In most of Germany’s states, the summer holidays have now come to an end. Over and out. The days are getting shorter again, and summer, many people’s favourite season, draws to a close. Everyday life enters the next round.

ONE NIGHT IN
A ZERO STAR HOTEL

Category: Travel     Text: Marco Voigt
In most of Germany’s states, the summer holidays have now come to an end. Over and out. The days are getting shorter again, and summer, many people’s favourite season, draws to a close. Everyday life enters the next round. Before the habitual grind has us fully under its control again, taking a look at this following project could provide a little comfort and ‘reloaded holiday feeling’. Before us, we see spectacular mountain landscapes with decorative accents breaking through the familiar world.
The first ever hotel bed under an open sky
Special and unique dreams are realized by artists from the Swiss Art Safiental collective, which was formed at the 2016 International Alps Art Academy. One of the projects consists of the first open air hotel bed (also known as the first zero star hotel). This year, the piece is now in its second round.

“Instead of panorama wallpaper on
the hotel room walls,
hotel guests can enjoy a real,
natural backdrop with an
unobstructed view of the Alps,
as well as fresh mountain air
and room service.”

The furniture is obviously missing, but is compensated for by a particularly attentive butler service, and, of course, the unbeatable experience of nature itself! To picture the zero-star hotel, the guest has to imagine a solid and cosy bed out in the open, tucked between two bedside tables and bedside lamps, all of which stands on a lonely terrace in the Swiss Safiental. “The number zero embodies the freedom and independence to redefine luxury and worth beyond the conventional hotel classification,” says conceptual artist Patrik Riklin, who has been making a name for himself with this ingenious idea for years.
In order to enjoy this unforgettable experience, guests have to be prepared to potentially travel spontaneously. When you spend the night outdoors, the weather has to be playing along too, so when you book an overnight stay, you will usually be informed about 24 hours in advance whether it is possible to visit at that time based on the weather forecast.

“Instead of panorama wallpaper on the hotel room walls, hotel guests can enjoy a real, natural backdrop with an unobstructed view of the Alps, as well as fresh mountain air and room service.”

The furniture is obviously missing, but is compensated for by a particularly attentive butler service, and, of course, the unbeatable experience of nature itself! To picture the zero-star hotel, the guest has to imagine a solid and cosy bed out in the open, tucked between two bedside tables and bedside lamps, all of which stands on a lonely terrace in the Swiss Safiental. “The number zero embodies the freedom and independence to redefine luxury and worth beyond the conventional hotel classification,” says conceptual artist Patrik Riklin, who has been making a name for himself with this ingenious idea for years.
In order to enjoy this unforgettable experience, guests have to be prepared to potentially travel spontaneously. When you spend the night outdoors, the weather has to be playing along too, so when you book an overnight stay, you will usually be informed about 24 hours in advance whether it is possible to visit at that time based on the weather forecast.
Even the walk to the bathroom at night needs to be well planned, seeing as the nearest public toilet is a good 10 minutes from the bed. If requested, freshly made coffee and a delicious breakfast are brought directly to bed in the morning by the butler. This great overnight adventure for two is also reasonably priced by Riklin at 230 Euro.
What happens when it unexpectedly rains?
If it starts raining, guests are given refuge and a roof over their heads in the nearby alpine hut. The zero star bed is then in ‘standby mode’ under a protective cover. This year, the project was relocated to Appenzellerland from the Bündner Safiental, where the zero-star bed stood last summer. This season the hotel project was built on the Göbsi near Gonten.
Hotel room with a spoken TV
This year a television with be added ‘to the room’ as a special highlight, but it neither functions digitally or analogously. Just like a regular TV, the channels consist of news and weather forecasts, and also include anecdotes and jokes from the region all being performed by the butler. He speaks directly to the guests through the housing of a disused TV box. What’s all this about? The artists Frank and Patrik Riklin see their live television as a statement against the social delusion of digitalization. For the future, the Riklins hope that their idea of a ‘property free hotel room’ without walls and a roof will also be an inspiration to other regions. Discussions are already underway for locations in 2018.
Landscape art with phenomenal views
Further installations such as the “Bergkanzel”, “Une échappée belle”, the bridge installation “Bridge-Sewing” or performances such as “The only emergency is the absence of emergency” are all dedicated to the theme of landscape art. The powerful landscape of the Safiental with its steep mountainsides and the imposing Rhine Gorge was a particularly inspiring backdrop for the artists.

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