Belmond: rejuvenating icons

The iconic Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, A Belmond Train, Europe

Belmond has made significant headway on its renovation plans as part of its aim to become the world’s most desirable luxury travel brand. A 10-year asset rejuvenation strategy across its portfolio is underway.

Since 2020, Belmond has begun its ambitious asset rejuvenation strategy which started with the renovation of Splendido Mare, A Belmond Hotel, Portofino (reopened in Spring 2021). 2023 will see Maroma, A Belmond Hotel, Riviera Maya (Mexico) welcoming guests again in May following an extensive renovation and redesign by Tara Bernerd and her team. With buildings aligned to the Sacred Geometry of Mayan masons, the hotel will be completely reimagined while honouring Mexican artisanal traditions, authentic craftsman and local materials throughout the interiors.

Likewise, the iconic Splendido, A Belmond Hotel, Portofino has begun its multi-phase renovation overseen by internationally acclaimed interior designer Martin Brudnizki, which will see the transformation of guestrooms, a new spa, and garden landscapes, scheduled for completion in 2026. Each seasonal closure will give the team an opportunity to undertake the meticulous renovation and restoration of the former 16th-century Benedictine monastery.

This follows recent renovation projects which include the collaboration with acclaimed filmmaker Wes Anderson for the re-design of the Cygnus carriage onboard the British Pullman, A Belmond Train, England and the painstaking restoration of Copacabana Palace Theatre, located adjacent to the iconic Copacabana Palace, A Belmond Hotel, Rio de Janeiro. The restoration, which involved more than 600 craftspeople across 18 disciplines, brought Rio’s cultural venue back to life, following a 30-year closure.

Belmond’s rejuvenation strategy will also further enhance its trains and cruises portfolio, strengthening its lead as the authority for slow travel. Belmond currently owns six iconic trains across the UK, Europe, Peru and Southeast Asia, Les Bateaux Belmond – an unmatched collection of seven luxury barges in France and a river cruise in Myanmar.

In May 2023, the newly renovated Coquelicot, A Belmond Boat, Champagne will launch, taking travellers on a cinematic and highly personalised journey of the famed Champagne region. Designed by French duo Humbert & Poyet, the boat will feature three glamorous cabins with ensuite facilities, an indoor salon with an exceptional champagne bar – stocked in accordance with the guests’ taste – and an extensive outdoor deck. 2023 will also welcome a new suite category onboard the legendary Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, A Belmond Train, Europe with eight new suites joining the rake, following the success of the introduction of six award-winning Grand Suites.

Steeped in history and cared for with the utmost respect to retaining the craftsmanship of the 1920s and 30s, the new suites are an ode to the dramatic landscape unfolding through the train’s picture-windows, featuring the added benefit of a private marble ensuite bathroom as well as a lounging area by day converted to either double or twin beds, by night.

The iconic Venice Simplon-Orient-Express continues to expand its routes across Europe. Next winter (2023), it will take its legend to greater heights with the opening of a new route from Paris to the French Alps, combining the art of slow travel with exhilarating Alpine adventure. This follows the launch of new routes to destinations including Rome, Florence, and Vienna and the debut of its winter journeys this December.