AAA Travel Guide awards please Valley hotels, eateries - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

AAA Travel Guide awards please Valley hotels, eateries

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Posted: Friday, November 11, 2005 5:49 am | Updated: 9:08 am, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

It’s mostly a repeat of last year’s list, but local tourism experts are anything but blasé about picking up bundles of diamonds at the AAA Travel Guide awards Thursday.

Just two weeks after getting snubbed by Mobil Guide raters for the second year in a row, five Arizona hotels and three restaurants — all properties in or near Scottsdale except for one restaurant — bagged five diamonds.

Another 13 East Valley hotels and 16 restaurants earned four diamonds, the second most prestigious designation. One new eatery, Vu at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale at Gainey Ranch, upped the local ante this year.

"I am thrilled to see Scottsdale have that representation of four- and five-diamond awards," said Rachel Sacco, president of the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. "(AAA) seems to mirror how our visitors see our destination."

Sacco said regardless of what Mobil raters think, frequent visitors’ surveys indicate out-of-towners who come to the destination rate Scottsdale resorts top honors. To earn even a fourdiamond designation, a hotel has to "be at the top of its game," said AAA Arizona vice president Jim Prueter. That means having all the right amenities from elegant spas to fine dining to luxurious accommodations, he said. But it’s usually staff that bumps a property from four to five sparklers, Prueter said.

5 diamonds

AAA five-diamond awards in Arizona (number of consecutive years on the list): Hotels

• The Boulders Resort and Golden Door Spa, Carefree (17 years)

• Fairmont Scottsdale Princess (15 years)

• Four Seasons Scottsdale Resort at Troon North (five years)

• JW Marriott Camelback Inn Resort & Spa, Paradise Valley (30 years)

• The Phoenician (two years) Restaurants

• Marquesa, in the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess (15 years)

• Mary Elaine’s, in The Phoenician (7 years)

4-diamond hotels

Four-diamond hotels in or near the East Valley (number of consecutive years on list)

• Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix (two years)

• CopperWynd Resort and Club, Fountain Hills (four years)

• Hilton Scottsdale Resort & Villas (three years)

• Hyatt Regency Scottsdale at Gainey Ranch (18 years)

• JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa, Phoenix (three years)

• Pointe South Mountain Resort, Ahwatukee Foothills (four years)

• The Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix (one year)

• Royal Palms Resort & Spa, Phoenix (eight years)

• Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain, Paradise Valley (four years)

• Scottsdale Marriott at McDowell Mountain (three years)

• Scottsdale Resort & Conference Center (two years)

• Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa, Gila River Indian Community (three years)

• The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa, Phoenix (three years)

4-diamond restaurants

Four-diamond restaurants in Arizona (number of consecutive years on the list):

• Acacia, Four Seasons Scottsdale (six years)

• Alchemy at CopperWynd, Fountain Hills (three years)

• The Chaparral, JW Marriott Camelback Inn, Paradise Valley (16 years)

• Deseo, Westin Kierland, Phoenix (three years)

• Elements Restaurant, Sanctuary, Paradise Valley (four years)

• La Hacienda, Fairmont Scottsdale Princess (13 years)

• Kai, Sheraton Wild Horse Pass, Gila River Indian Community (three years)

• Latilla Dining Room, Boulders Resort, Carefree (12 years)

• Michael’s at the Citadel, Scottsdale (two years)

• Mosaic, Scottsdale (two years)

• Palm Court, Scottsdale Resort & Conference Center (two years)

• Ristorante Tuscany, JW Marriott Resort at Desert Ridge, Phoenix (three years)

• T. Cook’s at the Royal Palms Resort & Spa, Phoenix (two years)

• The Terrace Dining Room, The Phoenician, Phoenix (11 years)

• Vu, Hyatt Regency Scottsdale at Gainey Ranch (one year)

• Wright’s, Arizona Biltmore, Phoenix (four years)

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