If you can dream it you can be it, so they say. And we know most train trips to work aren’t exactly the most luxurious, affirming things in your week. So, in honour of yet another Monday workin’ for that dollar, paying them bills, we thought we’d add a little eye candy with the six most luxurious, five-star train trips on the planet. Hey, don’t hate – start saving!
We had to make this picture huge because, well, just freaking look at this thing. Trust Asia to not do anything by halves – Japan’s most expensive train may well be the world’s most expensive train ride. The Train Suite Shiki-shima allows only maximum 34 passengers in its renowned train booked months in advance. Here, guests listen to live music on the black grand piano beneath crystal chandelier while supping at not one but two haute cuisine restaurants run by Michelin star chefs with interiors designed by the guy who’s worked with both Porsche and Ferrari (the legendary Ken Kiyoyuki Okuyama). If you’re the train’s most luxurious passenger of all, you even have your own handmade cypress wood bath in your quarters next to the opulent window view, with custom Swarovski crystal glasses to view the scenery with.
2. The Royal Scotsman
If you don’t like other people much, this may well be the luxury trip of your dreams. The Royal Scotsman accommodates just 36 passengers at a time. And with world-class suites including your own private shower, you likely won’t need to run into any of them either. It is easily one of the most expensive train rides in the world too, coming in at a staggering $1700 to $2000 per day no an eight day journey! To be fair, for this price you get all-inclusive access to a five star hotel-level interior, a fully stocked extensive library, access to hundreds of kinds of artisan whiskey and an exclusive open air veranda to view the Highlands from.
3. Venice Simplon Orient Express
You can’t talk about luxury trains without mentioning the Venice Simplon Orient Express, undoubtedly the most famous first class train in the world since Agatha Christie’s most famous murder took place on it way back in the 1920’s. But there’s a lot more to the Orient Express than just myriad literary mentions and movie appearances. Here, you can dine on caviar and lobster (fresh and only from France, that the train staff transport themselves) listening to the train’s resident world-class pianist or, in private, enjoy your own carriage attendant, drinks in your compartment, a super fluffy gown you get to keep and more. But the show stealer here is really the time travel effect of the train, with its original 1920’s and 1930’s décor still in tract, original Art Deco furnishings and artwork, with staff in resplendent 1930’s uniform standing by full silver service to guests arrayed in tuxedos and cocktail dresses for dinner which makes you feel like at any moment you might run into Hercule Poirot. Priceless.
4. Rocky Mountaineer
It might sound like an Ohio farmer, but the Canadian Rocky Mountaineer train is anything but rough and ready. You can get Sliver Leaf or Gold Leaf service while on board, and the sightseeing nature opportunities are unparalleled, with many guests having seen black bear and wild moose on what has been named ‘the most spectacular train ride in the world’. The Rocky Mountaineer is also unique in that each night you don’t go to sleep in your little cabin – oh no – you are deposited at an actual luxury hotel with your baggage already there and waiting for you in your room. Bliss.
5. Palace on Wheels
The aptly named Palace on Wheels in India is a colour explosion compared to the more sombre luxe of European trains, but that only makes it seem more majestic. Gold brocade adorns the custom bedding in the jewel-toned suites, and when passengers can tear their eyes away from their rooms, the train has a spa, a drop-dead decorative bar with full service and a renowned restaurant. Having been going since the early 1980’s, it’s also one of the most expensive landmarks you’ll find in India – a trip can cost over 360 000 rupees!
6. The Blue Train
When it comes to home, there’s no train quite as famous in SA for luxury as the Blue Train. The wine selection is first class, the views are unparalleled and the suites (don’t call them cabins) have beds as big and comfy as any luxury hotel. Each suite served by a butler is incorporated with custom-designed beds complete with a telephone, a big TV and an en-suite bathroom complete with a bath or shower.
So how’s your morning commute stacking up to these? Us too,don’t worry. But hey, something to aim for.
Have a good week, GoMetropolitans, and stay mobile!