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Auto Club: Top So. Calif. Hotels, Restaurants Receive 2006 AAA Five Diamond Awards

2005 diamond award winners

(LOS ANGELES, Nov. 11, 2005) — Twelve Southern California hotels and one restaurant have

2005 diamond award winners
Representing five-diamond-award-winning hotels and restaurants are, front, from left: Debra Shinn, Rooms Division Manager, The Peninsula Beverly Hills; Mehdi Eftekari, General Manager, Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills; Jack Naderkhani, General Manager, Raffles L’Ermitage Beverly Hills; Alberto del Hoyo, General Manager, The Beverly Hills Hotel; Karen Earp, General Manager, Four Seasons Biltmore Santa Barbara; Rear row, from left: Hans Maissen, General Manager, The Island Hotel Newport Beach; Martin Nicholson, General Manager, The Ritz-Carlton, Huntington Hotel & Spa, Pasadena; Andrew Zephrin, General Manager, The Ritz-Carlton Marina del Rey; Christian Boyens, Director Food and Beverage; The Belvedere Restaurant, Nick Davaz, Managing Partner, Simpson House Inn, Santa Barbara; Bob Kane, Vice President, District Office Operations; Vince Parrotta, Hotel Manager, Four Seasons Resort Aviara, Carlsbad; Dan Fullen, General Manager, The Lodge at Torrey Pines, La Jolla; Chuck Smith, Manager of Approved Accomodations for the Auto Club; and John Dravinski, General Manager, Ritz Carlton, Laguna Niguel.
received the AAA Five Diamond Award for 2006, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California. The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, receiving its 20th consecutive AAA Five Diamond rating, has the longest tenure as a AAA Five Diamond-rated property in California. The newest property on the list is the Four Seasons Biltmore Santa Barbara, receiving its first AAA Five Diamond rating.

"The AAA Five Diamond Award goes to very select hotels and restaurants that meet the highest standards of excellence," said the Auto Club's Approved Accommodations Manager Chuck Smith. "The Auto Club congratulates Southern California's outstanding Five Diamond establishments and their employees for consistently delivering cutting edge travel and culinary experiences with truly world-class service."

More than 57,000 properties are evaluated each year by AAA's 65 full-time evaluators. Only 0.26 percent (less than one-half of 1 percent) earn AAA Five Diamond distinction and a listing in the 2006 AAA TourBook guides.

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. Southern California hotels that received the 2006 AAA Five Diamond Award with consecutive years:

Beverly Hills
The Beverly Hills Hotel and Bungalows, 5
Raffles L'Ermitage, Beverly Hills, 5
The Peninsula Beverly Hills, 13

Four Seasons Resort Aviara, 7

Dana Point
The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, 20

La Jolla
The Lodge at Torrey Pines, 4

Los Angeles
Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, 5

Marina del Rey
The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey, 14

The Ritz-Carlton, Huntington Hotel & Spa, 3

Newport Beach
The Island Hotel Newport Beach, 14

Santa Barbara
Simpson House Inn, 9
Four Seasons Biltmore, 1

The only Southern California restaurant receiving a 2006 AAA Five Diamond rating was The Belvedere in The Peninsula Beverly Hills for the 11th year.

AAA Five Diamond Facts about the 2006 national list: The list includes seven additional restaurants and six more lodgings, bringing the total number of Five Diamond properties to 150.

Only three properties have kept the Five Diamond ratings for 30 years: The Broadmoor, Boulder, Colo.; The Greenbrier, White Sulpher Springs, W. Va.; and Camelback Inn, Scottsdale, Ariz.

States with the most Five Diamond lodgings: California, 15; Florida, nine.

Florida has the most Five Diamond restaurants than any other state with six.

To be considered for AAA approval and rating, lodgings and restaurants must undergo a thorough inspection. The Auto Club's staff reviews Southern California establishments. Five Diamond establishments go through the most extensive reviews of the Diamond rating programs.

AAA started listing accommodation information in its travel publications in the early 1900s. AAA had been doing field inspections restaurants and lodgings since 1937.


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The Automobile Club of Southern California is a member club affiliated with the American Automobile Association (AAA) national federation and serves members in the following California counties: Inyo, Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Tulare, and Ventura.