Rovos Rail Luxur y Train
What a thrill it is to go back to a bygone era of travel on a train as luxurious as Rovos Rail.
Rovos Rail, otherwise known as “The Most Luxurious Train in the World,” is, indisputably, the world’s most luxurious train with an international reputation for world-class travel experiences. It is a fantastic and slow way to travel and a great way to relax and destress with the country air and the dream ride enhancing the whole experience.
The 5-star treatment begins at the rail station in Pretoria with Champagne, sandwiches and red carpet service. Meeting fellow passengers and inspecting the Rovos Rail’s steam engine puts you in the right frame of mind immediately. You can even pull the train’s steam whistle!
Each of the carriages on the Rovos Rail have been impeccably and lovingly restored to capture the lavishness of days gone by with each of the carriages carrying its own story. Some date back nearly a hundred years, others have transported royalty—but all are utterly opulent. It is the only train in the world with a private bathroom in each cabin. The library carriage offers peace and solitude. There are no radios or television sets on board and the use of mobile phones and laptops are confined to the privacy of your suites only. Smoking is only allowed in the privacy of your suite and in the Club Lounge.
The Rovos Rail stops in Kimberly, to see the Black Hole, (a onceoperational diamond mine, which descends a staggering 840m below the earth), and a stop in Matjiesfontein to see a South African museum, chock-full of historical and interesting memorabilia. Plus the museum is fascinating, especially their collection of toilet bowls, costumes of the day, and a fully-stocked 1930’s apothecary. Giving you a chance to stretch your legs and fully experience the countryside, a 5K walk alongside the rail is offered outside of Matjiesfontein. Rovos personnel accompany you just in case you experience any difficulty.
If you embrace the atmosphere around the nostalgia, and embrace unexpected stops in the middle of the Karoo giving you the opportunity to walk for an hour, you will have an experience for life. The scenery, especially going from 5,000 feet above to sea level, is outstanding, especially as you approach Cape Town.
Rovan Ros and his family have painstakingly ensured that every detail has been considered; wood-paneled walls featuring intricate art and traditional furniture and finery recall turn-of-the-century elegance.
The linens are soft and cozy, the bathroom is more than adequate in each cabin, especially the Royal Suite. The Victorian dining room provides world-class ambiance for five-star cuisine, and suites are very spacious, melding Edwardian elegance with modern amenities. A fine selection of Cape wines are available, such as Haute Cabriere – try the Chardonnay Pinot Noir. What a great wine!
Led by Daphne, the train master, the food was exceptional, the service marvelous and the staff goes out of their way to ensure your enjoyment and cater to your every need. Meeting people in the Observation carriage, while the professional bar men and women fix your favorite drink, whether tea, wine or liquor, coupled with deserts and sandwiches, is part of what makes this rail trip so entertaining.
This is truly a travel experience unlike any other—travelling through a storied land in unmatched luxury… riding on a legendary “iron horse” with a singularly velvet touch.