About a dozen Tampa Bay area hotels Wednesday got four-diamond ratings from AAA. But the bay area has no hotels with the auto club’s highest rating of five diamonds.
What AAA says they are: Refined and stylish, with upscale physical attributes, extensive amenities and high degrees of hospitality, service and attention to detail.
How many: 145 in Florida. About 6.1 percent of all 27,000-plus hotels rated by AAA.
Where they are around Tampa Bay:
Tampa (The Epicurean, Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay, Le Méridien, Renaissance Tampa International Plaza, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa and Westin Tampa Bay)
Clearwater Beach (Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort & Spa, Opal Sands Resort and Sandpearl Resort)
Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club
Don CeSar in St. Pete Beach
Ritz-Carlton and Westin in Sarasota
The Resort At Longboat Key Club
FIVE DIAMOND HOTELS
What AAA says they offer: Ultimate luxury, sophistication and comfort. Extraordinary physical attributes. Meticulous personalized service. Extensive amenities. Impeccable standards of excellence.
How many: 10 in Florida (third most in the U.S.), including the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World, The Breakers in Palm Beach and Ritz-Carlton in Naples. Just 0.4 percent of AAA-rated hotels. None in the Tampa Bay area.
Hope for the future? Two hotels-in-the-making have been mentioned as potential five-star candidates: One is a 150-room boutique hotel planned at Water Street Tampa, the big Jeff Vinik-Cascade Investment project. The other is the JW Marriott planned on Clearwater Beach.