AccorHotels, which is acquiring a 50 per cent stake in Orient Express, currently fully owned by the SNCF Group, intends to develop a new collection of luxury hotels under the iconic brand.
The new collection is expected to offer an experience evoking a sense of history and that combines East and West in iconic locations.
Since 1977, SNCF Group has been involved in developing the brand’s image, notably through the restoration of vintage carriages dating from the 1920s, known as the Pullman-Orient-Express.
The seven historic cars, symbols of French Art Deco, will remain the physical property of the state-owned rail group, and will be operated by Orient Express for private journeys and events.
AccorHotels also sees a new use for them an exceptional setting for events, which may be held in collaboration with AccorHotels’ other businesses such as Potel & Chabot, Noctis and John Paul.
AccorHotels and SNCF Group intend to jointly preserve, promote and share the heritage connected with the train through the Orient Express Endowment Fund, a public interest body whose aim is to encourage and support awareness-building initiatives.
Orient Express made its first trip between Paris and Constantinople 134 years ago.