PALM BEACH, Fla.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—Nov. 17, 2003—Six restaurants and nine hotels have been added to the list of AAA Five Diamond winners for 2004, bringing the total number of Five Diamond properties to 137. There are 82 lodgings and 55 restaurants on this year`s list.
The 137 Five Diamond winners total only 0.27 percent of the nearly 50,000 properties evaluated annually by AAA. This elite group will be presented their awards here tonight at The Breakers, an 8-year Five Diamond winner.
“As the industry and guests continue to raise the bar on expectations for these properties, the properties continue to meet the challenge,” said Michael Petrone, director, AAA Tourism Information Development. In 2003, AAA instituted new guidelines for lodgings and is currently revising their standards for restaurants.
“The quality of service and facilities is very exacting for this level of achievement,” said Petrone. “We are convinced that these properties will exceed guest expectations, otherwise they would not have achieved a Five Diamond rating.”
First-time winners on the 2004 list include: two restaurants in Banff, Alberta; a restaurant and a hotel in Las Vegas; and hotels in Nashville and Holetown, Barbados. AAA`s Diamond Ratings is the only lodging and restaurant rating system that covers all of North America including Mexico and the Caribbean, as well as Canada and all of the U.S. states.
Three lodgings have distinguished themselves by winning the coveted AAA Five Diamond rating for 28 consecutive years: Marriott`s Camelback Inn Resort, Golf Club & Spa, Scottsdale, Ariz.; The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, Colo.; and The Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs, W. Va.
Two restaurants also have held a Five Diamond rating since the Diamond Rating program was applied to restaurants - 16 years: Le Bec Fin, Philadelphia; and The Inn at Little Washington Dining Room, Washington, Va.
“Important aspects of quality service are consistency and hospitality,” said Petrone, “and these five have maintained the Five Diamond level of service excellence longer than other establishments in the industry. That`s an amazing achievement.”
To be considered for AAA rating and approval, restaurants and lodgings must undergo a thorough inspection by one of AAA`s 65 full-time, trained, professional evaluators. Five Diamond establishments go through a more extensive review throughout a series of inspections and final committee review. Approximately 50,000 restaurants and lodgings will be listed in the 2004 TourBook(R) guides and the Online TourBook on www.aaa.com, where the Diamond Ratings are published.
AAA first started listing accommodation information in its travel publications in the early 1900s. In 1937, the first field inspectors were hired to inspect hotels, motels, and restaurants. In 1963, AAA began to rate all accommodations as good, very good, excellent or outstanding. The current one- to five-diamond rating system was introduced in 1977 and continues to be recognized as the trusted leader of quality ratings for North American restaurants and lodgings.