Following the classic route between London and Venice, this is a truly opulent take on an already luxurious rail journey. As you depart Victoria Station aboard the Belmond British Pullman, cocktail in hand, you’ll look forward to experiencing the butler-served indulgences of Venice Simplon-Orient-Express’s new Grand Suites. With just three to choose from – Istanbul, Paris and Venice – this is rail travel at its most exclusive, and stylish. Indeed, each suite takes design notes from its country namesake, so expect the likes of Moorish-inspired headboards, Venetian floral patterning and original 1930s Lalique lamps sourced from a Parisian market and lovingly restored. What’s more, each of the suites has its own bathroom, complete with shower – a first for this most iconic of journeys – where Murano glass basins, mosaic flooring and heated marble walls add an extra layer of luxury. It’s all complemented by gourmet dining and free-flowing champagne. Then, at journey’s end, you’ll enjoy a five-star stay at the iconic Belmond Hotel Cipriani, perfectly located in heart of Italy’s floating city, and a private walking tour with priority entry to the Doge’s Palace.
Your journey begins in suitable style, as your chauffer driver collects you from home address to bring you to London’s Victoria Station for the start of your journey. The excitement builds as you sip champagne at a private reception before stepping aboard the Belmond British Pullman for a gourmet food- and wine-paired journey across Kent to Folkestone.
Then, after a cross-channel dash, you’ll step aboard those famous blue-and-gold carriages, checking into the oak-panelled fineries of your Grand Suite for the trip south to Paris. Unlike in the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express’s standard cabins, Grand Suites have plenty of clever storage – so you’ll keep your luggage with you throughout – as well as an en-suite bathroom with shower, immaculately decked out in mosaicked marble and Murano glass.
You'll even get a complimentary bathrobe, yours to take home at the end of the journey. So, take the chance to freshen up before making your way to the dining car to enjoy menus inspired by the train’s route; expect such delicacies as lobsters from Brittany or salt marsh lamb from Mont St Michel. Then, after a short pause in Paris and a leisurely drink in the bar car, it’s time to return to your suite, and your double bed, as the train head east towards the Alps.
Lunch & Dinner included
Wake this morning fully refreshed to enjoy a butler-served breakfast in the comforts of your Grand Suite as you race through the Swiss Alps. It’s the perfect moment to relax and soak up the views, revelling in the golden age of rail travel with a steward on hand to cater to your every whim. Then, as the armoured peaks of the Dolomites signal your arrival into Italy, you’ll swap the comforts of your suite for elegance of the dining car and a delectable three-course lunch. The indulgences continue as you approach your final destination, with an afternoon tea served as you cross the Venetian Lagoon en route to the Venezia Santa Lucia Station.
Stepping down from your carriage, it’s time to wave goodbye to the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, and your Grand Suite, but also to look forward to two days in Venice, beginning with a private water taxi transfer directly to your hotel – the luxurious and iconic Belmond Hotel Cipriani. A true Venetian classic, it’s set on Guidecca Island, a five-minute ride by private launch from St Mark’s Square. And, with Michelin-starred dining, a truly pampering spa and sweeping views back across the lagoon, it’s a magical and evocative base for exploring all that La Serenissima has to offer.
Breakfast & Lunch included
Begin your day with an exquisite breakfast overlooking the lagoon before heading back across the water to explore Venice’s labyrinth of historic streets and waterways. Rather than just leave you to your own devices, however, we’ve included a private, expert-led walking tour to give you an insight into the city’s rich history and culture, and introduce you to its highlights both hidden and iconic. It all culminates in priority entry to the Doge’s Palace, a treasure trove of Venetian artefacts hidden behind an imposing Gothic façade. The rest of the day is yours to explore.
Maybe you’ll head out to Murano to see where the glass for your Grand Suite bathroom was made, take a gondola punt to further explore the city’s romantic canals, or grab a table at the Hotel Metropole – one of Hemmingway’s favourite haunts – to relax with a perfectly blended Bellini. Then, return to your hotel, perhaps ending the day with a spa treatment and dinner at the acclaimed Oro Restaurant.
Spoil yourself: Upgrade to a lagoon view room at the Belmond Cipriani for unsurpassed views
Linger over one last delicious breakfast at the Cipriani before a final morning’s exploration. Perhaps further investigate Venice’s intoxicating blend of classic and contemporary art, enjoy a final photo call in St Mark’s Square, or go in search of the perfect gelato before a transfer to the airport in time for your flight home.
Then, on arrival in the UK, one of our chauffeur drivers will be waiting to take you back home.
"While it traces the classic route between London and Venice, this itinerary steps up the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express luxury even further with a stay in one of the new and utterly gorgeous Grand Suites. Expect the likes of fine dining, free-flowing champagne and complimentary caviar on arrival, all paired with exclusive butler service. And, while the suites themselves are stunning in both their design and finish, it's the addition of a marbled en suite bathroom – not available with standard cabins – that really steals the show. Be among the first to experience this elevation in luxury rail travel."
Low Season from: £7,985 pp
High Season from: £11,350 pp
Departures : The Venice-Simplon-Orient Express departs between 21 Mar and 07 Nov 2019