Hotel food is not so bad

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Hotel foodservice often gets a bad rap. And while I can't think of anything worse than being forced to eat in a Courtyard by Marriott restaurant, there are plenty of lodging properties that have the best restaurants in town, even the best in the state.

Last week, AAA announced this yearâ€â„¢s winners of its Five Diamond Awards for both hotels and restaurants in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. Ninety-three hotels and 58 restaurants—or just .25 percent of the nearly 60,000 establishments rated by the organization each year—got the coveted five diamonds. What struck me, however, was that 35 of the 58 five-diamond-level restaurants are in hotels. In some locations—Arizona, Nevada and Virginia, for example—all the top restaurants are in hotels. While Mary Elaine's in The Phoenician in Phoenix or the restaurant in the Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas are a long way from the Courtyard, it shows that in many instances, the best culinary, design and service talent is found in hotel restaurants. Itâ€â„¢s time the industry trumpets that fact in its advertising and marketing efforts. Except for Courtyard, of course.

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