Inspiration

The Original Orient Express Train Is Coming Back in 2025 and We Have a Sneak Peek

If a trip on the iconic train wasn't already on your bucket list, you'll go gaga over the gorgeous remodeling of its vintage cars.

Orient Express Train: Suite

Suite Living Area

By Stefanie Waldek

Nov 21, 2022

A GLAMOROUS REBOOT OF the Orient Express is hitting the rails in 2025, and the first look inside its train carriages is breathtaking. Operated by the Orient Express brand, part of the Accor hospitality group, this new edition of the legendary luxury train has a tie-in to the past, made up of 17 carriages from the original Nostalgie-Istanbul-Orient-Express, which were discovered in Poland in 2015 and are now remodeled.

Orient Express Train: Corridors
Corridors

The iconic train line has a complex history; the first Orient Express route was inaugurated in 1883, connecting Paris and Istanbul (then Constantinople) via trains and ferries. From that point forward, a number of operators have used the Orient Express name, traveling on a variety of routes that crisscross Europe. That included the Nostalgie-Istanbul-Orient-Express, which operated throughout most of the 1980s and included a long-haul trip from Paris to Tokyo

Now the Orient Express brand is reviving the Nostalgie-Istanbul-Orient-Express, tapping French designer Maxime d’Angeac to expertly refurbish and update the original 17 cars. 

“By slipping into the shoes of its creators, from René Prou to Suzanne Lalique, I tried to reinterpret the history of this legendary train, not only with nostalgia, but with a desire to extend its history, to transport us to another place. As if it was all a dream,” d’Angeac said in a statement.

Orient Express Train: Bar
Bar
Sponsored by Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto

That dreamlike quality explains why there’s a blend of asynchronous design styles. In the Bar Car, four columns with bronze capitals support Second Empire–style glass domes, beneath which are a bevy of scalloped banquets. Then in the Dining Car, guests experience a classic art deco look inspired by trains themselves, with mirrored ceilings, marquetry panels, and decor motifs nodding to 20th-century illustrator Suzanne Lalique’s tapestries.

The suites are a touch more contemporary — though they still have a vintage brown-and-jewel-tone color palette, they play with quirky geometry, from the square panels and circular perspective-shifting mirrors adorning the walls to the abstract comet pattern on the carpet.

Orient Express Train: Suite at night
Suite at night

“Some guests will think that [the train] has been built in the 1930s. Others will see that it’s a modern interpretation, but we like to play with the notion of time and to really blur the line between past and future,” Guillaume de Saint Lager, vice president of Orient Express, previously told Travel + Leisure.

The remodeled Orient Express will have an immersive exhibitions, in Miami Beach at Design Miami, from November 30 to December 4, 2022, and the train itself is scheduled to depart in early 2025.

Orient Express Train: Dining Car
Dining car

While you’re waiting for that big debut, keep an eye on the Orient Express brand’s other upcoming projects: hotels in Rome, Venice, and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, which will create an entire world of Orient Express–linked travel opportunities.

All photographs by Maxime d’Angeac/Courtesy of Orient Express, Accor.

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