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Switzerland’s Null Stern Hotel: the nuclear option

There are no windows and no privacy, but the first ‘zero-star hotel’ has been a surprise hit and could be coming here

“Zero is the new seven,” says the sign at the entrance. Perhaps it is, but the idea will take a little getting used to. In the small Swiss town of Teufen, in the canton of St Gallen near the Austrian border, conceptual artists (and twin brothers) Frank and Patrik Riklin have taken over an 1980s nuclear fallout shelter and created something altogether different – a hotel.

Billed as the world’s first zero-star hotel, the Null Stern Hotel occupies the underground space of a nondescript apartment block. The hardened concrete structure and near-two-foot-thick blast doors were designed to take the full brunt of a nuclear or chemical attack. In time of crisis the bunker would have been able to hold more than 200 people.

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