What is it:
La Claustra, sleep luxuriously in an underground cavern.
What’s so special:
Once a secret military installation deep inside the St Gotthard mountain, this former fort has been transformed into an out-of-the ordinary seminar centre and hotel. When the Swiss army gave up their Alpine fortifications in 1999, artist Jean Odermatt saw the opportunity and created the Fondazione La Claustra. Opening in 2004, La Claustra is hewn deep into the rock and provides both hotel, conference centre and creative laboratory situated among some of the most stunning scenery with views of the rooftop of Europe.
Each of the 17 rooms is embedded deep inside the mountain and provides simple tranquil settings for quiet reflection. Although bed and breakfast packages are available, most guests consider half or full board packages as there aren’t many facilities nearby for dining. La Claustra also provides a Wellness Oasis spa fed direct from the water springs, with a steam bath in a unique glass cube, bordered by reflection Kusatso-pools for relaxation. www.claustra.ch
La Claustra is located in Airolo, Switzerland. It is halfway between Zurich and Milan, and visitors can arrive in two-and-a-half hours by train or shuttle bus, from either city.
By Natalia McCarthy