Accor set to launch their Orient Express brand in Rome in 2023

Accor is due to launch their Orient Express brand in Rome, undergoing major refurbishments of the historic Grand Hotel de la Minerve.


A preliminary agreement was signed with Arsenale Spa, real estate investor and the Billi Family, current owners of the hotel, to begin work on the esteemed renovation of the 17th Century property.


Operation of the hotel will continue to be led by the management and support of the Billi Family before a 20-month refurbishment process begins from 2022, after which it will be managed by the Orient Express Brand.

*The hotel is currently closed until 26 March 2021 due to coronavirus-related restrictions.


The Orient Express brand hopes to bring “the legendary spirit of Europe’s golden age of travel back to the heart of Rome" by the end of 2023. The hotel is planned to take inspiration from “the opulent services of the original train”.


The agreement is part of the Groups development strategy according to Arsenale Spa, “enhancing premium Italian assets in the luxury sector and working alongside the biggest international brands to create new hospitality destinations”.


Current plans for the Accor Group include the opening of five hotels under the brand in London. Paris, Rome, Milan and Florence.


Roberto and Bernardo Billi added:

“There is a strong common vision between our family’s way of doing business and Arsenale’s mission. The combination of respect for the distinctive traits that the Minerve has expressed throughout the history of the Roman hotel industry with the innovation needed for its renovation and enhancement is exactly what the city of Rome needs today. It is for this reason that we have firmly adhered to the vision of Paolo Barletta and Arsenale, making our family and all the members of the Minerve enterprise available, in the challenging path of 2021 and the years to come”.


Sébastien Bazin, Chairman and CEO of Accor, also commented:

“I am delighted with this important partnership between Arsenale Spa and Orient Express. We are proud to be involved in the creation of such a high-class and romantic landmark in Rome. To bring this incredible heritage in such iconic capital with great history is obviously a fantastic achievement for the brand and our Group. The hotel will be an extraordinary addition to the collection of prestigious hotels we are targeting, combining the wonders of foreign travel and the comforts of home. Rome has been a legendary stopover since 1919 and a destination that resonates strongly in the Orient Express history and in all Italian hearts.”