Why Did Train Hotels Become a Thing?

By Ihab Ou-ouda | 27, Oct, 2022
Why Did Train Hotels Become a Thing?

When I first heard about train hotels, I was a little bit confused. What are they? Are they fancy hotels that you ride for the fun, not to get you somewhere? And if not, what are they?

Apparently, train hotels are often static and don't go anywhere. Well, some of them actually do move, but... It's confusing. Anyway, train hotels are train-station-themed hotels that use the aesthetic of railways and trains as their main attraction. It's like a museum where you can accommodate if you love trains.

So, let's find out some of the best train hotels in the world where it can offer the unique experience that you've been searching for if you're the kind of person who's into that sort of stuff.

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The Featherland Railroad, USA

Located in Northern California, this railway-themed hotel is a remarkable accommodation spot for its uniqueness. Surrounded by the wonderful nature of Northern California, the inside caboose are themed after various Art Deco cities like London and Casablanca.

During the day, you can go outside and explore the surroundings, which is something you'd appreciate if you like a vacation in the American wilderness.

The accommodation price starts at $190.


SHIKI-SHIMA Train, Japan

If the Napa Valley Railway Inn takes us to the past, the SHIKI-SHIMA train takes us to the future. Unlike the former hotel, this one is actually a moving train. But it's not the kind of train that you take when you want to travel; this one is about luxury accommodation.

This train has Michelin-star chefs cooking minimalist Japanese meals, live piano music performances, and panoramic scenery that's as beautiful as it can get.

The Journey lasts up to 4 days, traveling across the Japanese North East. It's a slow ride of luxury.

That's why the accommodation price on this one is a little bit high; it starts from $3,385.


The Santos Express, South Africa

Right in front of Santos Beach in Mossel Bay the Santos Express stands permanently stationed. You're only 100 feet away from the golden sand and palm trees. While this train hotel isn't the fanciest accommodation, the whole vibe is unique and unmatched. Sometimes, you buy a better experience at a cheaper price.

The restaurant is known for its amazing seafood choices, and the cabinets are super comfortable.

santos express overlooking the sea

Image Credit: Santos Express

The price starts at a shockingly low price of $11.


The Old Railway at Petworth, England

This Old Railway Station is as English as it can get. And by that, I mean, it feels like a Harry Potter scene everywhere you look. The 19th-century style of Old Railway is celebrated by the owner of the hotel; it's more of a museum than a hotel.

King Edward VII used to frequent the station regularly in his journeys to the Goodwood racecourse. So, there's still a vibe of English Royalty in this hotel.

Accommodating at Old Railway is not that expensive. You can rent a room for around $160.


Belmond Royal Scotsman, Scotland

Now, this is what they call "saving the best to the last." Belmond Royal Scotsman is certainly one of the most fascinating train hotels in the world. And it's as luxurious as it can be.

The journey on the Belmond Royal takes you across the Scottish Highlands, which are some of the most beautiful landscapes on the planet (if you ask me).

Accommodation starts at around $5,300, which is a reasonable price considering what you get.


Final Words

So, there you have it. I hope you find the idea of accommodating a train hotel appealing. I certainly think it's a unique thing that you can do to separate yourself from the crowd. It's these little quirky things that make a person unique, such as enjoying accommodation in a bizarre hotel.


Cover Image Credit: Jack Anstey on Unsplash

A passionate writer who enjoys writing about everything

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