Lodge at Torrey Pines Gets AAA

(LA JOLLA, CA.) - Located on bluffs studded with rare Torrey Pines and panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, the newly opened Lodge at Torrey Pines in La Jolla has just earned the AAA Five Diamond Award for 2003 after only six months in business, making it the only Five Diamond hotel property in the city of San Diego.
“Each of these winners represents the ultimate in world-class service and facilities,” according to Michael Petrone, director, AAA Tourism Information Development.  “Less than one-half percent of all properties inspected by AAA achieve this prestigious distinction.  That means their customers can and should expect an extraordinary experience.”
“We are honored by this award, and we have our staff and management to thank,” stated Dan Fullen, General Manager of the Lodge at Torrey Pines.  “We have worked hard from the beginning to provide an atmosphere of mutual regard and respect among our staff.  When we hire people, we look for those who are innately pleasant, who want to please, thereby creating a friendly, personal environment that is almost like staying in a private home, rather than a hotel.”
Since the April 2002 opening, the Lodge at Torrey Pines has captured the attention of media and consumers alike, firmly placing the property on the destination map of top hotels in America.  Publications like Departures, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and Food & Wine magazine have touted the Lodge as the next great place to visit, while Esquire just named the Hotel’s signature restaurant, A. R. Valentien, one of “America’s Best New Restaurants”.  Recently, the Lodge was given the prestigious Grand Orchid Award for outstanding architecture and was named the official site of the 2008 U.S. Open.
The Lodge at Torrey Pines joins the exclusive ranks of other top properties in North America, including, The Peninsula Beverly Hills Hotel, The Beverly Hills Hotel, Bellagio in Las Vegas, The St. Regis in New York, The Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas, the Greenbrier in West Virginia, and the Las Ventanas al Paraiso in Los Cabos, Mexico.
What makes this award significant for the Lodge at Torrey Pines is that while most all Five Diamond properties are corporately owned, the Lodge is family owned and staffed by a leadership with a history of working with independent hotel organizations.  Bill Evans, of the Evans family, who are owners of the Lodge at Torrey Pines, grew up in the family hotel business and worked with Rosewood Hotels.  General Manager Dan Fullen worked with Rosewood properties, The Mansion on Turtle Creek and the Hotel Bel-Air, while Executive Chef Jeff Jackson worked with Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica and Le Francais, outside Chicago.
“It’s interesting that we all have backgrounds in quality hotel corporations, but have spent the majority of our careers with independents and have found our niche here at The Lodge,” stated General Manager Dan Fullen.  “This independent status allows us to ‘keep our eyes on the ball’ and not over our shoulders.  We’re able to concentrate on guest issues rather than corporate concerns”.

The Lodge at Torrey Pines is a tribute to the California Craftsman Movement and is modeled after Greene & Greene’s famed Gamble and Blacker houses in Pasadena, Calif., two of the finest examples of early 1900’s Craftsman-style architecture.  The Lodge features 175 spacious guest rooms and suites, more than 13,000 square feet of meeting and banquet space, and a 9,500 square-foot spa.  The Lodge is adjacent to the Torrey Pines Golf Course and is within walking distance of Torrey Pines State Reserve.
The Lodge At Torrey Pines is owned and operated by Evans Hotels, San Diego, and is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World®.  For reservations or for further information, call 858-453-4420 or visit www.lodgetorreypines.com.