Published on Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Luxury travel boom leads to record five-diamond awards

What’s behind a record 100 hotels and resorts earning the top five-diamond rating in the 2008 AAA awards?

This reflects "a boom in the luxury market," says Michael Petrone of AAA.

The non-profit travel organization, which selected 93 five-diamond lodgings last year, conducts annual unannounced inspections of properties. Hotels and resorts are rated on a scale of one to five diamonds based on a checklist of hundreds of criteria, including public areas, rooms, amenities and service.

Four US lodgings are new on the five-diamond list this year: The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas; The Canyon Suites at the Phoenician, Scottsdale, Ariz.; St. Regis Resort, Monarch Beach, Dana Point, Calif.; and The Umstead Hotel and Spa near Raleigh, N.C.

Four resorts in Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean ascended to five-diamond status: Four Seasons Resort Whistler in British Columbia; The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman; JW Marriott Resort & Spa, Cancun; and the 1½-year-old Fairmont Mayakoba near Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

Two lodgings lost five-diamond status: The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Las Vegas in Nevada and the Pan Pacific Vancouver Hotel in British Columbia. The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun, was reinstated to five-diamond status after completing renovations in the wake of Hurricane Wilma.

Ritz-Carltons (24) and Four Seasons (22) accounted for nearly half the list of five-diamond lodgings, which is heavy on luxury chain hotels and grande-dame resorts.

Three grande dames have maintained a five-diamond ranking for 32 straight years: The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs; The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va.; and Marriott's Camelback Inn in Scottsdale, Ariz. This year, The Broadmoor's Penrose Room became the first Colorado restaurant to achieve five-diamond status.

Report by David WIlkening

Your Comments

, be the first to post a comment.
Your email:

Email other comments made to this story
Code Request a new picture 5 characters

NOTE: Comments are subject to admin approval before being posted.
Mole Poll
'Britain follows US and bans electronics from cabin baggage' Good or Bad move ?
Good 51.27 %
Bad 48.73 %

Thank you for your vote

Move scroll bar (above) left to right for more videos!

Sponsored features

It's upgrade time at

Recently, roomsXML has launched its new version of API, which brings significant upgrades to its already reliable API. By upgrading the API, clients now have the ability to search for multiple hotels of their choice in a single request. This allows them complete freedom to only search for hotels they wish to sell.