As far as luxury train travel goes, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is considered to be the crème de la crème. With its 1920’s decor, its Michelin-starred restaurant, marble-clad bathrooms and resident three-man-band, it’s not hard to see why the train is the most luxurious and the most expensive in the world. With journeys across Europe, all the way to Istanbul, travellers wanting to have a taste of it all could already choose from an array of different routes, but a new one has just been added, one which will take passengers from the French capital, Paris, to the Italian seaside town of Portofino.
In its four-decade long history, never has the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express run on this route before. And even now that the connection is available, not that many people will have the chance to hop aboard. Departing for the first time on 20 June 2024, the connection will only run once a year, with prices starting from 7,810 euros for three nights based on two guests sharing a Historic Cabin.
However, those who will be lucky enough to one day enjoy all that luxury aboard the train are in for a treat. Firstly, you’ll be able to see cities such as Dijon, Lyon and Avignon on your way. Then, while being dressed in ‘formal evening wear’, you’ll enjoy a new summer menu by Michelin-starred chef Jean Imbert aboard the train, accompanied by exclusive and handpicked wines. After dinner, cocktails will be served at Bar Car ‘3674’ on the tunes of The Uppertones, the resident three-man-band.
After having spent the night in your quite luxurious room and while swooping through Cannes, Nice and Monte Carlo, a continental breakfast is waiting for you to wake up. And even before you arrive at the final station in Santa Margherita Ligure, you’ll be served a special brunch.
After one night on the train, the last two nights of the journey will be spent in the Hotel Splendidon, a former 16th-century Benedictine monastery overlooking the Gulf of Portofino. There, you’ll not only be able to enjoy the views and the stunning pool, but also a five-course tasting menu by Chef Jean Imbert at the in-house restaurant, La Terrazza, followed by after-dinner drinks. To close things off, a private open-air film screening will be organised in the center of Portofino.