We may be biased, but we think travelling by train is one of the most luxurious and comfortable ways to explore the world. There are dozens of luxury trains operating all across the globe, and with some short sojourns costing the equivalent of a week in a five-star hotel, you bet they’re offering a pretty lavish setup. From roll-top bathtubs and heated floors to butler service and antique furnishings, here are the most incredible luxury train suites in the world.
1. Grand Suite, Venice Simplon-Orient-Express
How much? From £6,000
Where? Northern and Eastern Europe
Step back in time as you cross the threshold into one of the most opulent suites in railway travel today, the epic Grand Suite on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. Interiors are inspired by Paris, Venice and Istanbul, and rooms come with a plush double bed, en-suite bathroom, spacious lounging area and in-cabin dining. You’ll also get the 24-hour services of a butler, free-flowing champagne and fluffy slippers and robes. Belmond has added four new Grand Suites to the train this year.
2. Prestige Class, Via Rail
You don’t have to be travelling on a super-luxe privately run train to experience, in fact, Canada’s national carrier Via Rail has a seriously impressive offering of its own. New on just a handful of trains (like the Canadian), Via Rail Prestige Class cabins offer double beds, a sleek leather sofa, concierge services and all-inclusive bar service.
3. Royal Suites, Pride of Africa
Where? South Africa, Botswana, Tanzania
Rovos Rail’s Pride of Africa is arguably the most opulent train in the continent, and its Royal Suites are pretty epic. The cabin is decked out with wood panelling, plush furniture, a double bed, Victorian-style bath (and shower), lounge area mini-bar and have free 24-hour room service. Large picture indows look out onto the rolling African countryside. A plush country home meets luxe African lodge.
4. Imperial Suites, Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express
From: £24,640 one way
There’s only one way to travel the enigmatic Trans-Siberian railway, and that’s from the comfort of the Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express. For those with the funds, opt for the Imperial Suite, which consists of a king-sizes bed, lounge area, bathroom (with heated floors), complimentary mini-bar and a host of other luxuries. Interiors are inspired by the royal palaces of the Russian Tsars, so pretty exquisite.
5. Deluxe Suite, JR East Train Suite Shiki-shima
From: £3,350 to £8,000
There are exclusive trains and there are exclusive trains, and the Train Suite Shiki-Shima falls into the latter category. Guests have to apply to ride on this lavish train, which journeys around the verdant countryside of eastern Japan. The train is a luxury hotel on wheels and its two-level suites offer sumptuous interiors and separate sleeping and lounge areas. Bespoke cypress bathtubs, high ceilings and roaring glass fireplaces all make an appearance, and walls are clad in polished lacquer and original artwork.
6. Super Deluxe Cabin, Palace on Wheels
From: £400 per night
The name says it all, India’s exquisite tourists train really is a palace on wheels, a grand, maharaja’s palace that is. Only two of these suites feature on the train and are an impressive 144 sq ft. Lucky guests will get access to a 24-hour personal butler as they unwind in their suite of colourful velvet and silk furnishings and finely carved period furniture. Features span a queen bed, en-suite bathroom, fluffy bathrobes and slippers, all the luxe toiletries, access to a doctor at each stop (whatever floats your boat) and free Wi-Fi.