© Henk Zwoferink_Luxon (11)

28 November 2019

All Aboard – Deluxe Meeting and Incentive Trips by Rail — LUXON by Geisel

Nikolai Bloyd, Chief Operating Officer at Geisel Privathotels, and Janine David-Steinhart, Marketing Manager at Munich Convention Bureau, recently had a conversation about the new private charter train - LUXON by Geisel that is based in Munich.

©Henk Zwoferink_Luxon08

Janine: Hi Nikolai! Can you give me some background on the Geisel Privathotels brand?

Nikolai: Absolutely, Janine. Geisel Privathotels is a fourth-generation family-owned hotel company. The three brothers are the fourth generation from their family to operate the hotels, all based in Munich. Today, we have five hotels and I am fortunate enough to have three owners who trust me to run their company.

We have all sorts of different hotels from five-star, leading ultra-luxury, hip hybrid-hotel,   classic Bavarian and a modern design hotel. We also have a sushi restaurant,  and an amazing huge bar, an authentic Bavarian Italian restaurant, a Michelin two-star gourmet restaurant, our own winery and wine shop, and now also the train.

Janine: Can you tell me more about LUXON by Geisel and how you became involved?

Nikolai: LUXON is a collaboration with a company called RailAdventure and was kind of a passion project. LUXON — the word comes out of luxury and the word wagon together. There was only five ever built. It's a 1962 panoramic glass roof top wagon. Originally, it was designed for regular rail travel. When RailAdventure saw it, they bought it and spent eight years renovating it as a dining wagon with a full kitchen, bar, dining area (which has the panoramic glass roof top) and lounge. They knew of Geisel Privathotels from our reputation for culinary excellence and approached us with their vision for LUXON by Geisel. We were excited to join the team.

Janine: That’s fantastic! What makes LUXON so unique?

Nikolai: First, because it is our own private locomotive with one wagon, I call it a private charter train that anybody can rent it and go anywhere. The only limits we have are parts of the Spanish train system and the UK, because the rail lines are a different width. The panoramic glass dome roof top is also unique. In fact, it’s historically landmarked and was grandfathered in to be allowed to drive on the European rail network. Nowadays they could no longer build a train of this style.

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Janine: Can you give me an example of a sample trip?

Nikolai: We recently had a group who wanted to spend an afternoon on the train for team building so we took them from Munich to Innsbruck, Austria. There they got off the train and took a horse carriage through the old town and then they got back on the train and had deserts and cognac and brandy on the way back to Munich.

Janine: Wow, sounds fun! Who is your target market?

Nikolai: One of our main targets is meetings and conferences. The train has three main different setups: a dining setup, a conference setup--you can actually do classroom style for 21-and a lounge setup. The train is also outfitted with all the newest technology. We’ve had a recent inquiry for a contract signing where passengers will be picked up at the airport, driven for three hours to negotiate the end of the contract, and then have a dinner on the return trip. We can also do overnight trips where guests stay at hotels or a castle along the way.

Janine: Have you booked any incentive trips?

Nikolai: LUXON hosted an incentive trip for a sports club as a motivational experience. The first couple of hours was a discussion and then they had an absolute blast—it is just a real fun environment.

Janine: What do you like about being based in Munich?

Nikolai: Munich is the capital of Bavaria. It’s the most picturesque, scenic part of all of Germany. Sorry I am being biased now, but it has everything — the old churches and city centers, as well as nature, mountains and outdoor sports. It has it all and is just a great place for meetings! Munich International Airport is exquisite too - it's a great place to fly in and out of. Munich itself has a very small-town feel and guests feel like they are one of the locals.

We have two hotels, soon three, located within a five-minute walk of the Munich train station. So, for us it makes great sense that we have guests stay with us and then directly board the LUXON. If they stay a few nights, we can offer them a different restaurant every night, wine tasting, culinary classes and a highlight with a meal at our Michelin two-star restaurant. As an incentive trip we have lots to offer especially in Munich.

©Henk Zwoferink_Luxon (11)

Janine: Can you give an overview of the types of meals you offer on LUXON?

Nikolai: We have a number of different chefs to choose from our varied restaurants in Munich. For example, on Thursday we have our Michelin two-star chef aboard the LUXON. He is going to cook a seven-course meal on the train. That's a whole different deal than just doing breakfast with a Bavarian buffet. We've already had our sushi chef on the train, and he's actually prepared sushi for the afternoon portion of a ride and served it at the bar on the train.

Janine: How about costs? Can you give me a ballpark figure?

Nikolai: The typical day rate for the LUXON with the basic offering is around $25,000.

Janine: How has the feedback been?

Nikolai: Outstanding, and the bookings are coming in very well now for next year. We actually had a very popular Oktoberfest package where we offered two train rides a day for five days from the main train station in Munich, about a 10-minute walk from the Oktoberfest tents. The train left at 10am and 2pm and went out into nature, through meadows, past the churches, and villages to Lake Chiemsee and back. All of our employees were dressed in the traditional dirndl and lederhosen. We served all the food, beer, wine and music that you would find at Oktoberfest! It was great! Next year will expand that to 10 days! It would be terrific as part of an incentive trip that is coming to Oktoberfest anyway. Since we are taking two trips a day, we are able to offer it for $12,000.

Janine: Thank you Nikolai for sharing details on LUXON by Geisel! It sounds like a wonderful offering for meeting planners to consider!