Hilton Hotels Corporation, Hilton
International Co. and Conrad Hotels, in a major initiative to actively develop the
luxury Conrad brand on a global basis, announced plans to have up to 50 Conrad
Hotels by 2010, making it one of the largest luxury hotel brands in the world. To
lead the initiative, the companies appointed 30-year hotel industry veteran Dieter
Huckestein chairman and chief executive officer of Conrad Hotels and president of
the Hilton Global Alliance.A joint venture of Hilton Hotels Corporation (HHC) and Hilton International, Conrad
currently has 17 world-class luxury hotels and resorts operating in the United
States, England, Ireland, Belgium, Egypt, Turkey, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Singapore,
Thailand, Australia and Uruguay. The first new-build Conrad in North America opened
in Miami in 2004. New Conrad Hotels are scheduled to open in Tokyo and Phuket in
2005, in Las Vegas and Indianapolis and 2006, and in Dubai in 2007.
As it has been in the past, growth of the Conrad brand will come through securing
management contracts. Plans for new Conrad Hotels, both in major U.S. cities and
gateway business and resort destinations around the world, are in various stages of
In his new role, Mr. Huckestein, 61, formerly executive vice president and
president, owned and managed hotel operations for HHC, will be responsible for all
operations, marketing and development of Conrad Hotels on a worldwide basis,
reporting to the Conrad Board of Directors. He also will be responsible for
operational aspects of HHC’s strategic alliance with Hilton International, reporting
in that capacity to Matthew J. Hart, HHC president and chief operating office.
Operations of HHC’s owned and managed hotels will be consolidated under Mr. Hart.
“This move represents our commitment to building on the outstanding reputation
Conrad Hotels have achieved for the finest service and accommodations, and competing
aggressively in the luxury market worldwide,” said Stephen F. Bollenbach, HHC
co-chairman and chief executive officer. “With Conrad’s existing track record, and
the interest we have seen from developers for future projects, we are optimistic
that we can achieve our goal to have 50 Conrad Hotels by 2010. Dieter Huckestein’s
30 years in the hotel industry, his accomplishments as an executive with our
company, and his international experience - which includes 15 years with Hilton
International - make him uniquely qualified to take on this important new
“I welcome Dieter’s appointment which signals our joint determination to increase
Conrad’s presence in the international marketplace,” said David Michels, chief
executive of Hilton Group plc, the parent company of Hilton International. “There
is, I believe, a growing demand for the high quality and excellent service which are
the hallmark of Conrad Hotels, and foresee steady expansion over the next few
years.” Since the opening of the first Conrad property in Queensland, Australia in
1985, Conrad Hotels have earned a reputation as being among the finest hotels in the
markets where they operate. The Conrad Hong Kong is widely recognized as that city’s
most prestigious business hotel, while the Conrad Bali Resort & Spa has earned
numerous architectural awards for its unique design.
“With the resources of Hilton Hotels and Hilton International being brought to bear
for the benefit of Conrad, I am very enthusiastic about having the opportunity to
take this great brand to the next level and work with the Conrad team, and Conrad
president Clem Barter, in creating the world’s leading luxury hotel brand,” Mr.
In his 10 years as president of owned and managed hotel operations for HHC, Mr.
Huckestein has had oversight responsibility for many of the largest and most
well-known hotels in the country, including the Waldorf=Astoria, Hilton New York,
Hilton Hawaiian Village and Hilton Chicago. During his tenure with HHC, he has been
instrumental in the creation and development of the Hilton Garden Inn brand
(currently the industry’s fastest-growing hotel brand) and the global implementation
of Hilton HHonors, the industry’s leading guest loyalty program. He has served on
HHC’s Board of Directors for 10 years. Prior to assuming responsibility for owned
and managed hotel operations, Mr. Huckestein was senior vice president for the
Hawaii/California/Arizona region from 1988 to 1994.
His career at Hilton International, which spanned the years 1974-1988, included
serving as vice president for the Caribbean and Latin America, as well as operating
hotels in Israel, Greece and England. Mr. Huckestein served as chairman of the
American Hotel & Lodging Association in 2004. He earned a bachelor’s degree in hotel
administration from the Heidelberg Hotel School in Germany, and received an academic
scholarship to Cornell University.
Conrad Hotels is the luxury brand of the Hilton Family of Hotels. It is owned
equally by Beverly Hills, Calif.-based Hilton Hotels Corporation and U.K.-based
Hilton International Co., and is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium.