Nine Hawaiʻi restaurants have received the 2016 AAA Four or AAA Five Diamond Award, the highest rating issued by AAA Hawaiʻi. The restaurant red salt in Poʻipū appears on the list for the first time, and Maui’s Spago restaurant in Wailea was among the Four Diamond award recipients.
AAA Five Diamond rating has been awarded to the following restaurants with the year rated:
- Chef Mavro, Honolulu (2008)
- La Mer, at the Halekulani Hotel in Honolulu (1990)
AAA Four Diamond rating has been awarded to the following restaurants with the year rated:
- Bali Steak & Seafood in Honolulu on Oʻahu (1989)
- Hoku’s in Honolulu on Oʻahu (2002)
- Orchids in Honolulu on Oʻahu (1995)
- Brown’s Beach House on the Kohala Coast of Hawaiʻi (2011)
- Manta & Pavilion Wine Bar on the Kohala Coast of Hawaiʻi (2014)
- red salt at the Ko’a Kea Hotel & Resort in Poipu on Kauaʻi (2015)
- Spago in Wailea on Maui (2010)
AAA’s professional inspectors evaluate and rate thousands of and restaurants and hotels each week, more than any other rating entity, according to a company announcement. The AAA Diamond hotel ratings  were announced in January.
“The AAA Four and Five Diamond Rating for restaurants are earned through daily dedication to maintaining exceptional standards,” said the AAA Hawaiʻi’s General Manager Liane Sumida. “AAA Hawaiʻi congratulates our nine outstanding 2016 AAA Four and Five Diamond restaurants, their management and employees for their hard work attending to guests’ needs and delivering memorable dining experiences.”
According to the announcement, the AAA Diamond rating system provides consumers with “the broadest coverage of any US rating system,” geographically and by number of properties rated, including the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.
To be considered for AAA approval and rating, restaurants must undergo a thorough unannounced evaluation. AAA’s full-time inspection staff reviews restaurants nationwide, including Hawaiʻi. AAA Five Diamond restaurants go through the most extensive reviews of the Diamond rating programs with multiple unannounced evaluations.
AAA representatives say Inspectors bring significant prior industry experience to the association and apply that experience to give members effective, consistent evaluations that can be used to select the restaurant that meets their travel desires.