As in previous years, the Stein Eriksen Lodge was one of only two hotels in the state to receive the AAA Five Diamond Rating. The rating, one of the highest designations in the industry, has been awarded to the hotel since 2001, predating the second property to receive the accolade, the Grand American Hotel which received the designation for the first time in 2004.
The process in rating hotels is one that includes multiple drop-in visits, both announced and incognito, from the 100-year-old automotive and travel insurance company. According to AAA, the reviews incorporate more than 30,000 lodging properties across the country, and less than a third of a percent achieve the AAA Five Diamond list.
"The ultimate in luxury and sophistication," read an online AAA statement about the types of properties that make the Five Diamond list. "Physical attributes are extraordinary in every manner. Fundamental hallmarks include meticulous service that exceeds guest expectations, impeccable standards of excellence and personalized services and amenities that provide an unmatched level of comfort."
The Stein Eriksen Lodge Public Relations Manager Sarah Myers said the continued designation is a reflection of the level of service at the hotel. Whether it is remembering a guest's favorite bottle of wine from year to year or grocery shopping and stocking a suite before a guest's arrival, it is the "anticipatory" service that sets the property apart.
"You cannot sit back on your laurels," Myers said. "There are continual expectations we must maintain a certain number with our score. That is a lot of pressure. Could you imagine losing the Five Diamond after already having it for more than a decade?"
"There are time limits, like the time it takes for a bellman to greet you when you pull up or the front desk check you in. They look at the services we offer, like our turn down service, the ability to have 24-hour room service, the same day laundry. Whatever you may need, we can provide it."
This year the property added a handful of new amenities for guests. The hotel demolished and rebuilt the circle entrance, adding a heated cover so that guests could stay out of the cold. The dining room replaced the older chairs with new ones. Three fire pits were added, and construction has begun on a 6,000-square-foot event space.
"We have a history of continued service, a reputation and longevity that benefits us as a destination," Myers added. "But wouldn't it be really amazing to have multiple properties at Deer Valley receive a (Five Diamond) recognition as well? That would bring more excellent clientele, and the properties here work so well together to promote the destination as well as their properties."
"We can all be very different hotels, but I like that we can all achieve this award and remain authentic."