09/29/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Beds Made Of Hay Are Latest Hotel Craze

In Germany and its European neighbors Austria and Switzerland, a long weekend in a converted barn - sleeping on a bed of freshly raked hay -- is fast becoming the 'staycation' of choice.

Heuhotels ('heu' is German for hay) offer exactly what their name suggests. For as little as eight euros ($11) a night backpackers, couples, families and, in the case of one "hay hotel" in central Germany - 'groups of up to 60' - can rest their heads in a way nature intended.