Dematerialised room

Raphael Rossel •

The Null Stern Hotel in the Safien Valley is still open until 16 October. Instead of walls, it offers breath-taking local scenery.

With the Null Stern Hotel, the concept artists Frank and Patrik Riklin are re-writing hotel history. In 2008 they opened the first «starless» hotel in an old civil defence facility in Sevelen, St. Gallen, making global headlines overnight. As part of the first «Art Safiental» exhibition, they have now taken their idea into the great outdoors: in the new Null Stern Hotel, rather than staying in a bunker, you sleep under the stars in the open air.

The «Art Safiental» open-air exhibition in the Safien Valley, Graubünden (the Rhine Gorge) was launched on 2 July. Specifically for this region, pieces of landscape art have been distributed on both sides of the flanks of the valley. Among these are six permanent large installations, three contributions by guest artists and 19 works, some of which are temporary. A trip to the Safien Valley is therefore the ideal solution for those looking to add a cultural flavour to their late-summer walks.

One installation in particular has received a lot of media attention, and that is the hotel bed by twin brothers Frank and Patrik Riklin. At a time when the discussion surrounding empty hotel rooms in the Swiss Alps is calling for new solutions, the pair has stepped up to the plate and come up with an idea that engages in a dialogue with nature and the surrounding landscape rather than focusing on abandoned shelters. «The landscape is the imaginary building» says the pair, whose open-air hotel concept takes guests straight to the bed in what they have come to the mountains to see: nature in its purest form.

Further information:

The Null Stern Hotel is run in cooperation with the Safien Valley Tourism Association. A butler is on hand to serve the guests, bringing them a bit of breakfast in bed the next morning. At CHF 250, an overnight stay doesn’t come cheap, but you can’t put a price on the view. Toilets are a ten-minute walk away. There is a standby mode for when the double bed cannot be used because of bad weather. During these periods, the bed frame is covered with a protective tarpaulin. Mattresses, duvets and pillows are stored in a small shed nearby.

The bed is already fully booked for this summer season. However, if you would like to add your name to the waiting list for next season, please contact, or call +41 (0)81 630 60 16.

Photographer: Claudio Baeggli