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Around the World in One Staycation: Conrad Washington D.C. Gives Local Kindergarten Teacher Unforgettable Experience After European Dream Vacation Postponed

Hotel gives local educator a taste of Hilton hospitality with help from Hilton properties around the world

Summer travel plans looked different this year for guests around the world, including for Washington, D.C.-based kindergarten teacher Jacob. Jacob and his wife, Abbie – both Hilton Honors Diamond Members – had spent months planning a 30-day European vacation as their “replacement” honeymoon after Jacob caught the flu during their first. Unfortunately, the couple was forced to cancel their trip this summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and instead booked a “staycation” at Conrad Washington D.C. before Jacob started the new school year. What they didn’t realize was that the hotel team had something special in store to make their last-minute trip an unforgettable experience. 

“My wife and I have been strict about social distancing and staying home during this pandemic – it’s been tough,” said Jacob. “After cancelling our European trip, we decided to book a staycation at Conrad Washington D.C. I emailed the hotel in advance to ask about safety measures and mentioned our cancelled plans. Let me just say, they went above and beyond.”

After hearing Jacob’s story, the team at Conrad Washington D.C. made plans to bring a taste of Europe to the couple during their stay. They contacted luxury Hilton hotels across Europe, including Waldorf Astoria Berlin, Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam, Waldorf Astoria Versailles - Trianon Palaceto and Conrad London St. James, to share personalized notes, photos and videos with Jacob and Abbie throughout their stay, even sending themed canapés and cocktails for each city and creating imaginative passports to commemorate their “travels.”

Vera Vandijk, front office director at Conrad Washington D.C., orchestrated the experience on behalf of the hotel.

“When Vera heard about Jacob and Abbie’s canceled trip, she reached out to hotels across Europe, going above and beyond to create a memorable experience,” said Laura Schofield, general manager at Conrad Washington D.C. “Vera is originally from the Netherlands and had also cancelled an overseas trip to visit family. Personally she wanted to bring a special taste of Europe to Jacob and Abbie and show our appreciation for everything Jacob does as an educator, especially with the unique school year approaching. Vera has been with the Hilton family for many years. Her positivity and passion embody our mission at Hilton to fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality. When asked about creating this special stay for the couple, Vera said ‘this is what we do every day.’” 

“Vera (and the Conrad Washington D.C. team) went out of her way to make our weekend incredible,” Jacob continued. “This honestly made for a great last weekend before returning to teaching, and (my wife and I) are proud to be Hilton loyalists for the rest of our lives.” 

Jacob and Abbie are currently saving their Hilton Honors Points to reschedule their 30-day European vacation in 2021. 

Over the past few months, Hilton has launched several new initiatives to adapt to the needs of guests – from adjusting flexible cancellation policies and extending Hilton Honors benefits to introducing Hilton CleanStay, an industry-leading cleanliness and disinfection program.

About Hilton

Hilton (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company with a portfolio of 23 world-class brands comprising more than 7,600 properties and nearly 1.2 million rooms, in 126 countries and territories. Dedicated to fulfilling its founding vision to fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality, Hilton has welcomed over 3 billion guests in its more than 100-year history, was named the No. 1 World’s Best Workplace by Great Place to Work and Fortune and has been recognized as a global leader on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices for seven consecutive years. Hilton has introduced 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 190 million Hilton Honors 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 for more information, and connect with Hilton on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.  

About Conrad Hotels & Resorts

Spanning five continents with a benchmark of nearly 50 properties, Conrad Hotels & Resorts creates a seamless connection between bold design, impactful experiences and curated contemporary art to inspire the conscientious traveler. Conrad is a place where guests are empowered to explore through intuitive service and experiences that authentically connect them with local culture. In addition to its award-winning hotel offerings, the brand also features an expanding residential portfolio combining sophisticated design, best-in-class amenities and purposeful service in sought-after destinations. Experience Conrad Hotels & Resorts by booking at or through the industry-leading Hilton Honors app. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits. Learn more about Conrad Hotels & Resorts at, and follow the brand on Instagram and Twitter