4 New winter journeys with Belmond’s Venice-Simplon-Orient Express

The original icon of the rails, Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, a Belmond Train, unveils four new winter journeys between Paris and the French Alps with their inaugural routes scheduled at the end of the year

Launching in December 2023, the blue-and-gold carriages will glide through some of France’s most untouched countryside and up to the alpine train stations of Albertville, Moûtiers and Bourg-Saint-Maurice. With the option to disembark in either of the three stations, guests will be able to access the ski resorts of Megève and the Mont Blanc; Courchevel and Three Valleys; and Tignes-Val d’Isère in the most glamorous way possible.

One of the original birthplaces of luxury winter tourism, the French Alps are internationally regarded as the gold standard of ski destinations, with their picture-perfect peaks, slopes catering to all competency levels, Michelin-starred restaurants, and alpine chic bars.

The journey

From December 2023, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express will welcome keen skiers, mountain enthusiasts and epicureans on board for its Alpine debut. With eight new Suites joining the rake in June 2023, next winter the train will offer a trio of cabin categories to suit every traveller: the timeless Historic Cabins, lavish new Suites and opulent Grand Suites.

Also see: Luxury travel app HoteLux launches in Hong Kong with access to exclusive ryokans

Departing from Paris in the evening, guests can unwind in the warmth of their art-deco surroundings with a glass of champagne, as the train gently heads out to the Alps. Shortly after departure, guests are invited to pay a visit to the beating heart of the train, Bar Car ‘3674’, for a round of cocktails while the pianist plays in the background.

Bon vivants are then drawn to the three dining cars, where they will be treated to a menu of seasonal dishes designed by French Chef Jean Imbert using the finest local produce. Suspended between past and present, guests can return to the Bar Car for a nightcap with fellow travellers, or retreat to their cabins which have been carefully transformed by their steward for nighttime.

The following morning, they wake to the enchanted scenery of the Savoie region and indulge in a breakfast of French viennoiserie, in the privacy of their cabins. To refuel before an afternoon of skiing and alpine activities, a delicious brunch will be served in the dining cars before the train arrives in Albertville, the first of the three Alpine stops.

Immerse in opulence

Eight new Suites will elevate the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express’ existing accommodation with four different designs reflecting the ever-changing European landscape: La Campagne (the countryside), Les Montagnes (the
mountains), Les Lacs (the lakes) and La Forêt (the forest). The new Suites are the result of an attentive and respectful restoration of two original carriages by French craftsmen and designers, who have reimagined the spaces while maintaining their golden era of travel look and feel.

Each Suite will immerse guests in diverse scenery through vivid colours, plush fabrics, intricate textures and furnishings channelling famed Art Deco designers, such as Majorelle, Dufrene, Leleu, Rousseau, Prou and Lalique. The new Suites come with a private marble ensuite bathroom, and a more spacious lounging area by day, converted to either double or twin beds by night.

Guided by the pioneering spirit that placed it at the forefront of luxury rail travel since 1982, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express will run four new French Alps journeys in the second half of December 2023: from Paris to the French Alps on December 15 and 21, 2023. And from the French Alps to Paris on December 16 and 22, 2023.

An overnight stay in the Historic Cabin starts at £3,785pp (HK$35,673) while the new Suites start at £7,300pp (HK$68,802). Rates include dinner, breakfast and brunch as well as all soft drinks and shared transfer to Gare De Lyon in Paris. Guests staying in the Grand Suites can also benefit from a private car transfer from Albertville, Moûtiers or Bourg-Saint-Maurice to their final destination (overnight stays start at £9,975 / HK$94,017pp).

Rates conversion as of time of publication

Also see: The Peninsula opens Istanbul location with gastronomic promise across all its properties

In this Story: #travel / #destinations