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Hilton Worldwide (formerly, Hilton Hotels Corporation), a subsidiary of the Blackstone Group, is a global hospitality company. As of January 2009 Hilton brands encompass 3,200 hotels with 545,000 rooms in 77 countries. Hilton is ranked as the 43rd largest private company in the United States by Forbes.

The company owns, manages or franchises a portfolio of brands, including Hilton Hotels, Conrad Hotels, Doubletree, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hampton Inn, Hampton Inn & Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton Grand Vacations Company, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and The Waldorf-Astoria Collection.

It was founded by Conrad Hilton in Ciscomarker, Texasmarker and has been headquartered in Beverly Hillsmarker, Californiamarker since 1969. The company moved to Tysons Cornermarker, unincorporated Fairfax Countymarker, Virginiamarker, near McLeanmarker in August 2009.


Conrad Hilton founded the original company in 1919 with one hotel in Cisco, Texasmarker.

The Hotels Statler Company was acquired in 1954 for $111,000,000 in what was then the world's most expensive real estate transaction.

The company separated its international operations into a separate traded company on December 1, 1964, known as Hilton International Co.. In 1967 Trans World Corp., the holding company for Trans World Airlines, acquired the separated company. In 1986 it was sold to UAL Corp., the holding company for United Airlines, who became Allegis Corp. in an attempt to re-incarnate itself as a full service travel company encompassing Westin Hotels and Hertz rental cars in addition to Hilton International and United Airlines. In 1987 after a corporate putsch, the renamed UAL Corp. sold Hilton International to Ladbroke Group plc, a British leisure and gambling company, which in May 1999 adopted the name Hilton Group plc.
The former Hilton Hotels Corporation headquarters in Beverly Hills
As a result, there were two separate, fully independent companies operating hotels under the Hilton name. Those Hilton Hotels outside the US were, until recently, styled as Hilton International hotels. In addition, for many years hotels run by the Hilton Group in the US were called Vista International Hotels, while hotels operated by the American arm of Hilton outside the US were named Conrad Hotels. The Vista chain has been phased out, while Conrad is now restyled as one of the luxury brands of Hilton (along with The Waldorf-Astoria Collection) and operates hotels within the US, as well as abroad. To minimize consumer confusion, the American and British Hilton companies, from the 1990s onwards, had a joint marketing agreement under which they shared the same logos, promoted each others' brands and maintained joint reservation systems.

In 1971, Hilton acquired International Leisure Company, including the Las Vegas Hiltonmarker and Flamingo Hiltonmarker.

In 1998, Hilton spun off its gaming operations into a separate, publicly held company called Caesars Entertainment (formerly Park Place Entertainment).

In 1999, Hilton acquired Promus Hotel Corporation, which included the Doubletree, Red Lion, Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn, & Homewood Suites brands.

In 2001, Hilton agreed to sell Red Lion to WestCoast Hospitality.

HHC was granted the naming rights to the George R.marker Brown Convention Centermarker in late 2003. The Hilton Americas in Downtown Houston, Texasmarker, is connected to the convention center.

On December 29, 2005, Hilton Hotels Corporation agreed to re-acquire the Hilton International chain from its British owner, Hilton Group plc, for GBP 3.3 billion (or $5.71 billion). As well as bringing the two Hilton companies back together as a single entity, this deal also included Hilton plc properties operating as Conrad Hotels, Scandic Hotels and LivingWell Health Clubs. On February 23, 2006, the deal closed, making Hilton Hotels the world's fifth largest hotel operator in number of rooms . Hilton Group PLC (headquartered in the UK) then renamed itself Ladbrokes plc.

The Waldorf-Astoria Collection was announced on January 17, 2005 as a new Luxury Brand.

On March 1, 2007, Scandic Hotels was sold to EQT V Group.

On July 3, 2007, Hilton Hotels Corp. agreed to an all-cash buyout from The Blackstone Group LP in a $20.1 billion deal that would make Blackstone the world's largest hotel owner. The private equity group said it would combine cash from its real estate and corporate private equity funds to buy all outstanding Hilton shares for $47.50 each, a 32 percent premium over the July 3 closing stock price. The companies valued the deal at $26 billion including debt.

In October 2007, Christopher J. Nassetta was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Hilton.

In February 2009, Hilton Hotels Corp., announced that its headquarters were moving from its three buildings on Civic Center Drive in Beverly Hills to Fairfax County, Virginiamarker, located between Washington, D.C.marker and Dulles International Airportmarker. Just across the Potomac River is Montgomery County, Marylandmarker, home to a number of Hilton's competitors including Marriott International, Ritz-Carlton, Host Hotels & Resorts, and Choice Hotels, and was also considered for the relocation along with Washington. The move was expected following to the 2007 acquisition, in order for the headquarters to be nearer to The Blackstone Group's New York headquarters.


Full service lodging

Select service lodging

Limited service lodging

Extended stay suites


Hilton HHonors

Hilton HHonors is the loyalty program of the Hilton Hotels Corporation, active at all of the Brands. There are four tiers of membership, in ascending order;
  • Blue
  • Silver VIP
  • Gold VIP
  • Diamond VIP

Hilton HHonors is the only hotel rewards program that offers both Points & Miles for the same stay and No Blackout Dates. Members can earn both hotel points and airline miles for the same stay at more than 3,000 Hilton Family hotels in over 80 countries worldwide. If a standard room is available, any member can redeem HHonors points for it.

HHonors rewards include free hotel nights, experience getaways, dream vacations and premium merchandise. Members can also convert HHonors points to airline miles or vice versa. Additional VIP-only benefits are available to VIP members, including bonus points, complimentary health club privileges, hotel room upgrades, and reward planner services.

Similar to airline Frequent-flyer programs, the highest tier members (Diamond VIP in Hilton Honors) usually receive priority benefits including guaranteed reservations up to 48 hours before arrival, a dedicated "Diamond Desk" phone line especially for Diamond VIP members, complimentary upgrades at check-in, complimentary amenities at check-in (bottled water, snacks, etc.), a dedicated Hilton Honors VIP check-in line at larger hotels, and priority room preferences before other hotel guests.


Most Hilton brand hotels are franchised to independent operators and companies. This business practice has proven successful in rapidly expanding the various Hilton brands to markets all over the United States. Franchisors must follow strict brand standards in order to maintain a licensing agreement with the Hilton Hotels Corporation. All franchised hotels are regularly inspected by the Hilton Quality Assurance Team to enforce brand standards.

Hilton in Popular Culture

A fictional Pan Am "Space Clipper," a commercial spaceplane called the Orion III, brings scientist Dr. Heywood R. Floyd to the rotating wheel space station in Stanley Kubrick's film 2001: A Space Odyssey, where visitors can stay at a Hilton hotel. Hilton's trademarked logo appears prominently in the space station's lounge.

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