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22 Dec 2021
Orient Express returns to Italy after 46 years with six trains and new Rome hotel
By Tom Walker
Orient Express returns to Italy after 46 years with six trains and new Rome hotel
The new Orient Express La Dolce Vita service will welcome passengers from 2023
Photo: Accor/Orient Express
The iconic Orient Express luxury train is set to return to Italy following a hiatus of 46 years.

The new Orient Express La Dolce Vita service will welcome passengers from 2023, with six trains embarking through itineraries across 14 regions – including three international journeys from Rome to Paris, Istanbul and Split (Croatia).

Orient Express – which is owned by French hotel giant Accor Group – will work in partnership with Italy-based Arsenale S.p.A, an investor in major real estate developments, on the train project.

The partnership will also include the opening of the very first Orient Express Hotel, Minerva, in Rome in 2024, while Accor is said to be planning to open four additional hotels under the Orient Express brand in London, Paris, Milan and Florence.

Arsenale acquired the historic Hotel de La Minerve earlier this year and the property is set to undergo a 20-month redevelopment and refit from 2022. It has a gym, but currently no spa.

The Orient Express La Dolce Vita train has been designed by Dimorestudio – the architectural and design studio founded by Emiliano Salci and Britt Moran in 2003 – and will feature 12 Deluxe cabins, 18 Suites, and one Honour Suite and restaurant.

Its design will embody the Italian art of living and traditions with a "more contemporary spirit of travel".

Sébastien Bazin, chair and CEO Accor, said: “At Accor, we consider it an immense privilege to re-launch the historic Orient Express brand for passionate and discerning travelers.

"These trains offer a new vision of luxury travel that is beyond our imagination.

"Our association with Arsenale Group has opened up new horizons in perfect harmony with the heritage and philosophy of Orient Express, and marks our constant desire to keep moving forward.”

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