Thirty-two of the county’s inns and restaurants have earned the 2009 AAA Four Diamond, the Southern California Automobile Club said last week.
The rating system is the only one that covers all of North America and one of only two that conducts physical, on-site evaluations, said the Auto Club’s Patricia Marenco.
Lodging properties to make the list for the first time were: the Hard Rock Hotel in downtown, Grande Colonial in La Jolla and the Grand Del Mar Resort, also in San Diego.
With 32 years of Four Diamond awards, the Rancho Bernardo Inn in Rancho Bernardo has been on the list the longest of any hotel in the county, followed by the Marriott Hotel & Marina on San Diego Bay, with 25 years.
Others include the Borrego Ranch Resort & Spa in Borrego Springs; Hotel del Coronado and Loews Coronado Bay Resort, both in Coronado; L’Auberge Del Mar in Del Mar and the Orchard Hill Country Inn in Julian.
Including the Grande Colonial, La Jolla counts five Four Diamond properties: the Estancia Hotel & Spa; Hilton La Jolla/Torrey Pines; Hyatt Regency and the historic La Valencia.
The city of San Diego has nine hotels on the list: the Manchester Grand Hyatt; Omni; Pacific Terrace; US Grant; Westgate and Westin, as well as the Hard Rock , the Marriott Hotel & Marina and the Grand Del Mar.
The Pala Casino Spa and Resort on the Pala Indian Reservation in the North County also earned Four Diamonds as did the Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa, La Va & #173;len & #173;cia’s sister property in Rancho Santa Fe.
Old-timers on the Four Diamond restaurant list include El Bizcocho Restaurant at the Rancho Bernardo Inn, which has collected 19 plaques, Mille Fleurs in Rancho Santa Fe, which has 18, and the Sky Room at La Valencia, which also has 18.
San Diego city eateries include Baci’s; Bertrand at Mister A’s; Grant Grill in the US Grant Hotel and Molly’s at the Marriott Hotel & Marina.
Vivace at the Four Seasons Resort Aviara in Carlsbad also made the list as did A.R. Valentien at the Lodge at Torrey Pines and George’s California Modern, both of which are in La Jolla.
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