CHARLOTTE, North Carolina, March 3, 2016 – When it comes to innovations in the hospitality industry, Hilton is a name that is difficult to beat. With 13 brands catering to just about every conceivable traveling lifestyle, Hilton is at the cutting edge of 21st century accommodations.
Home 2 Suites, Hilton’s most recent venture into the hotel industry, recently celebrated the opening of its 100th property and there are more on the way. Catering to a contemporary desire for “green” environmentally friendly accommodations, Home 2 Suites are extended-stay hotels with a fresh and modern flair and a passion for protecting our planet. Hilton calls it “sustainability.”
The Hilton name comes from the farm Hilton in Klofta, Norway, the town where Conrad’s father was born. Conrad Hilton may just be the most innovative hotelier since Cesar Ritz made Switzerland a showcase for hospitality. His legacy to the industry was his setting of quality standards that still exist today.
Hilton was equal to the Ritz challenge, however. Born in San Antonio, New Mexico, Hilton began his career hoping to purchase a bank. Instead, he acquired the 40-room Mobley Hotel in Cisco, Texas, in 1919. The rest is history.
Today’s Hilton continues in the company’s tradition of quality, particularly in it recent innovations. So important is the environmental influence on Hilton’s Home 2 concept that its official logo is a green apple, representing Hilton’s commitment to fresh, vibrant accommodations.
Among the visible aspects of Home 2 properties are the indoor saline-based swimming pools, which are maintained with all natural minerals instead of chemicals.
Appliances in the guest rooms are designed to use less energy and less water than traditional appliances. Dual flush toilets, for example, use 20 percent less water than the more established models.
Rather than using travel-sized bottles for in-room amenities, Home 2 uses tamper-proof bulk toiletries.
Breakfast is included, but look for healthier offerings such as yogurt and fruit, all served on real china to reduce the added clutter of plastic in our landfills. Containers in the breakfast areas are made of recycled glass and renewable bamboo.
As an added feature, recycling collection stations are conveniently located on each floor and in the Oasis, the primary gathering spot in all Home 2 properties.
Hilton’s Home 2 Suites have even taken the landscaping into consideration: Only indigenous plants are used because they greatly reduce the need for irrigation and thereby lower water usage.
But there are other environmental factors at play that are less visible to guests. Carpeting is composed of nearly two-thirds recycled material. Other items such as countertops, desks and chairs are also constructed from a high percentage of recycled material.
For contemporary travelers, Wi-Fi is free in every room. Since Home 2 Suites are extended stay properties, they are also pet-friendly for guests who can’t leave home without their loyal four-legged companions.
As an added convenience, Home 2 properties feature a small “convenience-type” store where guests can pick up items so they can fix home-cooked meals in their rooms. Each room features a full kitchen.
One day, perhaps, all hotels will be using Hilton’s latest technological idea. But for now, digital on-line check-in is unique to the chain. In many places the concept is still being beta-tested to work out the glitches. But eventually, this feature will prove to be the greatest advance in hotel technology since they did away with keys.
Digital on-line check-in works like this: A traveler calls ahead, selects the room he or she desires and then taps an app on the phone, which transmits the access key to the room. Voilà! No check-in at the hotel itself. Just walk in the door and head to that comfortable bed or hot shower.
It’s a far cry from what Alexander Graham Bell envisioned when he spoke into his liquid transmitter, “Mr. Watson – come here – I want to see you.”
Prices vary at Home 2 properties according to the length of stay, with higher discounts available for longer stays. The idea, of course, is to provide a “home away from home” where hotel staff gets to know guests on an individual basis and where visitors become acquainted with each other as well.
With contemporary surroundings amid modern, brightly-appointed rooms, Home 2’s concept is comfort and fun in an environmentally aware atmosphere. Hilton likes to say that Home 2 Suites let you be “free to be you.”
To paraphrase William Shakespeare, “a hotel room by any other name would be a suite.” And the way Hilton accomplishes that idea is to make you feel as though there’s “No place like Home…2.”
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About the Author: Bob Taylor is a veteran writer who has traveled throughout the world. Taylor was an award-winning television producer/reporter/anchor before focusing on writing about international events, people and cultures around the globe.
He is founder of the Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
His goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime.
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