Staying the night outside in a room with no walls or windows isn’t exactly what we picture when thinking about an idyllic vacation, but “Null Stern Hotel – the only star is you” proves that quality hospitality comes in many forms.
While you try to get some shut eye sleeping in your outdoor bed, imagine cars buzzing by and neon gas station signs hanging over your head in your so-called room. With four rooms freckled across the town of Saillon, Switzerland, the newest (and most photographed stay) sits outside a permanently closed gas station in the vicinity. This one-of-a-kind experience comes with butler service, a welcome drink, local finger food, breakfast pastries, plus local fresh fruit juice.
Conceptual artists Frank and Patrik Riklin plus hotelier Daniel Charbonnier first executed the outdoor hotel room idea at a former nuclear bunker in Switzerland. The Zero Real Estate Suites — a name given to them due to the fact that they take up no permanent space and exist temporarily in all cases — host four rooms, each one different from the last: one is located in the valley on a small road in between two vineyards, and another is found on the hill where the historic Bayart Tower was erected in the 13th century, for example.
Local figures and the town of Saillon’s mayor are in full support of the non-profit project, which seeks to pay the modern butler, operation costs and drive awareness about environmental issues growing more prevalent in society. In fact, many of the logistical costs were covered by investments from the community.
So why open a hotel outside a gas station? Charbonnier and the Riklin brothers want guests to spend their time at the anti-idyllic suite to ponder the pressing issues in our world: climate change, the economy, security and equality are just a few of the subjects listed. It’s also interactive, encouraging visitors to share their reflections, thoughts and convictions on any topic they choose — they can write down issues they care about on a note, place it underneath the mattress, and those at the helm of the project will contribute to aiding that cause at a local level.
Available to book until September 18, 2022, rates start at $338/night.