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“Eastern and Oriental Express Singapore to Bangkok” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Venice Simplon-Orient-Express: Day Trips

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express: Day Trips
Shackleton House, 4 Battle Bridge Lane | Gujkj, London SE1 2HP, England
0845 077 2222
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Ranked #137 of 1,015 Activities in London
Activities: Group tours/day tour, Dining
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Owner description: A work of art in itself and a true Art Deco icon, the legendary Venice Simplon-Orient-Express train offers a journey unlike any other. Step aboard and you enter a more gracious, elegant age of travel. Romance, adventure and style are all intimately bound up in journeys and tours that depart from London and criss-cross Europe, rolling through sublime scenery to some of the continent’s most alluring cities.
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London
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Eastern and Oriental Express Singapore to Bangkok”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2014 via mobile

Really worth it. Expensive but you will not regret it. Food on board was excellent and varied as we travelled through the countries. To achieve such a level of cuisine and service in such an environment is impressive.

Pullman cabins are quite small but well equipped and nothing was missing. In particular, there is a good shower with hot water at all times. Worth going for the larger cabin obviously but beds were comfortable even in the Pullman with one bed above the other. What makes the trip is the observation car, in particular in Thailand. Go there early in the morning. The train goes at different speeds and sometimes the track is old, so you can feel it during your sleep but that has to be expected. It is quite an achievement to take such a train through 3 countries.

The train stops at Butterworth in Malaysia so that guests can take the ferry to Penang island and visit Georgetown. We found this excursion quite boring. Unesco has added the city to its list of heritage sites because of a mix of Chinese, Indian and colonial buildings. Nice but we were not particularly impressed by the city. The train has to stop somewhere for excursions... The second stop was considerably much better : river Kwai bridge, little cruise on the river, visit of the Burma-Thai railway museum and cemetery. That was very interesting.
On the train, they do provide entertainment with pianist and Thai dancer. Time flies but 2 / 3 nights on board seems enough.

Overall, service levels and standards are very high. It is all superbly organized with a large number of staff in the kitchen, in the restaurants, in the bars and in the carriages, plus the managers, train drivers, mechanical staff, porters, guides, et . We spent close to 40pc of our 20 day trip in south east asia on that train journey and we did not regret it.

Visited February 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nicolas P, General Manager at Venice Simplon-Orient-Express: Day Trips, responded to this review, April 10, 2014
We would like to thank you for choosing Eastern & Oriental Express to be part of your holidays in South East Asia. We are delighted to know that you enjoyed your journey.

It is gratifying to know your very kind remarks regarding the service of the on board staff. Your compliments will be shared with the Train Manager’s team.

I hope that we will have the pleasure of welcome you back on board, should your travels bring you back to this part of the world in the near future!
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London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“London to Venice”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2014

This was a surprise trip for my 50th birthday ----- and what an amazing present. I was staggered by the service the quality and presentation of the food on the Venice Simplon Orient Express.
I do agree with a couple of other reviews that the English side of the trip was not as good and the real experience starts at Calais. The staff (every single one of them) are just wonderful ---- our stewards Carlo and Rupert are lovely and make you feel so welcome and special. I was just blown away by the whole trip. Yes it is very expensive but it is worth every single penny.

I would recommend starting your journey at Calais or Paris if possible and for light sleepers take ear plugs as the train is a little noisy at night. Other than that, just relax, sit back and enjoy

Visited October 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BrunoJanssens, Manager at Venice Simplon-Orient-Express: Day Trips, responded to this review, January 30, 2014
Thank you very much for your very kind words following your trip on board the VSOE.
We were all delighted to read that you enjoyed every minute on board the train.
We hope to welcome back very soon for another one of our many other European destinations!
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Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“Eastern & Orient Express - The trip of a lifetime”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2014

I have always wanted to go on the Orient Express and given my love of Asia chose to do the 3 night trip from Bangkok to Singapore to celebrate my Birthday and it was truly spectacular. We decided to opt for a State Cabin as there was a special offer on at the time of booking, which meant it cost us a similar price to a full price Pullman cabin. I would thoroughly recommend going for the slightly larger cabin if you can afford to, you spend a lot of time in your cabin and the extra space really does make a difference.

The food was truly spectacular, how they manage to prepare it to such a high standard in such a small space is beyond me. You have to choose dinner seating before you board the train and we opted for the later sitting at 9pm, we felt this was better given you have a full lunch and afternoon tea as well, eating at 6.30 would have been too much. You also need to agree if you are happy to share tables as there are not enough tables for everyone to sit as couples, we were a bit reluctant as we didn't want to sit with others for my Birthday dinner, the staff were great and we ended up sharing with others for lunch but being seated as a couple for dinner which worked perfectly for us. The drinks/wine were quite expensive (as you would expect) probably comparable to a 5 star hotel, but the staff are happy to put your wine to one side for your next meal if you don't finish it all in one sitting.

Sleeping is difficult, particularly on the first night and I would definitely recommend earplugs! You do however start to get used to it. It is definitely worth the early start to enjoy the view of viaduct and see all the way to the back of the train. We also enjoyed the River Kwai and Penang excursions which were excellently organised. We were also one of 4 couples who stayed up in the bar car to see the train pull in to Kuala Lumpur which was about 1am on the last night, but was a great way to end the last evening on the train and see the Petronus Towers.

My only slight grumble was we felt the dress code should have been enforced more, the train does lend itself to glamour (which is also the terminology used in their itinerary) but we did feel this was lacking and the staff could have done more to try and encourage guests to adhere to the policy.

The staff are amazing and so incredibly attentive, they caught my taking a photo of the menu on the first night at dinner and told me I didn't need to do that as they would give me a copy - sure enough at the end of the trip I was presented with all the menus from the trip. The staff also went above and beyond to make sure my Birthday was special, with cards & cakes, as well as surprising me with a song in the bar car. Thank you to Woody and all the waiters and bar staff who made the trip truly special.

Overall it is an amazing experience, truly once in a lifetime and a great thing to do to celebrate a special occasion - it has definitely made us want to do the London-Venice trip, so we'd better start saving again!

Visited October 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nicolas P, General Manager at Venice Simplon-Orient-Express: Day Trips, responded to this review, April 10, 2014
First of all we would like to thank you for choosing Eastern & Oriental Express to celebrate your Birthday, we are delighted to hear that you enjoyed your journey and that you appreciated the comfortable space in the State Cabin.

We are glad to let you know that since you have posted your comment about the earplugs, they are now provided in each cabin.

I fully agree with you that informal attire is totally unacceptable in the Dining Cars in the evening. I have taken up your comments with our Train Manager to investigate and I do apologize that the attire of other guests compromised the quality of your experience on the Eastern & Oriental Express.

Once again, thank you for your most encouraging feedback. I hope that we will have the pleasure of welcome you back on board in the close future.
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Western Australia
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Eastern and Oriental Express - Bangkok to Singapore - Fantastic”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2014

Being relatively new to Tripadvisor, it has taken me a while to write this review; however the above trip was excellent in every respect and, I believe, deserves to be promoted. My wife and I travelled from Bangkok to Singapore on the Eastern & Oriental Express in June/July 2013 and had a wonderful time. We are not ragers, but other younger ones on the train appeared to be so and from what I observed all, without exception, had a fantastic time. It is not just a trip for old timers! The train itself is beautiful - very classy and has a stately, but homely feel to it. The service and the food on the train are amazing - the best we have ever experienced anywhere in the world and I take my hat off to all staff. My wife has severe allergies and the meals that were created for her were exceptional in taste, presentation and appropriateness - nothing second rate even though it may have been difficult to cater for her - so appreciated!!! Our room attendant, Panapong (Paul) was incredible in every respect and helped to make our trip unforgettable, whilst giving us all the privacy we wanted. If all the world had service like this train - rooms, dining, bar etc, it would be impossible to stay home - we would be addicted to travel!

We have no regrets whatsoever of taking this trip and six months later, still very much enjoy thinking about all we experienced and those we met along the way - staff and fellow travellers included. It is not the cheapest holiday in the world, but if you can afford it, I doubt you will regret it!

Visited June 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nicolas P, General Manager at Venice Simplon-Orient-Express: Day Trips, responded to this review, April 10, 2014
Thank you very much for taking the time to write on TripAdvisor and for your kind words following your recent trip on board the Eastern & Oriental Express. I am delighted to read that you were impressed by the quality of the train. You seemed to have enjoyed greatly the quality of the service you received from all the staff members, as well as the quality of the special food served to your wife. We hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you back in the close future to experience our other journeys in Asia.
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Surrey, England
Top Contributor
100 reviews 100 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 66 cities Reviews in 66 cities
71 helpful votes 71 helpful votes
“London to Venice in the Most Exquisite Style”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2013

A journey to Venice on the Orient Express must be up there on many ‘bucket lists’ and we decided to tick it off ours this autumn. We were not disappointed – although there were a few niggles (of which more later) – and we will treasure the memories of the trip for many years to come.

For us, the journey proper began in Calais. Having previously travelled on a day trip on the British Pullman, we knew what to expect on the first leg from London to Folkestone. A long wait in the totally inadequate Orient Express Lounge at Victoria preceded boarding the quintessential Pullman carriages whose elegance and style were not matched by the amateur waiter service and the poor quality brunch. After boarding coaches at Folkestone Station we spent an hour hanging around the EuroTunnel facility waiting for our transit through the tunnel to Calais.

But on boarding our carriage on the actual Orient Express, all was forgiven. The quality of the restoration of these magnificent coaches really does have to be seen to be appreciated. Individual compartments are relatively small but are perfectly adequate for an overnight journey, converting to two bunk beds and featuring a wash handbasin. The downside of carriages designed in the middle of the last century is that there are only two lavatories – one at each end. So, timing is everything!

Our cabin steward, Vincent, was superb and nothing was too much trouble for him. Champagne on boarding; breakfast and afternoon tea were all excellent and beautifully presented and served.

Dinner and lunch were served in the three dining cars; all of which were different in style but superbly restored. The food and service were of a very high standard – very much what you might expect at a Michelin-starred restaurant. It was disappointing to find that a house wine was not included with dinner and that half bottles cost an eye-watering 48 Euro.

The Bar Car offered after dinner entertainment in the form of Ivan at the grand piano. Entirely unstuffy, he helped our party (now swelled by an Irish contingent) make the most of the evening with some spirited playing and our tuneful accompaniments.

The experience of waking in the Swiss Alps and watching the scenery whilst breakfasting was magical. Short stops at Innsbruck and the Italian border provided an opportunity for platform strolling and fresh air. And, finally, the memorable run across the lagoon bridge into Venice with the sights of the city slowly coming into view…..superb!

Visited October 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BrunoJanssens, Manager at Venice Simplon-Orient-Express: Day Trips, responded to this review, December 2, 2013
Thank you very much for your very kind words following your recent trip on board the VSOE.
I am delighted to read that you were impressed by the quality of the restoration of all the carriages.
As you know it has been done faithfully to the original design of each individual carriage, except for the Bar car. You seemed to have enjoyed greatly the quality of the service you received from all the staff members, even from the pianist, as well as the quality of the food in the different restaurant. We hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you back one of our many European destinations.
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