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Farmer en suite, Swiss "zero-star" hotel moves beds to great outdoors
June 7, 2017 / 7:22 AM / 4 months ago

Farmer en suite, Swiss "zero-star" hotel moves beds to great outdoors

Raphael and Mirjam (R) pose as first guests in the bedroom of the Null-Stern-Hotel (Zero-star-hotel) land art installation by Swiss artists Frank and Patrik Riklin on an alp mount Saentis near Gonten, Switzerland June 1, 2017. Guests can order overnight stays in the Null-Stern-hotelroom with no walls and roof located on some 1,200 metres (3,937 ft) altitude in the eastern Swiss Alps. Picture taken on June 1, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

ZURICH (Reuters) - An overnight stay in a double bed “suite” in a field costs 295 Swiss francs ($306), but you do get a drink on arrival, breakfast and the services of a “modern butler” -- typically a local farmer in rubber boots.

He or she escorts guests to the site, provides weather reports and delivers local jokes through a broken-down TV set.

Welcome to the “zero star” hotel, a conceptual art project that lets guests bed down in the wide open spaces with unobstructed views of Switzerland’s majestic landscape.

Created by twin brothers Frank and Patrik Riklin and partner Daniel Charbonnier, the project aims to explode traditional approaches to hospitality in the wealthy country known for its luxurious top-star mountain and lakeside resorts.

“Our artistic perspective is to go in the other direction. There is freedom in the zero to define luxury anew,” Frank Riklin said of the minimalist project that opens on Friday in the rolling hills of the Appenzell region near Sankt Gallen.

Mirjam (RtoL) and Raphael receive a drink from butler Koebi Dietrich as they pose as first guests in the bedroom of the Null-Stern-Hotel (Zero-star-hotel) land art installation by Swiss artists Frank and Patrik Riklin on an alp in front of the peak of mount Saentis near Gonten, Switzerland June 1, 2017. Guests can order overnight stays in the Null-Stern-hotelroom with no walls and roof located on some 1,200 metres (3,937 ft) altitude in the eastern Swiss Alps. Picture taken on June 1, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

An outhouse bathroom is a three-minute walk away at a nearby Alpine hut that serves as a backup in case of bad weather, which wiped out 37 of the 60 available nights outdoors last year.

Previous versions of the installation have featured beds in a nuclear bunker and at an elevation of 1,600 metres (5,250 feet) in the mountainous Grisons region.

Slideshow (2 Images)

This year’s offering is nearly sold out after more than 1,300 requests for reservations from people as far afield as the United States, Australia, Iraq and Africa.

While art lovers vie for a night under the stars, Riklin said traditional Swiss hoteliers are not great fans of the project that stands normal customs on their head.

“We are very consciously mixing up the system to create a new reality,” he said.

($1 = 0.9641 Swiss francs)

Reporting by Michael Shields Editing by Jeremy Gaunt

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