Luxury Train Experiences
August 7, 2017 | BY Philippine Tatler
From an eight-day exploration of south India to a vintage British murder mystery, get your next holiday on track with six new luxury train experiences
The Presidential Train, Portugal
Describing itself as “the most amazing gastronomic experience in Portugal,” the Presidential Train takes guests on a nine-hour gourmet journey created by guest Michelin-starred chefs, from the stunning São Bento Station in Porto to the famous vineyards of Alto Douro, where a Port tasting at the private Quinta do Vesúvio vineyard awaits. This trip grants guests the unique privilege of riding what was once the Portuguese Royal Train, ridden by presidents and popes alike.
Train Suite Shiki-Shima, Japan
This luxurious suite-only sleeper train has created a lot of buzz since its maiden ride just a couple of months ago. Designed by Ken Okuyama, best known for his work with Ferrari, Porsche and Maserati—the train’s 17 lavish suites showcases his trademark futuristic lines in abundance, equipped with large fold-back beds and baths made from Japanese cypress wood. The train also entails a dining room, two observatory cars and a lounge designed to evoke a “quiet forest.” The onboard menu . reflects the train’s eastern Japanese route, and is supervised by Katsuhiro Nakamura, Japan’s first chef ever to receive a Michelin star.
The Maharajas' Express, India
This well-established sleeper train has added two new routes that travel through Southern India. The first, Southern Jewels, takes guests on an eight-day trip from Trivandrum, the capital of the state of Kerala, to Mumbai. Along the way, guests explore Unesco World Heritage sites such as the ancient temple towns of Mahabalipuram and Hampi.
The second trip, the Southern Sojourn, takes guests from Mumbai to Trivandrum instead, with stops including the port city of Cochin and the houseboat-lined Kumarakom. The Maharajas’ Express comprises a whopping 23 coaches, which include four different categories of rooms and two restaurants, serving a mix of Indian and global cuisine.
Belmond British Pullman's Murder Mystery Lunch, United Kingdom
This train experience is for everyone who has ever dreamed of being part of an Agatha Christie novel. The Belmond British Pullman is the sister train to the Orient Express, and guests step on board the vintage carriages for an afternoon of fine dining… and murder most foul. Passengers become detectives, invited to solve a murder by interviewing a cast of suspicious characters. With a champagne reception, a seasonal British fivecourse lunch and exceptional wine, guests are also guaranteed a gourmet culinary experience. In this interactive and opulent trip, passengers satisfy not only their taste buds, but also their little grey cells.
Twilight Express Mizuzake, Japan
Japan’s legendary Twilight Express ran between Osaka and Sapporo, a 22-hour journey though some of the country’s most beautiful scenery. The service was discontinued in 2015, but this sleeper train has revived the name for a similar journey through western Japan. The typically two-to-three-day trip departs from Kyoto or Shimonoseki, covering stunning coastal tracks, soaring bridges and sweeping fields. An art deco-inspired interior gives the otherwise classic Japanese train a western touch.
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