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Italian Hotel Company G&W Hotels Srl. Signs Franchise Agreement with
Hilton for a New Build 240 room Doubletree Hotel in Milan
London and Beverly Hills, Calif., USA (July 25, 2007) - Hilton Hotels Corporation (NYSE: HLT) continues the expansion of its upscale Doubletree® hotel collection in Europe following the signing of a franchise agreement with G&W Hotel Invest Srl. to introduce the Doubletree by Hilton™ Milan, which is set to open in October 2008.

Welcoming the announcement, Wolfgang Neumann, President of Hilton Hotels - Europe, said: “Today marks a historic occasion for us at Hilton, with the debut of our first-ever Doubletree by Hilton development in Europe.  As an established and highly popular, upscale hotel brand in the United States, this latest Doubletree by Hilton hotel in one of Europe’s finest cities underscores our strategy to integrate our successful Hilton Family of Hotels brands into growth markets throughout Europe - enabling us to provide an incredible range and choice of quality accommodation to our customers wherever they travel.”

This new development will be the second Hilton Family of Brands property in Milan and will compliment the 319-room Hilton Milan hotel, which opened in 1972 and is situated close to the city’s key sights and attractions.

Located to the Northwest of Milan, close to one of the main gateways into the city, the newly built Doubletree by Hilton Milan will offer 240 guestrooms, complimented by a 225-seat restaurant and a covered terrace for 250 people, with lobby bar and fitness area.  Extensive meeting facilities will also feature with over 450 square metres of flexible meeting room space. It is anticipated that the hotel’s location, situated in a business district that is currently undergoing a major redevelopment, combined with excellent links to both of Milan’s main trade fair venues, will be a key appeal for the business and meetings market. 

Doubletree by Hilton Milan will be managed by G&W Hotels Srl. which is headed by Walter and Gregorio Pecoraro. An experienced hospitality operator in the Italian market, G&W Hotels Srl. has managed other hotels in Rome and Fiumicino Airport since 1970.

“Our Doubletree by Hilton agreement is an indication of the growth and expansion of our Group, which is the result of both a careful study of the existing market as well as the identification of the most successful brands, which are two concept of the G&W Hotels philosophy,” emphasises Walter Pecoraro Chairman G&W Hotels.

“With Doubletree by Hilton, for the first time we are bringing to Italy and Europe one of the most innovative hotel brands of the Hilton Family, as far as design and technology are concerned.  This is another demonstration of our organization’s constant experimentation with new models for Italian hospitality. We are, therefore, proud of our relationship with such a great worldwide hospitality company as Hilton,” adds Gregorio Pecoraro, CEO, of G&W Hotels.

"This first foray into Italy and the European hotel market is an incredible new chapter for our Doubletree and Doubletree by Hilton hotel collection.  We continue to attract considerable interest from hotel owners and management companies across North America, and now the world, as they discover Doubletree has quickly become one of the most dynamic brands in the upscale, full-service hotel market today," said Dave Horton, senior vice president - brand management for Doubletree Hotels.  

Doubletree has a fast-growing portfolio of more than 180 full-service hotels and resorts in gateway cities, airport locations, suburban markets and leading leisure destinations throughout North America and South America. However in mid-2006, the Company announced the launch of a worldwide expansion effort for the brand and has since confirmed management contracts for Doubletree by Hilton hotel and resort projects in Costa Rica, Thailand and Peru.

“The strength and appeal of the Doubletree by Hilton product lies in their versatility. Whether it is a city centre conversion project, large new build development or destination resort, Doubletree by Hilton delivers a unique blend of contemporary design with informal and friendly service within the upscale hotel sector. This is enabling us to take advantage of a number of different development opportunities as we look to grow in primary and secondary cities across Italy and respond to the growing demand among corporate and leisure travellers for quality accommodations across Europe,” added Neumann. 

"Doubletree Hotels embraces a strong philosophy of providing millions of travellers with a fine collection of full-service hotels across the Western Hemisphere that combine contemporary style and comfort with an attention to detail that ensures guests are appreciated and well taken care of.  By introducing the Doubletree experience worldwide with the recognition and legacy of the Hilton name, we are honoured to work with G&W Hotels to deliver this uniquely branded Doubletree by Hilton hotel opportunity in Italy," Horton added.

Hilton currently operates 17 properties (including those opening in coming months) within the Hilton Family of Brands across Italy, located in key destinations such as Rome; Venice; Florence; Milan; Palermo; Portorosa, Sicily; Siracusa, Sorrento in addition to Bari and Matera which will open later this year. The company also recently opened the historically important Hilton Molino Stucky Venice. The waterfront landmark and former 19th century flourmill turned premier hotel boasts 380 rooms, Venice’s first rooftop pool, the city’s largest spa, and two new restaurants from former Hotel Cipriani alumnus, Chef Franco Luise. 

Hilton Hotels Corporation (NYSE:HLT) is the leading global hospitality company, with more than 2,800 hotels and 480,000 rooms in 76 countries and territories, including 100,000 team members worldwide.  The company owns, manages or franchises a hotel portfolio of some of the best known and highly regarded brands, including Hilton®, Conrad Hotels & Resorts®,  Doubletree®, Embassy Suites Hotels®, Hampton Inn®, Hampton Inn & Suites®, Hilton Garden Inn®, Hilton Grand Vacations™, Homewood Suites by Hilton® and The Waldorf=Astoria Collection®.

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Contact:

Nicola McShane
Director of Communications Europe, Hilton Hotels (UK)
Tel:+44 (0)207 856 8077  
Email: nicola.mcshane@hilton.com

Thomas Wingham - 
Director, Brand Communications, Doubletree Hotels (USA)
Tel:+1 310 205 3381 
Email: thomas_wingham@hilton.com
 

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Also See: Hilton Garden Inn to Open Three Mid-priced Hotels in Germany and Italy / July 2006
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