A brief history of Hilton Hotels

A brief history of Hilton Hotels

Founded by Conrad Hilton nearly a century ago, Hilton Hotels and Resorts has become an iconic, global brand with almost 600 luxury hotels in 78 countries.

So how did it all start?

Start With Texas

The very first Hilton hotel came into being in 1919, when Conrad purchased the 40-room Mobley Hotel in Cisco, Texas.

In the years that followed, he expanded the Hilton portfolio throughout Texas, opening new hotels in Dallas, Abilene, Waco and El Paso. As an interesting side note, the Waco Hilton was the first hotel to have cold running water and air conditioning.

In 1949, Hilton became the world’s first international hotel chain with the opening of the Caribe Hilton Hotel in Puerto Rico.

The group hit big when they opened San Francisco Airport Hilton in 1959 – the first of its kind. This had a domino effect around the world, once Hilton’s competitors realised how lucrative the airport accommodation market could be.

In 1973, the group implemented a central reservations system that meant customers could book hotel rooms from one place, rather than calling up the hotels individually. Today, 1.6 million people book rooms and spa days at Hilton hotels every month, using apps, websites and even chatbots.

In 1987, the Hilton Honors Program was established. Everytime guests use a Hilton hotel or shop, eat, or travel using a partner’s services, they receive points, which can then be used to get accommodation for free.

Present Day

In late 2010, the hotel re-branded and gave itself its current name and a new logo.

Check out some more impressive Hilton Hotels milestones in our infographic below:

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