AAA Chicago announced the five restaurants and four lodgings named as AAA Five Diamond Award designees for 2012 in Illinois and northern Indiana. All nine designees are located in Chicago, Ill. With five Five Diamond restaurants, Chicago is tied with New York City as the city with the most AAA Five Diamond-rated restaurants in North America. Chicago’s four Five Diamond establishments round out the list of 2012 Five Diamond properties in Illinois and northern Indiana.
“Illinois’ nine 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.
The 2012 Five Diamond rated restaurants for Illinois and northern Indiana are as follows: Alinea (6 years), Arun’s (10 years), Charlie Trotter’s (18 years), Everest (16 years), Tru (12 years).
The 2012 Five Diamond rated hotels for Illinois and northern Indiana are as follows: The Four Seasons Hotel Chicago (22 years), The Peninsula Chicago (10 years), Elysian (2 years) and Trump International Hotel & Tower (2 years). All AAA Five Diamond rated hotels and restaurants are located in Chicago, Ill. The full listings for the 2012 AAA/CAA Five Diamond restaurants and hotels can be found here.
Additionally, Illinois and northern Indiana boast 66 AAA Four Diamond establishments. Three Four Diamond restaurants and one Four Diamond hotel are in northern Indiana and 20 Four Diamond restaurants and 42 Four Diamond lodgings are in Illinois. There are two new Four Diamond restaurants added to the 2012 list; the additions, Blackbird and NAHA are both located in Chicago. There are five additions to the 2012 Four Diamond properties list including JW Marriott Chicago, Palmer House – A Hilton Hotel (Chicago), Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel (Chicago), Renaissance Chicago O’Hare Suites Hotel (Chicago) and InterContinental Chicago O’Hare (Rosemont). The full listings for the 2012 AAA/CAA Four Diamond restaurants and hotels can be found here.
Nationally, 179 establishments were named as AAA/CAA Five Diamond Award® designees for 2012. Just 126 lodgings and 53 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.