector." As an artistic project, it plays with conceptions of resource management and land ownership, using the tag "Zero Real Estate." As a hotel, there aren't many comparisons to be made anywhere in the world. Though for this kind of experience and an incredible view, guests will pay a steep price. It's currently slated to cost 250 Swiss Francs per night, roughly $253 U.S. Dollars, which, though expensive, isn't all that bad considering what guests are getting.
"The landscape of Switzerland is the imaginary building of the new Null Stern Hotel," say Frank and Patrik in a statement at the Hotel's unveiling earlier this month. Even if the idea of a hotel room as art turns you off to the project, it's hard to sniff at a hotel room with a view.
Dustin Nelson is a News Writer with Thrillist. He holds a Guinness World Record, but has never met the fingernail lady. He’s written for Sports Illustrated, Men’s Journal, The Rumpus, and other digital wonderlands. Follow him @dlukenelson.