MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The Retirement Systems of Alabama is raking in the awards for its hotel and restaurants. Thursday, AAA Alabama awarded the RSA the largest number of diamonds ever given to one group.
Dr. David Bronner, CEO of the RSA, and executives from the Resort Collection on the RTJ Golf Trail were presented with sever Four Diamond Awards.
"With five hotels and two restaurants receiving this honor on the same day, this is definitely a record for Alabama," said Al Gibbs, Vice President and General Manager, AAA Alabama. "From the Grand Hotel, a long time recipient of the Four Diamond Award, to the newest properties in Montgomery, Florence and Hoover, RSA has done a great deal to improve the hospitality level in our state and for our AAA members. This is the first time Montgomery has had a Four Diamond Award recipient."
- Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa at the Convention Center, in Montgomery – first year
- The Battle House, A Renaissance Hotel, in Mobile – 2 years
- Marriott Shoals Hotel and Spa, in Florence – 3 years
- Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa, in Hoover – 4 years
- Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa, in Point Clear – 30 years
- The Grand Dining Room, in Point Clear – 2 years
- The Trellis Room, in Mobile – 2 years
"Our goal behind the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail and its Resort Collection is to bring new tourists and businesses to Alabama," said Dr. David G. Bronner, CEO of the Retirement Systems of Alabama, which owns five of the hotels and two restaurants featured on the AAA Four Diamond list. "Guests are coming to Alabama from around the world and experiencing Four Diamond properties, cuisine and service. Tourism is changing the perception of Alabama within our state and internationally. We are pleased to be a leading player in this growing industry and continue to work very hard in maintaining our Four Diamond recognitions."
Representing the upper echelon of the hospitality industry, AAA Four and Five Diamond establishments make up just 3.5 percent and 0.28 percent, respectively, of the 58,000 AAA/CAA Diamond Rated lodgings and restaurants throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
"Four and Five Diamond lodgings and restaurants represent the best the hospitality industry has to offer," said AAA Alabama spokesperson, Clay Ingram. "These properties consistently deliver a high level of personal comfort and attention to every guest. To achieve and maintain these ratings is a commendable accomplishment, and we are honored to present these establishments with the Four Diamond Award designation for 2010."
AAA Four and Five Diamond lodgings offer guests a wide range of amenities and services. Restaurants at this level feature a distinctive fine dining experience and complex menus. One hotel in Huntsville and four restaurants in Birmingham also received the Four Diamond honor for 2010.
The assignment of a AAA rating of One to Five Diamonds marks the completion of a successful annual evaluation by one of AAA's professional inspectors. Individually, AAA inspectors conduct an average of more than 1,100 property evaluations per year and, collectively, have some 700 years of industry experience. The average inspector tenure is 12 years, with the longest being 28 years. AAA inspectors work remotely and bring significant prior industry experience to the association.
AAA's Diamond Rating System is the only ratings system that covers all of North America and one of only two that conducts physical, on-site evaluations. It is the only system that uses professionally trained inspectors to evaluate each property using guidelines made available to all establishments. AAA evaluates more properties than any other rating entity. Information about AAA Diamond Ratings and the complete 2010 Four and Five Diamond Award winners lists are accessible at AAA.com/News.
AAA Diamond Ratings are published in AAA TourBook® travel guides, which are available free to AAA members. All travelers can access the searchable listings of AAA Diamond Rated properties using the Travel Guide on AAA.com and through AAA's popular online mapping tool, the TripTik® Travel Planner. One click on the handy map icons opens AAA listings, many with photos, from AAA's database of 58,000 AAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants.
With ten offices across Alabama and more than one thousand offices nationwide, AAA is North America's largest motoring and leisure travel organization. AAA provides travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services to more than 300,000 Alabama members and more than 51 million members nationwide. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at www.AAA.com.
(Disclosure: This station's parent company, Raycom Media, is financed through agreements with the Retirement Systems of Alabama.)