WASHINGTON, D. C. (Thursday, February 20, 2020) –– With the addition of six hotels and five restaurants, AAA has unveiled the 2020 Five Diamond list, comprising just 119 hotels and 67 restaurants. This exclusive group represents less than 1% of the nearly 60,000 AAA Diamond establishments across the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.
“AAA Five Diamond hotels and restaurants represent the best of AAA’s transformed Diamond Program,” said Stacey Barber, executive director, AAA Travel Information & Content. “These hotels and restaurants consistently exceed expectations by providing their guests highly personalized, memorable experiences. They truly represent the upper echelon of the hospitality industry.”
In January, AAA unveiled a contemporized version of its highly acclaimed AAA Diamond Program, modernized to meet the needs of today’s travelers. A new Diamond designation reflecting AAA’s professional inspector reviews using updated guidelines sets the program apart from services that rely on unverified hotel and restaurant ratings.
“Unlike ratings from unknown users sharing their opinions, the Diamond designations are provided by experienced professionals using consistent guidelines to tell travelers what a property offers,” explained John B. Townsend II, AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Manager of Public and Government Affairs. “Under the new system, previously One and Two Diamond hotels and restaurants will transition to the Approved designation while Three, Four and Five Diamond establishments will retain their designations. However, the 2020 inspection cycle will be the determining factor for all properties’ future designation.”
Five Diamond hotels, which include just 0.4% of the nearly 27,000 AAA Diamond lodgings, are noted for world-class luxury, amenities and indulgence for an once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Boston Harbor Hotel (Boston, MA) – Gracious hospitality is prevalent at this luxury hotel, which merges modernity and classic décor. The guest rooms offer a supremely luxurious experience with a view of marina activity and local marine life from Boston Harbor's Rowes Wharf. (Upgraded from Four Diamonds)
Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North (Scottsdale, AZ) – Well-designed landscaping seamlessly blends with the desert surroundings, allowing for striking views from the territorial-style casitas, each with a fireplace and terrace. (Upgraded from Four Diamonds)
Hotel Bel Air (Los Angeles, CA) – This classical establishment was brought into the 21st century with contemporary, elegant and high-quality décor. The location is the perfect backdrop in which to enjoy the meticulously manicured gardens and the lovely pond, home to graceful swans. (Upgraded from Four Diamonds)
Hotel Xcaret Mexico (Playa del Carmen, Mexico) – This all-inclusive resort is packed with activities, including eight theme parks, many pools, three exercise rooms, and a private island. Many of the modern rooms open up to pools or the river. (New listing)
Mandarin Oriental, Canouan (Canouan, St. Vincent and the Grenadines) – This world-class property, unique for its remote location, offers just 26 large suites and 13 villas, as well as a private beach, impressive marble work throughout, and leading-edge technology enhancements. (New listing)
UNICO 20°N 87°W Hotel Riviera Maya (Akumal, Mexico) – This unique property features guest rooms with spacious balconies offering an oversize seating area and large oval-shaped hot tubs. Each guest room is assigned a local host who is tasked with ensuring that guests have a pleasurable stay to maximize their valuable vacation time. (Upgraded from Four Diamonds)
Five Diamond restaurants, just 0.2% of more than 30,000 AAA Diamond restaurant listings, feature leading-edge cuisine, ingredients and preparation with extraordinary service and surroundings.
Ha’ (Playa del Carmen, Mexico) – Guests will discover themselves surrounded by flowing water as they enter the dining room. The ever-changing, contemporary, seven-course tasting menu reflects a variety of regional influences, paired with fine Mexican wines. (New listing)
Le Baccara (Gatineau, Canada) – Nestled atop Casino du Lac-Leamy, this adults-only dining room has a bank of oversize windows, which afford views of the Ottawa skyline. Custom table settings, fine crystal stemware, an impressive art collection and distinctive service make this a favorite place for special occasions. (Upgraded from Four Diamonds)
Providence (Los Angeles, CA) – Prepare for a thrilling culinary adventure, and, for an optimum experience, select the multicourse chef’s tasting menu. It changes seasonally, but count on unusual and exotic choices like local Santa Barbara sea urchin, Pacific geoduck (a large saltwater clam native to the West Coast) and Australian spanner crab. (New listing)
SingleThread Farm - Restaurant - Inn (Healdsburg, CA) – Enjoy an amazing 11-course dinner that is expertly served using ingredients from the chef/owner’s nearby farm and artisan items from around the world. Dishes may include Santa Barbara abalone, smoked trout and braised lamb, each artfully presented. (New listing)
Smyth (Chicago, IL) – This remarkable restaurant partners with an Illinois farm to supply its creative kitchen with fresh products. Choose between three prix-fixe menus, each offered with a variety of wine pairings. Every dish emerges as a work of art in both its appearance and amazing flavor. (New listing)
To earn the coveted AAA Five Diamond designation, hotels and restaurants must pass a rigorous evaluation that includes unannounced, in-person inspections, anonymous overnight stays for hotels, and, finally, review by a panel of experts as an additional step to ensure credibility. All AAA Diamond Program hotels and restaurants are re-evaluated annually to ensure they provide the best experience for travelers and diners.
AAA Four Diamond hotels and restaurants, which represent just 4.2% of the total, are also an exclusive group. They must be refined and stylish with upscale physical attributes, extensive amenities and a high degree of hospitality, service and attention to detail. This year, there are 1,718 Four Diamond hotels and 683 Four Diamond restaurants, including 125 new hotels and 62 new restaurants.
Area hotels and restaurants receiving the AAA/CAA Five and Four Diamond Designation include:
2020 AAA Five Diamond Designation Hotels (2)
Four Seasons Hotel Washington, D.C. (1989) – Washington, DC
The Inn at Little Washington (1989) – Washington, VA
2020 AAA Four Diamond Designation Hotels (21)
District of Columbia (13)
Fairmont Washington, D.C., Georgetown (1985)
InterContinental Washington D.C. – The Wharf (2019)*
Mandarin Oriental Washington, D.C. (2004)
Park Hyatt Washington D.C. (2007)
Rosewood Washington, D.C. (2014)
The Hay–Adams (1984)
The Mayflower Hotel, Autograph Collection (1992)
The Ritz–Carlton Georgetown, Washington, D.C. (2019)
The Ritz–Carlton, Washington, D.C. (2019)
The St. Regis, Washington, D.C. (2008)
The Watergate Hotel (2017)
The Willard InterContinental (1986)
Trump International Hotel Washington D.C. (2017)
Maryland (Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties, 3)
The Hotel at the University of Maryland (2018) – College Park
Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center (2008) – National Harbor
MGM National Harbor (2017) – Oxon Hill
Northern Virginia (5)
The Martha Washington Inn & Spa (1998) – Abingdon
The Ritz–Carlton, Pentagon City (1990) – Arlington
Lansdowne Resort and Spa (1991) – Leesburg
Salamander Resort & Spa (2015) – Middleburg
The Ritz–Carlton, Tysons Corner (1992) – Tysons Corner
2020 AAA Five Diamond Designation Restaurants (2)
Pineapple and Pearls (2017) – Washington, DC
The Inn at Little Washington Dining Room (1988) (in The Inn at Little Washington) – Washington, VA
2020 AAA Four Diamond Designation Restaurants (10)
District of Columbia (6)
1789 Restaurant (2019)*
Bourbon Steak (2009)
Marcel's by Robert Wiedmaier (2004)
minibar by Jose Andres (2015)
Northern Virginia (4)
2941 Restaurant (2004) – Falls Church
L'Auberge Chez Francois & Jacques’ Brasserie (1992) – Great Falls
Harrimans Virginia Piedmont Grill (2015) – Middleburg
L'Auberge Provencale (1991) – White Post
(Note: year in parentheses indicates year hotel first received current, consecutively maintained Diamond designation. * indicates new status)
To see the complete lists of 2020 AAA Four and Five Diamond hotels and restaurants, visit AAA.com/DiamondAwards. To see which cities and states have the most award winners, see AAA Four Diamond and Five Diamond facts.
For more information, visit AAA.com/Diamonds.
About the AAA Diamond Program
For more than 80 years, AAA’s professional inspectors have conducted in-person property evaluations. AAA is the only entity using comprehensive, on-site professional hotel and restaurant evaluations guided by member priorities. AAA’s inventory includes some 60,000 Diamond hotels and restaurants across the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. Travelers can find AAA Diamond hotels and restaurants and inspector insight in AAA’s trip planning products: AAA Mobile app, AAA Travel Guides, TripTik Travel Planner and the AAA TourBook guides available to members at AAA offices. For more information, visit AAA.com/Diamonds.
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