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Tampa Bay area has about a dozen AAA four diamond hotels, but no five diamonds

Guests at the Don CeSar relax on St. Pete Beach last August. The Don Cesar is one of about a dozen bay area hotels to receive a prized four-star rating from AAA. SCOTT KEELER | Times (2017)
Published Jan. 31, 2018

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.

FOUR 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.

RELATED COVERAGE:

Tampa Bay is enjoying a hotel boom. Could a five-star be coming?

The Loews Don CeSar on St. Pete Beach sold for $202.6 million

Having JW Marriott run Water Street Tampa's new 519-room hotel expected to help Tampa pursue more upscale conventions

JW Marriott Clearwater Beach project still on target despite some bumps

Long awaited $100 million project would bring JW Marriott luxury hotel to Clearwater Beach

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