Belmond Grand Hibernian, Ireland’s only luxury train, made its inaugural journey in August, 2016 with an exclusive International Railway Travelers’ group charter.
The train is operated by Belmond, the company behind for theVenice Simplon-Orient-Express, the Belmond Royal Scotsman, the Belmond Andean Explorer, and several other of our World’s Top 25 Trains®.
Belmond acquired 10 cars from Iarnród Éireann (Irish Rail), which it transformed into a luxury sleeper train with accommodations for up to 40 guests traveling in 20 elegant, en-suite cabins.
The train’s design references Dublin’s classic Georgian architecture and elements of Ireland’s ancient folklore and traditions, evoking the country’s celebrated cultural heritage with a contemporary twist.
The Belmond Grand Hibernian features interconnecting suites to accommodate families, two restaurant cars, and an observation bar car.
Three-, five-, and seven-day rail journeys visit the major destinations of the north and south, including the train’s home base in Dublin, Belfast, and Cork.
The train’s name is derived from Hibernia, the classical Latin name for the island of Ireland.
IRT’s Rachel Hardy, VP, Sales & Marketing, inspected the Belmond Grand Hibernian most recently in April 2019.
Read Rachel’s review here on Track25, the IRT blog.
Click here to read IRT Owner & CEO Owen Hardy’s blog review of the Belmond Grand Hibernian after taking the Grand Tour of Ireland with an IRT group charter.
Read about the Belmond Grand Hibernian’s triumphal welcome at New York’s Grand Central Terminal by clicking here.
The Belmond Grand Hibernian’s five sleeping cars, rich with an authentic Irish atmosphere, are a mix of modern luxury and traditional design to sumptuous effect.
16 twin and four double cabins accommodate a maximum of 40 guests. All cabins have an en-suite bathroom (shower, sink and toilet), and include a full-length wardrobe, writing desk and chair, individually-controlled heating, ceiling fan, and large windows that partially open. Cabins are approximately 85 square feet.
The cars are named after Irish counties and are decorated to match their county’s traditional tartan: “Down” features vibrant splashes of orange, “Waterford” is designed with cool blues, “Leitrim” has bold reds, and “Kerry” boasts sophisticated shades of purple.
Each cabin is able to interconnect with one cabin next to it, if desired. This is ideal for families.
The closest cabin to the public cars, cabin “A,” is accessible for guests with limited mobility. An on-board narrow wheelchair is reserved for the occupant of this cabin, if desired. The corridor from this cabin through to the restaurant and bar is designed with access in mind; corridors are sufficiently wide (700m) to allow for the wheelchair to move freely. This cabin’s bathroom is designed to be a wet room — i.e., its shower has no lip and no curtain. Please contact us for more information about accessibility on the train.
The Belmond Grand Hibernian (like its ‘cousin,’ the Belmond Royal Scotsman) stops for the night at quiet sidings to ensure restful sleep.
The Belmond Grand Hibernian’s two air-conditioned dining cars, named for Irish counties, serve cuisine rivaling the best restaurants in Dublin. From wonderful artisan cheeses and superb smoked fish to the freshest seasonal vegetables, the on-board menus feature the finest ingredients from the regions through which the train travels.
“Sligo” seats 20 guests. It is an elegant car arranged in tables of four, with sleek silver accents and chrome finishes. It is softened by Waterford crystal vases, relaxed greys and warm woods to give a contemporary Georgian feel. It can also can accommodate a monitor for presentations.
“Wexford” accommodates 24 guests and has a more communal feel. It is a light-filled space, enhanced with Irish tweeds and celtic motifs. Seating guests at tables of six, it’s the perfect place to trade stories with your fellow travelers while savoring your meal. The additional four seats allow space for lecturers and tour escorts.
As one would expect, the observation car “Kildare” occupies the all-important rear position of the train. Its comfortable bar, plus the train’s all-inclusive nature, helps create a country house-party atmosphere. Nightly entertainment with local musicians and storytellers embracing the spirit of Ireland adds to the jovial spirit.
“Kildare” has large panoramic windows (similar to South Africa’s Blue Train). Flooring throughout the train is constructed of a beautiful wood grain.
There is Wi-Fi now available in the observation car, but not in the individual cabins. Note that this Wi-Fi connection is best suited for email and messages versus more intensive tasks.