AAA Michigan honors hotels, restaurants

 They’re not the Oscars or the Grammys, but the AAA Four Diamond Awards do create some buzz, at least in the tourism industry and among armchair travelers.

 AAA Michigan bestowed its highest honors Tuesday on 15 hotels and five restaurants. The awards were presented as the grand finale of the Pure Michigan Governor’s Conference on Tourism at the RenCen in Detroit. This year’s conference marked the biggest ever, with more than 900 participants.

 Rejoining the list of honorees is the Radisson Plaza Hotel and Suites in Kalamazoo, which has renovated its 340 guest rooms, lobby, ballroom and lounge. The hotel had been a Four Diamond recipient for years before the renovation.

 Three Detroit hotels were honored for hospitality industry excellence. They were: Westin Book Cadillac, MotorCity Casino Hotel, and MGM Grand Detroit.

 The other award winners were: Townsend Hotel, Birmingham; Dearborn Inn and The Henry Hotel Autograph Collection, both in Dearborn; Amway Grand Plaza Hotel and JW Marriott Hotel, both in Grand Rapids; Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island; Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort, Mount Pleasant; Inn at St. John’s, Plymouth; Royal Park Hotel, Rochester; Westin Detroit Metropolitan Airport, Romulus; Westin Southfield.

 Restaurants earning AAA’s Four Diamond were: Rugby Grill, Birmingham; Café Cortina, Farmington Hills; Cygnus 27, Grand Rapids; The Lark, West Bloomfield; and Iridesence at the MotorCity Casino Hotel.

 AAA began field inspections of hotels and restaurants in 1937. The formal Diamond rating for hotels was launched in 1976. The rating for restaurants was rolled out a decade later.

Greg Tasker
Greg Tasker is Detroit News Arts and Entertainment Editor and has been writing about travel for more than a decade. His travel stories have appeared in AAA Living, Frommer's Budget Travel, Scouting, AMC Outdoors, Vermont Life and Island Life.