Hotel foodservice often gets a bad rap. And while I can't think of anything worse than being forced to eat in a Courtyard by Marriott restaurant, there are plenty of lodging properties that have the best restaurants in town, even the best in the state.
Last week, AAA announced this yearÃ¢€â„¢s winners of its Five Diamond Awards for both hotels and restaurants in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. Ninety-three hotels and 58 restaurantsÃ¢€”or just .25 percent of the nearly 60,000 establishments rated by the organization each yearÃ¢€”got the coveted five diamonds. What struck me, however, was that 35 of the 58 five-diamond-level restaurants are in hotels. In some locationsÃ¢€”Arizona, Nevada and Virginia, for exampleÃ¢€”all the top restaurants are in hotels. While Mary Elaine's in The Phoenician in Phoenix or the restaurant in the Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas are a long way from the Courtyard, it shows that in many instances, the best culinary, design and service talent is found in hotel restaurants. ItÃ¢€â„¢s time the industry trumpets that fact in its advertising and marketing efforts. Except for Courtyard, of course.