The antithesis to Dubai's seven-star palaces, visitors to Switzerland can now stay in the world's first 'zero star hotel' - in a Cold War bunker. It is renowned for its high-altitude mountain refuges and ski chalets, but Switzerland’s newest hotel offers a distinctly subterranean experience. And the price will appeal in these financially straitened times: just ?7 (£5.80) a night.The hotel is, in fact, a converted nuclear bunker in the small town of Sevelen, about an hour west of Zurich.Touted as the world’s first “zero star hotel”, the Null Stern hotel has been developed by artist brothers Frank and Patrik Riklin, who conceived it as an art project but received sufficient interest to make it a full-time hotel.They have already organised a couple of test opening nights and plan to open to paying guests in the New Year. Your ?7 buys you a night in a dormitory-style bed with access to a communal shower.
A room of your own will cost ?20, although the walls will still be unpainted concrete and the facilities spartan.It would be prohibitively expensive to heat the underground bunker, so guests are issued hot water bottles to keep them cosy in their Swiss army-standard bunk beds. They also receive a complimentary pair of slippers to venture across the cold concrete floors.
The ventilation system is noisy, but the Riklins have thought of that too – along with a chocolate on every pillow will be a set of earplugs.In a country in which every town was required to have a bomb-proof nuclear shelter for its inhabitants, the initiative has been welcomed by the local council.Most authorities in Switzerland view the Cold War-era bunkers as a drain on their budgets. The only condition Sevelen’s council placed on the brothers was that they make the bunker available within 24 hours in case of an emergency.