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AAA Chooses Five Diamond Hotels, Restaurants For 2014

Fourteen hotels and restaurants have joined AAA’s annual list of Five Diamond establishments in North America, the travel authority’s highest honor.This year, AAA selected 124 hotels and 59 restaurants for the coveted title. Six hotels and eight restaurants were added to the list. Seven hotels and two restaurants were removed.Chateau-Night-in-the-Garden

Properties have to go through multiple unannounced visits from AAA inspectors before a final decision is made by a panel of experts. AAA inspectors visit about 1,200 hotels and restaurants each week.

“Establishments at this level must consistently provide an unparalleled guest environment and experience,” says Michael Petrone, director of AAA Tourism Information Development.

Travel agents say that Five Diamond status is still important when planning a trip even if travelers now have multiple channels to turn to for reviews.

“This is a great shortcut for knowing if we can, in good conscious, recommend the hotel to a traveling client,” says Elias Garcia, a marketing specialist with Global Basecamps, a travel agency in San Diego.

The awards come as luxury hotels are making a comeback after losing a lot of their business during the recession.

Occupancy levels are even higher than they were before the recession after dropping dramatically in 2009. Average daily rates are almost what they were before 2009.

Through November of 2013, 75.4% of luxury hotel rooms were filled, while the average daily rate was $287.94. In 2009, 63.7% of luxury hotel rooms were occupied with an average daily rate of $243.98, according to STR.

Petrone says hotels are moving toward minimalism in design but providing over-the-top services and amenities such as private butler service and spa-like bathrooms.

LAST YEAR: AAA’s 2013 Five Diamond winners
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“Guests enjoy highly personalized, learning-oriented experiences worthy of immediate sharing through digital channels,” he says.

Fine dining is also having a renaissance, Petrone says.

“Reservations are increasingly hard to get as formality is reduced in favor of greater creativity and attention to food sourcing,” he says. “Innovative chefs handcraft artisanal menus featuring local, fresh and healthy ingredients.”

This year’s new Five Diamond Hotels are:

Château du Sureau, Oakhurst, Calif.

Wynn Tower Suites, Las Vegas

Montage Deer Valley, Park City, Utah

Four Seasons Hotel, Toronto

Banyan Tree Cabo Marques, Acapulco, Mexico

Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Mexico

The new Five Diamond restaurants are:

The Restaurant at Meadowood, St. Helena, Calif.

Acadia, Chicago

Grace Restaurant, Chicago

Sixteen, Chicago

Per Se, New York

Restaurant La Tanière, Québec, Canada

Restaurant Le Patriarche, Québec, Canada

Cocina de Autor, Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Chicago, others earns accolades

Chicago had a notable year, gaining three Five Diamond restaurants. That brings its total to seven restaurants earning top honors, putting it on par with culinary heavyweight New York City.

The states with the most number of Five Diamond restaurants are New York and California, with eight each. Each city gained one more Five Diamond restaurant this year.

California and Quintana Roo, Mexico, have the distinction of being the only states to score both a Five Diamond hotel and restaurant.

Meanwhile, Canada and Mexico each gained three Five Diamond properties.

The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo., is the most consistent hotel winner. It has held its Five Diamond rating for 38 consecutive years, since AAA first introduced the ratings system for hotels.

The Inn at Little Washington Dining Room in Washington, Va. is the restaurant with the longest-running Five Diamond tenure. It has earned the highest marks every year since 1988.

From Five Diamonds to Four

AAA also downgrades properties each year. These hotels and restaurants that were Five Diamond establishments last year now have Four Diamond ratings.

The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, Calif.

Simpson House Inn, Santa Barbara, Calif.

The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas

Four Seasons Resort and Club, Irving, Texas

The Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia

Restaurant Toqué! Montréal, QC (Canada)

Two hotels — The Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, Va., and The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman — lost their Five Diamond status and were placed in the FYI category. They are included in AAA guidebooks without a rating either because they are undergoing a major renovation or are too new to rate. AAA re-inspects them after the renovation.

And the Restaurant at The Four Seasons in Palm Beach, Fla., has closed.

LAST YEAR: AAA’s 2013 Five Diamond restaurants

Here is the complete list of Five Diamond hotels in the USA:


Scottsdale, Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

Scottsdale, Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North

Scottsdale, The Canyon Suites at The Phoenician

Scottsdale, The Phoenician


Beverly Hills, L’Ermitage Beverly Hills

Beverly Hills, Montage Beverly Hills

Beverly Hills, The Beverly Hills Hotel and Bungalows

Beverly Hills, The Peninsula Beverly Hills

Carlsbad, Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Golf Club & Spa

Dana Point, St. Regis Resort, Monarch Beach

Dana Point, The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel

La Jolla, The Lodge at Torrey Pines

Laguna Beach, Montage Laguna Beach

Marina Del Rey, The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey

Montecito, Four Seasons Biltmore Santa Barbara

Newport Beach, Island Hotel Newport Beach

Newport Beach, The Resort at Pelican Hill

Oakhurt, Château du Sureau

Ojai, Ojai Valley Inn & Spa

San Diego, The Grand Del Mar

San Francisco, The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco

Truckee, The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe

Westlake Village, Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village


Aspen, The Little Nell

Colorado Springs, The Broadmoor

Denver, The Ritz-Carlton, Denver


Morris, Winvian

Washington, The Mayflower Grace

District of Columbia

Four Seasons Hotel Washington, D.C.

The Ritz-Carlton Georgetown, Washington DC

The Ritz-Carlton, Washington, D.C.


Bal Harbour, St. Regis Bal Harbour

Fernandina Beach, The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island

Fort Lauderdale, The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale

Manalapan, Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa

Miami, Four Seasons Hotel Miami

Miami, Mandarin Oriental, Miami

Naples, The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples

Naples, The Ritz-Carlton, Naples

Palm Beach, Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach

Palm Beach, The Breakers, Palm Beach

Ponte Vedra Beach, Ponte Vedra Inn & Club

Sarasota, The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota

Sunny Isles Beach, Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach


Atlanta, Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta

Atlanta, InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta

Atlanta, St. Regis Atlanta Hotel & Residences

Atlanta, The Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta

Atlanta, The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead

Greensboro, The Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation

St. Simons Island, The Lodge at Sea Island


Kapalua (Maui), The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua

Kaupulehu (Hawaii) Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka’upulehu

Wailea (Maui) Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea


Chicago, Four Seasons Hotel Chicago

Chicago, The Peninsula Chicago

Chicago, Trump International Hotel & Tower

Chicago, Waldorf Astoria Chicago


Boston, Four Seasons Hotel Boston

Boston, Mandarin Oriental, Boston

Boston, The Ritz-Carlton, Boston Common


St. Louis, Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis (2008)


Las Vegas, ARIA Resort & Casino

Las Vegas, ARIA Sky Suites

Las Vegas, Bellagio

Las Vegas, Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas

Las Vegas, Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas

Las Vegas, SKYLOFTS at MGM Grand

Las Vegas, The Palazzo Las Vegas

Las Vegas, The Venetian Las Vegas

Las Vegas, Wynn Tower Suites

New York

New York City, Four Seasons Hotel New York

New York City, Mandarin Oriental, New York

New York City, The Peninsula New York

New York City, The Pierre New York-A Taj Hotel

New York City, The Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park

New York City, The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park

New York City, Trump International Hotel & Tower

New York City, Trump SoHo, New York

North Carolina

Cary, The Umstead Hotel & Spa

Charlotte, The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte

Fearrington-Village, The Fearrington House Inn


Aurora, Inn Walden


Farmington, Falling Rock at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort

Philadelphia, Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia

Philadelphia, The Rittenhouse

Rhode Island

Watch Hill, Ocean House

South Carolina

Bluffton, The Inn at Palmetto Bluff

Kiawah Island, The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort


Nashville, The Hermitage Hotel


Houston, Four Seasons Hotel Houston

Houston, The St. Regis Houston


Park City, Montage Deer Valley

Park City, Stein Eriksen Lodge Deer Valley

Salt Lake City, Grand America Hotel


Washington, The Inn at Little Washington


Kohler, The American Club


Teton VIllage, Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole

The complete list of Five Diamond hotels in Canada:

British Columbia

Vancouver, Shangri-La Hotel Vancouver

Whistler, Four Seasons Resort Whistler


Toronto, Four Seasons Hotel Toronto (2013)*

Toronto, The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto (2011)


Montreal, The Ritz-Carlton Montréal (2012)

The complete list of Five Diamond hotels in the Caribbean:

Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua, Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Resort


Holetown (St. James Parish), Sandy Lane Hotel

Dominican Republic

Punta Cana, Tortuga Bay Punta Cana Resort & Club


Charlestown, Four Seasons Resort Nevis, West Indies

Puerto Rico

Rio Grande, St. Regis Bahia Beach Puerto Rico

St. Lucia

Soufriere, Jade Mountain Resort

The complete list of Five Diamond hotels in Mexico:

Baja California Sur

Cabo San Luca, Capella Pedregal Resort and Spa

San Jose Del Cabo, Las Ventanas al Paraiso, A Rosewood Resort

Distrito Federal

Mexico City, Four Seasons Hotel Mexico D.F.


Acapulco, Banyan Tree Cabo Marques


Nuevo Vallarta, Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit

Punta Mita, Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, Mexico

Punta Mita, The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort

Quintana Roo

Cancun, JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa

Cancun, Le Blanc Spa Resort

Cancun, The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun

Playa del Carmen, Fairmont Mayakoba

Playa del Carmen, Grand Velas Riviera Maya

Playa del Carmen, Rosewood Mayakobá

Playa del Carmen, Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun

Puerto Morelos, Zoëtry Paraiso de la Bonita Riviera Maya

Here is the complete list of Five Diamond restaurants in the USA:


Chandler, Kai (in the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa)


Beverly Hills, The Belvedere (in The Peninsula Beverly Hills)

Oakhurst, Erna’s Elderberry House Restaurant (in the Château du Sureau)

Sacramento, The Kitchen Restaurant

St. Helena, The Restaurant at Meadowood (in the Meadowood Napa Valley)

San Diego, Addison (in The Grand Del Mar)

San Francisco, Benu

San Francisco, Gary Danko

Yountville, The French Laundry


Colorado Springs, The Penrose Room (in The Broadmoor)


Morris, Winvian (in the Winvian)

District of Columbia

CityZen (in the Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C.)


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

Lake Buena Vista, Victoria & Albert’s (in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa)


Honolulu (Oahu), Chef Mavro

Honolulu (Oahu), La Mer (in the Halekulani)


Chicago, Acadia

Chicago, Alinea

Chicago, Arun’s

Chicago, Everest

Chicago, Grace Restaurant

Chicago, Sixteen (in the Trump International Hotel & Tower)

Chicago, Tru


Louisville, The Oakroom (in The Seelbach Hilton Louisville)


Kennebunk Beach, The White Barn Inn Restaurant (in The White Barn Inn & Spa)


Boston, L’Espalier

Boston, Menton

Lenox, Wheatleigh’s Dining Room (in the Wheatleigh)


Las Vegas, Joël Robuchon (in the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino)

Las Vegas, Le Cirque (in the Bellagio)

Las Vegas, Picasso (in the Bellagio)

Las Vegas, Restaurant Guy Savoy (in Caesars Palace)

New York

New York City, Daniel

New York City, Del Posto

New York City, Eleven Madison Park

New York City, Jean Georges Restaurant (in the Trump International Hotel & Tower)

New York City, Le Bernardin

New York City, Marea

New York City, Per Se

Tarrytown, Blue Hill at Stone Barns

North Carolina

Cary. Herons Restaurant (in The Umstead Hotel & Spa)

Fearrington Village, The Fearrington House Restaurant (in The Fearrington House Inn)


Farmington, Lautrec (in the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort)

Philadelphia, Fountain Restaurant (in the Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia)


Dallas, The French Room (in The Adolphus)


Washington, The Inn at Little Washington Dining Room (in The Inn at Little Washington)


Woodinville, The Herbfarm Restaurant

The complete list of Five Diamond restaurants in Canada:


Banff, Eden (in The Rimrock Resort Hotel)


Cambridge, Langdon Hall Dining Room & Terrace (in the Langdon Hall Country House Hotel & Spa)


Gatineau, Le Baccara (in the Hilton Lac-Leamy)

Quebec, Restaurant Initiale

Quebec, Restaurant La Tanière

Quebec, Restaurant Le Patriarche

The complete list of Five Diamond restaurants in the Caribbean:

Cayman Islands

Seven Mile Beach (Grand Cayman), Blue (in The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman)

The complete list of Five Diamond restaurants in Mexico:


Punta Mita, Carolina at The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort (in The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort)

Quintana Roo

Cancun, Fantino (in The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun)

Cancun, Le Basilic (in the Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach Cancun Resort & Spa)

Cancun, The Club Grill (in The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun)

Playa del Carmen, Cocina de Autor (in the Grand Velas Riviera Maya)

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