The Null Stern Hotel Features Open-Air Hotel Rooms
Do you pay attention to the star rating of a hotel before you book it?
What is your maximum or minimum star rating preference for a hotel before you choose one?
Half of the pleasure of staying at a hotel are the offered amenities and the pleasure of being attended to, or pampered, for want of a better term.
A 2-star rated hotel is usually the lowest star ranking limit that most people would consider before staying at a no-frills hotel. Hotels like these usually feature a room, a bed, a TV and a common mini-bar. A 2-star hotel’s idea of revolutionary or aesthetically pleasing interior design may be a copy of that painting with the dogs playing poker hanging over your bed. Room service is usually a vending machine in the hallway or the closest restaurant proximate to the hotel.
At a 5-star rated hotel, we absolutely expect the best in interior design, service, personal guest attendance and cuisine. We go to a 5-star hotel to be treated like royalty and to have every whim manifested in an atmosphere of style, class and elegance.
It’s all about the star ratings and amenities that matter to a traveler, whether we admit or not.
So what would a 1-star or zero star rated hotel experience be like for a guest? Would you ever want to know?
Would you go to a zero star rated, open-air, experimental hotel without walls, ceilings or bathrooms in the hillside wilderness of Switzerland?
And pay USD $250-a-night for the privilege?
There is an experimental, avant-garde caliber hotel in Switzerland that wants to challenge a guest’s notion of what a hotel experience should be.
The Null Stern Hotel is one-part art installation, one-part hotel and is rated zero stars.
Even the name of the hotel is a tongue-in-cheek play on hospitality star-rating culture. “Null Stern,” literally translates into, “Zero Stars.”
You will literally lie on a double-bed, open-air room installation under the stars on a hillside in Graubünden, Switzerland, about 6,400 feet above sea level.
That is it.
There is a nearby public-access toilet and shower. Guests are warmly welcomed by the local residents of Graubünden. A white-gloved, personal butler staff will do their best to attend to your needs.
Your butler will greet you with a welcome basket of locally sourced goodies upon arrival. You will be served coffee with salami sandwiches every morning.
But those amenities are the full limit when it comes to luxury amenities at Null Stern.
As a guest you would really be paying for the experience, breathtaking views of the Swiss countryside and bragging rights for participating in the hotel/art installation experience.
The Null Stern Hotel, created by conceptual artists Frank and Patrick Riklin in cooperation with hospitality expert Daniel Charbonnier, originally started out in 2008 as part of a large open-air art exhibition called Art Safiental.
The next iteration of the Null Stern Hotel was as a minimalist, art-inspired hostel experience in the converted basements of former bomb and nuclear blast shelters before the current open-air version in Graubünden was perfected.
Rooms are bookable on a seasonal basis. Be forewarned that your reservation could be abruptly cancelled due to inclement weather.
Before you roll your eyes or stifle or giggle, know that the Riklins have plans to expand its concept around Switzerland.
The Worldwide Hospitality Awards nominated the Null Stern Hotel in 2009 for the, “Best Innovation of the Year,” award.
A Russian venture capital group even tried to buy the Null Stern Hotel from the Riklin Brothers in 2010.
The Riklins declined the offer so that they could maintain full creative and philosophical control of the concept they created.
You can get more information at the Null Stern Hotel’s official website.
As the saying goes, there is definitely a first time for everything.
If you would ever consider or be tempted to stay at a zero star rated hotel, a concept which is instinctual anathema to most modern travelers, then the Null Stern Hotel might be for you.
After all, the official slogan for the Null Stern Hotel is, “the only star is you.”
A. A. Francis