Switzerland zero star hotel

Saillon Mayor Charles-Henri Thurre is served by a butler in bed at the anti-idyllic suite of the Null-Stern-Hotel (Zero-Star-Hotel), offering guests a choice between four open-air rooms in reaction to the world current state after the pandemic, by Swiss artists Frank and Patrik Riklin during a photoshoot in Saillon, Switzerland, on 14th June. PICTURE: Reuters/Denis Balibouse

"I couldn't sleep," and "my room was too noisy", may be complaints hoteliers dread from guests, but for the Riklin brothers that is the entire point of their latest 'zero star hotel' art installation. The Swiss concept artists' hotel room is essentially a double bed on a platform, with two bedside tables and lamps. There are no walls, ceiling or doors to provide any privacy or shelter. They have set up their null stern suite - German for zero star - on a roadside next to a petrol station in the village of Saillon, in the southern Swiss canton of Valais. The intention is to make guests think about the problems in the world, the twin brothers said, and inspire them to act differently. They've created similar beds in idyllic spots, but this is their first 'anti-idyllic' site. "Sleep is not the point," said Frank Riklin. "What's important is reflecting about the current world situation. Staying here is a statement about the need for urgent changes in society." Guests are invited in their 'half sleep' to consider topics like climate change, war, and humanity's endless quest for perfection and the damage it causes the planet. "In a nutshell, now is not the time to sleep, we have to react," said Patrik. "If we continue in the same direction we are today, there might be more anti-idyllic places than idyllic." The project, which has been developed with hotelier Daniel Charbonnier, also features three further null stern suites in a more idyllic vineyard and on a picturesque hillside. The suites, which come with butler service offering drinks and breakfast, will be available form 1st July to 18th September. The price for an imperfect night's sleep: 325 Swiss francs ($US337). - DENIS BALIBOUSE/Reuters

A dog from the US state of Arizona has been named the world's ugliest in the latest iteration of the annual event. The Chinese crested-chihuahua mix named Mr Happy Face took the title at the event in Petaluma, California. Janeda Banelly, who adopted the dog in August last year, accepted a $US1000 prize and a free trip to New York City to appear on NBC's Today Show. Banelly said she immediately fell in love with Mr Happy Face, who has significant health concerns, on seeing him. "He was the happiest creature that I had ever met," she said. "He hobbled up to me and chose me. I vowed that day, he would be so loved that he would never remember how awful his previous life had been."

More than 900 people dressed in traditional garb to perform a folk dance in Mexico recently in a bid to set a new Guinness World Record. The dancers, who had gathered in the centre of Morelia, in Michoacan state, performed a live version of son calentano song Juan Colorado. The number of dancers was reported as 954, well above the 882 dancers who set the previous record neighbouring state of Jalisco in August, 2019.