Ritz-Carlton Charlotte, which opened last October, has received the AAA five diamond rating - the first Queen City hotel to earn the organization's top rating.
The 146-room hotel becomes the third hotel in North Carolina with five diamonds. Nationally, 113 hotels have the rating, said AAA Carolinas spokesman Brendan Byrnes. The rating, which follows AAA inspections, can allow hotels to charge more.
"We are truly honored to receive this award, which was earned by extremely dedicated staff," the hotel's general manager, David Rothwell, said in a news release.
The hotel was built by Bank of America. When first announced, the hotel had a $60 million price tag. Charlotte has six four-diamond hotels, AAA's second-highest rating: Hilton Charlotte Center City, Marriott Charlotte SouthPark, Omni Charlotte Hotel, The Ballantyne Hotel & Lodge, the Duke Mansion Historic Inn and the Westin Charlotte.
"We've never had a five diamond in Charlotte," said Tom Crosby, vice president of communications for AAA Carolinas. "This is a crowning achievement to finally get one."
The level of service is what distinguishes five diamond hotels, Crosby said. Employees anticipate guests' needs and call them by their first or last names, he said.
The other five diamond hotels in North Carolina are the Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary and the Fearrington House in Pittsboro. Observer archives contributed.