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AAA Adds Nine Hotels and Four Restaurants to Five Diamond List for 2013

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

AAA announced 125 lodgings and 53 restaurants 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.

“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.

New 2013 AAA Five Diamond Lodgings:

  • 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 2013 AAA Five Diamond Restaurants:

  • 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.

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.

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 (find a branch). They can be accessed online and through downloadable eTourBookSM guides at AAA.com/eBooks. Smartphone users can locate Diamond Rated establishments using the free AAA TripTik® Mobile app. Download it now 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.

For your convenience, we've provided complete listings of the 2013 Five Diamond and Four Diamond hotel and restaurant award recipients:

2013 AAA Five Diamond Hotels (PDF, 49K)

2013 AAA Five Diamond Restaurants (PDF, 45K)

2013 AAA Four Diamond Hotels (PDF, 221K)

2013 AAA Four Diamond Restaurants (PDF, 119K)

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