SOURCE: Auto Club of So. Calif.

Auto Club of So. Calif.

November 06, 2009 08:10 ET

Top So. Calif. Hotels, Restaurants Receive 2010 AAA Five Diamond Award Designation

Resort at Pelican Hill and The Grand Del Mar Receive Ultimate Rating for First Time

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - November 6, 2009) - Seventeen Southern California hotels and two restaurants have received the AAA Five Diamond Award for 2010, the travel authority's highest rating, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California. Hotels receiving the AAA Five Diamond Award rating for the first time are: The Resort at Pelican Hill in Orange County (Newport Coast) and The Grand Del Mar in San Diego.

Nationwide, the 2010 list of AAA Five Diamond winners contains 165 properties, 113 lodgings and 52 restaurants. Sixteen lodgings were added to the list; no restaurants were added, seven were removed, six of which have closed. The Auto Club and AAA's full-time, professional inspectors evaluate and rate more than 58,000 lodgings and restaurants each year, more than any other rating entity.

The Four Seasons Biltmore Santa Barbara received its 5th consecutive AAA Five Diamond Rating. The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, received its 24th consecutive AAA Five Diamond rating and reigns as the most tenured AAA Five Diamond-rated property in California.

"The AAA Five Diamond Award is North America's most respected trademark in the global hospitality industry and the most coveted symbol of excellence," said the Auto Club's Approved Accommodations Supervisor Patricia Marenco. "The rating designation goes only to the most superb hotels and restaurants that meet the highest standards of quality consistently. For providing meticulous service and the highest caliber travel and dining experiences in what has been a challenging and difficult economy for the industry, the Auto Club congratulates Southern California's outstanding AAA Five Diamond establishments and their employees for outstanding work."

Approximately 58,000 properties are evaluated each year by AAA's professional full-time evaluators, more than any other rating entity. Only 0.28 percent earn the prestigious AAA Five Diamond distinction. A diamond was chosen as AAA's ratings symbol in honor of AAA's 75th Anniversary in 1977. Diamond Ratings are published in the AAA TourBook® guides, on the online TourBook® at, and in part, on It is the broadest coverage of any U.S. rating system, both geographically and by number of properties rated, including the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.

The Southern California hotels that received the 2010 AAA Five Diamond Award with consecutive years are:

Beverly Hills
Raffles L'Ermitage Beverly Hills, 9
The Beverly Hills Hotel and Bungalows, 2
The Peninsula Beverly Hills, 17

Four Seasons Resort Aviara, 11

Dana Point
St. Regis Resort, Monarch Beach, 3
The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, 24

La Jolla
The Lodge at Torrey Pines, 8

Laguna Beach
Montage Laguna Beach, 2

Los Angeles
Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, 9

Marina del Rey
The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey, 18

Newport Beach
Island Hotel Newport Beach, 18
The Resort at Pelican Hill (Newport Coast), 1

Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, 4

San Diego
The Grand Del Mar, 1

Santa Barbara
Four Seasons Biltmore Santa Barbara, 5
Simpson House Inn, 13

Two Southern California restaurants receiving a 2010 AAA Five Diamond
rating with consecutive years are:

Beverly Hills
The Belvedere (in The Peninsula Beverly Hills), 15

San Diego
Addison, 2

Westlake Village
Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village, 2

To be considered for AAA approval and rating, lodgings and restaurants must undergo a thorough inspection. The Auto Club's full-time inspection staff reviews Southern California establishments. AAA Five Diamond establishments go through the most extensive reviews of the Diamond rating programs.

The average tenure of an AAA/CAA inspector is 12 years, with the longest being 28 years. The inspectors work remotely and bring significant prior industry experience to the association.

AAA started listing accommodation information in its travel publications in the early 1900s. AAA has been doing field inspections of restaurants and lodgings since 1937.

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