On Jan. 27, 2017, AAA added 63 restaurants and 120 hotels to its highly exclusive Five Diamond List. This list includes only 0.3% of the 59,000 hotels and restaurants on AAA’s Approved and Diamond Rated restaurants and hotels. Inductees must pass a rigorous test by professional inspectors.
The Modern in New York City
This museum sculpture garden venue got top ratings for its relaxed cosmopolitan environment in which diners can enjoy selections from an ample wine list and dishes with Chef Abram Bissell‘s New American touch such as sautéed foie gras, lobster steamed in spinach, bone marrow-crusted beef and Long Island duck. Ingredients are high-quality and seasonal, and make sure you leave room for their excellent desserts. The staff is attentive, professional, knowledgeable and energetic.
Four Seasons Resort Lana’i in Lana’i, Hawaii
It’s hard to beat a panoramic ocean view that includes Hawaii’s rugged lava cliffs and white sandy beaches. Four Seasons Resort Lana’i adds to the environment with contextually appropriate accommodations that draw heavily from Hawaiian aesthetics. Enjoy your favorite shows on the 75-inch flat screen TV and take advantage of the provided iPad for guest information and in-room requests.
The Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, Virginia
This ornate 1895 Beaux-Arts hotel is a historic landmark with striking architectural details, including a Tiffany stained-glass rotunda, a marble statue of Thomas Jefferson and a grand staircase. A small museum tells of the AAA Five Diamond property’s storied past and dispels many of the rumors and historic tales associated with the hotel. It might be a little surprising that this hotel wasn’t on the list before considering its attractiveness that draws those who are curious about seeing an actual historic landmark and exploring its history.
Spice Island Beach Resort in St. George’s Grenada
If you value privacy, you’ll like this one for its richly decorated suites that are hidden by private gardens of lemon, almond and sea grape trees. Make sure you request a suite with a private plunge pool and four-poster canopy bed for extra luxury.
The St. Regis New York in New York City
A New York landmark since 1904, this appealing AAA Five Diamond property offers style at a grand level. When combined with contemporary luxury and attentive services, it is in a rarefied, supreme class altogether. This historic hotel was built by John Jacob Aster IV as a sister property to the Waldorf Astoria, just a few years before Astor went down with the Titanic. Today, guests can enjoy unlimited use of the private on-site health club, complimentary garment pressing upon arrival and fresh fruit or candy delivered daily.
These and many other restaurants and hotels can be explored through AAA’s official website. Be sure to book well in advance to make sure you get a slot. Candidates for the Five Diamond Rating undergo multiple unannounced evaluations and a final decision by a panel of experts. Using guidelines weighted by member priorities, inspectors meticulously evaluate guest services and physical attributes to assess the level of competence, refinement and hospitality and assign a corresponding rating of One to Five Diamonds.