Hilton Hotels History: 101 years of Innovation – Hilton London Wembley to The Beverley Hilton

Hilton Hotel History, in 1919 Conrad Hilton founded the first Hilton in Cisco Texas, called The Mobley. His belief was that travel can make the world a better place. A Mantra the company have kept going ever since. 101 Years of Innovations

Random Acts of Hospitality

Part of the centenary celebrations, the Hotelier launched Random Acts of Hospitality by reaching out to the local communities, bringing a touch of hospitality beyond the front doors of the hotel.  This led to the creation of “The Hilton Effect Foundation” working with organisations and communities to help make the world of travel to better support sustainability and recovery.

Hilton Innovations a world of firsts

Innovations and firsts were no recent coincidence. Even in 1893, a woman who invented the Brownie cake Bertha Palmer made that in a hotel that became Chicago’s, Palmer House Hilton.

1927 Hotel Waco Hilton was the first Hilton to have running water and air conditioning.
1931 The largest Hotel in the World, the Waldorf Astoria Art Deco Gloriana became part of the Hilton Fleet. IT was the first to start room service.

World War 2

After World War 2, 1947, The Roosevelt Hilton in New York became the first hotel in the world to have Television sets in guest rooms.

Hilton Bartender created the Piña Colada drink

In 1954 Hilton bartender Ramón “Monchito” Marrero created the drink Piña Colada, Caribe Hilton in San Juan, Puerto Rico, after much work, the drink captured the essence of Puerto Rico.

In 1959 Queen Elizabeth II attended a dinner in her honour at The Conrad Hilton, hotel now named Chicago Hilton. (linked from the Chicago public library)

Hilton Hotels History: 101 years of Innovation - Hilton London Wembley to The Beverley Hilton 1

Beverly Hilton and the first Annual Grammy Awards

1959 saw the first Annual Grammy Awards dinner held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills.

The first Hilton airport hotel opened its first airport hotel at San Francisco Airport.

Elvis Presley at the Hilton

1961 Elvis really had a Blue Hawaii, whilst filming, he stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian village throughout his visit.

1960s female travel was the motivation behind the lady Hilton Concept services, female-only floors to encourage single female travelling. To celebrate the end of the decade, Hilton created an in house vodka brand Darnoc which is Conrad written backwards.

John Lennon’s Song Imagine written at the Hilton

John Lennon and Yoko Ono in 1969 hosted a Bed-in from the Presidential Suite Hilton Amsterdam during their Honeymoon.  John Lennon uses stationary from the Hilton New York to pen his song “Imagine”.

Reservation system called Hilton, 1973

Hilton pushed the technological envelope to be the first hotelier with a computerised reservation and reporting system called HILTON, in 1973. \

The first Cellphone call was made outside the New York Hilton by Martin Cooper in 1973

Elvis revisits Hawaiian Village during another shoot “Aloha From Hawaii concert”. The Hotel was called Ocean Tower, now known as Ali’I Tower.

The 1980s saw more sub-companies, inns and international locations and guest Loyalty programs.

The 1990s, the Conrad Dublin is named one of the best hotels in the world. By the mid-nineties, the brand launched www.hilton.com.

The 1990s and the Golden Globes at the Beverly Hills Hilton

At the end of the 1990s, Hilton hosted the Golden Globes at the Beverly Hilton, where Angelina Jolie agreed that if she won an award, she would jump into the Beverly Hilton swimming pool. She followed through, still wearing a designer gown.

The new Millenium marked the hotel chains 1000th hotel open and by 2003 all hotels became connected to fast high-speed internet.

Films shot at the Hilton Chicago

  • Home Alone II
  • Little Fockers
  • U.S Marshals
  • Fugitive
  • My Best Friend’s Wedding
  • Unconditional Love
  • The Package
  • Love & Action in Chicago
  • Primal Fear
  • The Express
  • Road to Perdition

Save a Landmark Programme

In 2006 the hotelier received ‘Save a landmark program’, preserve America presidential award. Making Hilton the first Hotel chain to be recognised by a US president for their preservation work. The award was given by G.W Bush

Six movies have been filmed at Hilton New York.

The Hilton New Identity

A new logo, new corporate identity, the word worldwide is dropped (source: under consideration). Around 2007, they placed the name Hilton before the city name in all hotel locations.

Hilton Hotels History: 101 years of Innovation - Hilton London Wembley to The Beverley Hilton 2
Hilton Hotels History: 101 years of Innovation - Hilton London Wembley to The Beverley Hilton 3

President Barack Obama in 2008 gave his landmark acceptance speech in front of the Hilton Chicago hotel, over 8 news networks filmed the event from the hotel’s rooftop.

By 2010, the group counted for 123 spas, making the chain one of the largest providers of Spas. A collection brand and lifestyle brand is launched called Curio, and Canopy.

In 2014 Times Square Hilton live-streamed a music concert to YouTube.

2018 – Hilton ranked as one of the best places to work

The Company exists in at least 113 countries and over six continents, with plans to reach further. Their innovation and interest in technology-enabled Hilton to be the first hotel to allow visitors to control certain parts of their accommodation with an app on their mobile phone “Connected room”. This Mobile centric technology can also allow visitors to stream personalised Netflix programs to their rooms.

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