Reviewed by: Pat Byington
The Laurel Hotel & Spa, a luxurious destination in Auburn, just became the first hotel in Alabama to receive the prestigious AAA Five Diamond Designation—making it one of just 89 hotels in the nation to receive the honor. Read on to find out why.
About The Laurel Hotel & Spa
The Laurel Hotel & Spa is a unique teaching hotel adjacent to the Tony & Libba Rane Culinary Science Center (RCSC), the home to Auburn University’s Horst Schulze School of Hospitality Management, which opened its doors in August 2022.
The impressive property sits atop culinary labs and classrooms as well as 1856 – Culinary Residence, the world’s first teaching restaurant to serve a tasting menu. Chef in Residence Ford Fry and Master Sommelier Thomas Price are at the helm of this culinary gem.
On the exterior of the hotel, visitors can find a rooftop lounge and infinity pool with cabanas. A rooftop garden operated in partnership with Auburn University’s Horticulture Department provides produce used at 1856 – Culinary Residence and by students in culinary laboratories.
The prestigious AAA Five Diamond Designation
What’s so special about this designation, though? Just 89 hotels across the nation have received the recognition, making it a prestigious honor. The “4 Cs” of AAA Diamond ratings are cleanliness, comfort, cuisine and consistency. Those properties that receive the Five Diamond Designation, “offer ultimate luxury and leading-edge cuisine” (AAA).
“I am ecstatic that The Laurel Hotel & Spa has received this fantastic recognition in its very first year of operation…
We are immensely proud to be the first hotel in the state of Alabama to receive a Five Diamond designation and are excited to share this accolade as part of our larger goal to establish Auburn as a world-class destination for both hospitality and education.”Hans van der Reijden, Founder + CEO, Ithaka Hospitality Partners
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