Hilton, the world’s first global hotel company, celebrates its 100th anniversary on May 31,
during the most dynamic year in the company’s storied history. The hospitality brand that
pioneered air-conditioned lobbies, in-room televisions, the computerized reservation system and even the piña colada has led the way serving more than three billion guests, employing ten million staff and expanding across the world opening a new hotel every day.
Located 300 metres out at sea on Princes Wharf, Hilton Auckland launched in 2001 and
quickly became an iconic part of Auckland’s harbourside landscape. With over 837,999-
night stays and 1,201,289 total guests since opening the hotel’s current concierge team have collectively been with the property for 100 years, a testament to the outstanding culture that has been built over the years. May 31 will also see Hilton Auckland expand its horizons and launch an additional level of rooms above the city. The additional 21 rooms will add to its existing 166 designer-furnished room and suites.
For the past 17 years, Manz Ne’emia, Hilton Auckland’s Head Concierge, has been a familiar
face for returning guests, a welcoming figure for first time stays and a source of many laughs for his Bell Staff team at Hilton Auckland, who make up 100 years of experience within the properties talented concierge team. Starting with the hotel 17 years ago as a housekeeper, within three months he had transitioned into his role as concierge. With hospitality becoming an increasingly transient industry, finding such a faithful team member is rare. Manz has stayed loyal to Hilton Auckland through countless hotel openings and job opportunities he’s been shoulder tapped for with competitors time after time.
“They’ve given up now. They know how content I am at Hilton – there’s nothing they
have said or ever could say that would tempt me away. I stay for the brand and the
people. I work with an extremely talented team, but it’s the guests who keep me coming
back day after day,” says Manz’ Ne’emia.
“Guests travel such a long way from home, but as soon as they step inside our doors, they’re in our home. When people walk through the doors of our hotel, we do everything we can to make every guest feel welcome, whether they’re here for a week, an overnight stay or just popping in for a coffee at Bellini,” added Manz.
Throughout his time at Hilton Auckland, his highlights include meeting Prince William, Bill
Clinton and Kanye West, but outshining all of these memories was one significant moment in 2005 when he held his own wedding reception at the hotel.
The hotel’s unique cruise ship design and location make the most of its enviable waterfront
position and the hotel is a welcoming haven within five minutes’ walk from the heart of
Auckland City. The 100 years’ service is a testament to the overarching Hilton brand and
Hilton Auckland which is firmly established as a market leader in the local hospitality sector.
“It’s a remarkable moment for Hilton Auckland to be apart of a global brand that began in
1919 and hit such an incredible milestone, the future is exciting for us, our team is as strong as it has ever been, and the potential to join the Hilton brand to positively change the world grows with each and every guest that visits us,” says Hilton Auckland GM, Adrian Teh.
The future is exciting for the Hilton Brand. With one of the industry’s fastest-growing pipelines across 17 distinctive brands, Hilton is doubling down to expand to more than 20 additional countries by 2020. There are already more than 2,300 hotels in Hilton’s construction pipeline, and one of every five hotel openings in the world is a Hilton.
Hilton’s legacy began on May 31, 1919, when New Mexico-born Conrad Hilton travelled to
Texas with plans to buy a bank. While that deal fell through, Hilton’s pioneering spirit did not falter – he instead bought the hotel where he had been staying.
Through the times good and bad, Hilton continued adding new hotels to his collection. By
the early 1950s, Hilton had established the first coast-to-coast hotel chain in the United States; opened his first hotel outside the continental U.S, the iconic Hilton Caribe in Puerto Rico; expanded overseas with the Hilton Istanbul, the first hotel built from the ground up in Europe after WWII; and became the first hotelier to appear on the cover of TIME magazine.
Soon, Hilton hotels would circle the globe, introducing and popularising innovations that in
many ways created the modern hospitality industry. This includes now customary amenities
such as room service, a central reservation system, airport hotels and the well-loved mini-bar.
Innovation and growth will continue at Hilton as the company finds new ways to improve the guest experience and expand into even more communities around the world.
Hilton leads the way in developing game-changing technologies that enhance travel
experiences for its guests and reinforces its commitment to the evolving needs of today’s
“Our 100th year of hospitality is an opportunity to reflect on how far we’ve come and put a
stake in the ground for our future. Conrad Hilton charted an ambitious course for Hilton in
1919, and I think he’d be proud of what we’ve accomplished so far,” Chris Nassetta, Hilton
President and CEO said. “In my view, the world’s a better place because Hilton was born 100 years ago, and if we do our job right, the world will be a better place because Hilton’s in it for the next 100 years.”
As Hilton grows its portfolio, it also seeks to shrink its environmental footprint through its Travel with Purpose program. Hilton is the first major hotel chain to institute science-based carbon emission targets, with the goal of cutting its footprint in half and doubling its social impact by 2030, aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Several of Hilton’s current technological innovations are enhancing sustainability, including the rapidly growing Connected Room platform, which powers down devices while guests are away from their room. Likewise, enabling guests to use their smartphones as a Digital Key for their rooms reduces one-time use of plastics. Hilton was also the first hotel company to partner with Clean the World to recycle soap and has sent 9 million bars of soap to communities in need all over the globe as part of its commitment to send zero soap to landfill.