Diamonds aren't just a girl's best friend. Hotels and restaurants like them, too.
The Broadmoor on Friday was named a five-diamond property for 2014 by AAA - the 38th consecutive year the Colorado Springs hotel and resort was recognized with the organization's top honor. The Broadmoor is the only property that has received five diamonds each year since the awards were started in 1976. AAA rates properties in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.
The Little Nell in Aspen and The Ritz-Carlton in Denver were Colorado's only other five-diamond properties.
Three area hotels were rated as four-diamond properties: The Cliff House in Manitou Springs, and the Cheyenne Mountain Resort and the Mining Exchange, A Wyndham Grand Hotel, in Colorado Springs.
The Cliff House has received four diamonds each year since 2001, while the Cheyenne Mountain Resort has received the honor in consecutive years since 2007. The Mining Exchange has received a four-diamond rating each of the first two years it's been open.
Guests can expect a quality experience from hotels that consistently receive high ratings, said AAA Colorado spokeswoman Wave Dreher.
"If you go to one of these properties, you're not going to be just one of those lucky guests to have a good experience," Dreher said. "It means they are so consistent and so good, you know what you're walking into."
Unlike ratings on social media sites, where commenters use all manner of experiences to judge hotels, AAA's ratings reflect consistent standards so hotel-goers know what to expect, Dreher said.
According to AAA's website, four-diamond properties are "refined and stylish with upscale physical attributes that reflect enhanced quality throughout. Fundamental hallmarks include extensive amenities and a high degree of hospitality, service and attention to detail." Five-diamond properties are "the ultimate in luxury and sophistication. Extraordinary physical attributes, meticulous personalized service, extensive amenities and impeccable standards of excellence."
Despite the advent of social media sites such as TripAdvisor, AAA's awards remain important for hotel properties, said Steve Bartolin, The Broadmoor's president and CEO.
"It's still relevant, it's a great source of pride," said Bartolin, who credited hotel employees for the award. "The standards that AAA has, it's a high hurdle to achieve on a consistent basis. It doesn't take much to slip up here or there."
Meanwhile, AAA rated The Broadmoor's Penrose Room as Colorado's only five-star restaurant, an honor it's received each year since 2007. Local four-diamond restaurants were The Cliff House Dining Room and The Broadmoor's Summit; those restaurants have received four-diamond ratings each year since 2001 and 2006, respectively.
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