Hilton Hotels Corporation to Create Luxury Brand Line: The Waldorf=Astoria Collection

Travel News Asia 18 January 2006

Hilton Hotels Corporation is introducing a new luxury hotel line that will extend the cachet of New York's legendary Waldorf=Astoria hotel.

Unveiled Tuesday as "The Waldorf=Astoria Collection" the new, elite brand designation will build upon the legend that company founder Conrad N. Hilton called "The Greatest of Them All," the Waldorf=Astoria. The Waldorf=Astoria Collection is launching with the Waldorf=Astoria itself and three world-class luxury resorts that will be newly managed by Hilton:

- Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa on the island of Maui in Hawaii
- Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa in Phoenix, Arizona
- La Quinta Resort & Club in La Quinta, California

All four hotels will maintain their established, well-known names, while adding The Waldorf=Astoria Collection designation as a mark of their exclusivity. Hotels within The Waldorf=Astoria Collection will benefit from the support of technology programs, the Hilton HHonors(R) guest reward program, the Hilton Reservations Worldwide system, eBusiness programs, worldwide sales and marketing programs, and operations support.

The Waldorf=Astoria hotel is wholly owned by Hilton Hotels Corporation, and the Grand Wailea, Arizona Biltmore and La Quinta properties are owned by Orlando-based CNL Hotels & Resorts, Inc., a leading hotel real estate investment trust (REIT).

Hilton Hotels Corporation will acquire the three management contracts from La Quinta, Calif.-based KSL Resorts, which currently manages the three luxury hotels.

"The Waldorf=Astoria Collection will build upon a deeply established and highly reputable hospitality name -- the Waldorf=Astoria -- that represents one of the cornerstones of our company's history," said Matthew J. Hart, president and chief operating officer of Hilton Hotels Corporation. "We will take this world-renowned name to new heights as we develop a new line of business that has significant growth potential and that we anticipate will have enormous appeal to current and prospective hotel owners and developers worldwide."

"The extension of the legendary Waldorf=Astoria designation to three of our premier destination resorts is an exciting undertaking that we expect will take these properties to even higher levels of sophistication," said Thomas J. Hutchison III, chief executive officer of CNL Hotels & Resorts. "We are particularly pleased to showcase this exclusive world-class designation within our portfolio of distinctive assets and to further our strong relationship with Hilton."

Criteria for the exclusive designation of The Waldorf=Astoria Collection will include architectural significance, unique decor and original artwork, historic or landmark status and a reputation for product and service excellence.

More than 55 years after Conrad Hilton's purchase of the Waldorf=Astoria, demand for luxury hotel accommodations and service continues to thrive. As such, the company anticipates that its new Waldorf=Astoria Collection will grow through:

- Co-branding of existing luxury landmark or boutique hotels that will add The Waldorf=Astoria Collection to their name;

- Designation of existing high-end Hilton or Conrad hotels as part of The Waldorf=Astoria Collection; and

- Opening new-build hotels or hotel/residential developments in gateway cities using the Waldorf=Astoria brand name itself to provide prestige and elegance, globally.

See other recent news regarding: Hilton

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