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Switzerland

Hard Rock Hotels opens first hotel in the Alps

Hard Rock Hotels opens first hotel in the Alps

850 566 Daniel Fountain

Hard Rock Hotels has announced the opening of their first hotel in continental Europe, Hard Rock Hotel Davos in the Swiss Alps.

The hotel is located in the heart of the city in the historic Alexander House, built in 1882. For guests looking to hit the ski slopes, the hotel offers guests a dedicated Ski Room where they can store equipment and gear.

Transforming the 130-year-old building, Hard Rock Hotel Davos makes tribute to the building’s rich history and has been transformed into a luxury music-inspired alpine escape with priceless memorabilia adorning the walls of the property, two bars and the brand’s signature Sessions Restaurant.

Curated by a team of experts, the memorabilia collection complements the local music scene while reflecting the region’s art, style and culture. Hard Rock Hotel Davos is now home to 65 pieces of memorabilia, with notable pieces including a sequin sweater by Michael Jackson, a lace outfit by Taylor Swift and a silk shirt by Elvis Presley.

Catering to both business and leisure travellers, Hard Rock Hotel Davos will have 110 lavishly redesigned rooms, including 31 serviced one to three bedroom apartments, all of which feature Sleep Like a Rock® bed linen.

In addition to three conference rooms offering dynamic meeting space, an on-site, historic chapel is also available for private hire, containing a modern sound system, natural acoustics, fully functioning organ and adaptable lighting, ideal for banquets, weddings, private concerts and events.

The property will also boast a wellness centre, including a Body Rock® workout facility and a Rock Spa®, complete with the brand’s signature music-infused Rhythm & Motion spa menu, five treatment rooms and a yoga studio, set to open in August 2018.

www.hardrockhotels.com/davos

Case Study: Brintons at Hotel Walther, Switzerland

Case Study: Brintons at Hotel Walther, Switzerland

999 614 Daniel Fountain

In celebration of its 110th anniversary, the Hotel Walther commissioned Brintons to translate the elaborate designs of interior designer Virginia Maissen into woven Axminster rugs and fitted carpet to complement the refurbishment of the hotel.

The concept of the design was to create a modern, inviting and comfortable feel in this grand hotel with inspiration taken from its surroundings and history. Zürich-based interior designer Virginia Maissen worked with Brintons to redesign the interior to highlight the heritage of the hotel, but also incorporate modern art installations by Rolf Sachs and Sandro Fabbri.

Case Study: Brintons at Hotel Walther, SwitzerlandThe newly refurbished hotel, a member of the Relais & Châteaux group, unveiled its updated design earlier this year. The 17 bespoke carpet designs throughout are bold and abstract, in a colour palette of reds, greens and yellows that reference the hotel’s alpine surroundings.

Brintons collaborated closely with Virginia Maissen to translate her designs into Axminster carpet. The layering of imagery within the designs, mixing bold colours and the subtle photographic representation exploited the full range of the carpet manufacturer’s 32-colour High Definition Weave; a unique Brintons’ innovation that allows for infinite design possibilities and highly dynamic visuals.

The end result is a beautifully detailed collection of bespoke carpets in the lobby, fine dining room, stairs and smoking lounge of the hotel.

Virginia Maissen commented: “I am so proud of the bespoke carpets, Brintons translated all my designs perfectly, the stand out details coupled with a classic pattern brings together both of our design visions. The 17 unique carpet designs demanded special attention from both sides, and Brintons delivered on time and within budget. This project perfectly demonstrates Brintons’ skill in creating one-off pieces to a client specification.”

Case Study: Brintons at Hotel Walther, SwitzerlandAntique treasures and decorations have been reinterpreted to reflect the hotel’s history: original ceilings and rounded archways from the early twentieth century have been exposed with the help of local craftsmen. Specially designed wall tapestries, curtains, and carpets created by Brintons have been added to complement the furnishings of each room.

The 4-star Hotel Walther is a third-generation family-run business, currently headed by Anne-Rose and Thomas Walther. Brintons is well known in Switzerland for its design expertise and market presence, and has an established reputation for high quality custom Axminster carpets and rugs.

www.brintons.net

Project Spotlight: B3 Designers at Hotel de la Paix, Geneva

996 608 Daniel Fountain

When London-based B3 Designers was appointed to transform Hotel de la Paix Geneva’s new Fiskebar restaurants and bar, contemporary Nordic minimalism was the starting point for the design’s inspiration.

This theme reflects the restaurants’ cuisine concept – the first of its kind in the Swiss capital’s prestigious neighbourhood. The harmonious connection with nature, the neutral deeper and darker tones and detailing, abundance of raw materials and weathered textures against minimalistic furniture, whilst retaining elements of timeless rich luxury, has embodied the design ethos of this 220m² space.

Hotel de la Paix, Geneva
There are four distinct yet interconnecting areas at play – the chic and intimate fine-dining restaurant, the more casual raw kitchen counter with its high-table communal seating, the luxurious bar and its cosy opulent lounge. The Nordic theme throughout these spaces evolves from sophisticated modern elegance, to playfully fashion-forward.

RESTAURANT SPACES
A refined atmosphere is created in Fiskebar’s fine-dining restaurant, featuring a spacious and comfortable layout of smooth oak and dark, raw tones. Guests are invited to relax into plush banquettes and cosy armchairs in neutral and warm leather, and dine on slate-topped tables with brass detail. The walls are lined with raw yet smooth, grey-toned timber panelling – a remarkable back-drop for British artist Adam Ross’ grand installation of hand-made abstract ceramic oyster forms of varying shapes and sizes, which was specially commissioned for this project.

The exquisitely understated Dinesen oak flooring seamlessly connects this room to the raw kitchen counter and bar, along with the large distressed beams installed overhead. This casual minimalistic yet elegant dining area, with its open kitchen and raw food counter display, features two long communal tables with stick-back style high chairs, as well as smaller tables for couples. Futuristic long tubular pendant lights hover above the communal tables creating a more casual fish market style atmosphere. The green glazed brick wall tiles in the exposed kitchen contrasts against the dominating dark finishes of the rest of the space. The timber wall panelling is carried through to this space, but with the addition of antique seeded mirrors. Handblown glass pendant lighting is hung in clusters by the windows with views to the terrace.

Hotel de la Paix, Geneva - B3 DesignersCOCKTAIL BAR AND LOUNGE
B3 Designers were fortunate to have some pre-existing heritage-listed features to work with in the cocktail bar and lounge, which include antique wall panelling as well as classic French mouldings and 150-year old parquet and walnut floor. This room was rumoured to have once been used for the drafting of the Geneva Convention, and the antique gilded dove-shaped door handles make a poignant reference to Switzerland’s legacy of peace. The cocktail bar and lounge has a rich palette of textures, colours and timelessly classic vintage furniture. The curved bar, supported by a mixologist’s dream liquor display, sits in one corner of the room, framed by high bar stools.

Low-level tables and plush seating are scattered throughout the rest of the space. The heritage features are complemented with an opulent Venetian-style distressed fresco and plaster effect on the walls, which are also adorned with an eclectic cluster of curated and bespoke Geneva-themed artwork, posters and photographs with historical significance. The bijou lounge is an intimately private and exclusive space with a rich velvet banquette and subtle lighting.

Hotel de la Paix, Geneva - B3 DesignersB3 DESIGNERS
The lead designer on Ritz-Carlton Geneva’s Fiskebar project is Roisin Reilly, who graduated from the Glasgow School of Art with a first-class Honours degree in Design and Interior Design. She joined B3 Designers in 2014.

B3 Designers was founded in 2002 by Mark Bithrey. He has worked in developing branded architectural interiors in leisure-dominated agencies for more than fifteen years. B3 Designers has, under Mark’s creative direction, developed an impressive, diverse and award-winning portfolio. Prior to founding B3 Mark worked for Din Associates, Revolution and Portland Design where he gained a great deal of experience in the retail sector, having completed projects for Selfridges, Virgin, Guinness and Ferrari. In addition to his work at B3 Mark held the post for Marketing Director at the British Institute of Interior Design (BIID), is an affiliate member of RIBA and a member of the Chartered Society of Designers.

Creative collaboration and a down to earth, ‘hands on’ approach are key to B3′s services. The team consists of a group of diverse individuals who reflect this range of skills; each of B3’s associates have backgrounds in interior, graphic and product design as well as architecture, brand writing and strategy.

www.b3designers.co.uk

Ritz-Carlton brings legendary luxury to Switzerland

1024 683 Daniel Fountain

The Ritz-Carlton together with the Manz family have announced the completion of the renovation of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel de la Paix, Geneva, the legendary luxury hotel brand’s debut in Switzerland.

Formerly known as Hotel de la Paix, Geneva, the 152-year-old hotel underwent a multi-million dollar renovation, extensive re-design and refurbishment, marking a new era in the evolving story of one of Geneva’s most elegant and historic hotels.


“With its storied past and legacy of outstanding service, rich culture, and culinary discoveries, Hotel de la Paix is an ideal fit for The Ritz-Carlton brand, which continues to grow and provide exceptional service and genuine care to our guests across the globe,” said Hervé Humler, President and Chief Operating Officer of The Ritz-Carlton, Bulgari and St. Regis Hotels & Resorts. “I am delighted to bring the brand and our renowned service to Switzerland – the country where the legendary hotelier Cesar Ritz was born.”

Positioned on the shore of Lake Geneva, with exceptional views of the city’s famous Jet d’Eau and Mont Blanc as a timeless backdrop, Hotel de la Paix has defined luxury in Geneva since its inception in 1865. It has also stood at the crossroads of history, inspiring many memorable gatherings including the International Congress of Peace, and has welcomed high-profile guests from across the globe, such as the Monaco Royal Family and notable American actor Orson Welles.

THE RITZ-CARLTON BRINGS ITS LEGENDARY LUXURY TO SWITZERLAND
“We are very excited about the reopening of the Hotel de la Paix under The Ritz-Carlton brand,” said the Manz family. “We chose The Ritz-Carlton as operator because we are convinced that the expertise of The Ritz-Carlton in luxury hospitality is going to help this unique property to maintain its position as one of the leading luxury hotels in Geneva in years to come.”

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel de la Paix, Geneva has been thoughtfully renovated to seamlessly blend modern design, functionality and the hotel’s heritage. The newly restored public areas reflect a design concept created around art, time and nature, representing the hotel’s lakeside setting and the city of Geneva. In the hallways of the hotel’s atrium, guests will find an exhibition of tapestries that feature historical figures who played a role in attaining peace, from Giuseppe Garibaldi to Victor Hugo. Its 74 guestrooms, including 14 elegant suites, have been re-styled with a sleek and modern design. Floor-to-ceiling windows fill each room with natural light and are further enhanced by stunning views across Mont Blanc Square, Lake Geneva and the Jet d’Eau. The Grace Kelly Suite, named after the Princess of Monaco who was a regular guest at the hotel, is the hotel’s Presidential Suite, offering sophisticated art deco design and gold leaf gilding, creating an elegant sanctuary.

THE RITZ-CARLTON BRINGS ITS LEGENDARY LUXURY TO SWITZERLAND
Paying homage to Geneva’s gastronomic scene, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel de la Paix, Geneva captures the cosmopolitan nature of the destination with two new culinary experiences. Inspired by Executive Chef Alessio Corda’s respect for organic, regional dishes, Fiskebar introduces a new Nordic-fusion concept, a first-of-its-kind in Geneva. Spread across four interconnecting spaces, including a fresh fish counter with communal seating, the restaurant’s styling is reminiscent of a traditional Scandinavian fish market, where minimalist interiors are set off by natural materials such as wood and leather to create a Nordic ambience. Living Room Bar & Kitchen offers all-day dining, serving regional dishes and global flavors with a thoughtfully crafted menu that showcases fresh, local and seasonal produce.


The inviting, lounge-style setting is embellished with elements of the building’s historic details and original features, such as the 150-year old parquet and walnut floor. Additionally, the Philippe Pascoët chocolate shop offers authentic sweet confections, handmade by legendary Swiss Master Chocolatier, Philippe Pascoët. Guests can savor a complimentary chocolate upon arrival, indulge in the menu of uniquely-blended hot drinks or pick up a box of artisanal chocolate as a memento.

Building on its reputation for hosting historical gatherings and events, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel de la Paix, Geneva will be able to host meetings and conferences in an elegant, flexible space that can accommodate up to 100 guests in an inspiring lakefront setting. The space can be divided into two separate rooms, each offering a garden view and natural light through floor-to-ceiling windows.

“It is an honour to bring The Ritz-Carlton experience to Switzerland, here with an iconic luxury hotel that has borne witness to a multitude of historic world events,” said Jenni Benzaquen, Vice President, Luxury Brands, Europe for Marriott International. “The Ritz-Carlton is proud to embark on a new chapter in Geneva, infusing the brand’s legendary service standards into this beautifully renovated hotel.”

www.ritzcarlton.com

Davos - Hard Rock Hotel

Hard Rock International to rock the Alps with Davos hotel

849 493 Daniel Fountain

With presence in more than 70 countries across the globe, Hard Rock International is expanding its hotel portfolio to the Swiss Alps, announcing plans to open Hard Rock Hotel Davos.

Working in collaboration with International Hospitality Service, the owner of Spenglers Hotel and Holsboer Residences in Davos, Hard Rock will electrify the region in December 2017. VIYM, a private equity firm with extensive expertise in the hospitality industry, consulted IHS on the deal.

Transforming the 130-year-old building, which houses the recently renovated Spenglers Hotel Davos with a new spa and soft design touches, Hard Rock Hotel Davos will give tribute to the building’s rich history of honoring Dr. Alexander Spengler and Willem Jan Holsboer – both pioneers in their respective fields.

As Davos became famous for the medical benefits its high altitude climate provided, Dr. Spengler was the first person to open a people’s sanatorium, while Holsboer developed the plans for the railway line to Davos. Recently renovated last year, the historic luxury boutique hotel will further continue its modern conversion by evolving into a music-inspired city escape with priceless memorabilia adorning the walls of the property, curated by a team of design experts to fit the local music scene while reflecting the region’s art, style and culture.

Through music appreciation and an imaginative environment, Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos delivers products for the varied aspects of life – work, play and personal sanctuary.

For more information or to book a stay at any of the Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos, please visit www.hardrockhotels.com.

Introducing Swiss Chandolin Boutique Hotel – now open

999 596 Daniel Fountain

Amid the pines and larch trees of the Valaisian valley, the 25-room Chandolin Boutique Hotel is a holistic expression of archetypal Alpine luxury shot through with an environmentally conscious spirit.

Designed by local architecture firm Kittel SA and housed in a typically Swiss grand chalet, the hotel’s architectural identity reflects the natural splendour of its surroundings, with a façade of linseed-oil-treated wooden slats, balustrades of larch wood and cedar, and opus incertum stonework.

Chandolin Boutique Hotel
Sustainable technology such as thermal solar panels, dual-flow ventilation, and triple-glazing windows have been integrated into the building’s design, demonstrating that the hotel’s reverence of its locale goes beyond the aesthetic.

Chandolin Boutique HotelInside, alternating natural stone floors and aged oak parquet flooring set the tone for an understated interior design that is also inspired by the hotel’s natural setting. Walls are embellished with monochromatic works of mountain sports photography, while furnishings range in texture from raw fabrics to natural leathers.

Earthy colour palettes in communal areas—with warmer beiges in rooms and suites—are complemented by fir wood detailing and unpolished stonework. Large windows ensure the Alpine-chic spaces are flooded with natural light in the day, while providing the perfect perch from which to take in the starry skies at night.

www.chandolinboutiquehotel.ch

Kulm Country Club

Lord Foster-designed Kulm Country Club re-opens

999 568 Daniel Fountain

The historic Kulm Country Club, located in the grounds of the legendary Kulm Hotel St. Moritz, has re-opened following a £9.5 million refurbishment and extension overseen by British architect Lord Foster.

Lord Foster, who loves the Engadine Valley and is a long-term resident of St. Moritz, said he was delighted to be able to make a contribution to his own community, “The challenge was to rescue the existing building, bring it back to its original function and to add new uses while also respecting the historic fabric. I am very proud of what we have been able to achieve – to harmoniously combine the old and the new”.

The Kulm Country Club first opened in 1905 and immediately became the place for residents and visitors to gather, sitting on the terrace soaking up the sun and admiring the panoramic Alpine views, intermittently taking spins on the natural ice rink in front of the building. In 1928 and 1948, the building was the official event base for the Winter Olympic Games, but by the 1980s it had ceased to be used and fell into disrepair.

With the FIS Alpine Ski World Championships taking place in St. Moritz and Lord Foster kindly offering his services, the owners of the Kulm Country Club (the Niarchos family who also own the Kulm Hotel St. Moritz) and the local community came together two years ago and agreed to return the building to its former glory as a venue for social gatherings and a focal point for major events. Renovation work stared in spring 2016 and has now been completed, including a modern grandstand that is currently being used as the medal presentation venue for the FIS Alpine Ski World Championships.

The two-storey Kulm Country Club, a synthesis of Art Nouveau and traditional Swiss style, is protected, so the fabric of the building remains very much as it was, with many original elements such as the main staircase and window frames retained. However, modern technologies and equipment have been introduced, like a new kitchen and a single core with lifts, food hoists and a second set of stairs, to enhance the performance of the building and make it accessible. Historic artefacts and memorabilia were preserved creating a museum of the building, which Lord Foster personally picked and positioned, alongside a selection of photographs, bobsleighs, sledges and other decorations from the region.

The Kulm Country Club now comprises a wood-panelled first-floor restaurant with a large sun terrace overlooking the ice rink in winter and tennis courts in summer, plus a lounge & bar area on the ground floor.

Burgenstock - Lucerne

Burgenstock Resort Lake Lucerne to debut in summer of 2017

999 569 Daniel Fountain

In one of the world’s most stunning settings, in a land renowned for its hospitality, a trendsetting new destination is set to debut next summer.

Set on a forested ridge 2,800 feet above spectacular Lake Lucerne with views of the Rigi and Pilatus Mountains, the car-free Burgenstock Resort Lake Lucerne is spread over 148 acres and will be open all year round. Katara Hospitality is investing 500 million Swiss francs (£392 million) in this holistic resort dedicated to healthy living and responsible tourism. Bruno Schöpfer, Managing Director of Katara Hospitality Switzerland Ltd. has shepherded the monumental project for the past several years.

Burgenstock Resort Lucerne

The Burgenstock Resort Lake Lucerne encompasses 383 rooms in four hotels, 67 residences, 13 restaurants and bars, a 107,000 square-foot spa and wellness center, meeting space for 900 people – not to mention the highest outdoor elevator in Europe – and a funicular that deposits guests directly inside the hotel. A nine-hole golf course, three championship tennis courts, a curling rink, 43 miles of hiking and biking trails and a private lido on the lake for water sports will keep active guests busy and happy. Art and cultural events and the resort’s “museums” will appeal to culture lovers.

Burgenstock - Lucerne

Facilities include:
– New five-star Superior Burgenstock Hotel with 102 rooms and suites, restaurant, cigar lounge and meeting facilities will be a Leading Hotel of the World
– Newly-transformed four-star Superior Palace Hotel (108 rooms and suites, restaurant, conference facilities) with its storied history
– Five-star Waldhotel Healthy Living, designed by architect Matteo Thun, featuring 160 rooms, a restaurant serving healthy cuisine, spa services and facilities for medical check-ups, physical therapy, weight management, post-operative convalescence and wellness programs
– Built in 1879, the recently renovated three-star Taverne has 12 cozy guest rooms and a restaurant serving traditional Swiss dishes
– Thirteen restaurants, lounges and bars

Burgenstock - Lucerne

The resort’s indoor/outdoor Burgenstock Alpine Spa will boast three pools including a heated outdoor infinity-edge pool with mountain and lake views; 18 treatment rooms; a 24- hour fitness area with state-of-the-art equipment, yoga studio, wet areas with hammam, sauna and whirlpools and hydrotherapy in a Kneipp bath.

The resort is CO2 neutral thanks to its unique energy system which uses lake water operated by 100 percent certified local hydroelectric power. One hundred percent of the resort’s cooling and 80 percent of its heating needs are derived from lake water. The resort’s 74 acres of forest and meadows also help to offset any carbon emissions.

It is a unique mix of classic Swiss hospitality and innovative planning to define the resort of the 21st century…

Design Hotels

Design Hotels introduces seven newcomers

826 455 Daniel Fountain

Design Hotels is pleased to announce seven new additions joining a growing portfolio of over 290 independent hotels in more than 50 countries across the globe.

Tucked inside the historic centre of the UNESCO Heritage village of Pienza, La Bandita Townhouse is a rambling palazzo set on a beautiful hill amid quiet Cobblestone streets in Tuscany. The brainchild of Original John Voigtmann, the one time Vice President of International Marketing for Sony Music, was transformed from a dilapidated 500-year-old convent into a luxury 12-room boutique hotel.

Design Hotels

La Bandita Townhouse

Through a narrow street and a small tunnel sits Memmo Príncipe Real — home to a secret sightseeing spot with breathtaking views over the city and a gateway to one of the most attractive and charming neighborhoods in Lisbon. Located in the heart of the 41-room hotel Café Colonial is a celebration of the many global influences represented by Lusophone roots.

Design Hotels - Dos Casas Hotel & Spa

Memmo Príncipe Real

The result of a decade of careful architectural renovations, Dos Casas Hotel & Spa is set in the heart of San Miguel De Allende, a bustling UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site in Mexico. The result of a decade of careful architectural renovations, 12-room Dos Casas—set within two adjoining 18th-century colonial houses—offers cool vanguard design and warm traditionalism.

Design Hotels - Dos Casas Hotel & Spa

Dos Casas Hotel & Spa

Creating a benchmark for casual luxury in Switzerland, Giardino Ascona is a haven committed to charismatic design, casual ambience, and recreational splendour. Located in a spectacular sunny bay of Lake Maggiore, along a tranquil parkland, Giardino Ascona, and its 54 rooms and 18 suites, is awash with Mediterranean joie de vivre.

Design Hotels - Giardino Ascona

Giardino Ascona

Behind a refurbished façade that recalls 1950s Palma, Nakar Hotel emerges as a serene retreat through light-soaked lounges, spa, and a spectacular rooftop infinity pool. The structure that houses Azor hotel is a specimen of modern architecture with an imposing cuboid form, an exterior of white stone, and expansive windows of polished glass.

Design Hotels - Nakar Hotel

Nakar Hotel

Inspired by the surrounding sea and the volcanic nature of the Portuguese Azores Island of São Miguel, Azor Hotel abounds with natural materials that serve to remind guests of the property’s remote location. Not only do the architect, interior designer, owner, and chef all hail from the island, but the 57-room hotel is fashioned from local materials; serves guests an authentic Mallorcan cuisine; and offers impressive views of the Old Town and the sea.

Design Hotels - Azor Hotel

Azor Hotel

In one of Taipei’s most cosmopolitan neighborhoods, Hotel Proverbs Taipei takes minimalistic design and pairs it with the utmost in personalized service while adding a dash of hedonism in the process. In one of Taipei’s most cosmopolitan neighborhoods, Hotel Proverbs Taipei takes minimalistic design and pairs it with the utmost in personalised service.

Design Hotels - Hotel Proverbs Taipei

Hotel Proverbs Taipei

Photos: Design Hotels
designhotels.com

New spa opens at The Hotel Royal Savoy, Lausanne

New spa opens at The Hotel Royal Savoy, Lausanne

600 400 Daniel Fountain

After an investment of 100 million Swiss Francs (£77 million) and a five-year complete renovation and expansion, the transformation of the iconic Hotel Royal Savoy is now complete. The 1500sqm Le Spa du Royal which opened this June is the latest addition to the hotel.

The new Le Spa du Royal features eight fabulous treatment rooms, two relaxation rooms, a ladies only spa, two private spa areas, an indoor and outdoor pool, a hammam, sauna, spa boutique, hair studio, and fitness centre.

New spa opens at The Hotel Royal Savoy, Lausanne

The Royal Savoy Lausanne is a five-star hotel with a total of 196 bedrooms and suites, spread between the historic and the new contemporary building. The hotel also boasts a fabulous restaurant overlooking the private park, a stunning sky terrace with 360 panoramic views, and the largest ballroom in Lausanne.

New spa opens at The Hotel Royal Savoy, Lausanne

First opened in 1906, the Royal Savoy Hotel has been a prestigious symbol of Lausanne for many years; its architectural magnificence, and tradition of hospitality, rivalling the best luxury hotels in Switzerland, and it has consistently attracted aristocracy and famous personalities. Constructed in neo-Baroque and Art Nouveau styles, the hotel was beautifully fitted out using the finest materials and quickly established itself as an essential part of Lausanne’s historic heritage.

Null Stern - open-air hotel Switzerland

Opinion: One-room, open-air hotel – gimmick or the future?

749 447 Daniel Fountain

Having stayed in countless hotels, I am aware that the quality of a guest’s sleeping experience is one of the most important aspects of a stay – if not the most important.

So getting the choice of bed, mattress and linens right takes thought and time. But if that’s the hotel’s only offering, you might think the hotelier’s job has been made considerably easier.

For ‘conceptual artists’ Frank and Patrik Riklin, that’s exactly what’s happened. With the help of hospitality professional Daniel Charbonnier, their latest brainchild is the one-room, open-air Null Stern ‘hotel’ on a Swiss mountainside. The room has no walls, no ceiling and – aside from a few side-tables and lamps – no amenities. Guests must use a public toilet some 10 minutes’ walk away…

It’s the second accommodation offering from the pair after they launched a similar, ‘zero-star’ project in an underground, former nuclear bunker. And this one is going for an eye-watering £154 per night – which does include a butler service.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Charbonnier said: “Even though this version is radically different from the first one in the nuclear bunker, the essence and the spirit of the concept remains the same.

“To put the guest at the centre of the experience and to focus on the intangible by reducing everything else to the minimum.”

Concepts come and unsuccessful ones go, but several have stuck around through the years – think boutiques or technologically-focussed properties. Personally, however, I do think this is one ambitious project too far. The unpredictably of European weather aside (you can cancel with short notice dependant on weather), a hotel is the sum of several smaller parts that go to make an experience for the guest.

Strip away amenities, décor, structures and staff – you can’t really call this a hotel. More a glorified and over-priced camping spot in a Swiss field. I’m all for innovation in hotel design and architecture, but call me old-fashioned I do feel that should include walls and ceilings…