Nowhere is this thinking more apparent than at Zero Real Estate; the hotel without a roof or walls.
From £225 per night and with a 4,500 person waiting list, you'd be forgiven for expecting all the frills of a five-star hotel. But this one-of-a-kind lodging is challenging perceptions of "luxury" by winnowing it down to the bare essentials; a bed, nightstand and lamp. Beyond unrivalled views and infinite fresh air, however, guests will also be in the company of The Modern Butler, there to cater to your every whim. In a sense, s/he embodies what is intangible - and perhaps this is the essence of true "luxury".
The innovative concept is courtesy of acclaimed trio, Daniel Charbonnier and brothers, Frank and Patrik Riklin, who have partnered previously on similarly unusual lodgings such as Null Stern, a converted nuclear bunker that was once a hotel and is now a museum. Together with Toggenburg Tourism, the creatives-cum-hoteliers have brought the hugely popular concept to the idyllic mountainscapes of Toggenburg with three newly opened suites scattered across the scenic peaks and gorges of the Alps. Between 15 July and 2 September 2019, you can take your night cap under a rising moon, fall asleep under a canopy of towering trees, and wake up to the sound of tinkling cowbells from the surrounding pastures.
A novelty, perhaps, but now more than ever people are seeking unique (and Instagrammable) travel experiences that aren't readily available at the click of a button. Zero Real Estate meets that need while also fulfilling the desire to disconnect and truly go off-grid. In a recent discussion SUITCASE Magazine and Canada Goose hosted on shelter, Daniel spoke of a shift in the market which has seen people desiring the intangible qualities of travel where in the past the focus has primarily been on what is tangible: "When you take away the roof, the walls, the television and all the rest of it, what's left is only you and your experience and that's what people want now." Considering that 34 nights of the 45 that Zero Real Estate is open next year are already booked, he's clearly onto something.