Enjoy Chinese hospitality at Hilton and Starwood hotels

In an effort to cater to the surge of tourism from China, both Hilton Hotels and Resorts and Starwood, which includes the Sheraton, Westin, and W brands, are launching Chinese hospitality services in their hotels. The welcome program includes special breakfast items, such as congee rice porridge, fried rice, and dumplings; in-room amenities like tea kettles, a selection of Chinese teas, and slippers; and a fluent Chinese-speaking staff member to assist Chinese visitors.

San Francisco, where tourism from China increased more than 50 percent between 2009 and 2010, will be one of the first cities in the U.S. to roll out the test programs. Hilton Huanying (“Huanying” means “welcome” in Chinese) will launch in three San Francisco hotels and at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) on August 16. Starwood Personalized Travel, the pilot Chinese welcome program from Starwood, is currently being tested in 19 properties across the globe, including San Francisco’s Westin St. Francis and the W in New York’s Times Square. Starwood plans to offer this service at all of its hotels by 2012.

While these free hospitality programs are aimed at the Chinese traveler, there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy a little touch of China during your hotel stay, too. So next time you’re planning to stay at a Hilton or Starwood, check to see if they are offering the Chinese welcome service. Then sit back and enjoy a little chai and congee. It’s an easy way to make a typical hotel stay a touch more exciting.

[Photo credit: Flickr user sparkieblues]

Win a legendary golf outing from Hilton HHonors

Are you a golf fan looking for an epic escape with your buddies this year? Than you’ll definitely want to enter the Legendary Golf Getaway contest from Hilton HHonors, which could send you and seven of your closest friends, on a once in a lifetime golf outing.

The contest, which launched last week, will award one lucky winner a fantastic prize that will take them, along with their guests, to one of three Waldorf Astoria Resorts for four days of fantastic golf. The grand prize includes airfare for eight, lodging at the resort, complimentary tee times for three rounds of golf, and a clinic with the local pro. They’re even throwing in a $5000 Hilton Worldwide gift card and 100,000 Hilton HHonors points for the winner and 50,000 points for each of the guests.

The three resort options that are available to the winner include The La Quinta Resort & Club located in California, The Boulders, A Waldorf Astoria Resort in Arizona, or the Waldorf Astoria Orlando in Florida. Each of these locations offers a world class golf course to challenge players and plenty of fantastic fun while away from the course as well.

The contest runs through September 5th with a grand prize winner being selected a few weeks later. Six first prizes will also be awarded as well, with those prizes consisting of a TaylorMade R11 Driver and 50,000 Hilton HHonors bonus points.

To enter the contest click here, and then start pairing down your guest list to the lucky seven you’ll take along on this legendary golf outing.

[Photo courtesy Fevi Yu via WikiMedia]

Free instant Hilton HHonors Silver status with fast track to Gold

In the world of frequent guest programs, the Hilton HHonors gold and silver cards are probably the most common – but if you’ve been feeling left out, or just want a quick way to get your own shiny plastic card, check out this promotion from the hotel chain.

On the promo page, enter your existing HHonors account number (or create a new one) and you’ll be granted instant silver status and a 2000 point bonus. Then, complete four stays within 90 days, and you’ll get a gold card in the mail.

The only fine print is that you need to set your account to “double dip” with United Airlines as your partner – which means you’ll also need a United Airlines Mileage Plus account.

Silver status won’t get you any real benefits other than a 15% point bonus and free access to the hotel health club. Gold gets a bit more generous, with free Wi-Fi access, 1000 bonus points per stay and room upgrades. Just keep in mind that these “upgrades” usually mean the same room on a better floor – not necessarily access to the presidential suite on each visit.

Share your favorite holiday sweets and win a Homewood Suites stay!

Can you believe that Christmas is a mere 47 days away? Seeing holiday cookies and other festive items in stores suddenly doesn’t seem so odd anymore.

The Homewood Suites “Sweets for a Suite” contest is all about holiday sweets – and by sharing your favorites, you can enter to win a two night stay at the Homewood Suites property of your choice.

Entering is simple – all you need is a Facebook and Twitter account. Once you’ve followed Homewood Suites, you simply tweet telling them what your favorite holiday treat recipe is.

Rules, ways to enter and other fine print can be found at the contest site over at Suitetrip.com. Of course, once you enter the contest, the best part is following the Sweets for a Suite Twitter hashtag to learn recipes by other contestants.

Right now, I’m learning how to make pecan tassies and peanut butter fudge. The holiday season can’t come soon enough!

Good luck entering the contest!

Paris Hilton hopes to open her own hotels

Seems the partying ways of Miss Paris Hilton might be coming to an end (or just a new destination). The Hilton heiress announced she is ready to try her hand at being a hotelier.

The reality-star-turned-singer-turned-actress-turned-designer celebrity told Pop Tarts that since she’s already hand her hand in most of the entertainment industry, she is ready to test out the hotel industry.

“I’ve pretty much done all you can do, but my next project that I’d like to do is get more involved in real estate – just from being in the business and growing up in it my whole life, it’s always something I’ve been interested in,” Hilton said. “And right now that I’ve done everything I’ve wanted to do, that would definitely be the next step, to open my own hotels.”

Would they be Hilton hotels? Could she use the Hilton name? The facts aren’t all there, but this will be one hotel we’ll keep an eye on.

[via FoxNews.com]