It brings a new meaning to the phrase ‘hitting the hay’.
There’s a trend among some nature-lovers and spendthrifts in Germany, Austria and Switzerland to opt for accommodation where the beds are freshly raked hay.
Hay hotels offer exactly what the name suggests. For as little as 8 euros (£7 / $11) a night, backpackers, couples and families can rest their heads in a way nature intended, in converted barns.
Such holidays also generally include activities such as horse riding, canoeing, mountain-biking and archery, and the chance to buy fresh meat, cheese and other farm produce on site.
The Hofgut, a hay hotel situated just outside the small town of Kassell in Germany, has been operating for some years now. The manager, Sarah, said: “I suppose some people might find the idea unappealing, but for anyone who wishes to snuggle up close to nature it’s perfect.”
To the sceptics, she says: “Think back to when you were a child - this would be heaven! What’s changed since then?”
Apparently, hay hotels have become popular for honeymoons, although it has to be remembered that there’s a strict no-smoking-in-bed policy.
by Andy Moreton