This year the Hilton Corporation is celebrating its 100 year anniversary with a Random Acts of Hospitality initiative where team members are providing acts of generous hospitality in their communities as well as their properties.
As a consumer, my family has been a Hilton family. From Hampton Inns and Suites, the legendary Waldorf-Astoria, Embassy Suites, to the newer brands like Home2 and Tru, the Hilton family brand has played a part in every vacation, save two, Jonesy and I have enjoyed in our married life. We have found the consistent standards and world-class service combined with a price point selection that meets the need of our large family has made our vacation and business stays comfortable and easy to plan.
When Noah decided on a private college education, I joined the Hilton team for part time employment. Besides helping to limit Noah’s student debt, the Hilton Corporation has provided me with the benefit of great travel opportunities the past three years.
It is my goal to stay in all the Hilton Brands this year to celebrate the 100th Birthday of this amazing company. This week as we are in Orlando to blog our experience of serving at Give Kids the World, we are enjoying three different brands. Throughout the year I will be sharing my favorite Hilton stories as well as giving you insight into how the different brands might meet your needs for leisure and business travel. This is not a paid endorsement, but instead just a personal account of the great stays we have enjoyed.
How we fell in love with the Hilton Brand:
In July 2000, married less than two years, having the unexpected arrival of Noah. Jonesy and I, tired and a little overwhelmed by the big changes our lives had had, decided we wanted to keep an eye on our goal of traveling. We were 25 with wanderlust and an appetite for great experiences, so we set aside $1000 to go to New York. With a little good fortune, we were able to book the smallest room the Waldorf-Astoria had for a long weekend. A little nervous about being in the the city for the first time, we dropped our bags off and headed out to see as much as we could before check in.
When we arrived back, the bellman took us and our bags to our room. As he opened the door, we quickly realized the room was already occupied. He walked us back down to the lobby. We waited about 15 minutes and a manager met us, apologizing profusely. We were twenty-something kids, wearing shorts and sweaty T-shirt’s from a morning running around New York in July. He personally took us to a new room, a three room suite in the towers, where our belongings had already been laid out and cold drinks were waiting us. For the remaining time in New York, the Waldorf fed us and checked in to be sure we were happy. And we were!! If they were this attentive to broke twenty-somethings, we could only imagine the service they provided for their loyal patrons. We were sold! Hilton brands became our choice brands.
20 years later, the level of service, has changed only in improvement. This December, Molly and I treated ourselves to a stay at the Beverly Hilton. When we arrived, the team at the front desk heard we were celebrating Molly’s sixteenth birthday and they went to work to make our stay unforgettable. They quickly noticed our Hilton Honors status and upgraded us to a poolside cabana room. We came back from watching the sunset over Los Angeles from the vantage point of Mulholland Drive to find fresh warm robes laid out on our beds. During our stay, Hollywood was out in full force with red carpet events each night. Molly and I were greeted with the same enthusiasm as the stars who were dressed in their finery. Whether you are enjoying five star accommodations or one of the Hilton brands with a budget friendly price point, you can expect service and customer satisfaction. If you do run into an issue, the Hilton brand properties will make it right, and often make it better than you could imagine.
The Hilton Brands:
This week we are staying at the Homewood Suites, Hampton Inn and Suites and Hilton Garden Inn. Each very different. Each offering brand specific options.
Our room offered a kitchen, a sitting room and a bedroom with two double beds. The bath room had a separate shower and toilet closet with the sink usable while the wet closet was in use. For our large family, this room was a great fit. The kids could lounge in bed watching their television, as Jonesy and I read on the couch. For long term stays, or to keep your food budget low, the kitchen is a great accommodation. Offering a great breakfast and a nice evening reception, the Homewood Suite property is a great option for travel where you will be on property often. Offering a great pool and workout facilities. It is a fantastic option. We asked for a late checkout and they allowed us to enjoy the pool until 2:00.
Hampton Inn and Suites:
The best thing about Hampton Inn is you know exactly what you will get. The consistent layouts, quality, cleanliness and service is as uniform as any franchise business I have seen. With a hot breakfast option, workout room, and swimming pool. The Hampton is a great family property at a very reasonable price point. Warm cookies and ice cold milk are offered in the late afternoons. Coffee, hot tea, cocoa and ice water are served all day.
The Hampton brand built a loyal customer base before becoming a part of the Hilton family. While the Hilton standards and Hilton Honors points add to the Hamptonality, the Hampton brand maintains their full satisfaction guarantee. If you are not satisfied. Hampton is not satisfied. If they can’t make it right, you don’t pay. That is service you can book.
My favorite Hampton experience was the Garden District Hampton Inn In New Orleans. The location was perfect and the .Louisiana Hospitality was phenomenal. They set out cheese, crackers, and grapes. The patio is adorned in twinkling lights. Even on balmy July nights, the atmosphere is perfect.
We are finishing our hot chocolate and settling in for the night here at the Orlando Hampton. The best mattresses in the industry and the perfect weight duvet will provide the rest we need after a long day at Give Kids the World.