Hilton Hotels & Resorts (formerly known as Hilton Hotels) is a global brand of full-service hotels and resorts and the flagship brand of American multinational hospitality company Hilton.
The original company was founded by Conrad Hilton. As of 2017, there were more than 570 Hilton Hotels & Resorts properties in 85 countries and territories across six continents. Properties are either owned by, managed by, or franchised to independent operators by Hilton.
Hilton Hotels & Resorts is Hilton's flagship brand and one of the largest hotel brands in the world. The brand is targeted at both business and leisure travelers with locations in major city centers, near airports, convention centers, and popular vacation destinations around the world.
Hilton Hotels & Resorts participates in Hilton Honors, Hilton's guest loyalty program. Members who book directly through Hilton-owned channels receive exclusive discounts and amenities such as free Wi-Fi, digital check-in, keyless entry, and the ability to select the room they'd like using the Hilton Honors app.
Conrad Hilton founded the hotel chain in 1919, when he bought his first property, the Mobley Hotel, in Cisco, Texas.
The Conrad Hilton Hotel in Chicago figured prominently in the 1968 Democratic Convention police riot that occurred on Michigan Avenue and across the street in Grant Park on August 28. During the riot the demonstrators took up the chant "The whole world is watching", and the hotel's doors were locked for the first time in its history. The hotel suffered minor damage as a result of the violence, as a couple of street level windows gave way under the weight of dozens of protesters being pushed up against them by the police.
With construction on the Beirut Hilton finished, the hotel was scheduled to open on April 14, 1975, but the Lebanese Civil War erupted exactly one day before the April 13 Grand Opening date. The hotel never opened and was severely damaged during the war, and the building was demolished in the late 1990s. However, a different hotel was established later, under the name "Hilton Beirut Grand Habtoor", in the nearby eastern suburb. Later on,[when?] the Hilton Chain bought the Metropolitan hotel directly facing the Grand Habtoor and renamed it "Hilton Metropolitan".
On February 13, 1978, the Sydney Hilton Hotel was the site of one of the few terrorist incidents on Australian soil, when a bomb blast killed three people (two council workers and a policeman).
In 1989, Hilton established the Hilton Honors program, Hilton's guest loyalty program.
On October 24, 1999, the four double columns of the left hand side of the then modern Barbados Hilton in Needham's Point, St. Michael, was collapsed and imploded inwards in just ten to fifteen seconds when the earthquake had rocked Barbados. It was later demolished in May 2005 after they constructed the new Barbados Hilton in January 2005.
In 2004, Hilton Hotels opened their new Kuala Lumpur property in KL Sentral, directly opposite the main entrance to the Sentral Terminal, as the replacement for their former premises in Jalan Sultan Ismail. The latter was the first internationally-run hotel in the city when opening in 1973, and changed management in 2002 (renamed Crowne Plaza Mutiara) before being demolished in 2015 for a (currently on hold) mixed-use development.
In 2017, Hilton announced that it will remain the sponsor for McLaren until 2021. Hilton is one of the oldest sponsor of F1 series and is sponsoring McLaren since 2005. In October 2017, Hilton announced it had committed a total of $50m (£37.8m) over five years to its Hilton Africa Growth Initiative to support the continued expansion of its Sub-Saharan African portfolio.