Wake-up call: zero-star hotel offers sleepless nights to mull global crises
Artists Frank and Patrik Riklin offer guests open-air rooms in reaction to the post-pandemic state of the world
“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 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 on 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 such as 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 also features three further null stern suites in a more idyllic vineyard and on a picturesque hillside. They come with a butler service offering drinks and breakfast.
So if you are lucky enough to be heading in that direction between July 1 and September 18, the price for an imperfect night’s sleep is $337 (about R5,400).