embark on a luxurious train journey and experience the epitome of opulence and comfort as you traverse spectacular landscapes in style.

Is the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express the Ultimate Luxury Train Journey? Read our Review to Find Out!

The Legendary Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

Sometime during a lavish dining experience onboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, the waitstaff’s attention was suddenly drawn to something. In a synchronized moment, they halted their tasks and a mustachioed waiter called out, “Hold the glasses!” The train jolted, causing a slight disruption, but not enough to compromise the luxurious ambiance of the experience.

The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, operated by Belmond, is renowned for its opulent dining car with cuisine crafted by Jean Imbert, a Michelin-starred chef in Paris. This iconic train offers overnight journeys between various European capitals, including Venice to Brussels, Paris to Prague, Rome to Paris, and more. The train has recently undergone cabin renovations in June 2023, further enhancing its exquisite charm and timeless allure.

A Seamless Onboard Experience

As I embarked on my overnight journey from Venice to Brussels on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, the incidental bump on the tracks momentarily disrupted the enchanting atmosphere. However, this fleeting interruption was a rare occurrence in an otherwise flawlessly choreographed experience. From the moment you step onboard, you are transported into a world of elegance, where reality fades away, and you become a part of a classic period drama.

The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is not simply a train ride; it is a show. Pascal Deyrolle, the VSOE manager, emphasizes that they are not just in the railway or hospitality business, but in show business. The attention to detail, the impeccable service, and the captivating ambiance all contribute to creating a magical experience that surpasses mere transportation.

A Storied History

The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express has a rich and complex history. Originally running from 1883 to 1977, the iconic Paris-to-Istanbul journey captivated travelers. After a brief hiatus, the train was revitalized by hotelier James Sherwood in 1982, utilizing restored Orient Express rolling stock from the 1920s. This rejuvenation led to the formation of Orient-Express Hotels, Ltd., which eventually became Belmond in 2014. While Accor acquired the Orient Express name in 2022, Belmond continues to operate the train under the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express name.

The Rise of Luxury Train Travel

Pascal Deyrolle, who has been part of the VSOE since 1992, has witnessed the recent surge in popularity of train travel. COVID-19 has accelerated the desire for more sustainable and immersive travel experiences. Companies like Belmond are responding to this demand by reintroducing routes such as the Singapore roundtrip on the Eastern & Oriental Express. Other players, such as Dreamstar Lines and Midnight Trains, are also entering the market with unique luxury train journeys.

An Immersive Theater Experience

On the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, the journey itself is as much a part of the experience as the destination. From the moment the train arrives at the platform, the sight of the gleaming navy train captivates both passengers and onlookers alike. Stepping onboard is like entering a different world, where guests become enthralled by the theatrical ambiance. The train’s presence evokes childlike wonder in even the most accomplished and celebrated individuals.

A Luxurious Onboard Experience

My suite onboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express was a testament to elegance and attention to detail. The recently renovated cabins, designed by in-house designer Marianne Khan, feature four distinct themes inspired by the landscapes traversed by the train: the forest, the countryside, the mountains, and the lakes. Each suite is a private sanctuary adorned with luxurious fabrics, exquisite woodwork, and thoughtful amenities.

The dining experience onboard the train is equally enchanting. A strict dress code adds to the allure, as guests don evening wear to enjoy a culinary journey amidst the picturesque dining cars. The impeccable service and refined atmosphere make every meal an extraordinary event, with live piano music accompanying the experience.

The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is undoubtedly the ultimate luxury train journey. Its rich history, impeccable service, and immersive theater-like experience make it a truly unforgettable adventure. Whether indulging in a Michelin-starred meal, admiring the stunning landscapes from the comfort of your suite, or mingling with fellow passengers who share a passion for luxury travel, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will leave you longing for more.

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By Maya Di Maria

Hello, I'm Maya, a 39-year-old Travel Agent. I specialize in creating unforgettable travel experiences for my clients. With my expertise and attention to detail, I ensure that every trip is tailored to meet their unique needs and preferences. Let's turn your travel dreams into reality!