The Orient Express is coming back. Connecting Paris and Istanbul, the legendary long-distance train was synonymous with the Golden Age of travel, an inspiration for filmmakers and authors like Agatha Christie.
Now, Accor is reviving the name with a new brand of prestigious hotels. As explained by Accor CEO Sebastien Bazin, the Orient Express served as “a passport between worlds… linking Occident and Orient, of history and modernity, and of curiosity and cultures”—and that will be the premise behind the hotel group, which aims to have a portfolio of 10 properties by 2025-30. (You may recall that the former Orient-Express hotel group was rebranded as Belmond in 2014 because SNCF, the French railway company, owned the name. Accor and SNCF have now teamed up to launch this new enterprise.)
Slated to debut in the fourth quarter of 2019, the world’s first Orient Express hotel will be housed in the King Power MahaNakhon Building in Bangkok. Soaring to 78 stories, the skyscraper is home to MahaNakhon SkyWalk, Thailand’s highest observation deck (Levels 74, 75 and 78), along with a rooftop restaurant on level 76. Designer Tristan Auer will be decorating the hotel’s 154 guestrooms (including nine suites and two penthouses) with nods to the Art Deco accents and plant patterns found in the original Orient Express train carriages.
After a day in the bustling city, guests will be able to unveil on the wellness floor, complete with outdoor pool, jacuzzi and Orient Express Spa by Guerlain. When it comes to dining, there will be two restaurants: Mott 32 on Level 2 and Mahanathi by David Thompson on Level 5. Thompson is behind famous Thai eateries like Nahm in London and Bangkok, Long Chim in Asia and Australia and Aaharn in Hong Kong. The Cantonese restaurant is named for the address 32 Mott Street in New York, where the city’s first Chinese convenience store opened in 1851.