Sixteen Southern California hotels and two restaurants have received the AAA Five Diamond Award for 2011, the travel authority’s highest rating, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California. The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, received its 25th consecutive AAA Five Diamond rating and continues its reign as the most tenured AAA Five Diamond-rated property in California. The Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills and L’Ermitage Beverly Hills both received their 10th consecutive AAA Five Diamond ratings.

The Auto Club and AAA’s professional inspectors evaluate and rate more than 58,000 lodgings and restaurants each year, more than any other rating entity.

“The AAA Five Diamond Award is North America’s most coveted and respected trademark rating in the global hospitality industry. It is a symbol of excellence,” said the Auto Club’s Approved Accommodations Supervisor Patricia Marenco. “The rating designation is applied to the most superb hotels and restaurants that meet the highest standards of quality consistently. This rating signifies meticulous service and the highest caliber travel and dining experiences. The Auto Club congratulates Southern California’s outstanding 2011 AAA Five Diamond establishments, their management and employees for outstanding work in an ongoing challenging economy for the industry.”

Only about 0.28 percent of lodgings and restaurants 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 2011 AAA Five Diamond Award (the number represents consecutive years) are:

Santa Barbara

– Four Seasons Biltmore Santa Barbara, 6

– Simpson House Inn, 14


– Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, 5

Beverly Hills

– L’Ermitage Beverly Hills, 10

– The Beverly Hills Hotel and Bungalows, 3

– The Peninsula Beverly Hills, 18


– Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, 12

Dana Point

– St. Regis Resort, Monarch Beach, 4

– The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, 25

La Jolla

– The Lodge at Torrey Pines, 9

Los Angeles

-Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, 10

Marina del Rey

– The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey, 19

Newport Beach

– Island Hotel Newport Beach, 19

– Pelican Hill Resort (Newport Coast), 2

San Diego

– The Grand Del Mar, 2

Westlake Village

– Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village, 3

– – –

Two Southern California restaurants receiving a 2011 AAA Five Diamond rating (with consecutive years) are:

Beverly Hills

– The Belvedere (in The Peninsula Beverly Hills), 16

San Diego

– Addison, 3

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 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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