Swiss artists Frank and his twin-brother Patrik Riklin (R) pose in their Null-Stern-Hotel (Zero-star-hotel) land art installation on an alp in front of the peak of Mount Saentis near Gonten, Switzerland. June 1, 2017.
Swiss artists Frank and his twin-brother Patrik Riklin (R) pose in their Null-Stern-Hotel (Zero-star-hotel) land art installation on an alp in front of the peak of Mount Saentis near Gonten, Switzerland. June 1, 2017.

Twin brothers Frank and Patrik Riklin and their partner Daniel Charbonnier have created a conceptual art project, the "zero-star" hotel, to provide unobstructed views of Switzerland's majestic landscape.

It aims to explode traditional approaches to hospitality in the wealthy country known for its luxurious top-star mountain and lakeside resorts.

"Our artistic perspective is to go in the other direction. There is freedom in the zero to define luxury anew," Frank Riklin said of the minimalist project that opens on Friday in the rolling hills of the Appenzell region near Sankt Gallen.

"We are very consciously mixing up the system to create a new reality."

Mirjam (RtoL) and Raphael receive a drink from the butler, Koebi Dietrich, as they pose as the first guests in the bedroom of the Null-Stern-Hotel (Zero-star-hotel), Switzerland. June 1, 2017. (Reuters)
Mirjam (RtoL) and Raphael receive a drink from the butler, Koebi Dietrich, as they pose as the first guests in the bedroom of the Null-Stern-Hotel (Zero-star-hotel), Switzerland. June 1, 2017. (Reuters)

As art lovers vie for a night under the stars, this year's offering is nearly sold out after more than 1,300 requests for reservations from people as far afield as the US, Australia, and Africa.

But traditional Swiss hoteliers are not great fans of the project that stands normal customs on their head, said Riklin.

Guests can order overnight stays in the Null-Stern-hotel room with no walls and roof located on some 1,200 metres altitude in the eastern Swiss Alps, June 1, 2017. (Reuters)
Guests can order overnight stays in the Null-Stern-hotel room with no walls and roof located on some 1,200 metres altitude in the eastern Swiss Alps, June 1, 2017. (Reuters)

An overnight stay in a double bed "suite" in a field costs 295 Swiss francs ($306).

At the "zero star" hotel, you get a drink on arrival, breakfast and the services of a "modern butler" - typically a local farmer in rubber boots.

He or she escorts guests to the site, provides weather reports and delivers local jokes through a broken-down TV set.

Swiss artists Frank and his twin-brother Patrik Riklin (R) pose in their Null-Stern-Hotel (Zero-star-hotel) land art installation in front of the peak of Mount Saentis near Gonten, Switzerland, June 1, 2017. (Reuters)
Swiss artists Frank and his twin-brother Patrik Riklin (R) pose in their Null-Stern-Hotel (Zero-star-hotel) land art installation in front of the peak of Mount Saentis near Gonten, Switzerland, June 1, 2017. (Reuters)

An outhouse bathroom is a three-minute walk away at a nearby Alpine hut that serves as a backup in case of bad weather, which wiped out 37 of the 60 available nights outdoors last year.

Previous versions of the installation have featured beds in a nuclear bunker and at an elevation of 1,600 metres in the mountainous Grisons region.

($1 = 0.9641 Swiss francs)

Source: Reuters