On this Hilton hotel anniversary, take a step back to appreciate how the iconic brand has influenced hospitality around the world.
This year marks an important Hilton hotel anniversary. In 1919, Conrad Hilton purchased his first hotel — The Mobley in Cisco, Texas. Now, a look back at the past 100 years of Hilton hotels reveals just how much this leading brand has shaped global travel and influenced the hospitality industry as we know it today.
Below, take a look at key Hilton milestones and fun Hilton facts that reflect the brand’s innovation and contribution to creating great business travel experiences. Plus, learn how you can take advantage of JTB Business Travel’s partnership with Hilton to secure Gold Status in the Hilton Honors program.
The Hilton Story
In 1919, Conrad Hilton was on his way to purchase a bank in Cisco, Texas. Instead, he chose to purchase a local hotel — The Mobley. Six years later, in 1925, the first branded Hilton hotel opened — the Hilton Dallas in Texas.
The Hilton Dallas established Conrad Hilton’s reputation for innovation and creating experiences and features that travelers appreciate and love. Given how hot the Texas summers can be, Conrad Hilton built the Hilton Dallas so that elevators, laundry chutes and other non-customer facilities were on the west side of the building. That meant that no guest rooms would face the hot western sun, keeping guests as cool as possible in an era before air conditioning.
In the 100 years since Conrad Hilton started his hotel empire in Texas, the Hilton brand has grown to include more than 5,600 hotels and 17 brands in 113 countries and territories. Hilton hotels continue to offer innovative and delightful guest experiences and features.
Hilton Firsts and Other Fun Facts
In 1893, The Palmer House hotel created and offered the very first brownie dessert. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that the Palmer House Hotel would later become a Hilton hotel, joining a portfolio known for invention and creating “firsts” in the hospitality industry. Here’s a look at just some of the firsts accomplished by Hilton:
In the 1930s, Hilton became the first hotel chain to standardize the concept of room service. Hilton first offered room service at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City, and the service expanded from there.
In 1943, Hilton purchased the Roosevelt and Plaza hotels in New York, which made it the first hotel group with a coast-to-coast presence in the United States.
In 1946, with the formation of Hilton Hotels Corp., Hilton became the first hotel chain to offer stock.
In 1947, Hilton became the first hotel to offer in-room televisions when they were installed at the Roosevelt Hilton in New York.
Multi-Hotel Reservations System:
In 1948, Hilton became the first to offer a multi-hotel reservations system.
Conrad Hilton appeared on the cover of Time Magazine in 1949, making him the first hotelier to appear on the front of the prestigious periodical.
In 1954, bartenders at the Caribe Hilton in Puerto Rico created the first-ever piña colada.
In 1957, Hilton became the first hotel chain to offer in-room direct dial.
In 1959, the San Francisco Airport Hilton opened. It was the first-ever airport hotel.
In 1963, Hilton established the first department to focus on women travelers. In time, this department created services that evolved into the Lady Hilton concept.
Computerized Reservations System:
In 1973, Hilton became the first to use a computerized reservations system, making the reservations experience far more convenient for guests.
In 1987, Hilton first launched its Honors program, which to this day allows guests to collect points and redeem rewards.
100% Satisfaction Guarantee:
In 1989, Hilton became the first hotel chain to offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
LEED and Green Seal Certifications:
In 2008, the Hilton in Vancouver, Washington became the first to earn both LEED and Green Seal certifications.
In 2014, with the launch of Digital Key, Hilton became the first hotel to offer smartphone room keys at scale
Underwater Hotel Suite:
In 2018, a first-of-its-kind underwater suite opened at the Conrad Maldive Rangali Island hotel.
Get on the Fast Track to Gold Status
At JTB Business Travel, we emphasize innovation and striving to do what’s best for our customers. For that reason, Hilton makes a natural partner.
When JTB Business Travel clients book Hilton hotels, they can get on the fast track to Gold Status in the Hilton Honors program in 3 easy steps:
1.Signup as a Hilton Honors member and register your number for the promotion.
2. Spend at least 8 nights at Hilton properties within 90 days of registration.
3. Enjoy your Gold Status! Gold Status comes with discounts, points, digital check-in
When you stay with Hilton, you’re staying with a brand that has always emphasized innovation with the aim of giving business travelers and others the best possible experience. Are you ready to get on the fast track to Gold Status in the Hilton Honors program? Learn more about our partnership and get started here.