How often have you designed a holiday around a hotel? Never?

Now, here’s reason to do just that. Making the most of the pop-up mania (from boutiques to gourmet stores) Switzerland Tourism introduces its new concept pop-up hotels, with a tagline that reads ‘Sleeping where no one has slept before’.

Imagine waking up in a castle that’s exclusively yours for a night. Or going to bed in a historic city tower (from the 15th Century). Or napping in a ballroom.

So far there are 11 offbeat spaces across as many Swiss cities that vie to give clients a unique experience. “These are places that are not available as hotels. They are as diverse as museums, grocery stores, boats, castles, guard towers, fishing cabins among others. It works, as people are always looking for new experiences,” says Ritu Sharma, Deputy Director, Switzerland Tourism, India.

This is a temporary concept that’s on for the summer months up to early September and has caught the attention of locals as well as tourists. “I believe it’s hard to find available nights,” says Sharma, adding, “Last year, we tested this idea with just one bed set up in a meadow in the Safien Valley. It did very well. And that prompted us to do it on a bigger scale this year.”

Baden, Basel, Bellinzona, Vevey, Schaffhausen, Bern, Lausanne, Lucerne, Solothurn, St Gallen and Zurich are some of the cities that have pop-up hotels for now. The mix includes well-known as well as lesser-known but booming cities.

The pop-up is only for adults and accommodates two people per room. Facilities include a double bed and breakfast, along with access to a restroom and shower. “We have tied up with hospitality providers in these places to take care of the facilities,” says Sharma.

The settings blend history, luxury and scenic charms that this Alpine region is synonymous with. For example, you can book a secluded glass room in a garden in Lausanne, complete with a white veiled bed, matching night stand, ornate table lamps and a private terrace. This enables you to laze in privacy, as well as get a stunning view of Lake Geneva and the snow-covered Alps right from the comfort of your bed.

Prefer a dash of fantasy? You could live in a crooked house like a character out of a nursery rhyme. Well this isn’t exactly a house, but instead one of the oldest preserved structures in the town of Solothurn. The Krummturm used to be a guard tower. It has a pentagonal floor plan, and the roof of this iconic, fortified tower from the 14th Century appears crooked from most sides. A night’s stay here also includes access to an e-bike, a tour of the city and a boat trip.

Room rents are priced between Swiss Franc 150 and 750 (Rs. 10,250 and Rs. 51,250) and can be booked on myswitzerland.com/swissurbansleeping

The pop-ups are as diverse as museums, grocery stores, boats, guard towers, among others

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