Though airlines are constantly unveiling the latest versions of first class and business class for commuters looking to travel luxuriously, rail travel has come forward recently to remind us of the luxuries that slow commute brings. Today’s train rides have transformed to be more luxurious than ever, offering more than just seats with scenic views. From train crews that double as butlers and concierge to 24-hour entertainment services, here are 3 luxurious train experiences to add on your bucket list:
Venice Simplon Orient Express
The Orient Express takes luxury to greater heights. Rich with history, The Orient Express served as an inspiration to many authors and movie directors. In 1932, Graham Greene wrote the eponymous book, named after the Orient Express itself, which became a bestseller. This book launched his career. Then in 1934, Agatha Christie wrote the famous “Murder On the Orient Express” which eventually placed the train on the map.
Anticipate plush double beds, marble en-suite showers, private dining, and free-flowing champagne when you enter the luxurious ride. The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express comes fully equipped with three Grand Suites, each christened and inspired by the Orient Express’ most famous cities: Paris, Venice and Istanbul. What a lavish way of travelling, best with a book in hand – ‘Murder On The Orient Express’ perhaps?
Belmond Andrean Explorer
Belmond launched its first luxury sleeper train in South America, with one- and two-night journeys that take you between Peru’s Arequipa and Cusco. Designed by Inge Moore and Nathan Hitchins of London-based design firm, MUZA Lab, this lavish train provides an unforgettable experience for its guests.
Going up to 4,000 ft without exhausting hikes sounds like a dream to many and Belmond helps to achieve that dream. Possibly one of the highest train routes in the world, this journey provides guests with exceptional scenery. In contrast to the striking landscape that glides past, each twin or double cabin offers a soothing blend of signature Peruvian accents and in-built oxygen for additional comfort at high altitudes. Hand-woven fabrics and soft, Alpaca-style textures invite a leisurely rest. An en suite bathroom and shower permit luxurious bathing––even at 4,000ft.
Japan is known for its bullet train and also, possibly for its luxury train cabins by Shiki-Shima. This ultra-new luxury train takes guests into the deep beauty of the eastern Japanese countryside. Designed by Ken Okuyama, known for his work for Porsche, Ferrari and Maserati, he bought sleek and contemporary designs into the train cabins.
The striking, futuristic vehicle polished in champagne and gold is designed with geometric cut-out windows to offer unobstructed view of what Japan has to offer. There’s 6 luxury suites, round-the-clock butler service, bespoke furnishings, piano recitals and exquisite cuisine prepared under the guidance of Japan’s first Michelin-star chef, Katsuhiro Nakamura. The Komorebi lounge is designed so the walls and windows reflect the organic forms and light of the countryside and even the music has been specifically designed for the experience by an award-winning film composer, Naoki Sato, and service is, of course, gracious and attentive.
The dining car menu is devised by Michelin-starred chef Katsuhiro Nakamura and changes to reflect the ingredients and culinary style of the regions through which the train is passing.
Train Suite Shiki-shima offers one-, two- and three-night trips for between £2,150 (Y320,500) and £6,300 (Y950,000) per person, full board.