Porters helped us on board and led us to our cabins. The Blue Train overview. After lunch the train makes a scheduled stop to visit to a historic railway community – the well-conserved 19th century Matjiesfontein. From the moment you board the train you are immersed in luxury. Review of The Blue Train. As a cabin Butler, Angela dealt with any issues that arose throughout the trip, delivered refreshments, prepared the cabin for night-time, with a turndown service including water and chocolates and fresh towels, and also serviced the cabin in the morning. 2016 will see The Blue Train re-launch its Pretoria to Hoedspruit service, making the wildlife reserves and games lodges of the Greater Krugar National Park and Sabi Sands even more accessible. The food was well presented. If you want to leave a gratuity, the fairest way is to leave an envelope in the Gratuity Box, which will be shared to all members including those behind the scenes. However, by the end of the journey I couldn’t help but feel that the menus could have been modified slightly to better suit the obvious constraints of preparing the meal on a train. Andrew is a Marketing Communications consultant, working within the travel & lifestyle sectors: his track record in PR, marketing and branding spans over 25 years. read more, The Blue Train offers a wonderful way to travel south through South Africa. All very touristy and forced, but it seemed to go down well with some of the guests. 191 Paul Kruger Street | NZASM Building, Second Floor, Pretoria 0084, South Africa. If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu. Feel like a Blue Blood on South Africa's Blue Train. Yet once inside it had a decidedly vintage glamour ‘look and feel’. For those with a sweet tooth, there was Swiss chocolate fondant or a deconstructed lemon meringue; oh and of course that splendid cheese board again! Despite the obvious lack of smokers amongst the guests, many of us retired to the Club Car Lounge, the smoking car, to enjoy post dinner digestives … and a Montecristo Havana cigar. The washroom had touches of luxury, with gold-coloured fittings, thick cotton, monogramed towels, complimentary amenities, bathrobes and slippers. Read more. I know, really, what was I thinking?! The Blue Train, Pretoria: Consulta 406 opiniones, artículos, y 423 fotos de The Blue Train, clasificada en Tripadvisor en el N.°12 de 110 atracciones en Pretoria. We met some interesting people over the 3 days. […], © 2020 - The Luxury Editor. The following day started with a fully cooked breakfast, and then snacks. Blue Train Pretoria to Cape Town. The Blue Train. Pretoria to Cape Town 11/01/21 The Blue Train lives up to its reputation as one of the finest luxury trains in the world. Johannesburg, South Africa. There was a telephone for calling the Butler and other cabins (and for international calls, at extra cost). An icon of South African travel, the Blue Train is the best way to soak up the stunning vistas not accessible by any other means. Train Safaris has been specialising in Luxury Train Travel for the past 23 years.We are sales agents for both the Blue Train and Rovos Rail. Smart casual at all times; and for dinner formal, including for men, a jacket and tie. There is no better way than crossing a large part of South Africa. In fact I have to admit to sleeping exceptionally well on the train! The Blue Train offers a wonderful way to travel south through South Africa. Read more. The food is … Review of The Blue Train. Chef Cresan Ramajathan’s specialty is classic French fine dining, and avant-garde, contemporary cuisine - and his fresh ideas and interpretation of ‘the luxury of slow’ are already resonating with guests. 5 23. Multi-day annual train journeys take in South Africa, Namibia and go as far as Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. There was a knock at the cabin door; it was Angela, my dedicated Butler, seeing if I was settling in alright and wandering if I’d like a drink. Transportation, Mass Transportation Systems. We took a medium suitcase on board and the other 4 large ones went into the luggage carriage which can not be accessed, so make sure you have everything you need in the one suitcase. The air-conditioning was a little tricky to control, either being too hot or too cold, but after a while the Butler managed to find the right balance. Essential Info: The Blue Train is a top-level luxury experience, and prices reflect that. The 27 hour journey whisks guests into a bygone era of elegance, a time when the journey itself was something to be savoured, with the luxury of being looked after by a butler and indulged with excellent cuisine. Arrival times and off-the train excursions cannot be guaranteed. The service is promoted as a "magnificent moving five … The Blue Train offers a wonderful way to travel south through South Africa. We got picked up at The Sheraton Hotel and chauffeur driven to the blue train lounge. We were fortunate to travel from Pretoria to Cape Town, stopping for a short visit to Kimberley and The Big Hole. Your De Luxe Suite will forever alter your definition of what style and class entail. The former can accommodate a maximum of 54 guests and is available for use during charters. It boasts butler service, two lounge cars, an observation car, and carriages with gold-tinted picture windows, in soundproofed, fully carpeted compartments, each featuring its own en-suite. There are two Blue Train sets – simply referred to as Train Set 1 and Train Set 2. The Blue Train is proud to announce that we have appointed a new Executive Chef. IMPORTANT NOTICE - COVID-19 Coronavirus If you have a reservation with the Luxury Train Club for travel in 2020, contact us for the current situation. The Blue Train was the ultimate in luxury. The route runs between Cape Town and Pretoria in either direction and the journey is a leisurely one spanning two nights, arriving at your destination after breakfast on the third morning. However although the Blue Train’s rail route dates back to the early twentieth century, the present Blue Train was re-launched in the late 1990s and has modern carriages with panoramic windows – although of course it maintains its signature blue colour dating back to the 1930s. The first time a team member commented on the detailing of my shirt and my shoes I was flattered; by the third time personal compliments were offered, I began to feel slightly uncomfortable. Cabins are panelled with hardwood veneers with marquetry detailing as one might expect; seating is plush with luxurious fabrics, with silk and velvet cushions and there were vintage style gilt wall lamps completing the look. So TLE packed our Louis Vuitton with our favourite finery and got on board this 5 star hotel on wheels for a luxury land cruise of old school glamour, fine-dining and decadent extravagance! The beds were very comfortable and the air suspension ensured a very smooth ride. The facilities are... He writes regularly on international travel, lifestyle and luxury – with a particular passion for the Mediterranean and the Americas. 819philipw. Check out the latest specials on the Blue Train. https://theluxuryeditor.com/the-blue-train-south-africa-review On each train there are a few Luxury Suites, larger at 5.13 metres long and the bathrooms include a bathtub. It is one of the most luxurious train journeys in the world. Rovos Rail features elegant lounges, a dining car and an observation car. The Blue Train - South Africa - 341 Bosman St, 0001 Pretoria, South Africa - Rated 4.6 based on 6 Reviews "Excellent service! The Blue Train values your review, and we appreciate you taking the time to share. The train we actually were booked on was Premier Classe and not the Blue Train, whether this was the reason we encountered problems not to sure but they had no record of our reservation, although friendly and approachable, we were allowed to board for departure… 12/09/2013 Read full trip review more. This was an experience to tick off our bucket list. The Blue Train: Expensive mistake - See 407 traveler reviews, 423 candid photos, and great deals for Pretoria, South Africa, at Tripadvisor. Certainly compact, but the large window (with fabric roman blinds, and electric venetians) together with the ingenious use of space made it feel cosy and relaxing; twin sofa chairs with side table converted into very comfortable twin beds. With over 65 years of service, the Blue Train has a long-established reputation as a world leader in luxury train travel.Easily identified by its deep blue carriages, the Blue Train regularly runs between Cape Town and Pretoria, giving its guests a stately view of South Africa’s diverse landscapes whilst providing white-glove service, plush accommodation and fine cuisine. It felt magical to sit at the table as the sights of Africa passed by. Many of the world’s luxury trains have a historic heritage and continue to use vintage carriages. As with a sea cruise, aboard this rail cruise there was no shortage of beautifully presented, tempting food. Once a thriving Victorian railway stop-over, the village with hotel, museum etc. Unfortunately the Observation Car, with windows on three sides, normally at the back of the train was not on our service – again it’s important to check this before booking as inconsistencies in service, facilities, and arrival times can occur. For Andrew, luxury is many things; most importantly genuine hospitality, authenticity and thoughtful service. Low season rates range from 11,583 to 19,900 rand ($1,335-2,294), while high season rates range from 14,295-24,530 rand ($1,644-$2,822). Our travel specialists will arrange your luxury rail tickets and will also be available to assist you with any travel services you might require in Southern Africa. Elephant Walk Guided Tour from Johannesburg. Welcome to the Blue Train - a luxurious South African rail experience. Along the turn of the 20th century, the long-held dream of a magnificent African railway gave rise to an incredible journey. read more. For example the scallops dish at Brunch was not a success, with most people asking it to be exchanged – scallops are hard to prepare in the best of kitchens, let alone in a train galley. The facilities are... Hotels near National Zoological Gardens of South Africa, Hotels near Pretoria National Botanical Garden, Hotels near Tshwane University of Technology, National Zoological Gardens of South Africa, Surfing, Windsurfing & Kitesurfing in Pretoria, Points of Interest & Landmarks in Pretoria, Rietvlei Nature Reserve: Tickets & Tours‎, Pretoria National Botanical Garden: Tickets & Tours‎, Groenkloof Nature Reserve: Tickets & Tours‎, National Zoological Gardens of South Africa: Tickets & Tours‎, Museum of Natural History: Tickets & Tours‎, Austin Roberts Bird Sanctuary: Tickets & Tours‎. The northbound Cape Town to Pretoria experience starts at R13,795-00 (South African Rand) per person sharing a deluxe suite – at the time of writing that equates to about £670.00. The journey and views from the window were fascinating - South Africa is a big country! Kind regards, The Blue Train Team. On a short trip like this I appreciate the staff has little time to build a rapport with guests, yet there were moments when the kindness seemed very contrived. For my taste the visit was quite odd – guests were obliged to take a ride on a vintage British double decker bus around a car park, and then offered a glass of sherry at the hotel bar whilst the guide played the piano and sang songs. Book … There were a few notable disappointments with the food. Occasionally, as the train passes the poverty of townships and deprived villages, one has stark reminders of the reality of life for many in South Africa. is now a National Monument. Get shcedules, prices and dates of operation. With my travel documents came confirmation of the obligatory dress code on-board. In my experience Angela was truly professional and genuinely friendly. Despite our fondness for the Blue Train experience, it's worth mentioning that the train is at the mercy of the SA railway infrastructure. Yet once I reached the dining car I was smitten – There’s something quite magical about a luxury train dining car – the beautifully set tables with gilt lamps, pressed lined table cloths, polished silverware and sparkling glasses. I reluctantly packed a tie, but that day I actually rather enjoyed dressing up for supper. The facilities are splendid the food and service is 1st class. The Blue Train started in 1946 and has become an icon in the South African safari business as a luxury way to traverse the country. I started the journey in appropriate style with a few sparkling mimosa cocktails in the elegant Lounge Car, an opportunity to get to know some of the fellow passengers, and watch Africa glide by the panoramic windows – the experience was already becoming truly captivating. In fact service on-board The Blue Train was excellent throughout the journey, although I must say that a few members of the staff were overt experts at obsequiousness. The Blue Train is an once-in-a-lifetime style journey that covers the 1,600 kilometres between Cape Town and Pretoria in the north. >> read more on  Rovos Rail. The elegantly presented menu included starters of caramelised fois gras with grilled apples; and oriental seafood parcels with a warm fennel salad. Train Set 2 is the weekly “schedule” train running between Pretoria and Cape Town. Go here for general travel and health advice from governments, WHO and other organisations. The continually changing view from the carriages is not all pristine landscapes and vintage towns of course. What’s more it was a real luxury in the morning when Angela came to the door with a tray of coffee and hot chocolate. On our trip these seemed to have been allocated to the Honeymooners, so it’s worth booking ahead if you want a larger cabin. This is definitely worth checking when you book. The Blue Train > > Rovos Rail Packages Reservations Re-Opening Special Valid for departures until 31 March 2021 De Luxe Suite ... during the British Lions Tour to South Africa and during the Mining Indaba in Cape Town at the beginning of February 2022. The Blue Train: Blue Train - See 410 traveller reviews, 430 candid photos, and great deals for Pretoria, South Africa, at Tripadvisor. South Africa’s legendary Blue Train is on many people’s bucket list, the ultimate luxury train journey across the vast African landscapes between Cape Town and Pretoria. At its inception, the original engineers envisioned a mighty line of tempered steel stretching from Cape Town to Cairo that would rival the great railways of the world. I must have been caught up in the sheer decadence of the whole affair – and really that’s the best way to enjoy The Blue Train. There was a TV too, and Wi-Fi although the service was a little erratic. The suites are spacious and elegantly appointed, each with its own bathroom. The cabin was well-presented with personalised welcome letter, fresh flowers, fruit and complimentary mineral water. All food, beverages, and excursions are included. The only modern African train offering an air suspension for the best quality Rail experience in Africa. The Brando, as yo, Minimalist design combined with stunning 18th cent, @sassychris1 can't get enough of Switzerland and w, Andrew Forbes travels aboard The Blue Train | Andrew Forbes, Q&A With Kate Wasserbach, Founder of Abel Honor New York, Q&A With Nicole Scott-McKie Founder Of MTX, Gucci Expands its Ophidia Collection of bags. We met some interesting people over the 3 days. These fragile looking homes, made with salvaged materials, with outside loos, and uncollected rubbish strewn across the land is a strong reminder of the inequality that remains in South Africa. Despite the smooth running train, the scenes deliver a jolt, heightened somehow as one sits as an advantaged voyeur within the luxury of a Blue Train carriage. Since there was about 40 of us on-board, dinner was served as one sitting in the dining car, creating a lovely atmosphere and a sense of occasion. #13 of 111 things to do in Pretoria. Review tags are currently only available for English language reviews. Rail travel is becoming the favourite mode of transport for many wanting to reduce their carbon footprint. The Blue Train lives up to its reputation as one of the finest luxury trains in the world. A glass of rosé bubbles from the award-winning South African ‘House of Krone’ seemed the appropriate way to start Brunch and I happily continued with an easy-drinking, delicious Sauvignon Blanc by boutique winery, ‘Bouchard Finlayson’. Book the South African Blue Train with luxury trains & safaris specializing in train packages in Southern Africa. Recommended experiences in and around Pretoria. The Blue Train travels an approximately 1,600-kilometre journey in South Africa between Pretoria and Cape Town. On the south bound service, the train stops at the Kimberley Diamond Mine Museum. All food and drinks are included in the rate. From the comfort of one of the lounge sofas, I discreetly looked around at my fellow guests with whom I was going to share the train for the next 27 hours or so. Web: www.andrewforbes.com, […] You can read my full review on The Luxury Editor. The Blue Train offers a wonderful way to travel south through South Africa. All Rights Reserved - Privacy Policy - Cookie Policy, The snow topped mountains, outdoor pool and cosy C, The outlook from the Surf and Sand Resort in Calif, Cozy nights under the Northern Lights at the @arct, The luxury five star resort @kamandaluUbud has bee, f you're looking for an exotic getaway, the stylis, A magical starry night comes as standard for guest, Hotel Chalet al Floss is a winter wonderland and t, The Arctic Treehouse in #Lapland offers luxurious, The outdoor heated Sky Pool at the Hotel Hubertus, Who want’s to be here in 2021! The Brunch menu included first plates of Camembert with cranberry reduction; scallops with cranberry reduction; a soup course; and then a choice of baked Scottish salmon; dry aged beef; or chicken supreme. This wasn’t my first time travelling on a luxury train, and I was intrigued to see how this relatively new locomotive would be presented. Save. It’s advisable to pack light if possible with small or soft cases as the available storage is understandably limited. The Blue Train is undoubtedly South Africa’s most iconic and recognised luxury train and one that makes a vacation combining a safari in the north and the sophistication of Cape Town in the south all the more feasible and appealing. Members of the Club (free to join - subscribe to our newsletter) benefit from : - Club Discount of 2.5% off the published prices. Rates quoted are for a one-way journey and are subject to change without prior notification. We had our own butler, David, who was there for our every need. He could not have been kinder or more efficient. Thank you so much! There is a shelf for small suitcases and a narrow wardrobe with safe. On our journey guests were only offered an hour’s connectivity which for a 27 hour trip seemed a little absurd, especially considering the price of the experience, although I am now advised that the service is being upgraded and provided without limits. On top of all this, the scenery on the 25 hour trip is breathtaking. -Blue Train: 50% Off Companion Fare for travel May – July 2020. Originally from the UK, Andrew Forbes has lived in the US and France but now calls southern Spain his home, where he is Travel Editor for Spain’s leading English language newspaper. We started our experience at Cape Town Station – like many urban transport hubs, it didn’t exactly ooze glamour, especially before eight in the morning. All meals, drinks, cocktails and refreshments are included in the train experience (excluding French Champagne and Caviar). Rates are per person, inclusive of all meals, high tea, drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and off-the train excursions excluding French champagne, caviar and external telephone calls. The Blue Train is now 24 years old and although the compartments are well maintained don't expect a pristine experience. This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in the United States. The Blue Train is unique – it is not merely a train but combines five-star comfort with the charm of train travel. To finish things off, we were offered chocolate or fudge pudding and a selection from the cheese board. He obviously knows what his passengers appreciate.We met the Manager, Herbert Pinslot, who spent quite a bit of time talking to us and answering our questions.The food was magnificent and the service impeccable. On the first day, the food offerings included breakfast pastries; Brunch; a traditional afternoon tea, with finely cut sandwiches, scones, cream and jam; and a dinner. Many thanks to Visit South Africa for hosting me on the Blue Train. In summary: we are a couple in our mid thirties and booked on the... The majority of the cabins (about three per carriage) are De Luxe Suites measuring a modest 2 metres wide by 4 metres, with twin beds and ensuite shower room. Seating is at tables for two on one side of the carriage and tables for four on the other – all tables come served with some of the best views in South Africa. Elegance on rail with best Blue train price points. This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Maybe it was all the food, wine and merriment – but the mattress was comfortable and it was undeniably romantic to be lulled to sleep by the gentle movement of the train as it chundled along at a very leisurely 60 kilometres an hour. The beginning of the journey particularly has some spectacular scenery, and one of the greatest privileges of taking The Blue Train is view the majestic mountains and verdant valleys of the Western Cape pass by before reaching the more arid north. The main plates included pepper crusted springbok with a pistachio lamb cutlet; prosciutto wrapped monk fish; and seared duck breast. It’s an indulgent and unique way to start or end a safari experience in South Africa, and undoubtedly a memorable way to take in some of the country’s exceptional scenery. An international mix; informal, young honeymooners whispering playfully to each other; retired married couples each engrossed in broadsheet newspapers; well-dressed, middle-aged travelling companions sharing a few laughs; and a couple of families with impeccably turned-out kids. 409 Reviews. Walking along the platform we stopped to snap a few memories with our phones – the train’s blue paintwork was gleaming, embellished with polished gold motifs. From check in at an exclusive lounge at the Cape Town station to the well equipped 'suites' complete with wifi and showers, the panoramic observation car, exquisite food with an endless supply of the very best wines available, attentive and well trained personnel including personal butlers - it cannot be faulted. Blue Train Journeys convey guests through some of the most breathtaking countryside tin South Africa. The facilities are splendid the food and service is 1st class. Yet The Blue Train has its own dedicated departure lounge, where one can leave your luggage with one of the uniformed porters, receive one’s boarding pass and then sit back relax with an early morning coffee. To admit to sleeping exceptionally well on the Train experience ( excluding French and! 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