Thursday, July 23, 2020 The Advertiser 26 GETAWAY Switzerland has created spectacular places to stay for lovers of the night sky, reports PAUL COLE A LL the stars are coming out tonight, they’re lighting up the sky tonight – for you... Gary Barlow might have taken inspiration for Take That’s hit song from this year’s most star-studded travel treat. Switzerland Tourism has just launched a celestial spectacular – and promises it won’t come with an astronomical price tag. The Million Stars Hotel comprises 50 hotel ‘rooms’ dotted throughout the country, ranging from a tiny hotel room in a gondola to a thrilling tree tent. They’re located on impressive mountain peaks, in fragrant wildflower meadows or high above the city’s rooftops. And all have one thing in common – an uninterrupted view of the night sky in all its glory. “Forget about counting sheep. This summer, people are counting stars instead – from the comfort of a cosy bed,” says chief executive Martin Nydegger. Guests can choose to sleep outdoors, under a glass roof or behind a large glass façade, with most of the locations opened specially for the Million Stars Hotel project. Room prices start from £60, rising to around £600 if you really want to splash out, including breakfast. Depending on their altitude and ‘outdoor character’, the rooms are available for bookings up to the end of October. No one room is quite like another. You could spend the night on the mountain Piz Nair, in a cable car that has been converted into a tiny home. Or how about a glass-fronted cube on the mountain Eggishorn with views of the Aletsch Glacier? An observatory has been transformed into a hotel room for guests in St.Moritz. There’s a plexiglass room on Lake Maggiore, and even a boat you can camp in on Lake Thun. For glampers who want to sleep directly under the stars, outdoor beds are available in Oberems in the Valais, in La Ferrière in the Bernese Jura, or in Toggenburg. Guests can sleep soundly in their own protective bubble in picturesque the country has got all of them covered. But this is the first time that such a wide range of unusual accommodation options can be booked by means of a single platform. “Far more projects were entered than could be chosen for the Million Stars Hotel project,” says Martin. “A specialist jury made up of marketing and hotel industry experts was tasked with selecting the accommodation options to be included in the project. Successful entries had to include accommodation with a clear view of the starry sky, a highly original and exciting location with nearby sanitary facilities and attractive alternative accommodation in case of bad weather. “One of the goals of the Million Stars Hotel project is to make guests more aware of regions that are less well known from a tourism perspective. “The project has been successfully implemented in spite of the difficult conditions encountered this spring. Obtaining permits and securing funding during the coronavirus pandemic has proven a real challenge. “I am therefore all the more pleased to be able to launch the Million Stars Hotel with such a large number of excellent options.” locations in Thurgau and southern Ticino, as well as on the rooftop of the Hotel Widder in the city of Zurich. Lovers of the great outdoors can even choose to spend a night in a tree tent suspended above the ground, taking them that little bit closer to the stars. It’s not the first time that Switzerland has blazed a trail as brightly as a comet through the night sky. From ‘close to nature’ accommodation to pop-up hotels, glamping to glacier getaways, ■ To be included in the project. Successful entries had to include accommodation with a clear view of the starry sky Switzerland Tourism Chief Executive Martin Nydegger Switzerland has 208 mountains over 3,000ft. The tallest is Monte Rosa, standing at 15,203ft The height of luxury:
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