Star ratings aren’t everything when it comes to hotels. Just ask the brains behind Null Stern Hotel, who proudly advertise their no-star status (the name of the hotel translates from German to English as ‘zero stars’) and charge several hundred Swiss francs for the privilege.
They’re also doing a roaring trade, despite one of the ‘rooms’ boasting no ceilings or walls and sitting directly next to the forecourt of a petrol station. No, really. ‘The only star is you’ is their brutally honest tagline.
Why is all this happening? Because Null Stern is actually a cool, creative and – sometimes – fairly comfortable mashup of art installation and hotel. And everyone seems to want a piece of it.
One of the teams behind the project is Zero Real Estate, who made headlines a few years back (including one of our own) with their open-air hotel concept. Now, ZRE have relaunched and gone one step further, transporting their bare-bones hotel room setup from idyllic Swiss countryside hideaways to spots like the aforementioned petrol station. The idea is to stop people from sleeping (or at least sleeping soundly) and instead force them to contemplate some of the world’s problems – presumably including climate change, considering the setting.
If that all sounds too extreme and conceptual, Null Stern Hotel still offers ‘suites’ in the beautiful, rural locales that made their name, giving guests the chance to get back to nature from the ‘comfort’ of a partially constructed hotel room. To be fair, you do also get butler service, but they won’t be able to build you walls and a ceiling, if that’s what you’re hoping for.
If you’re keen for some open-air pondering on the state of the world, head to the Null Stern Hotel website to find out how to book a stay. And if that’s inspired you to explore the great outdoors a little more this summer, delve in to our mega-list of 40 fun things to do in Switzerland