Travelling on a Trenhotel train
The Trenhotel is one of the top tier of European night trains. But you get what you pay for. If you opt for basic accommodation, you’ll find a no-frills service. A Gran Class sleeping compartment, however, is something quite special. Run by Spanish rail operator Renfe, air-conditioned articulated Trenhotel trains are stylish and comfortable.
Trenhotel overnight services run within Spain and between Spain and Portugal. All trains bear names redolent of the area they serve. You will, for example, encounter the Rías Gallegas on the route between Madrid and A Coruña and the Alhambra between Barcelona and Granada. The two international Trenhotel trains are the Surexpreso, which runs between Irun and Lisbon, and the Lusitania, which carries passengers overnight from Madrid to Lisbon.
All Trenhotel night trains have four classes of accommodation, including a seated option. Even budget-conscious travellers should opt at least for turista-class sleepers for the sake of a comfortable night’s rest. Space is at a premium on Trenhotel trains and both cabin and luggage space is adequate rather than generous. Don’t take too much luggage or you’ll find getting out of bed a tight squeeze.
Seating and sleeping on Trenhotel
Trenhotel offers seated accommodation in one of its open-plan carriages. These are either in First Class with two plus one seating arranged across a central aisle, or in Standard Class with two seats on each side of the aisle. All seats are reclining. Grand comfort seats (only available on certain trains) are more comfortable, offering more space between rows and a reclining angle of 136 degrees. Toilet and washing facilities are located at the end of the carriage.
Food and drink on Trenhotel
Café / Buffet
Most Trenhotel trains carry a buffet car accessible to all passengers which offers hot and cold drinks during your journey. At lunch and dinner time hot meals can be ordered. The buffet car is open from 6 pm in the evening and again for breakfast in the morning. Don’t expect fine dining; there is only limited barstool seating.