Last month, Accor announced plans for a new luxury Orient Express. Now it’s giving the world a look at the jewel in the train’s crown.
The French hospitality group just unveiled the interiors of the locomotive’s award-winning Presidential Suite ahead of an immersive experience at Design Miami this week. It is an accommodation that is also rich in history.
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For the unversed, Accor decided to repurpose 17 historic carriages from the first Orient Express trains that Georges Nagelmackers launched in the late 1800s for the new locomotive. The Orient Express 2.0, due to debut in 2025, has been completely reimagined by French architect Maxime d’Angeac, yet still exudes the glitz and glamor of its old-world predecessors. The newly unveiled accommodation is further proof of this.
“The Orient Express Presidential Suite captures the essence of the train of the future,” Maxime d’Angeac said in a statement. “It is a work sculpted in excess, inspired by the geniuses and pioneers of Art Deco, Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann and Armand-Albert Rateau, and the importance of refinement and the absolute delicacy of detail.”
In fact, the top-tier suite occupies an entire car of the former Nostalgie-Istanbul Orient Express. Measuring 69 feet long by nine feet wide, it offers nearly 600 square feet of living space. The carriage is anchored by four dramatic columns that feature a fireplace on one side and beautiful Lalique paneling on the other. The spacious bedroom is filled with rich velvets and ornate custom furnishings, while the elegant bathroom pays homage to Rateau with Art Deco style.
“It is a suite where travelers can experience history, extreme luxury and maximum comfort at the same time”, adds the architect.
If that wasn’t enough, the Presidential Suite opens to a 1929 luxury “LX” secondary stateroom. It is adorned with solid mahogany and marquetry that was found aboard the original train and meticulously restored. It also comes with two plush beds for your compadres. To top it off, the cabin opens onto a secret room, known as the “Cabinet de l’Égoïste”, dedicated to “good vibes and epicurean festivities”.
Elsewhere on the train, the Bar Car harks back to the 1920s with grand domes of light inspired by Second Empire style and a glass counter honoring French jeweler René Lalique. Each table also has a special call button just for Champagne. Not to be outdone, the dining car is outfitted with a striking mirrored roof and dividers featuring a reinterpretation of a “track” motif that Suzanne Lalique-Haviland conceived in the 1930s.
If you’re looking forward to “riding” the new train, stop by the Orient Express installation at the Design Miami show. The VR experience, which will run from November 30th to December 4th, showcases the restored locomotive in all its glory.
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