Train Travel is the ultimate romantic journey and the legendary Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, A Belmond Train, brings the enchantment or rail travel to the Ligurian coast in June 2024 for the first time in its four-decade history, connecting Paris and Portofino. This new overnight odyssey will see wind passengers through the French countryside and along the coastline of the Mediterranean Riviera, concluding at Splendido, A Belmond Hotel, in Portofino, where guests will stay for two nights.
Steeped in history and glamour, Splendido offers a cinematic escape perched in the hills overlooking Portofino. Here, Jean Imbert, the legendary train’s renowned Michelin-starred chef, will host a special culinary evening with a bespoke tasting menu – a gastronomic ode to this new voyage. The three-night experience goes from 20-23 June 2024
Venice Simplon-Orient-Express Connects Paris & Portofino
As the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express departs Paris on Thursday, June 20, guests are invited to step aboard and soak up the Art Deco ambiance of their accommodation of choice. With the recent addition of eight new Suites, the train now offers a trio of cabin categories to suit every traveler: the Historic Cabins where a daytime lounge magically transforms into cozy upper and lower berth beds; lavish new Suites offering twin or double beds with marble ensuite bathrooms; and Grand Suites — six vast private suites, each taking inspiration from Europe’s most alluring cities: Paris, Venice, Istanbul, Vienna, Prague, and Budapest.
After settling in and enjoying a French goûter in their cabins, guests will gather in Bar Car ‘3674’ for handcrafted cocktails and live music by the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express’ resident pianist. As the train winds past the cities of Dijon, Lyon and Avignon, a new summer menu by Michelin-starred chef Jean Imbert will be served in restaurant cars Côte d’Azur, L’Oriental, and Étoile du Nord. Accompanying each course are handpicked wines from the train’s extensive collection, an homage to Europe’s finest appellations. After dinner, it’s back to the iconic livery of Bar Car ‘3674’, where drinks will flow and The Uppertones – an energetic three-man-band of trombone, vocals, piano, and drums playing Swing, Boogie and Calypso tunes, will play long into the night.
The next morning, an indulgent continental breakfast will be served in the privacy of the cabins, to the backdrop of spectacular coastal views as the railway connects France with Italy, moving past the famous towns of Cannes, Nice, and Monte Carlo. As the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express crosses the Italian border, guests can admire the vibrant cities of Ventimiglia, Savona, and Genoa — the former capital of one of the world’s most powerful maritime republics. In this final leg of the journey, a delicious brunch will be served before arriving in Santa Margherita Ligure where the train experience ends and the Italian sojourn continues at Splendido.
Venice Simplon-Orient Express Meets Ligurian Glamour
A former 16th century Benedictine monastery perched in the lush Ligurian hills, Splendido offers the perfect continuation of this summer sojourn. From Friday, 21 June to Sunday, 23 June guests will indulge in the ultimate Villeggiatura — soaking up the sun at the hotel’s recently redesigned salt-water swimming pool, with unrivaled views of the Gulf of Portofino.
These vistas can also be admired from the glamorous rooms and suites inspired by the noble Palazzos of the region; the terraced gardens surrounding the hotel; as well as the two resident restaurants – the newly launched Splendido Grill and the renowned open-air, La Terrazza.
On Friday, guests will be treated to a five-course tasting menu by Chef Jean Imbert at La Terrazza, specially curated in celebration of the new journey, followed by after-dinner drinks in the cocktail bar, inviting guests to step into the footsteps of legends such as Elizabeth Taylor, Humphrey Bogart and Liza Minelli.
For the grand finale of this three-night experience, guests are invited to wrap themselves in the cinematic soul of Portofino with a private film screening under the stars on the iconic “Piazzetta” — the very heart of the port town, surrounded by the vibrant tapestry of colourful fishermen houses, and where Splendido’s sister hotel, Splendido Mare, A Belmond Hotel, Portofino, resides.
Prices start from £7,920 per person (approx. $8,525.09 USD) based on two guests sharing a Historic Cabin on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express and a Garden View Room at Splendido. The price includes an overnight journey on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express (24h steward service; all meals with sommelier’s choice of wine and unlimited soft drinks), two nights at Splendido on B&B basis, a bespoke dinner by Chef Jean Imbert at La Terrazza, and transfers in Paris and Portofino.
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Photos courtesy of Belmond