The Null Stern Hotel isn’t technically a hotel: it’s a single room, but one without walls or a roof, so technically not a room either. It’s a concrete or wooden platform, on which sits a queen-size bed, two night tables and reading lights, and some hotel amenities, including slippers and a butler service. For a night’s fee, you get to sleep in the bed (if you can), enjoy dinner and breakfast in bed, have a few drinks, and take in the surroundings.
This probably goes without saying at this point, but the Null Stern Hotel is an art installation, one that has some applicability in hospitality in the sense that people actually do book stays here. It’s the brainchild of artists and twin brothers Frank and Patrik Riklin, who later welcomed Switzerland-based Minds in Motion founder Daniel Charbonnier to create Zero Real Estates, following the success of their 2016 debut. That first suite was set inside an '80s bunker.
luxurious experience becomes valuable not because it’s packed with material things, but because of the unique perspective and almost complete immersion in nature.
“The definition of luxury has evolved over the years from tangible to intangible,” Charpentier told Forbes in an interview last month. “Marble in the bathroom is now much less important than a guest’s emotional experience.”
But there is nothing luxurious about the latest offering, what with unexpected location. The artists call this the Anti-idyllic Suite because it won’t invite guests to relaxation, but quite the opposite. Guests are expected to spend their worst night here, jolted by the sounds of nearby traffic and, presumably, gas prices sightings. They won’t breathe in the cool, pure Swiss Alps air, but exhaust fumes and dust.
And that’s the point. The latest installation is meant to encourage guests to spend their time awake, meditating on the world’s crises, starting from the looming recession to climate change, social inequalities, and security. It aims to serve as a “positive disruption.”
“Individuals, companies, schools or associations are all welcome to use this space to exchange, brainstorm or create ideas,” the listing reads. “We offer you the opportunity to invest time in yourself and for yourself, so it gives sense and purpose to this moment of introspection.”
premium service with the “room.” Zero Real Estate hired Modern Butlers in advance just for this new opening, and there will be drinks and finger food (organic, of course!) offered throughout the stay. Modern Butler is what the company calls their own butler, and the requirements for the job include only having to wear gloves, a white shirt and a bow tie. The rest of the outfit is entirely up to the butler, as is his or her interaction with the guests.
A night’s stay in this room that discourages sleep and is located outside a gas station is CHF 325, or $338 at the current exchange rate. While you’re losing sleep pondering over the world’s crises, worry not about bad weather: the price includes a night’s stay for two at the local hotel, in case it rains. These artists may be disruptive, but they’re not heartless.