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Orient Express signs its first hotel in Venice

Accor and the Italian group Arsenale S.p.A, both owners of the world-famous Orient Express brand, have announced a partnership to open the first Orient Express hotel in Venice, within the walls of Palazzo Donà Giovannelli.

Venice was one of the stops on the legendary Orient Express train, bringing ancient Constantinople to the gateway to the Orient. The city of lovers is set to become a permanent stopover for the brand with the opening of the second Orient Express hotel in Italy, following a first in Rome. The property is scheduled to open in early 2024.

Located near the Santa Lucia train station in Venice, close to the Cannaregio shopping district, and rooted in the origins of the City of the Doges, the Palazzo Donà Giovannelli is a palazzo-tresor built in 1400 by the architect Filippo Calendario. The building has already been renovated twice, notably in 1800 by the architect Gian Battista Meduna.

The future Orient Express Venice hotel will have 45 rooms and suites, all overlooking the city's gardens and canals. The hotel's bar will be located in the former ballroom, while the restaurant will serve dishes inspired by Italian gastronomy. The hotel's roofs will house some hidden terraces.

The architect and interior designer Aline Asmar from Amman and her studio Culture in Architecture have been selected by the two groups to take charge of the design and decoration of this future flagship in the heart of the Serenissima.

The Orient Express Venice Hotel embodies this unique encounter between two legends, the legendary luxury brand and the Palazzo Donà Giovannelli. A place of architecture at the crossroads of cultures, a link between East and West, anchored in eternity and ready to come back to life around a theatrical and contemporary art of living, imbued with great elegance. 

Aline Asmar d'Amman, architect and interior designer

As soon as the hotel opens, passengers on the Orient Express La Dolce Vita train will disembark directly at Venice Santa Lucia Station and will be able to reach the hotel easily, either on foot or by boat. 

The arrival of the Orient Express Hotel in Venice naturally resonates with the history of the brand. A return to the roots of the legend that finds its ultimate expression in the Palazzo Donà Giovannelli. Driven by her multicultural background, her passion for Venice and her unique poetic language, Aline Asmar d'Amman will sublimate the design of a palace recognised as one of the most charismatic in the world. 

Stephen Alden, General Manager Raffles and Orient Express, Accor 

The strategy of uniting Venice and the new Orient Express hotel represents a significant new step in our partnership with Orient Express and contributes to the revival of luxury tourism that puts the spotlight on the incredible cultural and artistic heritage of our Italian peninsula. The Palazzo Donà Giovannelli will become a historical monument in Venice, sublimated by both the exceptional design and the history of the city. The eclectic experience and talents of Aline Asmar d'Amman will bring a new light to the immense beauty of the Palace, an invitation to excellence that we hope will seduce the world. 

Paolo Barletta, CEO of Arsenale S.p.A

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