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Hilton Athens Celebrates Brand’s 100 Years of Hospitality

Photo credit: Panoulis Photography

The Hilton Athens in the Greek capital, on Thursday, May 30, celebrated the milestone 100th anniversary of Hilton, the world’s first global hotel chain.

Bart van de Winkel, the Hilton's Area General Manager Greece & Cyprus with the Hilton Athens' Tina Toribaba (communications manager) and Eva Batzaki (director of sales).

Bart van de Winkel, the Hilton’s Area General Manager Greece & Cyprus with the Hilton Athens’ Tina Toribaba (communications manager) and Eva Batzaki (director of sales).

To mark the occasion, the 5-star hotel held a cocktail party at its outdoor swimming pool decorated in a tropical art deco setting and attended by journalists, entrepreneurs, artists and celebrities.

“It all started in 1919 when Conrad Hilton, instead of buying a bank, came across a hotel in Cisco, Texas,” said Bart van de Winkel, Hilton Area General Manager Greece & Cyprus, during his welcoming speech.

“Today, 100 years later, Hilton comprises over 5,700 hotels that are operating in 133 countries,” he added.

Van de Winkel then referred to a number of “elements of innovation” that Hilton has brought to the hospitality industry.

“A variety of innovative elements were brought by the Hilton organization to our industry… Hilton was the first company that introduced telephones and televisions in hotel rooms… The digital key, our latest invention, means no more key cards, but you just use your phone,” he said, underlining that artificial intelligence will further assist the industry but more so to the “convenience of our guests”.

Hilton has pioneered the travel industry for decades, introducing room service, airport hotels, the mini-bar and Connected Room – the first hotel room allowing guests to unlock their doors and control their lights, thermostat and TV with a smartphone app.

The evening continued with a very festive atmosphere that included a large-screen display of memorable Hilton photos, live music by the Vanilla Swing band, delicious flavors, summer cocktails and many fireworks.

Hilton Athens: Since 1963

A landmark hotel in the Greek capital, the Hilton Athens opened its doors in April 1963, marking a new era of prosperity and development for Greek tourism.

The Hilton Athens was the first international chain hotel which had ever opened in the Greek capital and the brand’s founder, Conrad Hilton, was present during the inauguration ceremony.

“I agree with those who believe that the Hilton hotel in Athens is the most beautiful Hilton hotel in the world,” he was reported saying.

In celebration of the company’s 100-year anniversary, the Hilton Athens has opened its Aethrion Lounge with an exhibit of photos depicting the history the hotel to run through to the end of the year.

Hilton now offers 17 distinctive brands across 113 countries and territories, with more than 5,700 properties.

As the Hilton hotel chain looks ahead to its next century, its main aim is to cut its environmental footprint in half by 2030.

About the Author
Nikos is Greek-American born in New York, USA, and has lived in Greece for over 30 years. He is the managing editor of Greece's leading monthly travel and tourism guide, the Greek Travel Pages (GTP) since June 2008 and of news site GTP Headlines since its launch in September 2012. Nikos has also served as international press officer for the City of Athens and for the mayor. He has a degree in Mass Media and Communications, specializing in Journalism. Nikos is a native English speaker and speaks Greek fluently.

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