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Jan/Feb 2010 Issue

Seek out AAA’s Diamonds to find great lodging, dining

Whether you seek a clean roadside motel and diner, a luxurious destination resort and spectacular cuisine, or something in between, travelers trust AAA’s reliable travel information and Diamond ratings to steer them in the right direction.

The AAA Diamond rating process is North America’s premier rating program, which shows where establishments fit in the spectrum from basic to luxury. The ratings, from one to five Diamonds, guide members in finding establishments to match their needs.

AAA recently assigned its ratings to about 60,000 hotels and restaurants nationwide for 2010. The ratings are determined by AAA’s tourism editors who visit lodgings, restaurants and attractions for unannounced evaluations. Not a measure of quality, the ratings are a gauge of the level of amenities and services offered. Cleanliness, comfort and safety are required at every level.

One misconception is that the three Diamond rating must be average because it falls in the middle of the scale. Actually, a three Diamond rating is the highest most properties achieve, and most of these are considered above-average.

To earn four Diamonds, lodgings must impress guests with their surroundings and offer a high degree of hospitality. Likewise, visitors to four Diamond-rated restaurants must experience luxurious fine dining with excellent service.

Only an estimated 3 percent of the AAA-rated lodgings and restaurants were awarded the prestigious four Diamond designation for 2010.

AAA is proud to salute the following Four Diamond Award recipients in our area (see box). The number in parentheses represents the number of consecutive years the facility has received four Diamonds.

To find AAA rated accommodations and restaurants across the country, visit www.AAA.com and click on the TourBook® section.

Four Diamond hotels and Restaurants

ARKANSAS

  • Eureka Springs hotel: Angel at Rose Hall (11).
  • Fayetteville hotel: Pratt Place Inn (1).
  • Little Rock hotels: The Capital Hotel (2); and The Peabody Little Rock (8).
  • Little Rock restaurant: Ashley’s at The Capital (2).
  • Johnson restaurant: James at the Mill (12).

LOUISIANA

  • Baton Rouge hotel: Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center (1).
  • French Quarter hotels: Hotel Monteleone (7); Omni Royal Orleans Hotel (15); Royal Sonesta Hotel New Orleans (6); The Iberville Suites (8); The Ritz-Carlton New Orleans (5); and the Westin New Orleans Canal Place (2).
  • New Orleans hotels: Harrah’s Hotel New Orleans (3); InterContinental New Orleans (7); JW Marriott New Orleans (25); Le Pavillon (14); Loews New Orleans Hotel (6); Renaissance Pere Marquette Hotel (8); The Sheraton New Orleans Hotel (7); W New Orleans (9); and the Windsor Court Hotel (11).
  • French Quarter restaurant: Stella! (3).
  • New Orleans restaurants: Commander’s Palace (7); Emeril’s Delmonico Restaurant (9); New Orleans Grill (9); and Restaurant August (6).
  • Shreveport restaurant: Bistro 6301 (2).

MISSISSIPPI

  • Biloxi hotels: Beau Rivage Resort & Casino (7); Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Biloxi (2); and IP Casino Resort Spa (3).
  • Greenwood hotel: The Alluvian Hotel (4).
  • Jackson hotel: Fairview Inn (15).
  • Natchez hotel: Monmouth Plantation (29).
  • Biloxi restaurants: BR Prime at Beau Rivage Resort & Casino (2); Jia (2); and thirty-two (3).
  • Cleveland restaurant: K.C.’s (9).
  • Gulfport restaurant: Emeril’s Gulf Coast Fish House (1).
  • Hattiesburg restaurant: Purple Parrot Café (2).
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The JW Marriott New Orleans has earned the AAA Four Diamond Award for 25 consecutive years.

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