Difference between Hilton in Australia and USA

By drgmarshall | Jan 18, 2019, 03:05 AM
Why is there such a large differance in the product offering between Hilton hotels in Australia and Hilton hotels in the USA? In Australia, I've stayed in Hilton hotels in Perth, Sydney and Melbourne and they're always excellent. Specifically with good lounges (or vouchers for food and drinks) and great breakfasts. In America, Hilton hotel lounges offer really rubbish amenity and charge for drinks. And their breakfast offerings are completely naff. Why so different? I'm asking specifically about Hilton branded Hotels.
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By tommygun | Jan 18, 2019, 07:37 AM
Many Hilton properties in the USA are three star whereas those in Australia all rate higher than that.
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By russell | Jan 18, 2019, 08:34 AM
Hilton typically tend to be even better standard in Asia again....
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By djtech | Jan 18, 2019, 10:23 AM
In America, Hilton is not considered a 'premium' brand but more like a mid-range brand similar in quality to a local Mercure or Novotel. Since there are other more expensive options like the Conrad and Waldorf in most cities.
This is different in AUS, where often the most premium you get is a Hilton and therefore they are expected to offer true 5 star service.
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By ChrisCh | Jan 18, 2019, 10:27 AM
Hilton also hands out free Gold and even Diamond status in the USA like candy, so checking-in as a Gold or Diamond member carries much less weight than it would elsewhere, even if you've earned your stripes the hard way, simply because the proportion of Gold and Diamond members staying at the property can be much higher, so elite recognition isn't great.

That said, while I've stayed at some pretty 'basic' Hiltons in the US, I've found a few nice ones too: the Fashion District hotel in NYC, the San Gabriel hotel in LA, the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago (although the Exec Lounge is normally packed for breakfast).
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By GBRGB | Jan 18, 2019, 11:04 AM
These things are always subjective, if you stayed at Hilton Cairns or Darwin you would probably think the opposite, poor product and average service, not even a bottle of water in the fridge, just terrible for what they say is 4-5 Stars, they obviously put a lot more effort into their capital city hotels.
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By russell | Jan 18, 2019, 11:30 AM
These things are always subjective, if you stayed at Hilton Cairns or Darwin you would probably think the opposite, poor product and average service, not even a bottle of water in the fridge, just terrible for what they say is 4-5 Stars, they obviously put a lot more effort into their capital city hotels.


Actually good point on the Hilton in Cairns. Worst stay at a Hilton I ever had....rooms run down, hotel had a musty smell about it, room service left out front of doors in open weather for 2 days when I was there.

I found Darwin was a better however.

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By ChrisCh | Jan 18, 2019, 12:57 PM
These things are always subjective, if you stayed at Hilton Cairns or Darwin you would probably think the opposite, poor product and average service, not even a bottle of water in the fridge, just terrible for what they say is 4-5 Stars, they obviously put a lot more effort into their capital city hotels.

Interesting comment on the Hilton Cairns - I've only stayed there once and was Gold at the time, and found the treatment excellent: upgraded from a basic room on an advance purchase rate to an Executive Suite with lounge access and a view, and given Exec Lounge access. Granted, this was back in 2014 I think, so the property may have changed since then.
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By kimshep | Jan 18, 2019, 02:31 PM
Hilton also hands out free Gold and even Diamond status in the USA like candy, so checking-in as a Gold or Diamond member carries much less weight than it would elsewhere, [snip].

That said, while I've stayed at some pretty 'basic' Hiltons in the US, I've found a few nice ones too: the Fashion District hotel in NYC, [snip].


Two excellent points, Chris.

On point 1 - I've found that tier recognition for non-USA members in Hiltons outside the USA to usually be very consistent and generally good.

On point 2 - you touch indirectly on another visible Hilton flaw. In the USA, there may be multiple Hilton properties in a single city .. and the variation in service, style, recognition etc can be enormous. In Manhattan, NYC, there is the long-standing Ave of the Americas property near Central Park (once the flagship NYC property but now showing it's age), the Millennium Hilton (financial district - my personal favourite) and the Fashion District Hilton, below 20th Street - among others. The Fashion District is the newest of the three, being a complete architectural gut and refit of an old building that works well. The Millennium Hilton in the Financial District, also a rebuild post 9/11, caters primarily to the finance industry, some celebs and oddly the mid tier leisure market wishing to stay in lower Manhattan. They each appeal to different levels of travellers - and consequently have varying levels of service, yet isn't that the job of the various Hilton Corp brandings?

In smaller cities in the US, Hiltons can often be a 3.0-3.5, in second tier cities they can be 3.5-4.0 and in major cities (NYC, ORD, LAX, SFO etc) they can be 4.0-4.5. Another point that is different is that Australian hotels generally do a refit every 5-7 years on average, whereas in the USA it is more often every 7-10 years.

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By anthony watts | Jan 18, 2019, 03:15 PM
I am not a regular at Hiltons, however a few years ago I stayed at a Hilton (I assume there is more than one) in Washington DC. Bloody awful. The staff kept apologising for what was wrong. (Nice touch, but didnt help the overall stay!)
The Palmer in Chicago was the opposite (also 3x the cost!)
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By Nellycoo | Jan 18, 2019, 04:54 PM
These things are always subjective, if you stayed at Hilton Cairns or Darwin you would probably think the opposite, poor product and average service, not even a bottle of water in the fridge, just terrible for what they say is 4-5 Stars, they obviously put a lot more effort into their capital city hotels.
I’m curious about your Cairns comment, as I am considering staying there soon. How long ago was your experience? If I can stay at Doubletree for almost $100/n less (4-star), by your comment, I might be better off.

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By vitorsyd | Jan 18, 2019, 05:24 PM
As other readers mentioned, it seems that properties where they have guaranteed clientele are not as bothered about renovations, because people will come through the doors regardless.

I stayed at the Hilton Brisbane last August and the room felt run down and the robes were slightly torn... Exec lounge was small and crowded in the evenings. The canapés looked like those from the Coles frozen aisle...

The Hilton Chicago is also showing its age, although having two bathrooms in the room was quite a unique feature.

The Hilton in St. Petersburg (Russia) on the other hand was impeccable and I was upgraded to a junior suite despite having done a price match. One of the best Hilton properties I’ve stayed at.

I also stayed at the Hilton Perth in 2013, but don’t remember whether the room was dated or not back then.

I’ve been a Hhonors member since 2010 and try to stay in Hilton as much as I can, but sometimes the price point is not compatible with the “property conservation status”

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By GBRGB | Jan 18, 2019, 06:01 PM
Stay was mid last year Nellycoo, I spend a lot of time in Cairns and actually prefer the Doubletree over the Hilton, closer to a lot of the restaurants I like and you are right on the Esplanade, get a room overlooking the ocean, the Hilton is tucked away, if you are getting a car then parking is a nightmare at the Hilton in a shared car park, where the DT has ample undercover parking, it is certainly my preference.
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By GB18 | Jan 18, 2019, 08:24 PM
I do agree another point I like to make is the Sydney Hilton is much better than the Brisbane Hilton (although there’s nothing wrong with it) but the cost of the Sydney Hilton is often twice the price.

I find it similar in the USA there often cheaper but not as nice.
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By aggie57 | Jan 18, 2019, 11:43 PM
I think pertinent here is how Americans think of hotel chains like Hilton. It’s not a luxury or even a perceived premium brand. It’s just a place to stay. In general they don’t want fancy chain hotels, they want the basics taken care of and a basic breakfast included. Mass market stuff, that’s how the country operates.
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By Ian_from_HKG | Jan 19, 2019, 04:05 PM
Another point to bear in mind, which helps to explain the difference, is that for many years the company operating Hiltons in the US (which was an American company) and the company operating Hilton hotels outside (which was a British company) were completely separate, with different ownership and different management. The British company couldn't use the Hilton name in the US, and the US company couldn't use the Hilton name outside it (which is why, incidentally, the US company started the international Conrad brand - so they could compete in the luxury market outside the US using a name associated with the founder of the group). So for many many years the brands diverged, even though the two organisations co-operated on booking sites, rewards programmes and so on which made it look as though they were the same group. The two companies only came together again in 2005 when the US company bought out the UK company.
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