Orient Express to open second Italy hotel in Venice

by | 16 May 2022 | Design

Imagery © Mao Yuqing via Alamy

Orient Express has signed an agreement with Italian hospitality group Arsenale S.p.A to open a hotel at the Palazzo Donà Giovannelli.

The architect and interior designer Aline Asmar d’Amman and her studio Culture in Architecture is to design and decorate the highly anticipated property.

An extraordinary site

Famously a stop on the legendary Orient Express train, Venice is the setting for the hospitality brand’s second hotel in Italy. This Orient Express hotel is scheduled to open early 2024.

On opening, the hotel will place guests just 10 minutes from Santa Lucia train station and alongside the city’s Cannaregio shopping district. The site itself, Palazzo Donà Giovannelli, was built in 1400 by the architect Filippo Calendario also known for Doge’s Palace.

Once the hotel is open, passengers of the Orient Express La Dolce Vita train will be able to disembark at the Venice Santa Lucia Station and reach the hotel by boat or on foot.

Stephen Alden, CEO Raffles and Orient Express, Accor, commented: “The arrival of Orient Express in Venice resonates naturally with the brand’s history. It marks a return to the roots of a legend that finds its ultimate expression in the Palazzo Donà Giovannelli.”

“Inspired by her multicultural background, passion for Venice and unique poetic language, Aline Asmar d’Amman will sublimate the design of one of the most charismatic palaces in the world.”  

Paolo Barletta, CEO of Arsenale S.p.A, added: “The strategic union between Venice and the new Orient Express Hotel represents another significant step in the objective that Arsenale is pursuing thanks to the partnership with Orient Express, namely the relaunch of luxury tourism that highlights the unprecedented artistic and cultural heritage of our Italian peninsula.”

“Palazzo Donà Giovannelli will become a unique landmark in Venice with its exceptional design, history and heritage. Aline Asmar d’Amman’s meticulous care and eclectic experience will shed new light on the ancient beauty of the Palazzo, helping to spread a message of excellence from Venice throughout the whole world.” 

Paying homage to the site’s past

The 45-key hotel will pay homage to its site and the heritage of Venice. Each room and suite will overlook the gardens and canals and public spaces are to include an Italian gastronomic restaurant, hotel bar taking over the former piano nobile ballroom and hidden rooftop terraces.

The main floor consists of several salons and ballrooms with 800 years of history to tell, blending baroque, neoclassical and gothic styles with Eastern inspiration. Each room is distinguished by its decor of patterns, mosaics, stucco, paintings and frescoes.

“Orient Express Venice embodies a unique encounter between two icons: the legendary luxury brand and the Palazzo Donà Giovannelli,” said Aline Asmar d’Amman.

“An architectural feat at the crossroads of cultures, a link between the East and the West, the landmark building is anchored in eternity and ready to come back to life with a theatrical and contemporary art of living, steeped in infinite elegance.” 

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