Have you seen this page?
Yes, that doesn't help I think?
You can book perfectly well on the elipsos website. Simply choose the option (which comes up after choosing your class of travel and entering all other data) of <PASSES, PRM's ACCOMPANYING, FIP>
It is, of course, possible that you have already found this, and didn't believe the results - the pass reservation for tourist class is €75, and I imagine it is significantly higher for other categories. You are paying for sleeping accommodation and a higher quality train - if you want free travel on your pass, you can go by slow daytime trains without reserved seats.
From the elipsos site, it brings me to RENFE to finish booking, and that website is only in Spanish so I get lost. Is this normal?
Switch to English by clicking on the 'Welcome' on the top line
OK, here's the problem:
WITHOUT a pass, the fare for a bed in a 4-berth Tourist class sleeper on the excellent Elipsos trainhotel is about 72 euros, assuming you pre-book. This discounted rate is almost always available a few weeks ahead, certainly a month or two ahead, booked at either www.renfe.com or www.tgv-europe.com. It's a tad more expensive in high summer and Easter, but bear with me.
WITH a pass, you pay a supplement for a bed in a 4-berth Tourist sleeper, which costs - wait for it - 72 euros!
Now, here's the punch line:
The 72 euro railpass reservation CANNOT be booked online at any of the train company sites, it can only be bougt from an agency. Indeed Rail Europe HAS enabled only reservations for passholders, but as Rail Europe is an agency, there's a fee on top, maybe 10 euros, or the equivalent in dollars, pounds, whatever.
Have the implications of this sunk in? You can either:
(a) Put your expensive railpass in the waste-paper basket, and buy a 72 euro cheap ticket including a sleeper, online at www.renfe.com or www.tgv-europe.com, with zero fees, printing out your own ticket.
(b) Use your pass, contacting an agency and paying 72 euros for the sleeper supplement plus 10 euros fee, total 82 euros.
I know which I'd do!!
Hear hear. Passes are an inflexible waste of money in most of Europe.
Couldn't get my cards to be accepted yesterday (companies said no attempt was even made)
Trying again right now, and the promo price is gone! This is driving me insane.
At this point I may as well just fly.Edited: 26 February 2012, 00:45
www.raileurope-world.com will also book this, far more simply and with no payment problems, with only a small 4 euro fee (see what prices it gives).
The only drawback apart from the 4 euro fee is that it only books two of the several possible sleeper types (as it is constructed on the mistaken assumption that trains only ever have first and second class), so see if it offers what you want.
I think they have mapped 4-berth sleepers to 2nd class and normal 2-bed sleepers with washbasin to first class.