The Swiss canton of Ticino is one of my favorite domestic travel destinations. From the Italian influences, the weather and the palm trees: this region is simply amazing. During a weekend in June we decided to visit the lakeside town of Locarno. Locarno is famous for its Moon&Stars festival and the Locarno Film Festival, taking place annually. We however came to visit the sights of Locarno and the nearby Ascona and were in search of accommodation. We truly hit the jackpot when the found the Binario 934 boutique hotel, right by Locarno train station.
A new addition to Locarno hotel offering
The Binario 934 hotel opened just a few months prior to our stay, in February 2022. This is easy to notice, as everything in this hotel looks and feels brand new. With its location right by the Locarno train station, some guests notice the quirky reference in the hotel name: Binario 934 translates to ‘Platform 934’ or rather ‘Platform 9 ¾’. Don’t expect further Harry Potter references in this hotel though, the hotel style is luxurious. stylish and modern.
The hotel is rather small and has just 14 rooms. I imagine it will be fully booked for most of the summer season, especially once word gets out about this little gem in Locarno!
The small lobby of the hotel doubles as a coffee bar where locals hang out for their daily espresso and pastries. Thanks to the size of the hotel, the lobby never felt busy or cramped, which is a welcome change from other hotels in tourist destinations.
Cool, silent rooms with modern bathrooms
The rooms of the Binario 934 primarily face the side and back of the building and despite its proximity to the station, the rooms are surprisingly quiet. Not once were we disturbed by any sound during the stay in our well-air-conditioned room. The bed was comfortable and the room featured a little table with chairs to sit at. Complimentary coffee-making facilities were also available in the room.
The bathroom was modern with dark marble and a spacious walk-in shower. The shower had a glass wall that allowed you to see into the room, but not the other way around. For those requiring a bit more privacy, a curtain can be drawn obscuring the view from both sides. A very smart way to ensure privacy while letting some natural light into the bathroom.
Hotel services and staff
A nice touch of this boutique hotel is that the front desk employee checking us in actually brought us to our room and showed us around. As this is normally a service happening in 4-star or 5-star hotels, it was nice to see that Binario 934 decided to do this too.
As our train arrived prior to the check-in time, we asked to leave some luggage in the hotel already. The Binario 934 has lockers available that hotel guests can use free of charge.
When staying at an accommodation in the canton of Ticino, guests get a Ticino ticket, offering free public transport in the region and discounts on various attractions. While the hotel did not offer the Ticino Ticket proactively, they were gladly provided by the hotel staff upon our request. When staying in Ticino, don’t forget to ask for this ticket, as it will save you quite some money while visiting all the sights.
Speaking of the hotel staff, they truly made the stay. The (what we believed to be) hotel owner could never be caught without a smile on her face. She went out of her way to help us and other guests during our stay. Additionally, the front desk employee (that had her very first working day during our stay!) was extremely friendly, kind, and easy to talk to.
Oh my breakfast!
Due to the pandemic, it had been a long time since we last had a true hotel breakfast buffet. You can imagine my excitement when reading that stays at Binario 934 include a breakfast in the basement of the hotel!
The breakfast room has ancient brick-exposed walls that are covered with glass, giving this room a very interesting contrast between old and new. Despite only having 14 rooms, the choice during the breakfast buffet was plentiful. From croissants and classic Swiss Zopf to chocolate cake and apple pie – the buffet had everything one could wish for. The breakfast alone would be enough reason to stay at Binario 934 boutique hotel!
A stay at Binario 934 in Locarno
As you can read from the review above, we loved staying at Binario 934. We loved it so much that we will definitely stay here again during future Locarno trips. Something that might be tricky, because I am certain this hotel will become very popular.
The hotel only opened a few months ago and already has raving reviews. The hotel is located at a mere 1-minute walk from the Lago Maggiore lake. A walk to the famous Piazza Grande takes about 10 minutes. The popular nearby town of Ascona can be reached by bus in about 12 minutes, with busses stopping around the corner from Binario 934.
Room rates start at about CHF 150 but can be higher due to demand and seasonality. The hotel has different room types to cater to different traveler types. Gotten curious about Binario 934 in Ticino? This is truly a gem when staying in Locarno. It is best to book your stay directly on the Binario 934 website.