Just outside Washington DC, just off the lobby in the Hilton McLean Tysons Corners hotel – directly next to the Hilton global HQ – is the Hilton Innovation Gallery.
Opened late last year, it is a 4300 sq ft space where Hilton highlights its new ideas. These are not necessarily things which are destined to make it into hotels in the future, but it showcases new ideas and new ways of thinking. It also highlights new projects currently underway in the group.
I had a tour of the space last week. Here are a few things from the Hilton Innovation Gallery which I personally found interesting. The first two are already happening, whilst the bottom three are just concepts at the moment which may never be used.
These are already in place at 100 Hilton properties in the US, allowing guests to receive packages. The real value is for resort properties. Why travel with nappies, baby milk, sun cream etc when you can order it via Amazon Prime and have it waiting for you at your arrival?
Five Feet To Fitness
This is a ‘hotel gym in a room’ concept which is currently being trialled. Your bedroom is, basically, a gym with specially designed equipment which won’t disturb your neighbours. The idea is that a hotel will have a couple of these rooms as part of their overall inventory.
The picture below isn’t very obvious. It is a hotel bedroom with the wall made of Swedish moss. It does not require watering, drawing moisture from the air. It improves air quality in the room.
The Chest Which Becomes A Table
We were quite impressed by this one. I should have taken a ‘before’ picture too. The seat area of the table below pushes back into the cabinet. Similar, the table top splits into two and swings back against the wall, creating a 2nd top and side for the cabinet unit. Voila – you have a dining table for two or four which takes up virtually no extra space than the cupboard unit.
Hotel TV sets may now be thin, but do you need them at all? This hotel bedlight doubles up as a wi-fi projector. It can project a TV picture onto the wall opposite, or content from your mobile device.
There is a lot more going on which I didn’t photograph, including in-room cocktail makers. Some of it is more simple, such as wireless charging units for smartphones built into desktops or table tops.
It isn’t all ‘tech’, reflecting the fact that simple innovations like the Amazon lockers can also make a difference. Hilton has also installed a virtual reality simulator which gives potential franchisees or developers views of typical rooms.
You can’t, unfortunately, just walk in to the Innovation Gallery if you are in McLean on business. If you book into the hotel, however, you might find some of the ideas being tested out in your room, and if you speak to the staff they may let you take a peek.
How to earn Hilton Honors points and status from UK credit cards (May 2022)
There are various ways of earning Hilton Honors points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.
Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Hilton Honors Gold status for as long as they hold the card? It also comes with Marriott Bonvoy Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold and MeliaRewards Gold status. We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.
The Platinum Card has doubled its sign-up bonus to 60,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert to 120,000 Hilton Honors points, if you apply by 1st June 2022.
Did you know that the Virgin Atlantic credit cards are a great way of earning Hilton Honors points? Two Virgin Points can be converted into three Hilton Honors points. The Virgin Atlantic cards are the only Visa or Mastercard products in the UK which can indirectly earn Hilton Honors points. You can apply here.
You can also earn Hilton Honors points indirectly with:
- American Express Gold (20,000 bonus Amex points)
- American Express Rewards Credit Card (5,000 bonus Amex points)
and for small business owners:
- American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus Amex points)
- American Express Business Platinum (40,000 bonus Amex points)
The conversion rate from American Express to Hilton points is 1:2.
(Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)