Ritz Carlton Denver Again Earns AAA’s Top Honors

Hotel celebrates fourth consecutive year for Five Diamond honors

HotelExteriorThe Ritz Carlton Denver was been honored with AAA’s top Five Diamond Award for the fourth year in a row — pretty good for a hotel that only opened in January of 2008 and managed to institute high standards just as the Recession was kicking into high gear and has maintained them ever since. It is one of only 125 hotels in North America to achieve this stratospheric rating in context of the hospitality industry. If you frequently read this blog, you know that I can be snarky and critical, so believe me when I write that Five Diamonds from AAA, like Five Stars from rival Forbes, is a very big deal.

The coveted award itself on display for the celebratory reception.
The coveted award itself on display for the celebratory reception.

The hotel had a rough start. Its location next to the Greyhound Station could hardly be called prestigious. As the Recession settled in, sales of the pricey condos on the top floors of the tower were discouraging. But still, the hotel set a high bar for itself and succeeded. In my view, the hotel’s numerous honors should also be for triumph over a perfect storm of challenges. Partnering with Elways on the lobby-level restaurant was a bright spot through this time and remains a draw for locals as well as visitors.  I was happy to be invited to celebrate this honor and raise my champagne glass in a toast to AAA for making this award possible and for the Denver team for earning it.

The lavish party included excellent oysters on the half shelf cleverly served in a traditional seafood can.
The lavish party included succulent Kumamoto oysters on pickled cucumber and topped with American caviar, cleverly served in a traditional seafood can.


The state with the most Five Diamond properties is, not surprisingly, California. Colorado has three: The extraordinary Broadmoor in Colorado Springs for the last 37 years and the Little Nell Hotel in at the base of Aspen Mountain. Each of these three has garnered numerous other awards too, but the party was specifically for the AAA honors, and general manager Steve Janicek invited representatives of the other two hotels to join the celebration.