Maharajas’ Express can be simply described in one sentence – ‘Luxury at its best’. As I entered the Rajah Club on the super luxury train, I was in for the most pleasant surprise. I had no idea that a train could surpass the luxury and amenities even of the grandest and the most luxurious hotels in the world. But as I chatted with Sunil Tarneja, General Manager, Maharajas’ Express, I knew this train could be nothing but the best in this class. Sunil Tarneja is the man behind it all; having pioneered the prjoect he has assured that the Maharajas’ Express is a brand name with unmatched luxury and service standards anywhere in the world.
Here is an excerpt of an interview with him.
Why the name Maharajas’ Express?
The name Maharajas’ Express was chosen after a lot of thought. We cover the princely states on our journey and after a lot of deliberations and shortlisting; we got hooked onto the present name. This shows the royalty of India and the magnanimous opulence of the then rulers who had a fancy eye for epitome of luxury.
- Which are the destinations this train travels to and what are the packages that you offer? The destinations that Maharajas’ Express travels to are Ajanta, Agra, Ranthambore, Delhi, Jaipur, Fatehpur Sikri, Varanasi, Lucknow, Khauraho, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Balasinor, Mumbai and Gwalior. There are five routes on offer for the discerning traveller and the train is operational from October to April every season.
Sunil Tarneja, General Manager, Maharajas’ Express
What are the facilities on board that make it a luxury experience for travellers?
The train has four categories of rooms (Deluxe Cabin, Junior Suite, Suite and Presidential Suite) starting from 112 sq feet to 450 sq feet and has on offer all the luxurious facilities which make it a world class luxury train to travel in. For example there is individual climate control, personalised butler, wi –fi connectivity, live satellite TV, attached bath tubs, marble floor and private guide and cars when you alight the train if you have booked Presidential Suite. The cutlery and the crockery is also customised and gold plated at the restaurant cars (Mayur Mahal and Rang Mahal).
These are just a few to mention, there are many more amenities that make it a truly class apart experience.
Gold plated and customised crockery and cutlery for the guests on board the train
What cuisines are served on board?
We serve Indian and Continental cuisine. TDH menu as a standrad fare is served with a well trained staff on board; our team has successfully delivered Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Spanish, and European guests food of their choice.
- Where does Maharajas’ Express get its major chunk of guests from?
Our predominant markets are USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand; followed closely by people from 90 plus countries.
The Maharajas’ Express at Safdarjung Railway Station in New Delhi
- How many days in total does the train run?
The train is operational for nearly 210 days.
- Do you give special training to your staff on board the Maharaja Express?
Yes, we have a team of trainers starting from Luxury Academy of London, Food and Beverage trainers who have worked in Dubai, world class sommeliers from Fratelli wine yards, Housekeeping trainers from Leading Hotels, language trainers for basic conversation in prominent languages and grooming and presentation skills trainers for image building.
Comfortable suites on board the train
You are the proud winner of World Travel Awards three years in a row and have been nominated again. How does it feel?
It is a very high feeling that you have been winning with your services standards being very high. We have a score card of 3.94 on a scale of 4 for our service standards.
That is how incredible India is. I wish Sunil and his team best of luck for this year’s finale of World Luxury Travel Awards slated to take place in December this year.