Introducing The Hotel Bed On A Mountain
When a new hotel opens on the slopes of a Swiss mountain with breath-taking panoramic views, the hospitality industry sits up and takes notice. Boasting unparalleled views of the surrounding mountains at a height of 6,463 feet above sea level, you would expect the hotel to have at least four, if not five stars and to have all of its beds booked for months in advance with guests paying top dollar to soak in the scenery amidst luxury accommodation.
Only, this hotel consists of just one bed, no walls and no roof. And its name, Null Stern, translates literally as No Stars.
The singular bed at Null Stern is indeed already booked up for the entire summer, following its launch last month, despite costing almost £200 a night to effectively sleep outside. Guests will also have their own private butler; a local farmer who will deliver a breakfast consisting of local produce every morning. And, of course, the view from the bed is spectacular, offering opportunities to watch meteors shooting across the night sky and providing the ultimate fresh air experience upon waking in the morning. But is Null Sterna hotel, or is it a work of art?
The duo behind the hotel bed, Frank and Patrik Ritlin do indeed refer to themselves as artists, although they prefer to create art that is not instantly recognisable as such. The bed on the mountainside is serving a purpose as a hotel in that you pay to spend a night sleeping in a bed, so whilst it certainly a piece of concept art, there is also no doubt that it should also be referred to as a hotel.
The No Stars concept is subjective; the duo’s aim is for their guests to decide the value of the experience for themselves. “The zero means freedom from the absurdity of the star system and questions the idea of luxury”, says Patrik. Many guests would consider star gazing in the comfort of a bed or waking up to mountain-top views to be the ultimate in luxury experiences. Others may shudder at the thought of sleeping exposed to the elements and whatever wildlife lurks close by.
The set-up looks exactly how you would expect from a typical hotel room. A double bed is freshly made up with crisp white sheets atop of a comfortable mattress. Two floating shelves jut out from the extended wooden headboard with lamps atop. The obvious deviation from the norm, of course, is that the only wall is a low partition behind the bed. Guests must change into their night clothes and then scurry beneath the sheets completely exposed to the surrounding landscape. We recommend wearing your warmest flannels pyjamas.
This isn’t Frank and Patrik Ritlin’s first foray into unconventional accommodation. The duo opened a ‘hotel’ in an underground nuclear bunker (also in Switzerland) back in 2008, offering 14 beds for just £15 a night. A direct response to the recession and the launch of seven-star hotels springing up in luxury resorts across the world, the bunker was the world’s very first zero star hotel.
The self-penned concept of zero star hotels didn’t go down well with the hospitality industry, although that seemingly hasn’t stopped the duo. The instant success of their new hotel bed has spurred them on with an ambition to launch more beds across the Swiss Alps, effectively turning the mountains themselves into a gigantic hotel.
Emma Lavelle is a UK based writer and photographer and has her own blog Field and Nest.