Join us on one of the world’s most iconic and romantic journeys—the Orient-Express to Venice. On this great train journey from the Golden Age of travel we shall enjoy two days on board the Orient-Express as it glides through the Alps on the famous Gotthard route to Venice, and three nights living as a Venetian noble in a 15th-century private palazzo on the banks of the Grand Canal. We have advantageous rates for this, the most sought-after route of the Orient-Express in high season. It promises to be an unmissable event.
Spies used the Orient-Express as a secret weapon. A French President tumbled from it. Hitler wanted it destroyed. The real-life, and fictional dramas of the Orient-Express will transport you back in time. Tolstoy and Trotsky, Marlene Dietrich, Lawrence of Arabia and the spy Mata Hari were all passengers. Ferdinand of Bulgaria, scared of assassins, was observed locking himself in the bathroom. Belgium’s King Leopold II rode the train to Istanbul after making elaborate arrangements to infiltrate a Turkish harem. The King of Bulgaria, an amateur engineer, insisted that he be allowed to drive the train through his country, which he did at perilous speeds. Czar Nicholas II demanded that special cars be built for his visit to France, and some decades later the French President Paul Deschanel tumbled from one of these cars in the dead of night, an event that prompted such ridicule that eventually he resigned. Hitler tried, and failed, to have the Orient-Express destroyed.
The truths of the Orient-Express are stranger even than the fiction: but Hercule Poirot solved his most famous case on it, Alfred Hitchcock’s lady vanished from it and James Bond’s Sean Connery rode it for The Spy Who Loved Me, followed by Kenneth Branagh, Penelope Cruz, Johnny Depp and Judi Dench for the film update of Murder on the Orient Express—not forgetting its role in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. But there has never, despite the novels, the films and the intrigue, been a murder on the Orient-Express.
The first Orient-Express pulled out of Paris bound for Istanbul in 1883 for the 1,700-mile trip across Europe and thus began a lifelong love affair which we can still experience. We shall step inside those legendary original rail cars with their inlaid marquetry, polished brass, sumptuous upholstery and antique fixtures, to make our way across Europe in a frisson of excitement—everybody stops to look as the Orient-Express pulls into a station, or steams under a bridge or past a railway crossing. It is simply the most famous train in the world.
Eventually—too soon for some!—we shall arrive. Venice lies before us as we cross the Venice Lagoon and roll in to Santa Lucia station. Here we leave the train, continuing the pleasure by water taxi—or gondola if you prefer—to historic Ca’ Sagredo, where we shall live in historic, palatial luxury for three nights. It will give us plenty of time in which to explore this stunningly beautiful city—and April is a perfect time of year to be here, not yet high summer yet already warm, less crowded, and with long nights to soak up the magic of the city, starting with the picture-perfect pink palazzo which is Ca’ Sagredo itself.
Our Members not only enjoy admiring works of art, they like to stay in them. First, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, a masterpiece in itself; followed by the breathtakingly romantic 15th-century Venetian palazzo on the Grand Canal—Ca’ Sagredo.
The only hotel in Italy to be designated a National Monument, this glorious and historic palace offers us the Venice of nobles, artists and doges. It was the home of the noble Morosini family, and later the Sagredo, one of Venetian aristocracy’s most influential families. Now, behind the romantic pink façade lie sumptuous rooms and suites, immersed in their own historic Venetian past. Ca’ Sagredo is home to important works of art—paintings by eminent painters of the 18th and 19th centuries, Sebastiano Ricci, Giambattista Tiepolo, Niccoò Bambini and Pietro Longhi. The frescoed ballroom alone is a national treasure.
Ca’ Sagredo is indeed what its owners name ‘A Private Palazzo, a Noble Residence, a Museum, a Luxury Hotel and much more … ’ It has won a place in the 500 Best Hotels in the World by Travel+Leisure and Condé Nast Traveler’s Gold List, and can truly claim status as one of the world’s great hotels.
The beauty of Ca’ Sagredo, which lies between Ca’ D’Oro and the Rialto Bridge, is, as they describe it, ‘weep-with-joy wondrous’. The palazzo still preserves the untouched beauty of an ancient noble residence.
Behind its timeless façade in shades of Venetian pink, it oozes romance in every detail, while the opulently frescoed public rooms echo with epic events of the past. Just gliding up the imposing marble staircase feels positively regal. And to lunch, dine or enjoy a drink in the canal-side restaurant, in your suite or rooftop bar, is a pleasure all its own.
Ca’ Sagredo’s views of the canal life and the historic Rialto Market opposite are storybook scenes of old—and its location is peaceful, just a walk away from the hubbub of busy St Mark’s Square.
Ca’ Sagredo’s 42 rooms and suites are exquisite, with classic Venetian styling, art and antiques. All are beautiful, and original—this is, after all, a National Monument. But to spoil yourself with the most Venetian atmosphere, and to sleep among real art treasures, then the Grand Canal Library Suite is the suite to choose for an unforgettable occasion.
SAGREDO VENETIAN DOUBLE
Overlooking the inner courtyard, with views of the rooftops or the charming square Campo Santa Sofia, these rooms are elegantly furnished in classic Venetian style. They are from 25-30 sq m (215-269 sq ft) in size.
GRAND CANAL DOUBLE
The Grand Canal rooms naturally overlook the Grand Canal and the passing gondolas will make your stay truly Venetian. These spacious rooms (30-35 sq m (223-376 sq ft) are stylishly accented by elegant artwork and beautiful silks, fine fabrics and elegant touches.
GRAND CANAL JUNIOR SUITE
For sunrise over the Grand Canal, this is a delightful suite to book! Grand Canal Junior Suites are a celebration of Venetian style, decorated in shades of brown, cream and gold, with floor-to-ceiling windows opening on to views over the Grand Canal. They are 35-45 sq m (376-484 sq ft).
GRAND CANAL SUITE
This is the way to live like a noble Venetian! The exceptional Library Suite is designed to create both history and luxury.
This is a masterpiece of history, luxury and design, giving breathtaking views over the Grand Canal, gilded furniture including the 18th century library bookshelves and everything a noble Venetian could wish. These bookshelves once fostered Zaccaria Sagredo’s massive collection of volumes and printings and still nowadays completely cover the walls. This unique suite combines a magnificent historic ambience with sleek and contemporary touches.
It is 55 sq m (591,80 sq ft.)
Venice Simplon-Orient-Express overnight journey to Venice, including gourmet meals prepared by onboard chefs;
Water taxi from Venice station to five-star palazzo Ca’ Sagredo;
Three nights’ stay in Ca’ Sagredo on a bed-and-breakfast basis;
Return transfer from hotel to airport;
Return economy flight, Venice to London.