You can’t do much better than the coveted AAA Five Diamond designation if you’re a restaurant or hotel, and now, four Chicago restaurants have earned the prestigious awards. With these ratings, Chicago is now home to the second-highest number of AAA Five Diamond restaurants behind New York City. The AAA Five Diamond award is the travel authority's highest and most exclusive rating.
Adds Brad Roeber, regional president of AAA Chicago, "Illinois' eight Five Diamond establishments all offer exemplary surroundings and service and reflect the characteristics of ultimate luxury and experience.” And none of them are new to the designation.
This is the seventh year in a row that Alinea has taken the top honors, while Arun's has earned it 11 years in a row, Tru for 13 years, and Everest has taken home top honors for 17 years. There was also one new Four Diamond restaurant added to AAA’s 2013 list, Grant Achatz's second Chicago restaurant called Next. Achatz, who is the chef-owner of Alinea, created Next with a unique ticketed format that sells pre-priced tickets for specific dates and times like theaters, concerts, and sporting events.
Additionally, four Chicago luxury hotels were also included in the 2013 Five Diamond ratings. They include The Four Seasons Hotel Chicago, which has made the list for 23 years, The Peninsula Chicago at 11 years, and the Waldorf Astoria Chicago and Trump International Hotel & Tower, both at three years.
To become AAA Diamond rated, hotels and restaurants undergo a thorough inspection by one of AAA's 65 full-time, highly trained professional evaluators. Five Diamond establishments complete a more extensive review that includes a series of inspections and final committee review. The Diamond rating process, introduced in 1977 for hotels and 1989 for restaurants, continues to be recognized as one of the most trusted rating process for North American travelers.
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