Accor’s Orient Express to open second property in Venice, Italy

Accor’s Orient Express to open second property in Venice, Italy

Lebanese-born Aline Asmar d’Amman will design and decorate the property set to open in 2024

Orient Express has signed a partnership agreement with Italian hospitality group Arsenale S.p.A to open the brand’s second hotel in Italy at the Palazzo Donà Giovannelli in Venice.

Located just 10 minutes from Venice’s Santa Lucia train station, next to the Cannaregio shopping district, the Palazzo Donà Giovannelli is an historic palace built in 1400 by architect Filippo Calendario, who also designed Venice’s famed Doge’s Palace.

Former home of the Duke of Urbino, a patron of the arts, the palace has been renovated twice before; once most notably by architect Gian Battista Meduna in 1800.  

This time, leading the design and interior decoration of the project, is Aline Asmar d’Amman, known for spearheading projects that connect the past and the present, with a focus on culture being a staple of her studio, Culture in Architecture.


The Orient Express Venice Hotel will comprise 45 rooms and suites, all overlooking the gardens and canals of Venice. The hotel bar will be located in the former ‘piano nobile’ ballroom and the signature restaurant will serve Italian cuisine. Guests will also be able to enjoy views of the city from terraces hidden across the hotel’s rooftops.

When the hotel opens, passengers on the Orient Express La Dolce Vita train will be able to disembark directly at the Venice Santa Lucia Station to access the property by foot or boat.

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

Accor CEO Raffles and Orient Express Stephen Alden added: “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.”  

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