Tag Archives: hilton


Ritz-Carlton Expands Electric Car Charging Stations

We can almost hear electric car owners rejoicing – Ritz-Carlton has joined hotel brands the likes of Hilton and Marriott in expanding the number of charging stations for guests. Well, for now this rejoicing is (mostly) confined to North America but this initiative is rolling out in major metropolises around the world.

Hotel guests across North America and select Ritz-Carlton properties worldwide will have access to stations that will power up their cars for the next 150 miles (we assume the metric system will be used outside the US), or two-and-a-half hours of driving. With the advancement of technology and an improvement in overall battery life, the popularity of electric cars have increased exponentially.

All this is good news for the ecosystem, even accounting for the damage that battery factories inflict. Following a battery upgrade, BMW has seen sales of its i3 soar three times than when its first-generation was launched. Last year, Hilton announced plans to expand their electric vehicle-charging program to 100 properties across the US by the end of 2016 – a decision based on InsideEV’s Monthly Scorecard, which indicated sales of electric vehicles at 350,000 since 2010. Marriott also provides more than 250 charging stations throughout their properties internationally.

Conrad Bora Bora Nui

Conrad Bora Bora Nui Opens Overwater Villas

It might be a preposterous idea to suggest walking on water but nothing is out of the question for the Hilton Group. Unfortunately, technology still isn’t advanced enough for us to cross the Pacific Ocean by foot, but Hilton proposes an alternative: overwater bungalows. Come March 2017, the Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa will be reborn as Conrad Bora Bora Nui, having undergone a multimillion-dollar facelift. The new hotel in question will feature 29 tropical garden and beach villas and 86 overwater bungalows with special two-storey presidential suites. Ever fancied living right in the middle of the Pacific Ocean? Hilton has granted your wishes.

One can expect sheer luxe relaxation in this resort, with a full service spa of eight treatment rooms, one al fresco deck, a mini-gold course, fitness center, specialty restaurants and deck overlooking the lago. It’s the panacea to help you escape the daily grind of life. In fact, the nearby private islet of Motu Tapu is even available for private events.

Conrad Bora Bora Nui will open March 2017.

This story is also available in Bahasa Indonesia. Read it here: Conrad Bora Bora Nui Membuka Villa Terapung

Waldorf Astoria New York Turns Condo in 3 Years

Known worldwide even to those who have never set foot in New York City, the Waldorf Astoria New York is a properly legendary hotel. It introduced the now-common door-to-door room service, invented the Waldorf salad and eggs benedict, and was officially crowned as a New York City landmark in 1993 (a long-overdue honor in our opinion). In 2017, the iconic building will close its doors for an extensive refit so that it can add luxury condominium to its resume by 2020, according to the AFP. Honestly, we are not sure what to think about this news.

Acquired by Anbang Insurance Group, a Chinese insurance company, for a grand $1.95 billion (making it the most expensive hotel sale in the world), the current hotel will undergo three years of renovation and reopen as a residential property. Envisioned to take up a full city block in Manhattan, just as the current building does, the majority of its 1,413 rooms will see themselves transformed into residential property, while a select 300 to 500 rooms will remain as hotel accommodations. This is a heritage building, being an official New York city landmark, so we are not sure how this renovation will actually be accomplished.


In its 123 years of operation, the Waldorf Astoria New York has seen some of the most illustrious people pass through its doors – Marilyn Monroe, Winston Churchill and US President Dwight Eisenhower are just a few of its esteemed guests. President Herbert Hoover made it his residence for 30 years after his retirement. The building has also played starring roles in Hollywood, including Godfather III and The Royal Tenenbaums. While the closure of the hotel marks a remarkable end of a chapter, another one is in the process of writing itself in the history books.

This story was written in-house, based on an AFP report and a Wall Street Journal story.

Hilton and Marriott Top Hotel Rewards Ranking

A new report reveals Hilton and Marriott to be the top hotels in terms of rewarding guests for their loyalty. Looking through the responses of nearly 3,100 consumers in the US, the Hilton HHonors and Marriott Rewards program tied for first with an overall satisfaction score of 741, out of a maximum 1,000. These were improvements to the brands’ score compared to the previous year, and it also marks the second year that Hilton HHonors has taken the top rank in the report from the market research group J.D. Power.

The report measures customer satisfaction based on six factors: account maintenance and management; ease of redeeming points; ease of earning points; variety of benefits; reward program terms; and customer satisfaction. The overall satisfaction with hotel loyalty programs also spiked across the board, improving from 701 in 2015 to 711 this year.

“At Hilton, customer experience is at the heart of everything we do. Our team members around the world are passionate about delivering impeccable, personalized service to our guests and that is why it’s an honor to once again be recognized by J.D. Power,” said Mark Weinstein, senior vice president and global head of Loyalty & Partnerships, Hilton Worldwide, in an article by BusinessWire.

These are the top hotel rewards programs as ranked by J.D. Power:

1. Hilton HHonors
2. Marriott Rewards
3. IHG Rewards
4. La Quinta Returns
5. Best Western Rewards
6. Choice Privileges
7. Omni Hotel Select Guest
8. Club Carlson
9. Hyatt Gold Passport
10. Fairmont President’s Club

Meet Connie, Robot Concierge at Hilton

The world’s largest hotelier by rooms, Hilton Worldwide Holdings has a new claim to fame: a child-sized robot concierge. Yes this is a real thing that is happening now at the Hilton McLean in Virginia, USA as part of a pilot project with IBM’s supermachine Watson.

Charmingly named after Hilton’s founder Conrad Hilton, “Connie” can be used by guests to field questions on local tourist attractions, dining recommendations, hotel features and amenities at the Hilton McLean.

Connie will greet guests and answer questions using a combination of Watson’s APIs including Dialog, Speech to Text, Text to Speech and Natural Language Classifier.

Believe it or not, Hilton is only the latest hotel to “hire” a robot among its staff, in a worldwide trend that’s aimed at reducing labor costs and capitalizing on the latest technologies.

In 2014, Starwood’s Aloft brand introduced ‘Botlr’ to the front lines, a roving robot used mainly to deliver amenities to guest rooms. Botlr works at the Cupertino location not far from tech giant Apple.

And last year, Japan opened the doors to the world’s first fully automated, robot-staffed hotel with the Henn-na Hotel, where guests check in, check out, get their rooms cleaned and their luggage conveyed by a fleet of blinking, beeping and rolling robots.

Travel Habits of America’s Wealthiest Revealed

We have to say that we find this report detailing the favorite destinations of America’s most affluent surprising. It turns out that Mongolia, Iceland and Tasmania are not relevant to this most sought-after set because they prefer Mexico and Canada. In other words, destinations just across the border!

More than 1,660 people earning a household income of $200,000 or having a net worth of $2 million were surveyed and 26 percent chose Mexico as a preferred destination, with Italy and Canada tied for second at 24 percent.

For the report, international travel and tourism consultancy group Resonance Consultancy analyzed the data and discovered, among other things, that compared with the average American traveler, who takes about five trips a year, the top five percent of richest Americans take about 14 trips a year, divided roughly between business and leisure trips.

Likewise, while the typical traveler will spend an average of $1,347 per person, per vacation, the affluent traveler will spend about $3,115. This is also surprising considering it is just over double the average while the wealth of the individuals in question is many times more than that. That means that the top five percent spend an average per trip just over twice what the remaining 95 percent spend. Well, not all the 95 percent travel at all of course and over the course of 14 trips, the country’s wealthiest spend just over $43,000 in total while everyone else spends just $6,735.

With that kind of budget, that means reserving stays at high-end hotels such as the Four Seasons and Hilton, which are the preferred brands of the wealthiest one percent. Looks like the big brands are very much still the winners here, having earned the spend of the nation’s wealthiest.

And while the middle-class and more budget-conscious traveler may spend hours on end shopping for flight and hotel deals online, analysts found that wealthy travelers are more likely to book directly with a hotel or airline.

Well, if anyone is interested in alternatives, we have reported on a few here and here.

Here are the top 10 travel destinations among America’s top one percent:

  • Mexico (26%)
  • Canada (24%)
  • Italy (24%)
  • England (22%)
  • France (22%)
  • Germany (14%)
  • Bahamas (14%)
  • Anguilla (13%)
  • Australia (12%)
  • U.S. Virgin Islands (11%)

This report was compiled by in-house writers, in combination with a wire report and image from the AFP.

eforea Spa

Hilton unveils global spa membership program

eforea Spa

 hopes its new global membership initiative will turn a visit to the spa into an affordable monthly treat rather than an annual indulgence.

The idea is simple, join the club and get a monthly appointment at the Hilton spa closest to your home — be it in a Hilton resort, the Waldorf Astoria or a Double Tree, there are over 400 Hilton properties around the world with the facilities.


“We look forward to welcoming new members to Spa Club locations around the world,” said Ryan Crabbe, senior director of global wellness, Hilton Worldwide. “We’re proud to be the first in the industry to offer a flexible, affordable program in response to profound recent cultural interest towards healthier, more balanced living.”

With a six- or 12-month membership, consumers will be able to get a massage or facial once a month at highly reduced rates as well as discounted access to the hotel’s other amenities.

Embassy Suites St Kitts

Hilton heading to St Kitts & Nevis

Embassy Suites St Kitts

The Embassy Suites, due to open in 2017 will be the first hotel from the US brand to be located on the tiny Caribbean territory of St Kitts & Nevis.

When completed, the Pelican Bay condo-hotel complex will offer meeting space, an infinity pool, fitness center, spa and kids’ club as well as its titular suites.

Each of the 226 suites will consist of separate living areas, private bedroom and wet bar and a Caribbean view.

The complex is to be situated near a private beach and will be just 10 minutes away from Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport.

Canopy Hotel Portland Lobby

Hilton unveils Canopy by Hilton brand

Canopy Hotel Portland Lobby

 has introduced Canopy by Hilton, a new brand in the lifestyle category of next-generation boutique hotels emphasizing comfort, design and personalized experience.

The Canopy by Hilton hotels will “take the emphasis off of capital-intensive design,” explains Hilton Worldwide CEO Christopher J. Nassetta, to provide “an energizing, comfortable stay.”

Each hotel will be unique. The group will aim to tailor each property to suit guests’ needs, which vary from city to city.


The approach to design will focus on reflecting the energy of the local neighborhood and creating a comfortable, inviting atmosphere.

Developed based on extensive client surveys, the Canopy by Hilton concept will offer more “included value,” something often requested by guests. An “artisanal” breakfast and WiFi are among the extras to be included with the price of every room.

Guests will even find a locally relevant welcome gift upon arrival in their room, and they will be invited to take part in a tasting of local wine.


And since the new hotels target a tech-savvy clientele, guests will be able to check in directly from their smartphones.

The first Canopy by Hilton hotels are slated to open in 2015, as the hotel group is currently moving forward with conversion or construction projects in urban neighborhoods and secondary markets around the world.

Canopy by Hilton has signed letters of intent to open properties in 10 US cities (Miami, Washington DC, Portland, San Diego, Nashville, Indianapolis, Charlotte, Oklahoma City, Savannah, Ithaca) as well as in London.

With its new lifestyle brand of boutique hotels, Hilton is catching up with rivals like , which has its  properties, and Intercontinental, which opened the first hotel from its new  brand on October 9.

 are small, stylish properties that are typically located in urban areas.

More information: www.canopybyhilton.com

Hilton Hotel check-in services

Hilton Worldwide launches mobile check-in services

Hilton Hotel check-in services

Hilton Worldwide, has announced a major digitization of its client services that will allow guests to check in and choose their  room on their smartphone.

The new strategy is designed to give guests more control over their stay, says the chain. But the move is also poised to take the middle man — the front desk personnel — out of the hotel experience, especially when the chain introduces smartphone-enabled door keys next year.

Once they’ve booked a reservation, Hilton guests will be able to check in and shop for their room on their mobile phone via photos and a digital floor plan.

Upgrades and amenities can also be requested on their portable devices.

In 2015, the company will also begin rolling out mobile technology that will allow guests to unlock their doors with their smartphones.

 guests will no longer need to check out as well, as their bill will be sent automatically to their email address.

Last year, Marriott Hotels also launched a virtual mobile check-in service that allows guests to check in a day before their arrival, bypass the lines at the front desk and proceed straight to their room after picking up their key at a designated mobile check-in counter.

SLS Las Vegas

Hilton to launch Curio

SLS Las Vegas

International hotel chain Hilton Worldwide has launched a new luxury brand in response to the growing popularity and demand for boutique hotels and hyper-local experiences.

Curio – A Collection by Hilton is pitched as a brand that that will curate four to five-star distinctive hotels that represent the local area and offer authentic experiences unique to the destination.

So far, the collection includes the SLS Las Vegas Hotel & Casino; The Sam Houston Hotel in Houston, Texas; Hotel Alex Johnson in Rapid City, South Dakota and The Franklin Hotel in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with another property in Portland, Oregon to be announced shortly.

SLS Las Vegas Curio Hilton

“Our customers and owners have expressed strong interest in a brand from us that includes hotels that can retain their unique identity but also deliver the many benefits of our system, including our Hilton HHonors guest loyalty program,” said Christopher Nassetta, president and CEO of Hilton Worldwide.

“That desire, combined with the current size of the independent hotel market and demand for differentiated hotel stays around the world, made for the right timing for this launch.”

The strategy borrows from the playbook of rival Starwood Hotels & Resorts, whose W Hotels is pitched as a trendy, boutique hotel brand.

While not a boutique hotel in the traditional sense, Curio’s SLS Las Vegas will anchor the Curio collection with big-name collaborations that include Philippe Starck and James Beard Foundation winning chef José Andrés.

The $415 million renovation will redevelop the site of the former Sahara Hotel & Resort, a location steeped in Las Vegas history.

Hotel Alex Johnson

The Hotel Alex Johnson (pictured above), meanwhile, is located near the Mount Rushmore National Memorial and is on the National Register of Historic Places, as is The Sam Houston Hotel in Texas.

Curio becomes Hilton Worldwide’s 11th hotel brand, a portfolio that includes the , Conrad and .

Hilton Molino Stucky Venice

Top 25 most sought-after hotel brands

Hilton Molino Stucky Venice

After a cull through more than 133 million online searches on Google, Bing, Yandex in Russia and Baidu,Hilton Hotels and Resorts has emerged as the most sought-after luxury hotel brand in the world.

That’s according to the recently released World Luxury Index Hotels report, which looked at the top 70 brands in the world and ranked them in a tidy list that ranks their online popularity.

Here are the top 25 most sought after hotel brands in the world:

1. Hilton
2. Sheraton
3. Westin
4. Four Seasons
5. Hyatt
6. Hyatt-Regency
7. Ritz-Carlton
8. Embassy Suites
9. Renaissance
10. InterContinental
11. Fairmont
12. JW Marriott
13. Sofitel
14. Grand Hyatt
15. Loews
16. Shangri-La
17. Mandrain Oriental
18. St. Regis
19. Le Merdien
20. Regent
21. Park Hyatt
22. Kempinski
23. Jumeirah
24. Langham
25. Taj Hotel

Hotel brands with top online street cred

Hilton Hotel Shanghai

When it comes to online chatter about the best hotels for service, location, rooms and amenities, the Hilton, Marriott and Four Seasons brands come out on top.

Between May and October 2012, the trio of hotel names ranked highest in what market research company MavetMagnet calls ‘Conversational Relevance’ which measures both the amount and positivity of a hotel brand’s online buzz.

In areas such as service and location Hilton Hotels earned a positive score of 58 percent, followed by Marriott at 56 percent, and the Four Seasons with 51 percent.

Other elements that proved to be important to hotel guests included everything from the view, water pressure – for which the Ritz-Carlton and the Hilton emerged as leaders – service and the brand’s cachet, dominated by the Four Seasons.

Other findings:

– Among the most important attributes for hotel guests are the property’s location, centrality and accessibility to nearby amenities: Nearly two-thirds of online conversation on the ‘functionality’ of a hotel revolved around these considerations

– A hotel room’s size, connectivity and technology are among the most important to guests.

– The shower’s water pressure is more important than the comfort of a bed.

– The hotel staff’s responsiveness to personal attention and needs is also much talked about/

– Family travelers were particularly concerned about room noise.

Meanwhile, as of 11 am GMT, February 18, the top hotel influencers on social media tracker Klout include a bevy of Las Vegas properties including the MGM Grand Las Vegas, Caesars Palace, Mandalay Bay and the Palms Casino Resort.

Sheraton Qiandao

The most searched-for luxury hotel brands in China

Sheraton Qiandao

Sheraton is the most sought-after luxury hotel brand on the Internet in mainland China, followed by Hilton and Shangri-La, according to a recent report released by Geneva-based luxury market research firm Digital Luxury Group (DLG).

According to the survey, Sheraton, a Starwood brand, came on the top of the list with almost 14 percent of the overall searches.

The report attributes the success of the brand to the fact that Sheraton was the first western hotel brand to arrive in China.

The brand arrived in 1985 right after the economic opening of the country. Sheraton has plans to open 12 new hotels across China in 2012 and expand its portfolio to 80 properties by 2015.

Among the non-western brands, Hong-Kong based Shangri-la comes in third position followed by The Peninsula, also based in Hong Kong, in seventh position.

The Nikko Hotels brand, based in Japan and originally owned by Japan Airlines, came in ninth position.

Under the name “The world luxury index China: Hotels,” the report carried out by Digital Luxury Group, analyzed more than 170 million online searches during the first trimester of 2012.

Top 10 list

1. Sheraton
2. Hilton
3. Shangri-La
4. InterContinental
5. Westin
6. Four Seasons
7. The Peninsula
8. Kempinski
9. Nikko
10. Ritz-Carlton

Vivienne Tam Slippers

Vivienne Tam Does Slippers for Hilton

Vivienne Tam Slippers

Vivienne Tam has designed a pair of slippers featuring a “Water Dragon” motif for Hilton Hotels & Resorts’ Chinese hospitality program, Huanying.

The signature slippers will be available beginning this month exclusively for guests of Hilton Huanying, the Hilton Worldwide program offering tailored welcome experiences for Chinese travelers at 70 participating hotels in 23 countries.
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Hilton Frankfurt Airport

Hilton opens two properties at Frankfurt airport

Hilton Frankfurt Airport

Hilton has announced the opening of two new properties in a landmark development at Frankfurt Airport.

The hotels are part of the new SQUAIRE building, a huge center built within Frankfurt’s Airport, continental Europe’s second-busiest terminal.

Comprising a five-star Hilton and a three-star Hilton Garden Inn, the chain’s new developments offer a total of 583 rooms.
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Bubble in Paris

“Bubble in Paris” by Taittinger Champagne

Bubble in Paris

Hilton Arc de Triomphe Paris has partnered with Taittinger Champagne to create the “Bubble in Paris” bar that resembles a life-size snow globe.

The translucent bar was conceived by artist Jean-Hugues de Chatillon, who drew inspiration from the mythical realm of Narnia to bottle a miniature winter wonderland.

The 16-foot tall dome will house an all-white, central, circular bar and small lounge that can accommodate 35 visitors at a time and will be open until New Year’s Eve.
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Banyan Tree Macau

Banyan Tree opens Macau resort

Banyan Tree Macau

The new Banyan Tree Macau has opened within the US$2 billion Galaxy Macau resort complex, providing a luxurious retreat for gamers.

The all-suite resort offers such extras as a relaxation pool in every room and the brand’s signature villas situated beside the resort’s unique rooftop wave pool.

As more and more tourists head to China, major tourism operators are looking for new and improved methods to grab their share of the market.
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special welcome for Chinese guests

Traditional Chinese welcome coming to Hilton hotels

special welcome for Chinese guests

Hilton is to roll out a global welcome program for Chinese travelers as it seeks to capture a larger part of China’s outbound tourism pie.

A new “Hilton Huanying” package will debut this August in 30 properties around the world, including San Francisco, New York City, Vancouver, London, Tokyo and Sydney.

The aim of the scheme is to make the steadily-increasing number of Chinese road-warriors feel at home, offering what Hilton describes as “familiar comforts” on arrival, in the rooms, and at breakfast.

This includes providing a front desk team member fluent in Chinese, tea kettles and selection of Chinese teas available in rooms, dedicated Chinese television channels and a welcome letter written in Chinese.

dim sum

Participating hotels will also roll out specific breakfast offerings such as congee (rice porridge) with condiments, fried rice or fried noodles, a dim sum selection and fried dough fritters (crullers), along with Chinese tea.

Guests will also be offered Chinese cutlery utensils such as chopsticks, Chinese spoons and a soy sauce dish.

With the number of Chinese outbound tourists expected to reach a whopping 65 million this year, it’s somewhat unsurprising hotels are pulling out all the stops to attract them.

In April this year, French chain Accor announced a similar welcome package for Chinese and Indian guests would be offered by its brands in Australia, which include Sofitel, Pullman, Novotel, ibis and Motel 6, with additional food, entertainment and staff training to be rolled out to select properties.