In the past few years, the luxury train travel game has heated up: You can travel from Switzerland to Italy via the UNESCO World Heritage–listed Bernina Express, sip pisco sours on the Belmond Andean Explorer ’s open-air deck while watching the Andes, or ride from Singapore to Bangkok on the Eastern & Oriental Express, which covers some of Southeast Asia’s greatest hits. And next year, it’s about to get even better.
Come March 21, 2020, one of the world’s most luxurious trains—the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express—is getting three new “Grand” suites. Named Vienna, Prague, and Budapest, the suites take inspiration from the European cities themselves, which the train visits every year from March to September. To reflect its baroque and Gothic architecture, the Prague suite is covered in rich gold and maroon, with hand-embroidered cushions and cubist-inspired patterns. (Prague was one of the most important centers for the art movement.) Vienna, meanwhile, will be done in shades of gold and emerald green, with dark wood and silk wall panels. The Budapest suite, for its part, shows Gothic and Ottoman influences, with widespread silk embroidery and furniture with detailed patterns of inlaid wood.
Here, some renderings of the new suites:
The Vienna, Prague, and Budapest suites join the existing three: Venice, Istanbul, and Paris. (In addition to its suites, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express features three dining cars and a bar car. ) Along with custom individual touches, each suite has an en-suite bathroom and private shower, a double bed that can convert into twin beds, and a private living area with heated floors. That’s not all, of course: Guests traveling in the suites get a personal “cabin steward” available around the clock for all of their needs and have unlimited champagne and private in-suite dining. The cost? Approximately $7,860 per person for a one-night journey.
If for some reason you can’t splurge on a one-night journey that costs more than several months’ rent, worry not: In addition to its Grand Suites, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express also sells tickets for individual cabins, which cost around $2,780 per person.
Each spring, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express begins service from European cities like Paris, Verona, London, and Venice, offering anywhere from one-night trips to four-night journeys. Once a year in August or September, the train makes a longer, five-night journey from Paris to Istanbul, the route of the original Orient Express, which began service in 1883. That Orient Express ceased operations in 2009, but the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express today uses original, restored Orient Express carriages from the 1920s and 1930s for its suites.
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