En-Suite Cabins Coming to Venice Simplon-Orient-Express in 2018
Always loved the idea of the 1920s-vintage, Art Deco Orient-Express — but not the idea of tiptoeing down the hall to the bathroom?
Nor the idea of going without a shower until you get to your hotel?
Your wait is over!
The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, the world’s most iconic luxury train, is adding three all en-suite “Grand Suites,” Belmond, the train operator, says. These will be available for all VSOE departures beginning March, 2018.
Bookings opened June 13, and interest has been extremely strong. The Grand Suites for the iconic 2018 Paris-Istanbul journey are expected to sell immediately, and the wait list for 2019 is already long.
The cabins will be named “Paris”, “Venice”, and “Istanbul.” The décor of each suite will emphasize the cultural and artistic aspects of each destination.
Most notably, each Grand Suite will have a private bathroom with toilet, tiled compact shower, and sink. Guests will sleep on double beds, which can be also made into two twins. The separate living area will include a table and chair and sofa that can fold out to accommodate a child or a small adult.
Grand Suite guests will also enjoy the services of a private butler, free-flowing champagne, private transfers, and private dining in their quarters, if they desire.
Each cabin is designed to evoke a bygone era from the Golden Age of travel, said designer, Rachel Johnson, Vice President and Studio Director of London-based Wimberly Interiors. She was trying to “recreate the essence of Art Deco glamour in an elegant and timeless design,” she added.
Historic carriage No. 3425, which is currently a carriage for solo guests, is being renovated to accommodate the three new en-suite cabins. The car was once used by the king of Romania for trysts with his mistresses, according to Belmond.
For the ultimate in privacy and luxury, guests also may book the entire Grand Suite carriage, as long as space exists.
The cost of the new cabins will be about £5,500 per person, per night — about U.S. $7,000 at today’s rates.
Belmond says it is testing the market with the new service and may add additional Grand Suites in the future.
The estimated cost of the renovation is €600,000, said Gary Franklin, Managing Director, Belmond Trains & Cruises.
The car left last week for France, in the Massif Central, where the company does the VSOE‘s heavy maintenance, he said. It will be ready for the first trip in March, 2018.
“People have always been asking for en-suite facilities. Putting a shower in one of the normal compartments was not going to do it justice. We went for something very spectacular and very glamorous,” Franklin said in an interview with IRT.
“We want to maintain the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express as the pinnacle of luxury.”
VSOE bookings — including Grand Suites — are now open on all 2018 departures, including Paris to Istanbul or reverse.
Already booked on a 2018 VSOE departure? Call us to inquire about upgrading to a Grand Suite.
And if you’re interested in 2019, call us to get your name on our “first notification” list. We will contact you — and you will have priority — when bookings open for 2019.
To upgrade, book, or get on our “first notification” list, call (800) 478-4881 or (502) 897-1725; or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Eleanor Flagler Hardy is the President of The Society of International Railway Travelers.