Knowing that traveling responsibly is top of mind for travelers according to Hilton’s latest Global Trends Report, “The 2022 Traveler: Emerging Trends and the Redefined Traveler, a Report from Hilton,” Hilton hotels around the world are prioritizing sustainability at the forefront of their operations as part of Hilton’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy, Travel with Purpose, to drive responsible travel and tourism globally.
As we celebrate Earth Day on April 22, these hotels around the world are catering to a new type of guest – the bees. A critical part of our ecosystem as natural pollinators for our gardens, parks, and communities, beekeeping helps protect their declining population. From urban beekeeping in the Big Apple to honey-infused farm-to-fork dining in Australia’s Sunshine State, here are some of Hilton’s most buzz-worthy properties:
New York Hilton Midtown (New York City, New York, USA)
In the Big Apple, New York Hilton Midtown’s 16,000 square foot rooftop located on the hotel’s fifth floor hosts the property’s beehives which house 450,000 bees tended by a beekeeper. Seasonally, the honey is woven into several recipes and cocktails. Guests can learn more about the hotel’s busy bees in the Netflix series, “Down to Earth with Zac Efron.” The series chronicles Zac and his friend Darrin traveling the world in pursuit of unique experiences tied to food, wellness, and sustainability – with Hilton as the Official Hotel Sponsor.
Hilton San Diego Bayfront (San Diego, California, USA)
In partnership with Alveole, a company that specializes in urban beekeeping, Hilton San Diego Bayfront provides a haven to 100,000 new guests, and they’re all the buzz! As part of the hotel’s ongoing commitment to sustainability, two beehives now call the hotel’s fifth floor landing a home, providing much-needed pollination to local gardens and plant life. The beehives will also provide fresh honey to Hudson & Nash, the hotel’s new waterfront restaurant opening in mid-May. Here guests can enjoy honey-infused dishes including a refreshing blue mystic smoothie, Jidori chicken, and parker house roles with the menu utilizing unique seasonal flavors of the honey. At the recently-opened Cannery Marketplace, guests can also purchase beeswax candles and soap serving as a memento of their stay with the Bayfront Bees.
Hilton Brisbane (Brisbane, Queensland, Australia)
Since 2016, Hilton Brisbane has had five beehives on the level nine rooftop which are home to approximately 250,000 European honeybees, pollinating Queensland’s capital city while collecting pollen and nectar for their hives. The hives are managed and the honey is harvested and extracted by the hotel team and used across their farm-to-fork food and beverage offering in addition to being bottled and gifted to guests and clients. Annually, the bees produce 500 kilograms of honey per year.
Hilton London Bankside (London, England, UK)
In London, Hilton London Bankside’s beehives are housed on the meadow garden located four floors up on the property’s large green roof terrace, aptly named ‘The Meadow,’ which was built to help reintegrate greenery into the Bankside landscape. A significant contributor to the decline of honeybees in the past few years has been the loss of flower-rich habitat on which the bees are dependent for food. The productive use of its open spaces is part of the hotel’s campaign to help maintain a sustainable London. The bees produce 70 kilograms of honey a year, which is used as part of the hotel’s breakfast buffet and in some of its dishes. Hilton London Bankside also has a kitchen garden growing vegetables and herbs which are used in drinks and dishes served at the restaurant and in its bar.
Hilton Sofia (Sofia, Bulgaria, Europe)
Nestled in a beautiful recreational and biodiverse park area, Hilton Sofia has celebrated nine years as a proud host of a successful apiary on the roof of its landmark building. Perfectly situated in rich flora, this buzzing paradise brings vitality and plays an essential role in the complex urban ecosystem. Hilton Sofia’s bees fly up to a three-mile radius around the hotel, collecting pollen and producing pure selection honey. Chestnut, Acacia, and Linden Honey are among the premier variety prized for their unique taste and aroma. While the hotel is delighted to offer guests its very own home-harvested honey, it is also a meaningful way to raise awareness about the importance of safeguarding our pollinators and their habitats. With its long-lasting initiative, Hilton Sofia has proved that sustainability and the bees’ welfare are achievable in the urban environment.
Waldorf Astoria Park City (Park City, Utah, USA)
Tucked into the pristine and expansive Wasatch Mountains, the luxurious all-seasons resort, Waldorf Astoria Park City, is home to two on-site beehives which house local Carniolan bees and Saskatraz bees which are tended to by the resort. In addition to pollinating the local flora and fauna, the bees contribute to the hotel’s seasonal and mountain-inspired menu at Powder, the hotel’s overall food and beverage program, and banquet offerings. Guests can sample the fresh honey when indulging in the hotel’s charcuterie board, dressings, desserts, and more.
Hilton Geneva Hotel & Conference Centre (Geneva, Switzerland, Europe)
Located about a mile away from scenic Lake Geneva and 30 minutes from some of the world’s most iconic ski slopes, Hilton Geneva Hotel & Conference Center connects guests to nature with three beehives featuring local honeybees. The beehives are tended to by team members who have been specially trained in beekeeping. During the last harvest, the bees produced more than 60 kilograms of honey which produced more than 300 honey pots. The culinary team incorporates the honey into various aspects of the hotel’s food and beverage operations.
Hilton Vienna Park (Vienna, Austria, Europe)
Situated close to the city’s vibrant cultural center, Hilton Vienna Park hosts beehives with 120,000 bees on its rooftop, which are managed by a popular and passionate local beekeeper, Thomas Zelenka, who looks after 130 beehives across the city at various iconic landmarks. The hotel’s rooftop is a good collecting area for the bees due to the varied pollinators found at nearby parks, gardens, and flower borders. Hilton Vienna Park’s honey yields about 100 kilograms annually and is available at the hotel’s Park Pit Stop for purchase. Zelenka’s motto is, “If the bees are doing well, the people are also doing well,” something his grandfather instilled in him at a young age.
Hilton Salt Lake City Center (Salt Lake City, Utah, USA)
Located in one of the United States’ most popular winter playgrounds, Hilton Salt Lake City Center continues to foster its commitment to sustainability through four rooftop beehives which house 40,000 bees as part of its ongoing “Honey with Purpose” program. Launched in 2019 with the collaborative efforts of local community partners such as certified beekeepers of the Bees Brothers and a local urban gardener of Grow Brighter Gardens, the bees produce around 12 gallons of raw honey per year and pollinate the herbs for the hotel’s onsite herb gardens. Both the honey and herbs are key ingredients incorporated into the property’s dining outlets which complement locally-sourced ingredients. Guests can indulge in select spring-inspired dishes featuring the local honey, including Hilton Salt Lake City Center’s Beet and Burrata Salad with honey orange blossom vinaigrette from executive chef Anthony Coppernoll:
Beet and Burrata Salad with Honey Orange Blossom Vinaigrette
(makes 4-6 servings)
Dressing (makes ½ cup):
- ¾ cup olive oil
- 6 tbsp honey
- 3 tsp orange blossom water
- 6 tsp sherry wine vinegar
- 6 tbsp lemon juice
- ¾ tsp salt
- Black pepper to taste
Honey Lemon Whipped Goat Cheese:
- 4 ounces goat cheese
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- One 12-ounce container frisee
- One 6-ounce container of baby kale
- 4-6 2-ounce portions of burrata cheese
- ¼ cup crumbled toasted pistachios
- Thinly-sliced watermelon radishes
- 2 bunches of beets (roasted and quartered)
- For the dressing: Whisk together all the ingredients until emulsified. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to a week.
- For the goat cheese: Whip all ingredients together until light and spreadable.
- For the salad: Add the frisee, baby kale, roasted beets, and sliced radishes to the dressing and toss gently to coat. Spread dollop of goat cheese on platter and place salad on top. Top with burrata and sprinkle with pistachios.
Hilton (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company with a portfolio of 18 world-class brands comprising more than 6,800 properties and more than 1 million rooms, in 122 countries and territories. Dedicated to fulfilling its founding vision to fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality, Hilton has welcomed more than 3 billion guests in its more than 100-year history, earned a top spot on the 2021 World’s Best Workplaces list and been recognized as a global leader on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices for five consecutive years. In 2021, in addition to opening more than one hotel a day, Hilton introduced several industry-leading technology enhancements to improve the guest experience, including Digital Key Share, automated complimentary room upgrades and the ability to book confirmed connecting rooms. Through the award-winning guest loyalty program Hilton Honors, the nearly 128 million members who book directly with Hilton can earn Points for hotel stays and experiences money can’t buy. With the free Hilton Honors app, guests can book their stay, select their room, check in, unlock their door with a Digital Key and check out, all from their smartphone. Visit newsroom.hilton.com for more information, and connect with Hilton on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.