If you want to stay in the best luxury hotels in Southern California, count the diamonds. AAA recently announced that 14 local hotels meet criteria for its top 2016 Five-Diamond Award.
One-hundred eighteen hotels nationwide and in Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean have been designated with Five Diamonds in 2016.
Newcomers to the luxe list include:
— Hotel Mousai in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
— Park Hyatt New York in New York City
— St. Regis Deer Valley (ski-in, ski-out) in Park City, Utah
— The Cloister in Sea Island, Ga.
— The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain in Marana, Ariz. (near Tucson)
— Trump International Hotel and Tower Toronto in Canada
In Southern California, hotels that make the Five-Diamond list are:
— Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Golf Club & Spa in Carlsbad
— St. Regis Resort, Monarch Beach in Dana Point
— The Lodge at Torrey Pines in La Jolla
— The Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Beach area
— Ojai Valley Inn & Spa in Ojai
— Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa in Rancho Santa Fe
— Four Seasons Resort the Biltmore Santa Barbara in Montecito
AAA give hotels and resorts a thorough inspection each year in determining who meets Four- and Five-Diamond status.