By Norire Arakelyan

A new era of luxury rail

Almost 140 years ago, Georges Nagelmackers made his dream come true by launching the first luxury Orient Express trains throughout Europe – fast forward to 2024 and the legend has been reborn again in Italy. A tribute to "La Dolce Vita" – a historical period of great artistic and eclectic fervour in Italy during the 1960s, the brand-new La Dolce Vita Orient Express embodies the essence of Italian joie de vivre and offers a show-stopping luxury train experience where the journey and destination become one. Designed by Dimorestudio and expertly crafted by masters of Italian design, your eyes will immediately be drawn to its sumptuous décor, warm timeless furniture, carpeted floors and contemporary features. It all takes inspiration from the 1960s and 1970s and combines the Golden Age of Italian design with the contemporary spirit of luxury travel, providing the perfect balance between grandeur and comfort.

Owned and run by the original Orient Express brand, the opulent train will take in destinations across Italy, including the likes of Rome, Portofino, Matera, Venice, Tuscany and Sicily as well as provide off-train experiences in all of its visited locations.

Below, we break down the various cabins and carriages of the La Dolce Vita Orient Express, bringing to life the memorable on board experience that awaits on your chosen journey.

La Dolce Vita Orient Express

La Dolce Vita Orient Express

The La Dolce Vita Orient Express visits Portofino during the summer

The La Dolce Vita Orient Express visits Portofino during the summer

Cabins and Suites

With just seven passenger cars accommodating a maximum of 62 guests, La Dolce Vita Orient Express strikes the perfect balance between boutique and exclusive. There are three grades of cabins, each showcasing a unique personality. These are the Deluxe Cabins of which there are 12 in total, and the Suite Cabins which offer a further 18 cabins. Finally, the train has one exclusive La Dolce Vita Suite which is yet to be unveiled. Below, we take a look at the difference between the cabins and offer an insight into its features.

Deluxe Cabin

The deluxe cabins feature cool colours for the architectural shell and for the coverings, mirrored back walls and wooden slat ceilings. Unlike many other luxury trains, even the leading cabin category is fitted with a private ensuite bathroom, ensuring maximum comfort. During the day, you can make use of the cabin's sofa which then transforms into a double bed by night, with the ottomans acting as coffee tables and stools. Room service is available via the in-cabin tablet which offers a selection of savoury Italian products such as olives, taralli with fennel, Italian cheese boards and breadsticks. The Deluxe Cabins are designed to be welcoming and flexible at the same time, the contrast of materials, from the softness of the carpet to the natural wood used in the ceiling, ensures a warm travel experience.

Deluxe Cabin, La Dolce Vita Orient Express

Suite Cabin

The Suite Cabins epitomise opulence and take the shape of true master bedrooms (option of twin room is available on request). The cabins come equipped with a sofa, table, two comfortable armchairs, a private bathroom and plenty of extra space. The cheerful design alternates shades of orange, terracotta and purple, and the brass finishes make for an authentic touch. Smoked mirror walls, the glossy lacquered “burnt sienna” ceiling and carpets, curtains and lighting fixtures signed by Dimorestudio add plenty of extra soul to the decor. As with the Deluxe Cabins, room service is available at all times and can be placed directly with the steward via the tablet.

Suite Cabin, La Dolce Vita Orient Express

Carriages & facilities

From a the stylish Dining Car to a delightfully contemporary bar, below we delve into the communal spaces on board the train.

Dining car

Whether you're enjoying the “Grand Tour of Italy” breakfast (usually served in your cabin but available on request in the Dining Car), the Afternoon Tea, the Aperitivo or the Le Grand Soir evening dinner, La Dolce Vita Orient Express' Dining Car plays the perfect host. With seating for up to 40 guests, you'll be able to choose from two seatings for the onboard meals. The decor of the restaurant is eclectic, decorated with glossy lacquer in shades echoing nature and sage. Elegant table linens, delicate china, Orient Express teas and champagne are served as Italian music plays in the background, making it an idyllic setting for the ultimate Italian cuisine. 

On the menu, you'll find a selection of dishes, seasonal favourites and classic Italian cuisine. Exceptional dishes feature the likes of sea urchin coral and truffles whilst all recipes can be adapted to accommodate dietary restrictions. The best wines of the Italian regions visited are available during the trip, all served with elegance and discretion by the immaculate restaurant staff. Do bear in mind that on some journeys you may be enjoying your off-train experience at lunchtime, in which case a lunch is arranged as part of your excursion away from the train.

Restaurant car, La Dolce Vita Orient Express

Bar car

Seating up to 40 guests, the Bar Car represents typical Italian hospitality and conviviality, with sinuous forms dominating, running the length of the carriage from the bar station and through to the grand piano. Signature cocktails and Italian wines enliven the evening as you raise a glass with new-found travel companions. It is the ideal setting for a pre-dinner Italian Aperitivo, light antipasti or a fine glass of Italian wine or Limoncello.

Bar car, La Dolce Vita Orient Express