One-Year-Old Program Now At 70 Hotels In 23 Countries
Marking the one-year anniversary of its Huanying (“Welcome”) program, which provides tailored amenities to outbound Chinese guests, today Hilton unveiled a new collaboration with fashion designer Vivienne Tam, a set of limited-edition “Water Dragon” slippers, at an event in New York. Available starting this month, complimentary for guests of Hilton Huanying and for US$28 online while supplies last, the slippers are the latest design collaboration for the prolific Tam, who has previously worked with companies like HP, Li Ning, Square, and most recently Hong Kong’s Hotel Icon.
Fashioned in soft terry cloth and featuring a mirrored design of two inward-facing dragons in a sea of turquoise, the plush slippers reflect Vivienne Tam’s signature “East-meets-West” design philosophy, a point that Hilton said is an important part of its Huanying program. Appearing via Skype video chat from Shanghai (as the city’s airport remains closed down in the wake of Typhoon Haikui) Tam said her inspiration for the slippers came from a few sources, both cultural and personal. Celebrating, first and foremost, the Year of the Dragon — as many high-end brands have over the past year — the collaboration also reference water (hence the deep blue and turquoise color scheme) and travel (as slippers are considered a default amenity at hotels, among Chinese travelers).
Speaking on the design inspiration for the partnership, Vivienne Tam said, “the Water Dragon bestows optimism, harmony and fulfillment, which are feelings we often seek when traveling.” Tam added that her limited-edition slippers will give Chinese outbound tourists something unique to take home — she admitted to collecting souvenirs often when traveling abroad — and offer them something more unique than the typical paper-like slippers they’re used to. A branded tag (“Vivienne Tam, Limited-Edition for Hilton”) on the slippers gives Chinese guests something to show off to friends back home.
Since launching one year ago, Hilton has extended its Huanying program from its initial 30 hotels in 13 countries to 70 properties in 23 countries across Hilton Worldwide’s portfolio of brands. Focusing currently on the cities most often frequented by outbound Chinese travelers, among them San Francisco, New York, London and Tokyo, the program has been — according to Hilton execs — a success. Providing Huanying guests with Chinese tea and tea kettles, slippers, Chinese-language staff and television channels, and Chinese breakfast options, Hilton said the program has helped bookings in the first seven months of 2012 rise 129 percent globally year-over-year. The hotelier’s guest loyalty program, Hilton HHonors, has also seen an 81 percent increase of enrollment within China this year.
In addition to their collaboration on the Water Dragon slippers, Vivienne Tam and Hilton are offering additional perks in celebration of the one-year anniversary of Hilton Huanying, and not just to Chinese outbound travelers. From August 15-September 15, 2012, members of the Hilton HHonors and Hilton Hotels & Resorts Facebook, Sina Weibo and Twitter communities can save 20 percent on regular-priced merchandise from Tam’s Fall 2012 collection on viviennetam.com when shipped to US addresses. Shoppers who purchase the Vivienne Tam slippers and other Hilton items via hiltontohome.com can also save 20 percent on their purchases through September 30 by entering the discount code VHILTON. Social media fans aren’t left out either, with Hilton giving away a limited supply of Vivienne Tam slippers to travelers who engage with its Twitter (@HiltonHotels) and Weibo accounts.
In advance of her fashion show at the upcoming New York Fashion Week, four signature looks from Tam’s Fall 2012 collection will be on view at the Hilton Fashion District location on West 26th Street.