AccorHotels has breathed new life into a classic hotel brand, announcing the revival of Orient Express as a hotel brand, with the first confirmed to open in Bangkok in late 2019 – 136 years after the first Orient Express railway journey departed Paris bound for the Far East.
It comes as the first move for the brand since AccorHotels acquired 50% of the brand’s share capital in an agreement with SNCF Group in 2017.
The Orient Express hotel brand will open in the King Power Mahanakhon building in the Thailand capital and will feature 154 rooms, nine suites and two penthouses, all decorated and fitted with modern, yet classic furnishings reflective of the prestigious marque.
Designer Tristan Auer has been engaged to envisage the hotel’s layout and style. His remit is to create a place innovative yet reminiscent of the brand’s esteemed history.
The property will feature two restaurants, led by Mott 32 on Level 2 – a Cantonese eatery named after 32 Mott Street in New York, which was the city’s first Chinese convenience store and the base for what is now the city’s Chinatown district. On Level 5 will be Mahanathi, a traditional Thai eatery managed by David Thompson, who has built a reputation for excellence in Thai cookery. The building will also offer a rooftop restaurant; however this will operate external to the hotel and its facilities.
In addition, a wellness centre complete with swimming pool, jacuzzi and Day Spa will occupy one entire floor in the new hotel.
AccorHotels will operate in a small part of the overall skyscraper, with a SkyWalk attraction to feature amid an observation desk on levels 74, 75 and 78. Duty free and retail outlets will also make up part of the complex.
It seems reinvigorating historic hotel brands is on trend at the moment, with the revival of the Orient Express brand coming a few weeks after InterContinental Hotels Group announced the first new Regent hotel under its watch will open in Kuala Lumpur.
“Orient Express has always acted as a passport between worlds and a trip on these legendary trains was historical, touristic and cinematic with an inimitable experience. This linking of Occident and Orient, of history and modernity, and of curiosity and cultures will be a hallmark of the new Orient Express Hotels and we are excited to bring back this spirit of luxurious adventure to today’s modern travellers,” said AccorHotels Chairman and CEO, Sebastien Bazin.