House of Gods is a boutique hotel in Cowgate, Edinburgh, with a room decorated as a cabin from the opulent grandeur of The Orient Express. By Shrimayee Thakur
House of Gods Hotel describes itself as an “acute clash of styles, broken rules and a balance of opposites”, and “unapologetically extravagant” — a statement that is certainly true when it comes to its interiors. The cabin is the hotel’s smallest, but by no means the least extravagant room. Modelled after the now defunct Orient Express, the room is ostensibly grand.
It comes with all the grandeur of the Orient Express, including an oversized hand-built sleigh bed with bedspreads in animal prints, oak panelled feature walls, marbled bathroom, and a custom hand-built cocktail bar. Here, the elements of old-world exotic travel combine with modern amenities, including a hidden mirror TV and a hidden espresso machine. This cabin in House of Gods can host two guests.
The Orient Express’ name is synonymous with that of luxury travel. Created by Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits (CIWL), the original long-distance passenger train first started operating in 1883. It was primarily famous for, both – its luxurious interiors, and for the fact that it connected Paris to Constantinople in Istanbul. When converted to today’s value, one ticket on the express would cost over a lakh. The train ran everyday from Paris to Munich, Vienna and Budapest. It visited Constantinople twice a week, and was the quickest way at the time for such a journey.
The Orient Express was also the backdrop for famous crime fiction author Agatha Christie’s popular novel, Murder on the Orient Express published in 1934. In 1929, the Orient Express was snowed in for five days in Turkey. This inspired the events in Christie’s novel, although, in the novel, the train is snowed in at Yugoslavia.
There are many versions of the Orient Express across the world, inspiring some to say that the Orient Express is an example of a knife that has had both its knife and handle replaced. Crippled by financial trouble and upcoming high-speed trains, the final remnant of the original Orient Express — the EuroNight Orient Express, finally stopped operating in 2009.
House of Gods’ cabin enables its guests to lounge in the luxury and rich history of the legendary luxury train, with the added benefit of modern comforts.