6 Amazing Facts About the Hilton Hotel


Since their humble beginnings, Hilton have become one of the most internationally known brands.  

They are recognised as a leading provider of accommodations around the world, and they’ve also pioneered some of today’s standard hotel practices. 

Despite their worldwide renown, there are a few things you may not know about the iconic brand. Today, we will share 6 astonishing facts about Hilton. 

hilton hotel building 

Hilton has been around for more than 100 years

Hilton is a global chain that was founded in 1919.  

 As of 2018, it’s the largest hotel company globally, with over 4,900 properties, including flagship locations and resorts around the globe. The Hilton name is also licensed to independent hotels and resorts and all manner of accommodations, from single-room apartments to timeshare units. 

Their first site opened by Conrad Hilton was the Mobley Hotel in Cisco, Texas in 1919. The first hotel to bear the Hilton name, however, was the Dallas Hilton in 1925. 

Hilton hotels were the first to provide air conditioning in most of their rooms

This idea came about when Conrad Hilton checked into a hotel in San Francisco during a heat wave.  

He found himself sweating profusely and couldn’t cool down. When he asked why there wasn’t any air conditioning, he was told it would be too expensive to install, so he decided to make it happen himself.  

The Hilton chain was the first to provide air conditioning in most of its rooms, a big deal for the time (and still a big deal today). 

Hilton was the first hotel to:

  • Introduce loyalty programmes

The first loyalty programme came along in 1987 when Hilton Honors was created; this allowed members to earn points for staying at any type of hotel under the chain’s umbrella, including Waldorf Astoria and Embassy Suites, which they could then redeem for free nights or upgrades at any participating property worldwide. 

  • Launch a website

With the launch of Hilton.com in 1996, Hilton became the first hotel brand to launch a website. The website was created to provide customers with additional information about accommodations and amenities. The site included information about individual hotels and a reservation system for each property. 

  • Launch a mobile app

Hilton’s first mobile app of any hospitality brand allowed users to book rooms using their phones or tablets. It also contained information about each property with links to its social media accounts. 

  • Introduce mobile check-in and ‘digital keys’ 

In 2014, Hilton Honors app introduced mobile check-in so guests to check in a day before their stay and enabled them gain access to their room via their mobile phone – also known as the ‘digital key’. 

Hilton hotel building

The term ‘suite’ was developed by Hilton

You may already know that ‘suite’ comes from hotelier Conrad Hilton. But you may not know that he was responsible for coining the word in its modern form. 

 Hilton first used the term ‘suite’ in his marketing materials for The Plaza in New York City, which opened in 1907.  

Before Hilton’s innovation, a ‘suite’ referred to an entire floor of rooms or as many as 20 rooms of varying sizes grouped together with shared bathrooms and other amenities on each floor; they were often reserved for visiting dignitaries and royalty (hence their nickname: ‘royal suites’). 

Hilton has 18 brands with locations in 122 countries 

Hilton’s portfolio is unmatched in the hospitality industry, boasting thousands of properties under brands which encompass all segments of the hospitality market. 

Hilton’s 18 brands are grouped in tiers: with ‘Luxury’ at the top which includes Waldorf Astoria Resorts, all the way down to ‘Midscale’ which includes budget brand Tru by Hilton. 

The most recent Hilton brand launch came in early 2020 with ‘Tempo’ – described as a ‘Lifestyle brand’, Tempo aims to appeal to younger travellers by championing wellness and sustainability. 

Conrad Hilton donated over one billion dollars to charity before his death in 1979

He was also awarded two Presidential Medals of Freedom, one by President Dwight D. Eisenhower and another by President Ronald Reagan, and a Congressional Gold Medal for his philanthropic work on behalf of children worldwide. 

building with flag poles on top

There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to the history of this iconic hotel brand

If you’re a fan of the Hilton brand, you might think they’ve been around forever. But there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to the history of this iconic brand.

In summary

Conrad Hilton opened his first hotel in Cisco, Texas in 1919 called the ‘Mobley’. Following Mobley’s success, he went on to purchase and build hotels throughout Texas, including the first hotel bearing the name Hilton – ‘Dallas Hilton’ – in 1925. Soon after that, he started expanding across America and soon became “the man with a Midas touch,” according to Time Magazine. 

Hilton is a five-star luxury hotel brand with an unsurpassed global presence. Built on a long tradition of serving exceptional guests, every aspect of a Hilton accommodation is designed to create an unforgettable experience.