The Orient Express: three words which conjure up visions of refined travel gilded in sumptuous luxury. And, yes, Agatha Christie's classic multi-handed murder mystery.
Putting that last one aside, Accor plans to tap into this era of when travel was romantic rather than frantic with its new Orient Express hotels brand.
The first Orient Express will open in Bangkok at the end of 2019, paving the way for a planned collection of ten hotels by 2030.
Those opulent accommodations will initially dot the map in Asia and Europe, taking their cue from the Orient Express railroad, but don't be surprised to see the brand plant itself in any other destination which inspires a sense of adventure.
Orient Express hotels will skew towards Accor's other flagship luxury brand Raffles in channeling old world charm into a modern six-star environment and borrowing their design DNA from the essence of the original carriages: think leather, brass, botanic motifs and sumptuous materials.
To that end, the first Orient Express hotel – located in Bangkok's landmark King Power Mahanakhon Building – is all about setting the benchmark.
"Orient Express redefined rail travel in the 1900s, introducing the first sleeper cars linking West to East and delivering unprecedented levels of comfort and dining," explain Michael Issenberg, Chairman and CEO of AccorHotels Asia Pacific. “We are proud to bring the multicultural heritage, mystery and exoticism of the legendary Orient Express brand to Bangkok."
Designer par excellence Tristan Auer is reimagining the Art Deco stylings and plant motifs of the original Orient Express carriages to reinterpret the art of luxury travel.
The hotel's 154 rooms will include nine suites and two penthouses; an entire wellness floor with an outdoor pool and jacuzzi, plus a Orient Express Spa by Guerlain; and two signature restaurants in Mott 32 and Mahanathi by feted Australian chef David Thompson, known worldwide for his skills and expertise in Thai cuisine including Nahm Bangkok, the Michelin-starred exploration of royal Thai cuisine, as well as the Long Chim restaurants in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Singapore.
The Orient Express Bangkok will also take advantage of the King Power Mahanakhon Building's soaring 78 storeys with easy access to the rooftop restaurant, bar and stunning 360 degree views across the city.