It's awards season again — for hotels. AAA's Five Diamond Awards were unveiled Friday, and Southern California had 14 in the top category, an honor bestowed on just 120 hotels in the U.S.
Inspectors visit the hotels unannounced, AAA said, and evaluate properties on "guest services, hospitality and the hotel's physical attributes."
But we wanted to know how much one night in the lap of luxury might cost, so we selected a midweek stay (Feb. 22, a Wednesday, because rates tend to be lower at midweek) and found the best available rate using each property's website.
Here are the Five Diamond properties announced Friday and the best rates we found (which may no longer be available). These prices do not include taxes and fees:
Viceroy L'Ermitage Beverly Hills: $704.65 (prepay, standard rate $829)
Dana Point area
Monarch Beach Resort, Monarch Beach: $398.76 (for a March 1 stay — no availability for Feb. 22)
Montage Laguna Beach: $695
Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Golf Club & Spa: $279 ($252 with a AAA discount)
San Diego area
Fairmont Grand del Mar: $345
Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa, Rancho Santa Fe: $682 (Feb. 8)
The Lodge at Torrey Pines: $325 ($296.10 with a AAA or AARP discount, $289.52 if you're a returning guest)
10: 27 a.m.: This article was updated to correct the price of The Lodge at Torrey Pines.