Swiss hotels pop-up where you least expect them

Swiss hotels pop-up where you least expect them

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A floating hotel in Schaffhausen.

A floating hotel in Schaffhausen.

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POP-UP hotels are 'popping-up' in quirky places throughout Switzerland, from old prison cells to hotel gardens.

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YOU'VE heard of pop-up bars, pop-up shops and even pop-up restaurants.

Now pop-up hotels are 'popping-up' in quirky places throughout Switzerland, from old prison cells to hotel gardens.

These temporary digs can be found in eleven major Swiss cities, giving visitors the chance to spend a night in places not usually associated with overnight stays.

Fancy sleeping in a 15th century tower or a ballroom? Or perhaps a bridge toll house or fishing cabin is more your style? Well now you can take your pick.

The pop-up plan is part of Switzerland Tourism's campaign, Swiss Urban Feel, that aims to provide guests with new experiences from different perspectives. The concept was dreamed up after research shows a quarter of the 21,000 overnight visitors were after "hidden" places.

The eleven pop-up hotels are:

  • City Tower, Basel. Steeped in history this 15th century tower is a Baden landmark. The 56-metre-high fortification was originally part of the northern city gate and served as defence against Zurich in the Battle of Villmergen. Stay in an original prison cell, which was used until 1984.
  • Fishing cabin, Fischergalgen in Basel. Most of the fishing cabins on the banks of the Rhine in Basel are privately owned, but until August guests can sleep in one of the 14-square metre small cabins, with the best views of life in the cultural capital of Switzerland.
  • Torre Nera Castelgrande, Bellinzona. Defending the valley since the 15th century, the three castles of Bellinzona controlled access routes to the Alpine passes. Today, Castelgrande, Castello di Montebello and Castello di Sasso Corbaro are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The pop-up hotel, located in one of the towers, is a mix of old and new, designed by architect Carlo Rampazzi.
  • The Old Customs House, Bern. Until 1853 traders and merchants had to pay a surcharge on goods at this Nydegg Bridge tollbooth to access Bern's Old Town. Now a listed building, it will serve as a pop-up hotel with two bathrooms, lounge and kitchenette.
  • The hotel garden of the Beau-Rivage Palace, Lausanne. Take time out, sleeping under the stars in a cylindrical glass pavilion in the middle of a four-hectare park. Nested in the garden and private terrace of this five-star 150-year-old hotel you will wake up with a panoramic view from Lake Geneva to the Alps.
  • A private boathouse, Lucerne. A lakeside hideaway on Seehotel Kastanienbaum's private boathouse. You can even request butler service before sailing back to reality.
  • A floating hotel, Schaffhausen. Stay overnight on your own ship and discover the city of Schaffhausen, an historical wine-growing town.
  • Krummturm tower, Solothurn. Feel like you're in a fairy tale in Solothurn's oldest preserved structure. Due to its pentagonal floor plan, the roof of this 14th-century fortified former guard tower on the river Aare seems crooked from most sides.
  • Tower Room, St Gallen. The tower room in the traditional Einstein Hotel offers a breathtaking view of the city of St. Gallen, The room was modelled after the Green Tower, also called the Gallusturm, which served as a city gate and later as a prison.
  • Old ballroom, Vevey. Sleep on a double bed in the middle of a turn-of-the-century ballroom with an ornate glass roof. The ballroom is now a boutique packed with must-have giftware, cosmetics, fashion, artwork and plants.
  • Milchbar restaurant, Zurich. Zurich's smallest hotel in the heart of the city, this room is dominated by a huge painting by artist Max Zuber and mirrored walls. It's above the trendy Milchbar restaurant.

These pop-up hotels will only run for the three-month summer period ending August, from AU$200 per night. Bookings: MySwitzerland.com/popup

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