Hotel Internazionale - Bellinzona
Boasting no fewer than three UNESO World Heritage castles, the fortified city of Bellinzona, the capital of Canton Ticino, is worth a high position on your Swiss Bucketlist. But where to unpack your suitcases and rest those weary traveler legs? Why not consider the conveniently located Hotel Internazionale, which even had room for all 5 of us.
This trip was a last hurrah with some of our Aussie friends who were leaving Switzerland for sunny Australia. Early Saturday morning, 4 adults and 4 kids, ranging in age from 2 months to 11 years, traveled to Bellinzona from Zug for a weekend of pizza and castles. We booked two rooms at Hotel Internazionale, one for each family.
We booked pretty last minute directly through the hotel and paid around 350chf for one night in a suite which slept all 5 of us.
Hotel Internazionale is conveniently located directly opposite the Bellinzona train station which meant no dragging suitcases across too many cobble stoned streets! Step out of the hotel and stroll down the main road and you will soon bump into the old town, if are there on a Saturday morning, the local market.
Arriving early on a Saturday morning meant our rooms were ready for us, so we dropped off our suitcases and headed straight into town. We returned to check in the early afternoon.
Needing a room to sleep 5, our family had no choice but to book the suite. Suites are located at the top level of the hotel and are over two levels: downstairs a double bed, bathroom and baby bed for little Z, upstairs a double bed, bathroom and small sitting area, with a coffee machine. The very small balcony has a view over to the Castlegrande, but not big enough to do more than stand out there and take a photo as the sunset.
Breakfast was included in the accommodation price and was served cafeteria style, serving a good selection of breakfast staples. We enjoyed lunch on the Sunday at the restaurant attached to the hotel which had really great pizzas.
For the rest of our meals we ate out. As the rain stopped our plans for a picnic comprising of local products from the Saturday market, we enjoyed a lovely lunch inside the cosy Grotto of Castelgrande. The adults enjoyed local Ticino fair and the kids were happy to find chicken nuggets on the menu, despite me wanting them to try polenta. Unfortunately, our dinner out at another location was a tad disappointing. Vegetarian pizzas don’t usually come with carrots and broccoli on the - not a great combination.
A trip to “Swiss-Italy” is never complete in my kids eye without Gelato and we were not dissapointed. Delicious flavours were to be had at Gelateria Veneta, just a block back from our hotel.
The hotel was a great base for exploring Bellinzona. We visited the local market on Saturday morning before heading up to the Castelgrande, the largest of 3 medieval castles in Bellizona. We wandered the old town streets in the search of good pizza (which ended up to be under our nose!) and gelato and walked up to the other castles as well.
The location of Hotel Internazionale can’t be beat for exploring downtown Bellinzona but close enough to the train station, and we would consider staying again if we couldn’t find anything else in town for a family of 5. The price point is the only aspect that keeps me searching for something a little more budget friendly. Considering all we did was sleep there, the hotel didn’t have enough wow factor to make the price point worth it. But don't forget Switzerland is known for it's high prices.
What is new since we visited is the Ticino Ticket is now included in price per night which allows visitors to travel on all Ticino public transport for free and provides discount into many tourist attractions.
For: Families large and small, and tourists in general wanting a centrally located hotel in Bellinzona
Style: modern city centre hotel
Cost: doubles starting from 200chf
Getting there: Arriving by train is the most convient.
Hotel & SPA Internazionale Bellinzona
Viale Stazione 35, 6500 Bellinzona, Switzerland
Tel. +41 91 825 43 33