AURORA, Ill. (RestaurantNews.com) AAA Chicago has announced the seven restaurants and four lodgings named as AAA Five Diamond Award designees for 2011 in Illinois and northern Indiana. All eleven designees are located in Chicago, Ill. With seven Five Diamond restaurants, Chicago has more AAA Five Diamond-rated restaurants than any other city in North America. In total, Chicago has eleven Five Diamond establishments, including four hotels, of which two are new for 2011, making Illinois fourth among the states with the most Five Diamond establishments.
“Illinois’ eleven Five Diamond establishments all offer exemplary surroundings and service and reflect the characteristics of ultimate luxury and experience,” said Brad Roeber, regional president, AAA Chicago. “It is always encouraging, but particularly in these economic times, to see an increase in the number of AAA Five Diamond establishments.”
The 2011 Five Diamond rated restaurants for Illinois and northern Indiana are as follows: Alinea (5 years), Arun’s (9 years), Avenues (in The Peninsula Chicago) (5 years), Charlie Trotters (17 years), Everest (15 years), Seasons Restaurant (in the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago) (11 years), Tru (11 years).
The 2011 Five Diamond rated hotels for Illinois and northern Indiana are as follows: The Four Seasons Hotel Chicago (21 years), The Peninsula Chicago (9 years) and the two new Five Diamond hotels this year include Elysian and Trump International Hotel & Tower. All AAA Five Diamond rated hotels and restaurants are located in Chicago, Ill. The full 2011 AAA/CAA Five Diamond listing can be found here.
Additionally, Illinois and northern Indiana boast 63 AAA Four Diamond establishments. Three Four Diamond restaurants and one Four Diamond hotel are in northern Indiana and 20 Four Diamond restaurants and 39 Four Diamond lodgings are in Illinois. For the first time, an Illinois establishment outside of the greater Chicagoland area appears on the Four Diamond list (The Marriott Bloomington-Normal Hotel & Conference Center). The full 2011 AAA/CAA Four Diamond Listing can be found here.
Nationally, 179 establishments were named as AAA/CAA Five Diamond Award® designees for 2011. Just 124 lodgings and 55 restaurants were eligible for the travel authority’s highest and most exclusive rating. These select establishments represent 0.3 percent of the total 59,000 AAA Approved and Diamond Rated lodgings and restaurants across the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.
To become AAA 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. AAA rates more properties than any other rating entity and is one of only two that conduct physical, on-site evaluations.
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 Diamond rating process, introduced in 1977 for hotels and 1989 for restaurants, continues to be recognized as one of the most trusted rating process for North American travelers.