By Denis Balibouse
SAILLON, Switzerland (Reuters) – “I couldn’t sleep,” and “my room was too noisy,” may be complaints hoteliers dread from guests, but for the Riklin brothers that is the entire point of their latest ‘zero star hotel’ art installation.
The Swiss concept artists’ hotel room is essentially a double bed on a platform, with two bedside tables and lamps. There are no walls, ceiling or doors to provide any privacy or shelter.
They have set up their null stern suite – German for zero star – on a roadside next to a petrol station in the village of Saillon, in the southern Swiss canton of Valais.
The intention is to make guests think about the problems in the world, the twin brothers said, and inspire them to act differently.
They’ve created similar beds in idyllic spots, but this is their first ‘anti-idyllic’ site.
“Sleep is not the point,” said Frank Riklin. “What’s important is reflecting about the current world situation. Staying here is a statement about the need for urgent changes in society.”
Guests are invited in their ‘half sleep’ to consider topics like climate change, war, and humanity’s endless quest for perfection and the damage it causes the planet.
“In a nutshell, now is not the time to sleep, we have to react,” said Patrik. “If we continue in the same direction we are today, there might be more anti-idyllic places than idyllic.”
The project, which has been developed with hotelier Daniel Charbonnier, also features three further null stern suites in a more idyllic vineyard and on a picturesque hillside.
The suites, which come with butler service offering drinks and breakfast, will be available form July 1 to Sept. 18. The price for an imperfect night’s sleep: 325 Swiss francs ($337).
($1 = 0.9656 Swiss francs)
(Reporting by Denis Balibouse, writing by John Revill, editing by Alexandra Hudson)