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Robert Thrailkill (’82)

Vice President of Zachry Hospitality
General Manager of Hilton Palacio Del Rio 
Asset Manager of Staybridge Suites/Convention Center, Embassy Suites by Hilton San Antonio Airport and Embassy Suites by Hilton San Antonio Landmark

Lectured
April 11, 2019

Robert Thrailkill, vice president of Zachry Hospitality, began his career with Hilton Hotels while attending college. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in hotel and restaurant management from the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management in 1982, he was assigned to the Hilton Palacio del Rio in San Antonio as part of the Hilton Trainee Program.

Robert quickly moved up to front office operations for such premier hotels as the Hilton Boston Logan Airport, Trump’s Castle® Casino in Atlantic City and the Hilton New York in Midtown Manhattan. During the early years of his career, he assumed a variety of leadership positions for some of Hilton’s flagship properties in the Southern United States, including executive assistant manager at the Fontainebleau Hilton Resort in Miami Beach and resident manager at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside. He returned to the Palacio del Rio in the mid-1990s as resident manager.

In 1998, Robert was named general manager of the Hilton DFW Lakes. In 2002, while at the Lakes, Hilton Hotels Corporation recognized him and his team with the coveted Connie Award, named after company founder Conrad N. Hilton, for best overall performance by a Hilton airport hotel.

In August 2003, he was then selected as the opening GM of the 203-room Conrad Miami, a full-service luxury hotel and the first new-build Conrad hotel in the United States. Robert was instrumental in redesigning the hotel’s entire food & beverage concept. In 2007, he launched the Conrad Miami’s new restaurant/bar on the 25th floor before being chosen as the general manager of the Hilton Palacio del Rio and returned to San Antonio in July 2009. 

A hospitality veteran with 39 years of service under his belt, Robert currently holds a dual role as the vice president of Zachry Hospitality and as the general manager of the Hilton Palacio del Rio. In addition, he is asset manager of Staybridge Suites/Downtown Convention Center, Embassy Suites by Hilton San Antonio – Airport, and the Embassy Suites by Hilton San Antonio Landmark properties, respectively. In addition to managing day-to-day operations, he assists in the assessment of potential hotel acquisitions.

Robert is an integral part of the hospitality industry in San Antonio and holds various positions on area boards, including the Executive Committee Board for Visit San Antonio. He was selected by former Mayor Ivy Taylor to chair to the San Antonio Tricentennial Commission, later to which he was elected president to lead in the planning of San Antonio’s 2018 – 300th Tricentennial Celebration.

As a proud Hilton College graduate, Robert was involved extensively in the development and opening of Conrad N. Hilton College-San Antonio and presently serves at chair for the program’s Advisory Board. Robert is a native of San Antonio and is married with six children.