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Jan/Feb 2009 Issue

Hotels and restaurants sparkle when they are rated with AAA Diamonds

When AAA tourism editors visit hotels and restaurants, they must evaluate a mountain of requirements to determine if the properties meet AAA’s standards for comfort, cleanliness and hospitality, and those that rise to the top are awarded four diamonds.

AAA recently assigned its Four Diamond Award rating to 25 hotels and 15 restaurants in the South for 2009. The ratings, from one to five Diamonds, show where establishments fit in the spectrum from basic to luxury and guide members in selecting establishments to match their needs.

Each year, AAA’s trained professional evaluators conduct unannounced visits at facilities in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. They scrutinize a variety of characteristics, including cleanliness, ambiance and service.

To earn four Diamonds, lodgings must impress guests with their surroundings and offer a high degree of service, hospitality and attention to detail. Likewise, visitors to four Diamond-rated restaurants must experience luxurious fine dining with excellent service and upscale ambiance. Only an estimated 3 percent of the 32,000 AAA-rated lodgings and 3 percent of the 28,000 AAA-rated restaurants were awarded the prestigious four Diamond designation for 2009.

AAA is proud to salute the following Four Diamond Award recipients located in our area. The number in parentheses represents the consecutive years that the facility has received the award:

Arkansas

• Eureka Springs hotel: Angel at Rose Hall (10).

• Little Rock hotels: The Capital Hotel (1); and The Peabody Little Rock (7).

• Little Rock restaurant: Ashley’s at The Capital (1).

• Johnson restaurant: James at the Mill (11).

Louisiana

• French Quarter hotels: Hotel Monteleone (6); Omni Royal Orleans Hotel (14); Royal Sonesta Hotel New Orleans (5); The Iberville Suites (7); and The Ritz-Carlton New Orleans (4).

• New Orleans hotels: Harrah’s Hotel New Orleans (2); InterContinental New Orleans (6); JW Marriott New Orleans (24); Le Pavillon (13); Loews New Orleans Hotel (5); Renaissance Arts Hotel New Orleans (5); Renaissance Pere Marquette Hotel (7); The Sheraton New Orleans Hotel (6); W New Orleans (8); Windsor Court Hotel (10); and the Westin New Orleans Canal Place (1).

• French Quarter restaurants: Begue’s (14); and
Stella! (2).

• New Orleans restaurants: Commander’s Palace (6); Emeril’s Delmonico (8); New Orleans Grill (8); and Restaurant August (5).

• Shreveport restaurant: Bistro 6301 (1).

Mississippi

• Biloxi hotels: Beau Rivage Resort & Casino (7); Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Biloxi (1); and IP Casino Resort Spa (2).

• Biloxi restaurants: BR Prime at Beau Rivage Resort & Casino (1); Jia Asian Restaurant (1); and thirty-two (2).

• Greenwood hotel: The Alluvian Hotel (3).

• Jackson hotel: Fairview Inn (14).

• Natchez hotel: Monmouth Plantation (28).

• Cleveland restaurant: K.C.’s (8).

• Hattiesburg restaurant: Purple Parrot Café (1).

• Philadelphia restaurant: Phillip M’s Restaurant (4).

To find other AAA four Diamond properties across the country, visit www.AAA.com and click on the TourBook® section.

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Chefs busy at work in the kitchen at Stella! in the French Quarter. Stella! photo

Learn how to maximize your membership to save more

Many members sign up for AAA for the peace of mind of having roadside assistance a phone call away, but there is an array of other services and savings that can ease their minds even more.

To help members get the most out of their membership, AAA is hosting an informal presentation at select offices on Jan. 15 called Maximize Your Membership. It will examine the many ways your membership can save you money and enhance the quality of your life. Among the topics will be AAA’s competitive auto and homeowner’s insurance and the exclusive discounts offered by the AAA Travel Agency.

Members also will learn about the Show Your Card & Save program, which can save members the price of a membership or more. Hundreds of partners, including hotels, restaurants and retail locations offer AAA members discounts for showing their card.

The meetings will begin at 2 p.m. at the following locations:

• 9116 Rodney Parham in Little Rock, Ark. (501-223-9222);
• 3445 N. Causeway Blvd. in Metairie, La. (504-838-7500).


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