Family of 3 on Xmas vacation : mom, dad and newborn baby. We spent a night in Interlaken before heading up to the mountains, and I chose Hotel Toscana based on reviews. It is merely a 5 minute walk from the Interlaken West train station (10 minutes if you get lost!), and a relatively easy walk at that if you know where you're going. I love that the hotel is off the main touristy road, down a quiet, car-free cobblestone street lined with tiny shops and eateries. But, you are right next to all the souvenir shops, restaurants, etc. of the main road without the crowded hassle.
Hotel Toscana does have stairs to enter as well as a ramp, for those of you looking to wheel your luggage in or who have a baby carriage. The hotel is decorated like grandma's place--various knick knacks, garden gnomes, plastic ducks, fake flowers, real plants, clocks and such scattered about. The furniture is in the same style-upholstered armchairs with flowery prints, etc. For being someone who usually frequents 4 and 5 star hotels, I kind of liked the place for its quirkiness and homey and warm feeling.
The old lady (we lovingly referred to her as "Nana") who runs the place is sweet and quiet, with not the strongest grasp on English but she communicates enough to have a basic conversation. We were given room 402 on the top floor. The elevator is small and archaic, but it works. However, we were traveling with my newborn son and had to lift the stroller to get it into the room as there is a step to enter, which was kind of annoying, but a minor inconvenience.
The room I booked had a slanted ceiling, which gives the feeling of a larger room, since they are quite small. There is a tiny balcony off the room which has a fabulous view of the mountains and nearby park, but it is so small you can't sit out there, only stand. The room was very clean and minimally furnished in Swiss fashion. There was a single picture hanging on the wall of some sort of flower (very grandma-ish) and the curtains were orange with matching bedspread which was orange with some art-deco-y design on it. Not too fashionable or luxurious but hey this is not a 5 star resort. :) My chief complaint was the bathroom, which was cramped and the shower, which I could barely turn around in. But, everything was clean. The only "toiletries" in the bathroom was a shower cap, but there was soap in the shower and at the sink. Beds were comfortable and decent.
The night we stayed we were exhausted from traveling long distance and taking care of the baby, so we called downstairs to see if we could order "room service". Fortunately, we were able to order food from the hotel restaurant. We both ordered soup (I got vegetable and husband got tomato) which came with a basket of bread. It was brought up to the room by a very lovely and sweet woman, do not know if she was family to Nana or simply an employee. She cooed over the baby and spoke about how she missed her children (maybe in another country?). May I recommend the soup? It was in generous portions and HOME MADE, there is no doubt about it! EXCELLENT, we slurped up every delicious morsel. Nana can cook!
Breakfast in the morning was quiet and serene, with only one other couple attending. Nana was there, setting up our table as we walked in, with a basket full of various breads and croissants. Breakfast is typical Swiss fare: cured meats, cheeses, muesli, hard boiled eggs, as well as cold cereals and juices, tea, coffee and milk. I sat and breastfed my son right there at the table. Also, we needed some pacifiers sterlized, so Nana took me up to her kitchen and we did it there. She was very helpful, albeit slow-moving and with slight cultural barrier. Additionally, she provides you with a bus pass for free so you can move about Interlaken. It was greatly appreciated, as we used it to get up to Beatenberg and back down again.
It's also an extremely safe hotel, Nana takes precautions. She has a key system whereby the outside doors are locked after-hours and you need a key to get in. Once in, you exchange your outside key for your room key. It is a people-free system so no need to wait on anyone to do this for you, the keys hang on the wall by the front desk.
Might I also add that checkout was at noon or whatever and we weren't ready to go up to the mountains yet so we asked Nana if we could stow our luggage behind the front desk and pick them up later and she just tells us to keep our stuff in our hotel room and pick it up whenever we were ready. Major cool points for that. Thanks Nana!
This place is a great stop-over for families making their way elsewhere or backpackers and skiers who need a place to crash for the night.
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- Also Known As:
- Minotel Toscana Hotel Interlaken
- Minotel Interlaken
- Interlaken Minotel