The Chumash Casino Resort and its fine dining restaurant, The Willows, have once again earned the coveted AAA Four Diamond Award, a designation presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California to only the finest hotels and restaurants.

This year marks the seventh consecutive year the Chumash Casino Resort has earned Four Diamond status. The Chumash Casino Resort is one of only seven hotels receiving the prestigious recognition in Santa Barbara County. The other properties include The Ballard Inn in Ballard, the Santa Ynez Inn in Santa Ynez; the Petersen Village Inn in Solvang; Fess Parker’s Doubletree Resort, Harbor View Inn, and Inn on Summer Hill in Santa Barbara.

Only two restaurants in the county earned the recognition – the Chumash Casino Resort’s The Willows and the Ballard Inn restaurant. The Willows has now received the AAA Four Diamond Award six years in a row.

“The AAA Four Diamond award is a respected benchmark in the industry. It’s very gratifying that we continuously reach that standard of excellence for our hotel and restaurant,” said Bill Peters, General Manager of the Chumash Casino Resort.

Winners of the 2011 Four Diamond award rank among the top 3.4 percent of more than 2,600 Southern California hotels, motels and restaurants inspected by the Automobile Club of Southern California, the nation’s largest AAA affiliate

“We are very proud to be continuously recognized among the top hotels and restaurants in Southern California,” said Vincent Armenta, tribal chairman of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, owners of the Resort and The Willows. “This is once again a great achievement by our dedicated and committed staff.”

To become AAA approved and diamond rated, hotels and restaurants undergo a rigorous inspection by one of AAA’s specially-trained full-time evaluators. The Automobile Club’s staff reviews establishments in Southern California without prior notification to ensure that they experience a hotel and restaurant just as a guest would.

“Each and every one of our staff members works hard to create an exceptional guest experience,” said John Martino, executive director of hospitality of the Chumash Casino Resort Hotel. “To continuously receive this prestigious honor is testament to our staff’s hard work and dedication.”

The Chumash Casino Resort, located off Highway 246 in the Santa Ynez Valley, is owned by the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. Offering 24/7 gaming, three restaurants, headline entertainers, a luxury hotel and spa, the Resort has quickly become the entertainment destination of choice in the Santa Ynez Valley. With 1,700 employees, the Chumash Casino Resort is also the largest employer in the Valley and among the largest in Santa Barbara County.

For a complete list of the AAA Four Diamond Award of Excellence properties, visit the AAA website at:


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