AAA Northeast Celebrates 2018 Five Diamond Awards

five diamond award lunch

New York City shone a little brighter than usual on Monday afternoon, April 9, as representatives from top New York restaurants and hotels gathered to acquire some new bling – a AAA Five Diamond designation.

The second annual luncheon was hosted by the Park Hyatt New York. A Five Diamond property since 2015, the hotel provided a luxe, modern space where the best in the hospitality industry could toast to their accomplishments.

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From passed hors d’oeuvres and Champagne to a finale of sweets starring housemade bourbon Twinkies, the Park Hyatt staff and kitchen exemplified a Five Diamond Rated experience from start to finish.

Director of Travel Operations for AAA Northeast, Mike Rotondo, led the awards ceremony, presenting each hotel and restaurant with a plaque, surely destined for a prominent spot on the wall.

AAA Diamonds are among the most well-known and respected ratings in the travel industry. Covering North America, Mexico and the Caribbean, evaluations are based on anonymous, in-person assessments built on the priorities and preferences of members (aka, you, the traveler).

“It’s such an honor and pride for us to receive it,” said Alton Chun, hotel manager of the Park Hyatt New York. “The AAA Five Diamond Award represents the hard work of our colleagues, the experience that our guests have, all the hours that go into creating a great product…and delivering on that service day in and day out for our guests.”

Click here to see this year’s full list Five Diamond Award recipients.

aaa five diamond lunch
Alton Chun, hotel manager of the Park Hyatt New York Hotel, welcomes the crowd.

New York City is an especially fitting location for a celebration, as it has the highest concentration of Five Diamond establishments in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. Within that footprint, New York state holds the record for Five Diamond restaurants and ranks second overall for Five Diamond hotels.

Of New York’s 21 Five Diamond recipients, representatives from 14 attended the luncheon, including two of the longest-running consecutive Five Diamond Award designees: Jean-Georges Restaurant (20 years) and the Four Seasons Hotel New York (24 years).

aaa five diamond lunch
James Spencer, general manager of the newly appointed AAA Five Diamond Rated Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare, is congratulated by Lloyd P. Albert, vice president of public and government affairs for AAA Northeast.

The Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare is an exciting new addition to the world of Five Diamonds. Located in an unmarked “hidden restaurant” behind a grocery store in Hell’s Kitchen, the 18-seat chef’s table prepares an extravagant tasting menu right in front of guests. Most of the restaurants new to the list this year feature tasting menus and an interactive environment.

Two new hotels also made the cut. The Four Seasons New York Hotel Downtown stands out for its high-tech meets classic comfort-style – and its 75-foot lap pool. And the Langham New York impresses guests and AAA inspectors alike with its modern-minimalist style, first-rate fine dining and top-quality spa.

aaa five diamond lunch
Representatives from New York hotels and restaurants pose with their AAA Five Diamond awards.

Any Diamond Rating is an accomplishment, but Five Diamond properties are held to the very highest standards of AAA’s rigorous inspection process. They are the best of the best in the hospitality industry.

Hotels that earn the Five Diamond title offer the ultimate in luxury and sophistication. Of the more than 27,000 AAA Inspected and Approved hotels, fewer than half of 1 percent receive the Five Diamond Rating.

For restaurants, Five Diamonds denote establishments with an acclaimed chef, leading-edge cuisine made with the finest ingredients and extraordinary surroundings. Just 0.2 percent of the more than 31,000 AAA Inspected & Approved restaurants are Five Diamond Rated. Shadow a AAA restaurant inspector.

“[It’s] a very difficult thing to do, to get a Five Diamond Rating,” said Robert Sinclair, director of media relations for AAA Northeast. “For these properties to get Five Diamonds – and some of them for many, many years – is a testament to the hard work, dedication and quality of what they do.”

Learn more about AAA Diamond Ratings at Travelers can also find information on Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants on the AAA Mobile app, in AAA’s online Travel Guides, the AAA Travel Planner tool, in AAA TourBooks available at AAA offices and by asking Alexa or Google Home.


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