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I have traveled in 4 types of Amtrak train cars, from business class to private bedroom. Here’s what each looks like and which one offers the best deal.

I have traveled in 4 types of Amtrak train cars, from business class to private bedroom.  Here's what each looks like and which one offers the best deal.

The Insider reporter has crossed the East Coast on several Amtrak trains in upgraded cabins.Joey Hadden/Insider

  • Amtrak has many cab options other than tour buses, from business class to private rooms.

  • I have traveled in four premium Amtrak cabins, including room, bedroom, business and first class.

  • At $500 for a 30 hour ride, I think the roomette is the best value for two beds in a private room.

I spent about 75 hours together on four different types of East Coast Amtrak trains in upgraded premium cabins. Out of all the rides I’ve taken, I think one offers the best value.

The author is in four different Amtrak accommodations (top left to bottom right): business, first, roomette, and bedroomThe author is in four different Amtrak accommodations (top left to bottom right): business, first, roomette, and bedroom

The author is in four different Amtrak accommodations.Joey Hadden/Insider

I have experienced many Amtrak trains while traveling the East Coast. I have been on several trains in coaches as a child and more recently I traveled in business and first class Amtrak Acela Trains between Baltimore and NYC, which was about two and a half hours one way.

Acela is a Amtrak express train on the east coast with only business and first class seats. First class and business class accommodations offer larger seats than coaches, and first class has benefits such as in-seat service.

The business class ticket costs about $120 and the first class ticket costs about $270.

I also have Spent 60 hours on Amtrak trains travel between Miami and NYC in sleeping and room accommodations.

Unlike business and first class, where you get a seat between other passengers, a roomette is a private space with a door and blinds to cover the windows. These are for long-distance trains traveling at night.

A step up from a roomette, one-bedroom accommodation on Amtrak long-distance trains offers even more space, as well as a private bathroom.

The couchette cost about $500 and the bedroom costs about $1,000.

Here’s a closer look at all four upgraded seats on Amtrak trains, plus what I think offers the best value for the higher ticket price than you’ll pay on the bus.

Insider paid for all four tickets, according to our reporting standards.

Read more: I spent $500 for a 20-square-foot room on a 30-hour Amtrak ride, where no space was left unused. Take a look inside.

For about $120 for a two-and-a-half-hour ride, Acela’s business-class ticket came with a plush seat, tray, footrest, and access to a nearby cafe car.

In a business class car on Amtrak A business class car on an Amtrak train.In a business class car on Amtrak A business class car on an Amtrak train.

A business-class car on an Amtrak train.Joey Hadden/Insider

Unlike regular Amtrak multi-coach trains, all seats on an Amtrak Acela express train are business class (in addition to one first-class car, usually).

The Acela is also faster than the regional Amtrak trains. My trip from NYC to Baltimore was 20 minutes shorter than a regular Amtrak train.

Amtrak Acelas business class tickets offer more luxurious, wider seats than you will experience on the bus, but do not include a meal or in-seat service like first classcouchetteand bedroom do accommodations.

Overall, I thought my business class experience on an Amtrak Acela was more comfortable than I would have experienced on a coach, with faster service and an overall price that was still quite affordable. Although, it didn’t have as many benefits as I expected in an upgraded premium cabin like business class.

Nevertheless, the next time I travel through the Northeast I will probably take an Amtrak Acela. I think it’s worth paying a little extra to save time and get to my destination faster than with a regional train.

Read more: I traveled business class on Amtrak’s high speed Acela train and thought it was worth paying extra for a faster journey

At about $270 for a 2.5-hour ride, Acela’s first-class ticket included a meal, access to station lounges, and a larger seat, but still lacked the privacy and double occupancy of a roomette accommodation.

A person sits alone in an Amtrak Acela First class carA person sits alone in an Amtrak Acela First class car

A first-class car on an Amtrak train.Joey Hadden/Insider

As a New Yorker, part of the allure of a first class ticket for me was having access to Penn Station’s Metropolitan Loungea quiet waiting area for select Amtrak customers with comfortable seats and complimentary snacks.

First class passengers and passengers traveling in room and bedroom accommodations receive free entry on the day of their travel, while business class passengers can pay $50 to access the club.

Outside of New York, anyone traveling from Philadelphia, Boston’s South Station, and Washington, DC, may has access to a lounge† But there are 12 other stops on the Amtrak Acelac that do not offer this benefit.

While first class has many of the same perks as business class, such as comfortable wide seats, it also comes with included meals and in-seat service. However, I couldn’t help but think that splitting a private room with a friend might be even cheaper.

Read more: I traveled first class on an Amtrak Acela train and thought the benefits were cool – but not worth the $270 price tag

At $500 for a 30-hour ride, Amtrak’s roomet was a private cabin measuring about 20 square feet with two beds, a table, two chairs, a sink, and a toilet — if you’re lucky.

A roomette is seen across the street from another roomette with the door half openA roomette is seen across the street from another roomette with the door half open

A roomette accommodation on an Amtrak train.Joey Hadden/Insider

In my experience, the greatest value Amtrak offers is the roomette, which includes a private room with beds.

According to the Amtrak . websiteroomettes are about 22.75 square feet, which, for reference, is slightly larger than a standard twin-size bed, Insider reportedand can accommodate up to two adults.

One of the chairs folds out into a bed, and another comes out of the ceiling. Some roomettes have a private toilet inside, although it is not separated by a door – it is part of the seat. All roomette passengers have access to a bathroom and shower in the sleeping car.

I thought the roomette made good use of a small space, with clever storage options that reminded me of a small house, such as a pull-out table between the chairs.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that I could regulate the temperature in my room with a dial and vents. I kept it cool in my room, about 66 degrees Fahrenheit.

I found the bed and sheets comfortable enough, although I didn’t sleep well due to the bumpy ride.

For a 30 hour train ride I think the roomet price tag is worth it to have a private room with temperature control and a daybed.

At $1,000 for a 30-hour ride, a bedroom is comparable to a room, but is more than double the size — and price.

Inside an Amtrak bedroom with blue chairs and a large window with nature outsideInside an Amtrak bedroom with blue chairs and a large window with nature outside

The author’s bedroom.Joey Hadden/Insider

According to the Amtrak . websitebedrooms are approximately 45.5 square feet which, for reference, is slightly larger than a standard king size bed, Insider reportedand they can also sleep up to two adults.

Compared to the roomette, my 30 hour ride in the Amtrak bedroom was double the price for twice the space, sofa, extra chair, shower and separate private bathroom.

The sofa turns into a bed and like the roomette, another bed pulls down from the ceiling.

The bedroom offered complete privacy and used clever storage hacks that reminded me of a tiny house, like a table stretched out between the chairs† It also came with free meals.

I liked having a big couch where I could stretch out and put my feet up, while the roommate only had two single chairs.

Have space to lounge in the bedroom made me feel more relaxed during my trip, and I appreciated that the toilet was separated from the rest of the room by a door, unlike the roomette.

I also thought the bedroom had a wider vanity with three mirrors facing each other, making it easier to wash my face in the morning.

But with such a hefty price tag for the same number of occupants as a roomette, it offers no better value than the roomette in my opinion.

Read more: I spent $1,000 for a 45-square-foot bedroom with an en-suite bathroom on a 30-hour Amtrak ride. Take a look inside.

While I’d splurge on a bedroom for long-haul trips if the budget allows, I think the roomette is the best deal Amtrak has to offer.

The author is on a train to MiamiThe author is on a train to Miami

The author is sitting in a small room.Joey Hadden/Insider

After staying in four different premium Amtrak accommodations, while I think the bedroom was the most comfortable with so much room to stretch and move around, I consider the room arguably the best value I’ve ever experienced from Amtrak.

At $500, a roomette is essentially a small hotel room where you can go to sleep in NYC and wake up in Miami — and bring a buddy to share the price.

Read more: I paid an extra $500 to upgrade my room on a 30-hour Amtrak ride, and I thought the extra 20 square feet was worth every penny

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