As Switzerland opens its doors to fully-vaccinated Indians (Covishield; 14 days after the second shot), take your pick from unusual snoozing options: bubbles, cubes with extra-large glass windows, tiny houses in the wilderness, a bed inside an herb garden, a mountain hut made entirely of stone pine, hanging tent for those with a particularly good head for heights. Even an island on wheels trailer.
Launched under the aegis of Switzerland Tourism, The Million Stars Hotels’ initiative has nearly 50 accommodation options spread across 12 Swiss tourist regions. Room prices range from CHF 80 to around CHF 1,300 per night for two people, including breakfast (1 Swiss Franc or CHF = INR 80.87). Note that The Million Stars Hotels’ doors will remain open until the end of October 2021 (depending on altitude). So, check before booking. For details/booking, visit: MySwitzerland.com/millionstarshotel
Here are 11 unusual Swiss snooze options:
1. Observatory, Randolins (St Moritz)
Perched 2,000 metres above sea level on the famous Suvretta slope in St Moritz, this former 97-year-old observatory offers guests direct views of the starry skies at night and the Engadin mountains. The observatory is only accessible by ladder. For safety reasons, the room is only suitable for adults
Tariff/night: From CHF 280 for two people, including breakfast.
2. Cube Aletsch – Eggishorn (Fiescheralp, Valais)
Stay in a homely cube close to the renowned Great Aletsch Glacier at more than 2,800 metre above sea level and enjoy impressive 360° panoramic views. From the Eggishorn, which can be easily reached by cable car, guests can admire the Great Aletsch Glacier over its entire length – from the tip of the glacier all the way to Concordia Place.
Tariff/night: From CHF 375 for two people, including breakfast.
3. Star Base 1 & 2 (Sternenberg)
Spend the night under the stars in the best place to see them in the canton of Zurich: in Star Base 1 and Star Base 2 in Sternenberg, the highest municipality in the canton. Located on the Schürli Farm, you share this idyllic spot with no one but the goats and sheep grazing nearby. The bed is underneath a window, with the view of the surrounding nature also clear to the front and back.
Tariff/night: From CHF 235 for two people, including breakfast.
4. A Bed Under the Stars
A comfortable bed under the stars awaits visitors to the Lötschen Pass. The Lötschenpasshütte is located at 2,690 metre above sea level between the Gastern Valley and the Lötschen Valley and boasts a unique location overlooking the 4,000-metre peaks of the Valais. The mountain hut can only be reached on foot.
Tariff/night: From CHF 222 for two people, including breakfast.
5. Sealander, Lake Thun (Faulensee)
The only one of its kind in Switzerland, Sealander, a combination of floating electric caravan and boat, puts guests right on the lake. The Sealander can travel on land as a caravan and on the water as a modern electric boat. It is easy to operate, with no driving licence required. The electric convertible boat is equipped with a swimming ladder, kitchenette, barbecue, sink, fresh water, shower facilities, refrigerator, loud speakers, interior lighting, portable toilet and other facilities.
Tariff/night: From CHF 390 for two people, including breakfast.
6. Stargazer’s Nest, Bolderhof (Hemishofen near Stein am Rhein)
This former animal feed silo has been converted into the perfect nest for stargazers. The Stargazer’s Nest is located on the Bolderhof, an open farm for young and old and has play areas for children, go-karting and lots of opportunities to interact with animals (water buffalo, cows, cats, chickens), milking, riding, trekking, etc. Historic Stein am Rhein is just minutes away.
Tariff/night: From CHF 145 for two people, including breakfast.
7. Thurgau Bubble Hotel at the Kartause Ittingen Monastery Hotel (Kartause Ittingen)
The Bubble Hotel is a fully furnished, transparent, spherical tent. The location on Feierlenhof Farm features beautiful fruit orchards and a wonderful view of the lake. The Bubble Hotel is cosy and dry even when it is windy and rainy outside. If the wind speed exceeds 70km/hour or guests feel uncomfortable, they can use alternative accommodation on the farm itself.
Tariff/night: From CHF 215 for two people, including breakfast.
8. Pinot Noir Sleep Barrel (Jennins)
Why not spend the night in an old 8,000 litre wine barrel? The Sleep Barrel has a view from the large window down into the Chur Rhine Valley and up into the starry sky. Dinner (if booked) is served in a second barrel. All guests are welcomed with a Graubünden Röteli aperitif and a bottle of local white wine.
Tariff/night: From CHF 180 for two people, including breakfast.
9. Tiny House (Engelberg)
Sleep in a repurposed Brunni cable car gondola directly on the edge of an imposing rock needle. The cable car cabin of the old Brunni cableway was converted into a TinyHouseGondola and installed at this spectacularly beautiful location on the Brunni, surrounded by a mountain panorama.
Tariff/night: CHF 490 to CHF 510 per night (max. two people). Includes return trip Engelberg-Ristis-Brunnihütte, breakfast, drinks in the minibar and free shower facilities in the Berglodge Restaurant Ristis.
10. Stargazing from an apiary, youth hostel (Grindelwald)
Made entirely of Swiss timber, this 100% biodegradable apiary is located in the Grindelwald Youth Hostel’s large garden, with access to the hostel’s facilities. The view of the legendary north face of the Eiger is simply breathtaking. The large garden has a grilling spot for barbecuing. There’s a large outdoor hot tub, too.
Tariff/night: From CHF 198 for two people, including breakfast.
11. Berginsel (Oberems)
The Berginsel B&B is located high above the Rhône Valley, a little way off from the village of Oberems at the mouth of the wildly romantic Turtmann Valley. Wake up to the sound of birdcall and enjoy coffee brought to you in bed at sunrise. The shower and toilet are in the main house. If the weather conditions make it impossible to sleep under the stars, visitors can spend the night in the Ämshoru multi-bed room in the main house.Tariff/night: From CHF 100 for two people, including breakfast.