The Deccan Odyssey is one of the subcontinent’s most luxurious trains, with comfortable private cabins, lounges and even a luxurious spa car. Explore Rajasthan in comfort on the Darjeeling Mail tour, or venture India’s western and southern coasts aboard the Madras Mail tour. As recently reviewed by IRT founder Owen Hardy, “The Deccan Odyssey…is a class act. The staff is excellent; very capable and ready to please. The food is incredible, all cooked fresh on board. The excursions are well-planned and guided.”
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The train has 12 air-conditioned sleeping cars with two suite types: Deluxe & Presidential. The train takes a maximum of 88 guests. Each sleeping car has a small lounge area at one end, where the car attendants greet guests with cool drinks and towels after each day of touring.
Deluxe cabins are 95 square feet, with four per car. These have twin beds or large double bed and en-suite shower, sink and toilet.
Four Presidential suites (205 square feet) each take up half a train car. These suites have large double bed (6 ft. 8 in. x 5 ft.), separate sitting room with sofa and desk, and two bathrooms. Guests who book Presidential Suites will benefit from a private car and guide during many off-train excursions, as well as included drinks from the bar car, laundry service and room upgrades in hotels.
Lovely meals are beautifully served in the two diners, with a choice of Continental and Indian cuisine, prepared and served by staff from the world-renowned Taj Hotel Group. Off-train dining is often Indian cuisine only.
Public spaces abound: a bar car with full-time bartender; conference car with plasma-screen TV, library, and business center; and spa car. The spa car is especially unique, with two massage treatment rooms, sauna, beauty parlor and even a small workout room.
After a day of touring, treat yourself to an on-board massage or visit to the sauna.
If you’re only visiting India once, consider booking the “Darjeeling Mail” itinerary, especially if you love trains. You’ll love the tiny steam engines — some over 125 years old — that trundle through the foothills of the Himalayas.