WTF Fun Fact 12926 – The Zero Star Hotel

In our last fun fact, we mentioned the Null Stern Hotel in Switzerland. Some of those rooms have no walls. But let’s talk about the whole concept of Null Stern, which means “zero star,” as in a zero-star hotel.

A Zero Star Hotel

According to Architectural Digest, their hotel rooms with no walls can be fairly posh, in a way, if they’re situated in the right location:

“Although the hotel lacks many common amenities, guests may find comfort in an on-site butler who will play a ‘central role,’ in the experience, according to [hotierl Daniel] Charbonnier. Null Stern’s slogan, ‘The only star is you,’ is a key philosophy at the alternative accommodations, where the founders strive to put the guests at the center of the stay. At all of the zero real estate suites, a butler provides meals and facilitates other requests from guests during their stay. At the anti-idyllic suite, the butler ‘provides a sense of security and care in an environment of insecurity,’ Charbonnier said.”

The concept was launched back in 2009 but began to make headlines in 2017 when their suite in the Swiss Alps got a reputation for having a waitlist of thousands (it’s up to 6000). And while the only “star” might be the guest in their open-air suites in the Swiss Alps, you can certainly get a good view of the stars.

But it all began as something slightly less glamorous than glamping in the Alps.

The original concept

The first hotel that twin brothers Frank and Patrik Riklin created and named Null Stern was an old 1980s nuclear fallout shelter that they retrofitted.

According to The Guardian (cited below), it’s located in “the small Swiss town of Teufen, in the canton of St Gallen near the Austrian border.”

“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.”

We just want to know if this is considered an Instagrammable location.

The original zero star hotel is no longer open since it has been turned into a museum, but you can still grab a room (or sign up for the waiting list at other locations, including in the mountains or at the corner of a busy street outside a gas station).  WTF fun facts

Source: “Switzerland’s Null Stern Hotel: the nuclear option” — The Guardian

WTF Fun Fact 12441 – The National Hotel Disease

Once the poshest hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue, the National Hotel was at the center of a nationwide mystery after a disease outbreak among its guests in 1857. According to records from the U.S. House of Representatives, almost three dozen people died and 400 people were sickened by a mystery ailment that continued to plague guests (and lead to their deaths) years after their 1857 stays at the hotel.

Founded in 1827, the National Hotel was located between the White House and the Capitol, catering to Members of Congress. “Apart from the Capitol and the White House, there is no building in this city so historic as this,” remarked the Washington Post in 1930. “For more than half a century the history of the Nation was made there.” 

But in 1857, President-Elect James Buchanan was staying at the hotel prior to his inauguration, as were many other politicians due to attend the event. Even he was sickened but made a speedy recovery.

At the time, some reported that the outbreak was actually the result of arsenic poisoning in the water. Buchanan was from Pennsylvania but held so-called “Southern beliefs” at the time when it came to slavery. After sensationalized news stories were published, people suspected a murder plot by radical abolitionists, but there was never a speck of evidence that it was anything other than an infectious disease outbreak.

These days, we understand a lot more about how infectious diseases work, and those who have examined records of the symptoms think it was likely mild cholera or (more likely) dysentery.

Dr. D.H. Storer was a National guest and victim who shared his symptoms with the National Intelligencer: “A dreadful nausea has been, in my case, the very worst and most miserable attendant upon this complaint. I have felt it almost all the time from the first till now. If I were even to-day to take an ounce of beef steak, or that amount of any animal food into my stomach, my experience thus far is that I should suffer for hours from this horrid nausea.”

Most guests were infected in March, around the inauguration. However, that’s when the hotel was most crowded. It disappeared soon after guests from that event went home and never happened again. However, among those who died were Rep. John Montgomery of Pennsylvania and Rep. John Quitman of Mississippi.

The hotel continued to operate for years until it could no longer compete with the grander establishments being built around it. The building was demolished in 1924. – WTF fun facts 

Source: “The Mysterious National Hotel Disease” — United States House of Representatives Archives

WTF Fun Fact – Sex On The Moon

WTF Fun Fact - Sex On The Moon

In 2002, NASA intern Thad Roberts stole a safe full of moon rocks so he and his girlfriend could have “sex on the moon.” After their romantic night at a hotel, they tried to sell the $21 million worth of moon rocks. He was caught and sentenced to 8 years in prison. – WTF Fun Facts

Source: NASA news| Thad Roberts – the NASA intern who stole lunar rocks to ‘have sex on the Moon’ | Trending & Viral News (

WTF Fun Fact – Hotel Montana Magica

WTF Fun Fact - Hotel Montana Magica

Hotel La Montaña Mágica is a unique hotel built to mimic a volcano and even erupts water. It sits deep within the depths of the private Huilo-Huilo biological reserve in Chile. WTF Fun Facts