Skip to main content

World’s First Zero-Star Hotel Opens in the Mountains of Switzerland

zero-star hotel
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Switzerland is hardly known as a budget-friendly vacation destination. But a new mountainside art installation-cum-hotel purports offer the world’s first (and possibly only) “zero-star” lodging.

With each stay at the Zero-Star Hotel, guests are provided little more than a bed and an outhouse. On paper, it sounds more like a rural hostel. In reality, the “bedroom” is a luxury designer suite situated amid the beautiful rolling hills of Switzerland’s Appenzell region. Guests receive a free cocktail on arrival, cooked-to-order breakfast daily, and the service of a butler (usually an area farmer in galoshes). The latter shows guests around the admittedly amenity-free property, shares corny jokes, and offers weather forecasts via an old TV set.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

The aforementioned outhouse bathroom is just three minutes away on foot, and it doubles as backup lodging during inclement weather. Storms canceled nearly two-thirds of scheduled stays in 2016. The suite changes location each year. Previous locations included a mile-high spot atop the mountainous Grisons region, as well as in a decommissioned nuclear bunker.

Along with collaborator Daniel Charbonnier, co-founding brothers Patrik and Frank Riklin launched the first suite several years ago as an art project of sorts. Switzerland boasts some of the highest costs of living in the world, and stays at the country’s stunning ski resorts are hardly affordable for most “commoners.” The project’s primary goal takes aim at the concept of a traditional luxury vacation. “Our artistic perspective is to go in the other direction. There is freedom in the zero to define luxury anew.” While it may sound a bit highfalutin, it’s hard to argue their motives. The founders note that the installation has been a hit among art fans. However, Swiss hoteliers are less than thrilled about the blatant jab at their business practices.

zero-star-hotel
Image used with permission by copyright holder

For 2017, nightly rates run around 295 Swiss Francs (just over $300 USD), but sky-high demand means the unique space sells out fast. Guests travel from around the world — from as far away as Australia, the U.S., and Africa — just for a chance to stay at the one-of-a-kind site. Amid nearly 1,500 requests this year, it’s almost sold out already.

Editors' Recommendations

Mike Richard
Mike Richard has traveled the world since 2008. He's kayaked in Antarctica, tracked endangered African wild dogs in South…
How to find the best street food (and other travel tips), according to YouTube megastar, The Food Ranger
The dos and don'ts of everything from street food to digital safety when traveling.
Food ranger eating noodles

Trevor James, The Food Ranger, eating a bowl of noodles in Chongqing, China. thefoodranger / Instagram

With over one million followers on Instagram and almost six million subscribers on YouTube, Trevor James (better known by his social media handle, The Food Ranger) has made a career of traveling for food. Over the years, James has traveled to over 40 countries, creating food and travel content on countries ranging from luxurious omakase sushi in Tokyo to drinking camel milk straight from the udder in Pakistan.

Read more
Go ultralight on your next flight with the best carry-on luggage
Traveling lighter is traveling better with these carry-ons
A person pulling a carry-on suitcase through the airport

Taking precautions while traveling is as essential as investing in reliable carry-on luggage. It’s not cool when you shove your clothes in a backpack or duffel bag, only to have the straps get torn before your plane takes off. Or you realize that your bag does not offer much protection against thieves. No traveler wants either to happen.

With hundreds of options from the best luggage brands, hunting for the “perfect” luggage for all your travel needs can be an arduous task — especially if you’re a newbie. To aid in your search, we gathered the best carry-on luggage for your cross-country journey or future overseas travel, including some tips about choosing the best luggage to replace your tired rollaboard or travel backpack.

Read more
The best places to visit: Booking.com says these are the most welcoming vacation spots
Looking for the best places to travel? Look no further
Arraial d'Ajuda is a district of the Brazilian municipality of Porto Seguro, on the coast of the state of Bahia.

 

Travel not only provides a much-needed escape from the hustle and bustle of life, but it also offers a chance to explore new cultures, connect with different people, and create memories that will last a lifetime. 

Read more