A hotel business that has grown over the past decade and has now become a global phenomenon in its industry, was a venture started by Conrad Hilton in 1919 after buying the first hotel in Texas. What is known today as Hilton Worldwide Holdings, was then called Hilton Hotels Corporation.
As of June 30, 2020, its portfolio includes 6,215 properties (including timeshare properties) with 983,465 rooms in 118 countries and territories, including 690 that are managed and 5,405 that are franchised, with the combined managed and franchised properties having a total of 953,946 rooms, in addition to 65 that are owned or leased including 57 that are wholly owned or leased, one owned by a consolidated non-wholly owned entity, two that are leased by consolidated variable interest entities (VIEs) and five that are owned or leased by unconsolidated affiliates.
With over 18 hospitality brands catering to different markets, Hilton was ranked as the 36th largest privately held company in the United States by Forbes in 2013.
Building a brand like Hilton comes with the right marketing and identity demarcation strategies. Across the globe, all hotels affiliated with this company abide by some design standards for design and construction.
The company works on new developments as well as renovation projects and a principal designer is appointed to every developer to achieve the required design configuration. While the company focuses on bringing in the local cultural and architectural elements into its design strategies, the services and character of the hotel are uniform worldwide.
Interior design standards look majorly into cost-effectiveness, durable and performance-oriented solutions and energy-efficiency. Its new standard specifications reinforce the need for sustainability compliance in all its projects and ventures.
Hilton standards very specifically mention the materials and dimensions used for all its interior design elements—from door-window sizes, lighting, signages, fabrics and upholstery-to the type of paint and finishes that can be used.
Passages and Corridors
Hilton Corridors and Passages are designed to visually orient the user unidirectionally. The carpets used in these spaces are heavily patterned while the other planes have solid tones. Signages for room number plates are usually fixed to protruding verticals in darker tones to highlight entries to the rooms. The doors are usually in highly dark tones for similar reasons. Passages and corridors usually have diffused lighting enabled through well-lit ceilings.
The reception of any Hilton hotel is what creates the very first impression in every resident guest of the hotel and hence these spaces are designed to bring in a sense of spatial dominance while still allowing the user to feel welcomed.
Hilton receptions use solid dark wooden tones complemented by lighting features that give the space a heavy volume. The backdrops are usually dark, the desks of medium color tones and the furnishings for flooring used are very light and subtle tones.
Most receptions are designed with a brown monotone. These areas are usually accentuated with large paintings, installations and at times mirrors to balance out the massing. Lighting is flat with a few well-placed accents and dark spots or lighting overlaps are avoided.
The most commonly used area in any Hilton hotel is its lobby space and the design principles complement that functional requirement. Lobbies in any Hilton hotel are usually double-height spaces, which sometimes are even multistoried-acting like atriums. Common function areas like passages usually look into this space.
To balance the volume of this space, most Hilton lobbies will have a pendant installation hanging from the ceiling. Since these spaces usually need lighting throughout the day, warm and natural tones of light are used. The horizontal and vertical planes have light-toned and smooth materials used as finishes to bring down the heaviness of the space. Furnishings are usually in dark wood with solid upholstery with occasional accent pieces.
Rooms and Suites
While all rooms and suites are focused on enhancing and complimenting the experience of the space, they still follow a certain design language when it comes to the nitty-gritty of it. Hiltons rooms are usually oriented towards a view, one that is unique to the place.
The soft color tones on the walls are usually balanced out by the dark tones of the furnishings. The carpets are upholstery are usually patterned, although it takes care that they are not too heavy on the eye. Warm lighting tones make the rooms feel warmer and more welcome at all times of the day (and night).