Posts Tagged ‘AAA/CAA Five Diamond Award’

A total of 125 luxurious hotels and 53 world-class restaurants across North America begin the new year with the travel authority’s highest property rating

ORLANDO, Fla., (Jan. 18, 2013) – AAA announced today the 178 select establishments that earned the AAA/CAA Five Diamond Rating in the past 12 months, qualifying them for the 2013 Five Diamond Award® list. Representing just 0.3 percent of the total 59,000 AAA/CAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants, this exclusive group provides unique experiences chock full of leading-edge creativity and highly personalized hospitality to satisfy even the most savvy traveler.

Of note among the 13 new additions are the only AAA Five Diamond hotels in Puerto Rico and Nevis. New York and Florida each added three new Five Diamond establishments: New York added one hotel and two restaurants, while Florida added two hotels and one restaurant. Florida’s additions include the only new Five Diamond pair: The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island and its on-site restaurant, Salt.

 

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New Five Diamond Hotels (9):

Montage Laguna Beach, Laguna Beach, Calif.

St. Regis Bal Harbour, Bal Harbour, Fla.

The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach, Fla.

Trump SoHo New York, New York, N.Y.

Shangri-La Hotel Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

The Ritz-Carlton Montréal, Québec, Canada

Four Seasons Resort Nevis, West Indies, Charlestown, Nevis

St. Regis Bahia Beach Puerto Rico, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico

Capella Pedregal Resort and Spa, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

 

New Five Diamond Restaurants (4):

Benu, San Francisco, Calif.

Salt (in The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island), Fernandina Beach, Fla.

Eleven Madison Park, New York, N.Y.

Le Bernardin, New York, N.Y.

 

“AAA Five Diamond hotels offer guests a meticulous degree of personalized attention and extensive amenities in a luxurious setting, and Five Diamond restaurants feature world-class service and imaginative menus using the finest ingredients,” said Michael Petrone, director, AAA Tourism Information Development.  “These establishments consistently exceed the expectations of the most discriminating traveler – the AAA inspector — and AAA is pleased to recognize them with a Five Diamond Rating.”

Collectively visiting some 1,200 hotels and restaurants every week, AAA inspectors are in a unique position to identify emerging trends in the hospitality industry. Inspectors have observed hotels and restaurants using increasingly personalized approaches to enhance guest comfort and satisfaction. “The definition of Five Diamond luxury continues to evolve as guests seek unique experiences with intrinsic value,” said Petrone.

Experienced, highly qualified staff are required to provide the custom service today’s luxury hotel guest expects. Larger hotels, faced with the difficulties of responding to individual needs, often restructure their approach. Many use the immediacy of social media to augment the experience as luxury travelers research, purchase, engage in and reflect on their stay. Imagine tweeting your desire for a rare vintage wine and having it arrive moments later at your guestroom door.

Restaurants employ an artisanal touch to provide an individualized culinary experience in a non-obtrusive manner. Menu offerings, once complex and highly orchestrated, are now often simple concepts meticulously executed. Meals and beverages are handcrafted using seasonal, organic ingredients from local sources. Distilled or flavored ice may be one of several original effects added to an already enchanting homemade cocktail mix.

The path to a Five Diamond Rating is rigorous. Properties identified by AAA as potential candidates for the Five Diamond Rating undergo multiple unannounced evaluations by a AAA inspector and final decision by a panel of experts. In addition to the evaluation of physical attributes, potential Five Diamond establishments are subject to thorough onsite assessments of all guest services from the initial reservation through checkout for hotels and from seating to  presentation for restaurants. Each area is evaluated based on level of competence, refinement and hospitality.

 

Noteworthy for 2013:

  • The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo., is the only hotel that has maintained the Five Diamond Rating for 37 consecutive years – since 1976 when AAA first introduced the Diamond Ratings for accommodations.
  • The Inn at Little Washington Dining Room in Washington, Va., has the longest Five Diamond restaurant tenure, 25 consecutive years, since 1988.
  • With two restaurant additions, Eleven Madison Park and Le Bernardin, New York now ties with California for the most AAA Five Diamond Restaurants: seven in each state.
  • The only new AAA Five Diamond hotel and restaurant pair is The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island and its on-site restaurant Salt, in Fernandina Beach, Fla.
  • The number of Five Diamond hotels in Canada doubled to four with the addition of the Shangri-La Hotel Vancouver and The Ritz-Carlton Montréal. The country is also home to five Five Diamond Restaurants, representing nearly 10 percent of the total.

For more information about Diamond Ratings and the complete Five Diamond hotel and restaurant lists, visit NewsRoom.AAA.com.

 

About AAA Inspections

AAA is the only rating system that conducts on-site professional evaluations guided by member priorities. And, with more properties than any other rating entity, AAA is the only rating system that covers the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. For 77 years AAA has used professional inspectors to conduct in-person property inspections and publish the results, on a system of One to Five Diamonds, to guide member travel decisions.

Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants are listed in AAA trip planning products: the eTourBook® guides and AAA Mobile® app for tablets and smartphones, the TripTik® Travel Planner and Travel Guides on AAA.com, and AAA TourBook® guides available at AAA/CAA offices. Travelers can learn about AAA inspections and Diamond Ratings at AAA.com/Diamonds.

 

The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, Colo.
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Montage Laguna Beach, Laguna Beach, Calif.
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The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach, Fla.
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Trump SoHo New York, New York, N.Y.
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Shangri-La Hotel Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
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The Ritz-Carlton Montréal, Québec, Canada
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Capella Pedregal Resort and Spa, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
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Benu, San Francisco, Calif.
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Salt (in The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island), Fernandina Beach, Fla.
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Eleven Madison Park, New York, N.Y.
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Le Bernardin, New York, N.Y.

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Four Seasons Resort Nevis, West Indies, Charlestown, Nevis
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An exclusive 179 establishments across the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean attained the travel authority’s highest property rating.

ORLANDO, Fla., (Jan. 20, 2012) – AAA announced today the 126 lodgings and 53 restaurants that earned the AAA/CAA Five Diamond Award® designation for 2012. These select establishments represent just 0.3 percent of the total 59,000 AAA/CAA Approved and Diamond Rated lodgings and restaurants.

Of note among the 16 new additions for 2012 are first-ever Five Diamond establishments for Rhode Island and Antigua. In the restaurant category, New York tops the list for growth with three new Five Diamond establishments. California is the only state to grow in both categories, with two additional lodgings and one restaurant.

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During the past year, eight Five Diamond restaurants closed their doors, at least temporarily. “This 15 percent drop illustrates the speed at which the concept of luxury dining is shifting in response to the economy, changing diner preferences and a corporate redefining of acceptable luxury levels for business reimbursement,” said Michael Petrone, director, AAA Tourism Information Development. “Today the service style is more casual, with a greater focus on providing a high-quality, individualized, value-focused experience. The addition of seven Five Diamond restaurants reflects the rebound that began for this segment during the latter half of 2011.”

AAA’s professional inspectors, ideally positioned to observe emerging hospitality trends, noted other changes in store for 2012. For hotels, a prevalent trend is creating a home-away-from-home environment, according to AAA inspectors. Another growth area is “smarter” hotel rooms that learn guests’ habits as they use a central remote to control everything from heating and air to lights, curtains, music and wakeup calls. In the restaurant industry, prevailing themes include more natural ingredients, locally sourced foods and healthier meal options. These include rustic fare — simple dishes with fresh ingredients — made in-house and new twists on comfort foods such as a “dusting”  of dried, powdered fruits or vegetables to add texture and flavor, rather than heavy sauces.

“Five Diamond lodgings feature extraordinary physical attributes and meticulous personalized attention, and Five Diamond restaurants feature world-class service and imaginative menu selections using the finest ingredients,” said Petrone. “It is an amazing accomplishment to achieve and maintain this level of quality and service, and AAA is pleased to honor these properties with a Five Diamond Rating.”

New Five Diamond Lodgings:

ARIA Sky Suites, Las Vegas, Nev.

The Inn at Palmetto Bluff, Bluffton, S.C.

Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Resort, Jumby Bay, Antigua

Mandarin Oriental, Miami, Fla.

Montage Beverly Hills, Beverly Hills, Calif.

Ocean House, Watch Hill, R.I.

The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe, Truckee, Calif.

The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The St. Regis Houston, Houston, Texas

New Five Diamond Restaurants:

Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Tarrytown, N.Y.

Del Posto, New York, N.Y.

Herons Restaurant, Cary, N.C. (in the Umstead Hotel & Spa)

The Kitchen Restaurant, Sacramento, Calif.

Marea, New York, N.Y.

Menton, Boston, Mass.

Restaurant Initiale, Québec, Canada

Noteworthy for 2012:

  • Three lodgings have maintained the Five Diamond Rating for 36 consecutive years – since 1976 when AAA first introduced the Diamond Ratings for accommodations: The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo., The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., and JW Marriott Camelback Inn Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Ariz.
  • The restaurant with the longest Five Diamond tenure, 24 consecutive years, since 1988, is The Inn at Little Washington Dining Room in Washington, Va.

For more information about Diamond Ratings and a complete list of Five Diamond lodgings and restaurants, visit NewsRoom.AAA.com.

AAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotel and restaurant listings can be found in the AAA TourBook® guides available at AAA and CAA offices across the continent. They can be accessed online at AAA.com/Travel and through downloadable eTourBookSM guides at AAA.com/ebooks. Smartphone users can locate Diamond Rated establishments using the free AAA TripTik® Mobile app or AAA Mobile Web at AAA.com/mobile.

Continuing a 75-year tradition, AAA’s professionally trained inspectors use published guidelines to conduct unannounced property evaluations. AAA rates more properties than any other rating entity and is the only rating system that covers the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. It is one of only two that conduct physical, on-site evaluations, assigning AAA/CAA Approved lodgings and restaurants One to Five AAA Diamonds. Travelers can access information about AAA inspections and Diamond Ratings at AAA.com/Diamonds.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 53 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

Ocean House, Watch Hill, R.I.
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Herons Restaurant, Cary, N.C.
(in the Umstead Hotel & Spa)
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Montage, Beverly Hills, Calif.
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ARIA Sky Suites, Las Vegas, Nev.,
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Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Resort, Antigua, Sea Hare Villa
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