January 11, 2008 02:30 ET

AAA Texas Releases Elite 2008 Five Diamond Winners

Only Four Lodgings and One Restaurant in Texas Made List

HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwire - January 11, 2008) - AAA Texas has released its elite list of AAA Five Diamond Rated® properties for 2008. Only four hotels and one restaurant attained the hospitality industry's highest rating in Texas this year.

The four hotels receiving the prestigious distinction are:

--  Four Seasons Hotel Houston -- 13 years
--  The St. Regis Hotel -- 7 years (located in Houston)
--  The Dallas Mansion on Turtle Creek -- 17 years (located in Dallas)
--  Four Seasons Resort and Club -- 5 years (located in Irving)

The only restaurant receiving the AAA Five Diamond distinction in the state is The French Room located in the Adolphus Hotel in Dallas, Texas. The French Room has maintained its distinction for 19 years.

"These five winners receiving Five Diamond status are part of a select group," said Mark Bell, general manager for AAA Texas. "Only 0.27 percent or less than one percent of the nearly 60,000 establishments rated receives this prestigious designation."

The five establishments selected are being recognized at a luncheon at the St. Regis Hotel in Houston today.

The total 160 AAA Five Diamond Award winners for 2008 include 100 lodgings and 60 restaurants across the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

To become AAA Approved and Diamond rated, hotels and restaurants undergo a thorough inspection by one of AAA's 65 full-time, highly trained professional evaluators. Five Diamond establishments complete a more extensive review that includes a series of inspections and final committee review. Some 60,000 hotels and restaurants will be listed in the 2008 TourBook® guides, in print and on, where the Diamond ratings are published.

AAA first started listing accommodation information in its travel publications in the early 1900s. In 1937, the first field inspectors were hired to inspect hotels, motels, and restaurants. In 1963, AAA began to rate all accommodations as good, very good, excellent or outstanding. The current one-to-five diamond rating system was introduced in 1977 and continues to be recognized as the trusted leader of quality ratings for North American restaurants and lodgings.

AAA Texas, a member of the American Automobile Association federation of motor clubs, has been serving Texans since 1902. Today, more than a million AAA Texas' members benefit by the organization's roadside assistance service, travel agency, financial products, automotive pricing, buying and financing, trip planning services, and traffic safety programs. Information about these products and services is available on AAA Texas' web site at

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