James Shillinglaw, Jul 01, 2019
Belmond has created the design for three new Grand Suites set to join the legendary Venice Simplon-Orient-Express for the 2020 season, bringing the total number of suites onboard to six. The new suites—Vienna, Prague and Budapest—are each named after the iconic European cities the train travels to every year. The suites will launch with the first journey of the season on March 21, 2020. A classic one-night journey in a Grand Suite starts from approximately $7,860 per person.
Designed by Wimberly Interiors, each Grand Suite features scrupulous craftsmanship that embraces the train’s iconic history. From the hand embroidered cushions to intricately carved marquetry, the suites offer a luxury experience with en-suite bathrooms and private showers, double beds that can convert into twin beds, and a private living area with underfloor heating.
“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,” said Gary Franklin, vice president, trains and cruises for 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.”
The Baroque and Gothic architecture of Prague, along with the city’s theatrical feel, heavily influenced the design of the Prague Grand Suite, which features rich golds and maroons. 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, known for its historic landmarks, Grand Palaces, and imperial nature, will be reflected with an ornate and classical design in the Vienna Grand Suite. Rich hues of gold and emerald green will reflect the romantic details of the city, complemented by the curved headboard with silk fabric panels and touches of dark wood.
The Budapest Grand Suite aims to capture the essence of both sides of the Danube river, taking inspiration from both the Gothic and Ottoman architecture. The suite will be adorned with intricate detailed marquetry and silk embroidery patterns.
“We are thrilled and honored to work with Belmond again on this important design project,” said Rachel Johnson, senior vice president and studio director for Wimberly Interiors London. “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. We have worked closely with the Belmond team to ensure that the train’s iconic cities are reflected in the suite design.”
Guests traveling in one of the Grand Suites will enjoy private transfers to and from the train and a personal 24-hour cabin steward available for all of their onboard services, including free champagne and private in-suite dining. Additional touches include bespoke amenities and a complimentary bathrobe. Venice Simplon-Orient-Express journeys throughout Europe from March to November and traverses from Paris to Istanbul on a five-night journey where Europe meets Asia once a year in either August or September. For more details, visit www.belmond.com.