13 March 2003


Jim Rink (313) 336-1513

2003 could be the best year ever for upscale dining and lodging in Michigan. Seventeen Michigan properties earned the prestigious AAA Four Diamond Award for hospitality excellence this year, and one restaurant – The 1913 Room at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids – earned five diamonds, the highest rating granted by AAA.

The 1913 Room is the first restaurant in Michigan to attain five-diamond status and is one of only 53 restaurants nationwide to earn the distinction. Six restaurants and 11 lodging establishments in Michigan now carry the four-diamond rating.

Three Metro Detroit-area hotels and one restaurant are first-time winners this year – Hyatt Regency in Dearborn, Omni Detroit River Place in Detroit, Westin Hotel in Southfield and The Grill restaurant in Dearborn’s Ritz-Carlton Hotel.

Only 2.82 percent of the estimated 28,091 AAA Rated® lodgings and 3.85 percent of the estimated 12,959 AAA Rated® restaurants earn Four Diamond status each year. AAA’s 45 million members rely on diamond ratings in the AAA TourBook® guide to assist them in choosing an establishment.

More than 60 AAA/CAA inspectors visit over 90,000 lodgings, campgrounds, restaurants and attractions each year throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. Tourism editors conduct unannounced evaluations of lodgings and restaurants, scrutinizing such areas as cleanliness, safety, ambiance, amenities and service. Establishments that qualify are assigned a rating of one to five diamonds.

According to AAA guidelines, guests staying at a Four Diamond property in Michigan will find establishments “upscale in design and amenities, attentive to detail and with a high level of hospitality.” Four Diamond awards were presented March 12 during the closing luncheon of the Michigan Hotel, Motel and Resort Association’s annual meeting at Sheraton Lansing.

The other Michigan establishments receiving 2003 Four Diamond awards are: Amway Grand Plaza Hotel of Grand Rapids, 18-year recipient; The Townsend Hotel of Birmingham, 15 years; Ritz-Carlton of Dearborn, 14 years; The Lark Restaurant of West Bloomfield, 13 years; The Atheneum Suite Hotel of Detroit, the Radisson Plaza Hotel and Webster’s Restaurant of Kalamazoo, 10 years; Grand Hotel of Mackinac Island, nine years; Garland of Lewiston, eight years; Tribute of Farmington Hills, six years; Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort of Mt. Pleasant, five years and Rugby Grille of Birmingham and Iridescence in Detroit, two years.

Diamond ratings will be included for each lodging and restaurant listed in the 2003 AAA Michigan/Wisconsin TourBook — one of a series of popular travel guides published for AAA members in the U.S. and Canada. AAA Michigan members can access the Auto Club’s online TourBookâ at www.aaamich.com.

AAA has included lodging information in its travel publications since the early 1900s. The association began rating lodging properties in 1963 and adopted the diamond designation in 1977. Restaurant evaluations began in 1986.