I paid $400 to sleep in a barrel in Switzerland and had the best glamping experience of my life
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The Insider reporter spent two nights in a barrel she found on Airbnb in Switzerland. Joey Hadden/Insider
On a recent trip to Switzerland, I stayed two nights in a barrel I found on Airbnb.
For about $200 a night, the keg had a living space, a king-size bed, and tons of storage space.
My barrel had access to a garden with luxe extras like wood-fired saunas and hot tubs.
I love nature, but I also love being cozy. That's why glamping is one of my favorite ways to travel. In the past I've glamped in a tree house, a dome, a lifeguard tower, and an Airstream trailer.
The author glamps in a dome (L) and a tree house (R) in 2022. Joey Hadden/Insider
Sources: insider, insider, insider
But none of these accommodations were as memorable as my last glamping experience. During a 2 week trip to Europe with my partner, I spent 2 nights in a barrel in Switzerland.
The author poses in front of the barrel. Joey Hadden/Insider
For about $200 a night I thought the keg looked like something out of some whimsical fairy tale I'd like to live in and booked it for my partner and I.
The entrance to the Airbnb.Joey Hadden/Insider
The Airbnb is about an hour by train outside of Zurich in the village of Roggwil.
A map of Switzerland with location Roggwil.Google Maps
It's part of an exhibition by Sorglos, a company that, according to its website, designs barrel houses and saunas, as well as hot tubs and outdoor fireplaces. Some of these structures are also for sale.
A wide view of the garden where the barrel is located.Joey Hadden/Insider
Pending the sale, the two barrel houses will be rented out to tourists via Airbnb, who will also have access to the saunas and hot tubs for an additional fee. The second barrel can only be booked by groups traveling together, so it was empty when we stayed.
The outside of the back of the barrel.Joey Hadden/Insider
The entire property is in a garden behind a huge house that has 17 full-time residents, the host Maria told me.
The house on the property.Joey Hadden/Insider
To get to the Airbnb, we came from Italy and traveled by train to Zurich, Switzerland. From there we changed to regional trains, which took us to Roggwil in about an hour.
A view out the window of the author's train to Switzerland (L) and the author on a local train to the village.Joey Hadden/Inisder
I only stayed there for the barrel but thought Roggwil was a quaint, unassuming village with friendly families and a stunning mountain backdrop. People smiled at me and small children waved at me as we made eye contact at the train station.
The train station in Roggwil.Joey Hadden/Insider
The property was only a two-minute walk from the train station in Roggwil. Maria met us in front of the house and led us through a side gate to our barrel.
The entrance to the Airbnb.Joey Hadden/Insider
We walked through a garden of potted plants next to communal dining areas. I've seen seven barrel saunas, a couple of fire pits, and a couple of hot tubs for guests on a first-come, first-served basis.
Alfresco dining areas in the garden.Joey Hadden/Insider
Next to each rentable barrel was a private bathroom.
The bathroom is next to the Airbnb.Joey Hadden/Insider
As I opened the door to our barrel, I was intoxicated by the overwhelming scent of cedar wood, which I think made the place cozy. The barrel was 7ft tall so my six foot partner didn't have to duck his head.
The author stands in the door of the barrel. Joey Hadden/Insider
The barrel is 14 feet long as listed. Inside, there was a living area at the front, with a table stretched out between two sofas, as well as a raised king-size bed at the back.
The inside (R) and outside (L) of the barrel.Joey Hadden/Insider
There was storage space for our luggage under the extendable table and under the bed.
Under bed storage.Joey Hadden/Insider
In the living room in front of the bed, I noticed additional storage cupboards under the sofas.
Storage cupboards under the couch cushion.Joey Hadden/Insider
The sofas also had little corners for shoe storage, which I thought was a nice touch.
Shoe storage in the barrel. Joey Hadden/Insider
The barrel had a temperature controlled heater and three power outlets accessible from the living room and bedroom.
Temperature controls and an electrical outlet in the Airbnb.Joey Hadden/Insider
Our private bathroom was in a small house next to the barrel. I found it modest but had everything we needed - towel rails, a sink, a toilet and a small shower.
A peek inside the bathroom outside the barrel. Joey Hadden/Insider
There was also a heater and a hair dryer in the bathroom. Thought the heater would come in handy for late night showers when it was cold outside.
A heater (L) and a hairdryer (R) in the bathroom.Joey Hadden/Insider
Next to the bathroom was a partially exposed private outdoor rain shower. I love outdoor showers so made sure to use this my second night. I liked the feeling of the cool breeze and the hot water on my skin.
The indoor (L) and outdoor (R) shower at Airbnb.Joey Hadden/Inisder
Maria also gave us a key to the house where we could use a kitchen shared with the full-time residents. It was the only key provided as the barrel and bathroom did not lock. I found this strange at first, but Maria assured us that no one would go into our barrel.
A key to the house. Joey Hadden/Insider
The kitchen was big enough for an event I thought. There were rows of long tables and chairs and we could use any crockery. But apart from local residents I occasionally bumped into, it seemed empty.
The communal kitchen in the house on the property.Joey Hadden/Insider
The first night we arrived hungry and with no plans for dinner. Maria told us we could get delivery which surprised me as we were in such a small town. I ordered a kebab wrap which I thought was delicious and filling.
Take out menus on the extendable table (L) and the author's dinner (R). Joey Hadden/Insider
Source: Pizzeria Roggu
When we were ready to sleep to get into bed, we pushed the extendable table almost all the way in, leaving a bit of room to get in and out.
The sitting area in the barrel. Joey Hadden/Insider
I found the sleeping area luxurious, especially for such a small space. The bed felt like memory foam and was fitted with soft linen sheets. Towels and bathrobes were also provided.
The sleeping area in the barrel. Joey Hadden/Insider
On our second day, my partner and I decided to check out the garden's unique offerings such as the sauna and fire pit.
A view out the window from inside the barrel.Joey Hadden/Insider
To take advantage of these amenities, we took firewood from the tool shed. Maria told us that our booking included a bag of firewood. Extra was available for a fee but we ended up not needing more.
Sacks of logs in the tool shed. Joey Hadden/Insider
Once we had the wood, we checked out one of the saunas that cost $60 to use.
One of the many saunas on the property.Joey Hadden/Insider
It was my first time in a sauna and I thought it was a spiritual experience. As I sweated from the steam, I felt a tingling sensation in my body.
The sauna emits smoke during use.Joey Hadden/Inisder
The wood-fired hot tubs were $80, but since we weren't there long, my partner and I decided to skip that amenity.
One of the hot tubs on the property.Joey Hadden/Insider
But we used a fire pit the second night. The pit was equipped with a mechanism called a tongue of fire, which has a chimney to keep the smoke off people's faces while cooking.
Firewood at BBQ area.Joey Hadden/Insider
We fried sausages and s'mores and I thought it was my most enjoyable experience ever over the fire as I wasn't inhaling any smoke.
The author cooks sausages at the BBQ.Joey Hadden/Insider
On the morning of our departure I got up early for a last walk through the garden. I found the barrels complemented the plants and gave the whole space a peaceful, soothing vibe.
Snapshots of the property.Joey Hadden/Insider
I longed for more BBQs, saunas, and outdoor showers. But my luxurious stay was over. The barrel gave me my best glamping experience yet and I won't soon forget it.
A path through the property.Joey Hadden/Insider
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