Fifteen New Hotels Join AAA's Five-Diamond List

AAA has given its highest honor, the prestigious Five Diamond Award, to three new restaurants and 15 new hotels, it announced last week.

The distinction, which is granted based on an annual evaluation of facilities, services and amenities, is held by just 124 lodgings and just 55 restaurants, representing only 0.3 percent of the total 59,000 AAA Approved and Diamond Rated properties across the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.

This year's 18 additions represent an 8 percent increase in the overall number of Five Diamond establishments, several of which — including The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo.; The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.; and Camelback Inn in Scottsdale, Ariz. — have maintained the Five Diamond rating for 35 consecutive years, since AAA first introduced the Diamond Ratings for accommodations in 1976.

"It is encouraging to see an increase in the number of AAA Five Diamond establishments this year," said AAA Director of Tourism Development Michael Petrone. "The recent economic downturn has presented many challenges for the travel industry, including increased closures and fewer new restaurant openings."

The newest AAA Five Diamond restaurants are:

• Winvian (Morris, Conn.)
• Lumière (Vancouver, Canada)
• Carolina at the St. Regis Punta Mita Resort (Punta Mita, Mexico)

The newest AAA Five Diamond hotels, meanwhile, are:

• The Ritz-Carlton (Denver, Colo.)
• Winvian (Morris, Conn.)
• The St. Regis Atlanta Hotel & Residences (Atlanta, Ga.)
• Elysian (Chicago, Ill.)
• Trump International Hotel & Tower (Chicago, Ill.)
• The Ritz-Carlton, Boston Common (Boston, Mass.)
• Aria Resort & Casino (Las Vegas, Nev.)
• Mandarin Oriental (Las Vegas, Nev.)
• Trump International Hotel & Tower (New York, N.Y.)
• The Ritz-Carlton (Charlotte, N.C.)
• Four Seasons Hotel Houston (Houston, Texas)
• Tortuga Bay Punta Cana Resort & Club (Punta Cana, Dominican Republic)
• Jade Mountain Resort (Soufriere, St. Lucia)
• Le Blanc Spa Resort (Cancun, Mexico)
• Grand Velas All Suites & Spa Resort Riviera Maya (Playa Del Carmen, Mexico)

"AAA is pleased to present these establishments with the Five Diamond Award designation," Petrone continued. "It is a truly significant accomplishment to achieve the highest level of hospitality; however, the ultimate challenge is to continuously exceed guest expectations on a continual basis."

For a complete list of AAA Diamond Rated properties, visit