Turns out diamonds aren’t only this—and many other—girl’s best friend. For the last 80 years, AAA has engaged professional inspectors to annually evaluate and rate some 30,000 hotels to determine how many AAA Diamonds each will be awarded. Of those, only 5.4% garner the prestigious Four Diamond accolade. Since 2010, Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa has made the cut, as it will again in 2016. That’s seven consecutive years of this stunning resort receiving this coveted designation.
Agua Caliente is in good company, joining such other esteemed properties as The Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, The W in Chicago, and New York City’s Le Parker Meridien in Manhattan. Here in Rancho Mirage, The Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa also received four diamonds last year.
I recently spoke to Agua Caliente’s Director of Hotel Operations Mark Averett about what this prize means to him personally, and to the resort. “We are fortunate that our owners, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, had the vision to create an absolutely amazing resort for us to represent,” he says. “AAA requires the physical property, guest service, and amenities to be upscale in all areas; qualities this property meets and exceeds in all categories. In addition to the elegance and cleanliness of Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa, the staff in all areas are the most passionate, genuine, and service-oriented professionals I have had the pleasure of working with.”
This repeated acknowledgement from AAA is but one in a long list of awards the resort has earned. Said list includes the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for the past five years (which resulted in Agua receiving that company’s coveted Hall of Fame Award), in addition to honorable mentions from Booking.com, Orbitz, and Expedia, to name but three.
“As Director of Hotel Operations, there is no bigger honor than to receive this award in recognition of the team’s diligent work,” Mark went on to tell me. “Each individual striving for excellence day after day breeds an ultimate sense of teamwork and pride. It’s extremely gratifying to see the amount of effort put forward by so many having one shared purpose. Being in this elite class of hotels—particularly exclusive among casino resorts—is not only a point of pride for our owners and team members but also central to our marketing efforts. Being able to showcase the Four Diamond rating allows us to appeal to discerning travelers who seek out a level of experience not available at other hotels or casino resorts.”
As I’ve always known, AAA—and so many others—seem to agree with me that taking a gamble on Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa is about as safe a bet as they come. Congrats to my hot water casino, and here’s to an amazing 2016 for all of us in Rancho Mirage, the Palm Springs Valley, and beyond! www.hotwatercasino.com