Review Amtrak Coast Starlight Roomette (Sleeper Car) From Los Angeles to Seattle
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The third time’s attempt is a charm!
I have wanted to experience the Amtrak Coast Starlight sleeper car, but due to COVID-19, I had to cancel the reservation. Then Amtrak canceled the route due to a fire in California for my second time’s reservation. For the third time, I finally had the opportunity to maximize Amtrak points to experience the Amtrak sleeper car/roomette from Los Angeles to Seattle.
If you have a mobile phone and have your ticket saved there, you do not need to go to the check-in counter to get a boarding pass. You can go straight to the Amtrak Metropolitan Lounge at Los Angeles Union Station if you have time to relax and enjoy refreshments inside the lounge before boarding.
You can also access the complimentary Amtrak Red Cap ServiceWhen traveling in a roomette. The service is useful if you do not want to walk to the train track. You can request the complimentary Red Cap Service, a go-cart vehicle to take you to the train track where your Coast Starlight train departs.
You can either request the Red Cap Service at the station itself or inside the lounge at the station.
After boarding, you go to your assigned roomette and get yourself situated. The roomette is small, so it may not be ideal if you have multiple bags and want to store them inside your roomette. We were traveling with just one carry-on luggage and could store it on the side by the seat.
Limited Space Inside Roomette
Two seats inside the roomette face each other, and those seats can be turned into a lie-flat bed. You can always ask the sleeping car attendant to help you make that bed. The top bunk bed can be put down to make a bed, and together, it becomes a bunk bed. You can also ask the sleeping car attendant to help make your room when you are up and going in the morning.
Amtrak Roomette Seats Facing Each Other
Top Bunk Bed
The Amtrak sleeper car/roomette is a practical room, but the space is extremely limited. It may be a little hard to enjoy sitting inside the room if you are claustrophobic. We enjoy going to the viewing car to sit and enjoy views because the space is much bigger and the atmosphere is better. Simply put, we mainly use the roomette to lay down and sleep for the 34 hours long journey from Los Angeles to Seattle.
Amtrak Roomette Top & Bottom Beds
Here is a quick overview of the Amtrak roomette:
Two seats face each other and can be turned into a flatbed
The roomette is really small
The roomette layout is a bunk bed configuration
The top bunk bed is really tight. If you are claustrophobic, you may not like it.
A sliding door
A narrowed closet with hangers
A few coat hangers here and there
Only one power plug-in outlet
Light and music controller
Two pillows, blankets, and pads are provided
Amtrak Coast Starlight Roomette Vs. Bedroom
Amtrak Coast Starlight roomette is small, so small that it’s hard to change clothes if two people simultaneously stand inside the roomy. I can’t imagine Amtrak roomettes are suitable for claustrophobic travelers.
With that being said, if you are looking to experience Amtrak sleeper cars and you want larger space rooms, you should consider getting the Amtrak bedroom instead of the roomette. The bigger bedroom has an ensuite bathroom and can sleep up to 3 people because the lower bed can be turned into a double bed.
To better explain the comparison between the two Amtrak sleeping car accommodations, check out the videos below.
Amtrak Coast Starlight Dining
Amtrak Coast Starlight Dining Car
Your meals are also included when traveling in Amtrak’s sleeping car accommodations such as the roomette or the bedroom. While the Amtrak Coast Starlight roomette’s ticket price is not low, remember that you also receive one night’s stay, and meals are included.
The journey between Los Angeles and Seattle takes at least 34 hours one way with one overnight. So you can expect the following dining services:
Day 1: Lunch and Dinner
Day 2: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
Dining can occur in your roomette or the dining car, and we prefer the dining car. During our time traveling on the Amtrak Coast Starlight, here’s how the dining process works:
Dining reservation time is required for lunch and dinner services.
Breakfast first comes, first served.
The dining car attendant goes around the rooms and asks for reservations once before lunch, after boarding, and around 3:30pm for dinner reservations.
Dining is done by group number and time slot.
You do not share the dining table with other travelers.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, travelers were expected to share the dining tables with other travelers, but that changed during our trip. Each roomette is assigned a table based on the reservation time.
As far as drinks go:
Non-alcoholic drinks are complimentary and only available in the dining car
For alcoholic beverages, you can receive only one complimentary drink during lunch or dinner, and the rest you have to pay.
Amtrak Dining Reservation
Amtrak Coast Starlight Dining Car Menu
I was impressed with the Coast Starlight dining car menu, especially the three-course dinner menu. Upon seated, the dining car attendant would come to your table and ask for your room and sleeper car number before taking your order.
The food tastes surprisingly better than I expect. You can pick lunch and dessert for lunchtime, and you can pick an appetizer, an entree, and a dessert for dinner.
Philadephia Cheesecake and Carrot Cake
Green Chile Cheese Tamale & Lobster Crab Cake
Pan-roasted Chicken Breast
Tortellini With Pesto Cream
Grilled Atlantic Salmon
Rather than me trying to type out all the menu items served in the dining car, look at the menu pictures below.
Breakfast & Lunch Menu
Restroom & Shower Rooms
The restroom and shower rooms in the sleeper train cars are separated.
The shower room offers complimentary towels and packaged bar soaps. I recommend you bring a pair of slipper shoes with you because the floor can be scary in a shared shower room. If you are out of towels, just ask the sleeping car attendant for more. Plenty of restrooms are available in the sleeper cars.
Shower Room Towels & Bar Soap
It’s worth mentioning that if you stay in the Amtrak bedroom instead of the roomette, you can enjoy the ensuite bathroom and toilet. I find the ensuite bathroom convenient, but they are small, and I dislike taking a shower and getting the toilet all wet.
Shower Room Video
The viewing car is 3 cars away from the sleeper car. The roomette is small, so we liked to go to the viewing car to enjoy the scenery through large glass windows.
The seats in the viewing car are community seats; therefore, they are first come, first served only. You share the seats among all other passengers on the train regardless of the class of service.
Amtrak Coast Starlight Viewing Car
Amtrak Roomette Tips
Traveling via rail in the sleeping car accommodations can be a bucket list for some. Therefore, it is understandable when you want to truly maximize your time on the train. Here are some tips when it comes to Amtrak roomette:
Roomette can be accommodated up to two people.
All roomette’s ticket price includes both overnight stay and all meal services.
Don’t bring too many bags because the roomette space is very limited if you want to store the bags in your roomette.
Bring a pair of slipper shoes to walk around the shower room. Towels and bar soaps are provided.
Make sure to be available in your roomette for reservations to ensure you get a preferred dining time. The dining car attendant goes around the rooms and asks for reservations once before lunch, after boarding, and around 3:30pm for dinner reservations.
The viewing car is first come, first served. Sharing is caring, so it is ethical that you do not save seats and are willing to share seats with other travelers.
When traveling from Los Angeles to Seattle via Coast Starlight, eat breakfast before boarding because breakfast is not served on your first day.
If the roomette’s ticket price is too high for you, be flexible and book well in advance. Also, consider earning Amtrak Guest Rewards points to use for booking (more below).
Redeeming Amtrak Guest Rewards Points For Roomette
Amtrak Coast Starlight ticket prices fluctuate like airfare, and the sooner you book, the lower your price. The Amtrak sleeper cars or roomettes are very popular, and thus, the demand can be high. So plan well to secure the ticket price and ensure sleeper rooms are not sold out for the date you wish to travel.
If the roomette’s ticket price is too high, remember that you can also use Amtrak Guest Rewards points to redeem. That’s exactly what I did when I purchased the roomette’s ticket between LA and Seattle using Amtrak points earned by signing up for an Amtrak credit card.
Amtrak Guest Rewards points prices vary by ticket price, meaning that the more expensive the ticket price is, the more points are required for redemption. Redeeming Amtrak points for sleeper cars can provide great value for your Amtrak points because you get a train ride and overnight stays, and all meals are included.