The new suites—named Vienna (shown above), Prague and Budapest—bring the number of suites onboard the train to six. They join the Venice, Istanbul and Paris suites, which earned several design awards in 2019.
“As with everything on board the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, the design and careful restoration that goes into each suite, whilst respecting the original 1920s art-deco design, is extraordinary,” says Gary Franklin, vice-president, Trains & Cruises, Belmond. “Each meticulous suite will draw inspiration from the romance, adventure and style of each great European city we travel to. The suites evoke the individual city experience whether it is walking along the Charles Bridge in Prague or exploring the contrasting Gothic and Ottoman architecture of Budapest. They are a real tribute to the romance and glamour of Europe and the golden era of rail travel.”
Like the Venice, Istanbul and Paris suites, each of the new suites will have a private, spacious marble bathroom with shower, a double bed that converts to two twin beds, a private living area, and underfloor heating. Special services include free-flowing champagne, a personal 24-hour cabin steward, private in-cabin dining, bespoke amenities, a complimentary bathrobe and private transfers to and from the train.
Wimberly Interior is conducting the design project. “It is imperative that the design reflects the train’s history and supports the ultimate experience of glamour and prestige that any experience on the train delivers,” says Rachel Johnson, senior vice-president and studio director, Wimberly Interiors London. “We have worked closely with the Belmond team to ensure that the train’s iconic cities are reflected in the suite design.”
The Baroque and Gothic architecture of Prague, along with the city’s theatrical feel, will be encapsulated in the Prague Grand Suite through rich golds and maroon. The balance of ancient and modern will be captured through layers of hand-embroidered cushions and Cubist-inspired mosaic patterns. The marquetry will be adorned with hints of red garnet.
Vienna’s imperial nature will be reflected through the use of rich hues of gold and emerald green. Design details include a curved headboard with silk fabric panels and touches of dark wood.
The Budapest Grand Suite will take inspiration from the city’s Gothic and Ottoman architecture. It will be adorned with intricately detailed marquetry and sumptuous silk embroidery patterns.
The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express travels throughout Europe from March to November and travels to Istanbul once a year.