PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The local office of AAA, the automobile and travel advocacy group, today recognized the cream of the crop in area restaurants and hotels.

Fourteen hotels and restaurants made the AAA’s Four and Five Diamond levels.  Ron Kosh, of AAA Mid-Atlantic, outlined the criteria for restaurants: “The ambiance, the quality of the food, the level of the service, and ultimately the entire dining experience.”

The evaluations are done first by secret AAA evaluators, then public input.

The Four Seasons Hotel, now open 27 years, is on the list for the 27th time, and spokeswoman Farra D’Orazio said lots of people can share the credit for that.

“We have a wonderful staff who takes a lot of pride in their service and work really hard to maintain the highest level that we can,” she told KYW Newsradio.

Le Meridien Hotel is on the list for the first time, and general manager Evan Evans is delighted.

“We just opened in May of last year, so we have not even hit our one-year anniversary yet, and we are excited to be recognized by AAA as a Four Diamond property,” he said.

The following properties received four or five diamonds in the latest listing:

▪  The Four Seasons Hotel, Philadelphia (27 year recipient)
▪  The Rittenhouse Hotel, Philadelphia (20 year recipient)
▪  Omni Hotel at Independence Park, Philadelphia (20 year recipient)
▪  Fountain Restaurant, Four Seasons Hotel (17 year recipient)
▪  Swann Lounge & Café, Philadelphia (17 year recipient)
▪  Park Hyatt at the Bellevue, Philadelphia (16 year recipient)
▪  Lacroix at the Rittenhouse, Philadelphia (15 year recipient)
▪  The Westin Philadelphia (11 year recipient)
▪  The Hilton Inn at Penn, Philadelphia (10 year recipient)
▪  Sofitel Philadelphia (10 year recipient)
▪  Moshulu, Philadelphia (7 year recipient)
▪  Loews Philadelphia Hotel (4 year recipient)
▪  The Inn at Bowman’s Hill, New Hope (4 year recipient)
▪  Le Meridien Philadelphia (1st year recipient)

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Reported by John Ostapkovich, KYW Newsradio 1060.

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