Hilton Istanbul celebrates 55 years
Thursday 10, June 2010
Hilton Istanbul, the longest operating hotel outside of the Americas, is celebrating its 55th anniversary with a series of activities and an exhibition designed to revive nostalgia of the property's arrival into the now thriving Turkish hotel scene.
Hilton Worldwide's iconic hotel, which was opened in 1955 by founder Conrad Hilton, quickly established itself as the hotel of choice for international ‘jet-setters' when visiting Istanbul. Celebrities of a bygone era frequented the chic and modern hotel, including movie icons, music stars, royalty and business leaders. Conrad Hilton was himself a friend to some of the worlds biggest stars, and familiar faces at Hilton Istanbul have included Sophia Loren, Brigitte Bardot, Louis Armstrong, Dame Shirley Bassey, Henry Ford, Princess Grace and Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II.
Opening it's doors on 10th June, 1955, the hotel became famous for its striking modernist architecture and quirky design details, with traits such as the hotel's swimming pool designed in the shape of Conrad Hilton's footprint. The hotel's main entrance, designed to look like a flying carpet and adorned with hundreds of beautiful colours, set the hotel apart in the thriving Bosphorous port city. Being only a short distance from the bohemian area of Taksim - international travellers were entertained by new found exotic pleasures, a vibrant social scene and western couture, at Europe's historic gateway to Asia.
Armin Zerunyan, general manager of Hilton Istanbul said: "We are incredibly proud of our iconic hotel which is steeped in cultural history from the last 55 years. International hotel tycoon, Conrad Hilton, chose Istanbul as the location for his first hotel outside of the Americas and it is without doubt that Hilton has contributed to the vibrancy and international flair of this great city. Our legendary Istanbul welcome continues to this day and the hotel is well known for its great location, inspiring views and luxurious guest offering."
As part of the celebration the hotel will be showing an exhibition of carefully collected archive items - recalling unforgettable moments and providing an insight into an age gone by. These items include original photography from the early days of the hotel, hotel memorabilia giving an idea of the 1950's guest experience and some unique collectors items gathered from sources in Istanbul. A special 55th anniversary collectors book is being created, with all of the key moments from the hotel's history and interviews with some longstanding Hilton Istanbul team members who provided legendary Hilton service.
Yuksel Ismen, switchboard operator at Hilton Istanbul from 1955 to 1957 said: "I remember the hotel's opening party, with many Hollywood stars of the time at the hotel, we were very excited to be working at the new Hilton."
Hilton Istanbul continues to provide one of Istanbul's most memorable guest experiences and as the city celebrates being 2010 European Capital of Culture, Hilton Istanbul is in the perfect location to explore the many virbant and histroic attractions. Set within 15 acres of picturesque gardens, guests can enjoy the option of five restaurants and bars, outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts as well as luxury Health Club. Hilton Istanbul is also within minutes of the city's best shopping and entertainment areas.
The Hilton Istanbul 55th Anniversary Exhibition starts from June 2010 and is expected to run throughout 2010.
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