Amtrak has many different cabin options other than coach, from business class to private rooms.
I've traveled in four Amtrak premium cabins, including roomette, bedroom, business, and first class.
At $500 for a 30-hour ride, I think the roomette offers the best value for two beds in a private space.
I've spent around 75 hours collectively on four different types of East Coast Amtrak trains in upgraded premium cabins. Of all the rides I've taken, I think one offers the best value.
I've experienced many Amtrak trains while traveling along the East Coast. I've been on several trains in coach as a kid, and more recently, traveled in business and first class on Amtrak Acela trains between Baltimore and NYC, which was about two and a half hours each way.
Acela is an Amtrak express train on the East Coast with only business and first-class seating. First and business class accommodations offer larger seats than coach, and first class comes with perks like in-seat service.
The business-class ticket cost about $120 and the first-class ticket cost about $270.
I've also spent 60 hours on Amtrak trains traveling between Miami and NYC in bedroom and roomette accommodations.
Unlike business and first classes, where you get a seat among other passengers, a roomette is a private space with a door and blinds to cover up the windows. These are for long-haul train rides that travel through the night.
A step up from a roomette, a bedroom accommodation on long-distance Amtrak trains offers even more space, as well as a private bathroom.
The roomette cost about $500 and the bedroom cost about $1,000.
Here's a closer look at all four upgraded seating types on Amtrak trains, plus which I think offers the best value for the higher ticket price than you'll pay in coach.
Insider paid for all four tickets, per our reporting standards.
At about $120 for a two-and-a-half-hour ride, Acela's business-class ticket came with one plush seat, a tray table, footrest, and access to a nearby cafe car.
Unlike regular Amtrak trains with several coach train cars, 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 Amtrak regional trains. My trip from NYC to Baltimore was 20 minutes shorter than it would have been on a regular Amtrak train.
Amtrak Acela's business class tickets offer more plusher, wider seats than you'll experience in coach, but do not include a meal or in-seat service like first-class, roomette, and bedroom accommodations do.
Overall, I thought my business-class experience on an Amtrak Acela was more comfortable than I would have experienced in coach, with faster service, and an overall price that was still fairly affordable. Although, it didn't have as many perks as I expected in an upgraded premium cabin such as business class.
Nonetheless, I'll probably take an Amtrak Acela next time I'm traveling around the Northeast. I think it's worth paying a little extra to save time and arrive at my destination sooner than I would on a regional train.
At about $270 for a 2.5-hour ride, Acela's first-class ticket included a meal, access to station lounges, and a larger chair, but it still lacked the privacy and double occupancy of a roomette accommodation.
As a New Yorker, part of the allure of a first-class ticket for me was having access to Penn Station's Metropolitan Lounge, a quiet waiting area for select Amtrak customers with comfortable seats and free snacks.
First-class passengers, and those traveling in roomette and bedroom accommodations, get in for free on the day of their trip, 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, has access to a lounge. But there are 12 other stops on the Amtrak Acela that don't offer this perk.
Although first-class has a lot of the same extras 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 roomette with a friend might be even cheaper.
At $500 for a 30-hour ride, Amtrak's roomette was an approximately 20-square-foot private cabin that included two beds, a table, two chairs, a sink, and a toilet — if you're lucky.
In my experience, the greatest value Amtrak offers is the roomette, which includes a private room with beds.
One of the chairs folds out into a bed, and another bed pulls down from the ceiling. Some roomettes have a private toilet inside, though it's not separated by a door — it's a part of the seat. All roomette passengers have access to a bathroom and shower in the sleeper car.
I thought the roomette made great use of a small space, with clever storage features that reminded me of a tiny home, like a pullout table between the chairs.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was able to control the temperature inside my roomette with a dial and air-conditioning vents. I kept it cool in my room, about 66 degrees Fahrenheit.
I found the bed and sheets to be comfy enough, though I didn't sleep well due to the bumpy ride.
For a 30-hour train ride, I think the roomette's price tag is worth it to have a private space with temperature control and a lie-flat bed.
At $1,000 for a 30-hour ride, a bedroom is similar to a roomette, but is more than double the size — and price.
According to Amtrak's website, bedrooms are around 45.5 square feet, which, for reference, is a little bigger than a standard king-size bed, Insider reported, and 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, a couch, an additional chair, a shower, and a separate private bathroom.
The couch transforms into a bed, and like the roomette, another bed pulls down from the ceiling.
The bedroom offered complete privacy, and used smart storage hacks that reminded me of a tiny home, like a table that pulled out between the chairs. It also came with complimentary meals.
I thought it was nice to have a big sofa where I could stretch out and put my feet up, whereas the roomette only had two single seats.
Having room to lounge in the bedroom made me feel more relaxed throughout my journey, 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, which made 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 does not offer better value than the roomette, in my opinion.
While I'd splurge on a bedroom for long-haul trips if budget allowed, I think the roomette is the best deal Amtrak has to offer.
After staying in four different premium Amtrak accommodations, while I think the bedroom was most comfortable with so much space to stretch and move about, I view the roomette as undoubtedly the best value I've ever experienced from Amtrak.
For $500, a roomette is essentially a tiny hotel room where you can go to sleep in NYC and wake up in Miami — and bring a buddy to split the price.
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