Imagine a hotel room without a ceiling or walls, located directly under the sky within a magnificent alpine landscape. To some, it may seem like an optical illusion, but for the 6,500 passengers on the waiting list, spend a night at the Null Stern (either near Saillon in the Valais region or at 6,463 feet above sea level at one of six locations in eastern Switzerland) It is a reality. The Vineyard Saillon Suites will be available from July 1 until September 18, 2022.
“The definition of luxury has evolved over the years from tangible to intangible,” said hotel co-founder Daniel Charpentier. “The marble in the bathroom is now much less important than the emotional experience of the guest.”
Mr. Charpentier worked in hotels all over the world before returning to his native Switzerland. There, he met concept artists (and twin brothers) Frank and Patrick Riklin, first known for an art installation inside an 1980s nuclear bunker hidden in the basement of an apartment building in St. Gallen. They called it “The Knoll Stern Hotel”, the hotel without stars. Since then, the Riklin brothers have continued to imagine artworks and art installations that challenge people’s habits and thought processes. outside museums and galleries, i
For Null Stern, the three partners are looking for sites that provide background and dramatic viewing. They build platforms on which they put a queen bed, two sleeping tables and lighting units.
“We call them estate-free suites,” said Mr. Charpentier. “But it’s within walking distance of the bathrooms and also a spare bedroom for these guests in case the weather changes.”
Each suite costs $295 per night and comes with its own butler, who is responsible for bringing dinner and breakfast to guests in bed. But the Null Stern server is also his own invention. The person who takes care of the guests will wear a white shirt, white gloves and tie but will have complete freedom of what they wear. And while he’ll be in charge of traditional service tasks, he’ll also be free to improvise in order to enhance the experience.
Inspired by the simple beauty of the Swiss landscape, the Riklin brothers are known for taking their art outside of museums and galleries, typical frontiers. In fact, by giving humans a place to rest within nature, they are presenting the landscape as art.
Finally, a new pavilion called the Imperfect Wing created in partnership with the city of Saillon, challenges even the beauty of the landscape. Located between a gas station and a highway, it is intended to create “positive disruption”.
“There are so many problems in the world now, how can we sleep?” asked Patrick Riklin. “Our new version is an incubator for thought.”
The brothers’ goal is to get the guests to stop and think. Perhaps by constantly cutting conventions, they will succeed in bringing people together to effect change.
“What is luxury? How can we be safe?” they ask.
“We all love nature,” he said, “but we keep destroying it.” “The bedrooms of the future may not have walls or ceilings anymore because we wouldn’t have the resources to build them any other way.”
Whether you choose ‘traditional’ suites or imperfect ones, Null Stern will challenge your thinking. Will we go back to the way we used to travel before the pandemic? Art raises questions. The answers are up to us.