How Hilton is attempting to redefine the airport hotel
The newly reflagged Hilton Munich Airport held its official grand opening last week, where some of Hilton’s top executives promoted the brand’s holistic views of airport hotels moving into the future.
According to Rob Palleschi, global head full service brands of Hilton Worldwide, he says Conrad Hilton pioneered the airport hotel concept with the launch of the San Francisco airport property in 1959. It basically served as a big billboard that directed a lot of eyeballs toward Hilton’s new hotels worldwide and the reality of international travel for more consumers.
“Conrad thought that if people had a good experience in San Francisco, the next logical stop was Tokyo, and so on, so the airport hotel platform has always been in our DNA,” says Palleschi. “We’ve seen the transformation going from what were once low-rise properties predominantly focused on convenient one-night stays, to now what is really becoming a destination with a large number of guest rooms and facilities for meetings, special events and product launches.”
Previously a Kempinski property until this year, Hilton Munich Airport consists of two banks of guest rooms connected with a 70-foot high glass atrium covering a large lobby lounge and restaurant. The lobby is as social of a public space as any trendy lifestyle hotel, with enough open area to bring in full size farm equipment and military vehicles for product launches, as the hotel has in the past.