Henrico County VA
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3 Henrico hotels honored

Three Henrico County hotels are among 10 in the Central and Western Virginia regions being honored today at the AAA Mid-Atlantic 2011 Diamond Awards luncheon. The Hilton Richmond Hotel and Spa in Short Pump; the Wyndham Virginia Crossing Hotel and Conference Center in Glen Allen; and The Westin Richmond each will be recognized as an AAA Four Diamond Award hotel during the event, which will be held at The Westin. The award will be the first for the Hilton, the second award for The Westin and the seventh for the Wyndham Virginia Crossing.

The awards are designed to honor hotels that consistently deliver a memorable experience, quality amenities and an unforgettable ambiance, according the AAA Mid-Atlantic. Three restaurants in the region – Fossett’s, Keswick (for the seventh year); Lemaire, Richmond (for the first year); and The Old Mill Room (The Boar’s Head), Charlottesville (for the 24th year) – earned Four Diamond Awards. Only 3.6 percent of the 59,000 Diamond-rated hotels and restaurants won the award this year.

Only one hotel in the region – The Jefferson in Richmond – earned the organization's Five Diamond Award. It is the 18th such award for that property.

Other Four Diamond Award winners among hotels are: The Berkeley Hotel, Richmond (for the 22nd year); The Boar’s Head, Charlottesville (for the 10th year); The Homestead, Hot Springs (for the 7th year); Keswick Hall at Monticello, Keswick (for the 10th year); The Martha Washington Inn and Spa, Abingdon (for the 13th year); and The Oaks Victorian Hotel, Christiansburg (for the 16th year).

“Properties honored today offer guest consummate service, amenities and an overall experience that is truly wonderful. The attention to detail and high quality that these elite properties give to everything from food and service to décor and ambiance is exquisite,” said Martha Mitchell Meade, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “It is especially impressive for Richmond to be welcoming its second new Four Diamond property since 2009. The Hilton Richmond Hotel and Spa in the Short Pump area is the region’s newest addition to the ranks.”
 
“Sustaining quality which pleases the most discriminating guests/patrons is never easy. The properties celebrated today truly understand the dynamics of being outstanding in every way offering guests distinctive dining experiences with complex menus and an array of amenities and services. All of the properties are to be congratulated for their dedication and success,” said Meade. “We are pleased that so many establishments in our area have reached this level of service, and we are honored to present them with the Five or Four Diamond Award designation for 2011.”
 
AAA rates more properties than any other rating entity and is the only rating system that covers the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. It is one of only two that conduct physical, on-site evaluations. AAA Approved lodgings and restaurants are assigned a rating of One to Five Diamonds. AAA began field inspections of lodgings and restaurants in 1937 and introduced a formal rating system for accommodations in 1963. The early rating system evolved into the Diamond Rating System for lodgings in 1976 and was rolled out for restaurants between 1986 and 1991. Professionally trained AAA/CAA inspectors use published guidelines to evaluate and rate properties as a service to members.


Community

Garden tails

The threat of bad weather didn’t keep visitors away from Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden July 10 for the facility’s weekly Flowers After 5 event (which pairs music and food with a chance to stroll the garden) and its monthly Fidos After 5 (which allows dog owners to bring their pets with them to enjoy the evening). > Read more.

Western Henrico Rotary helps fund Midwives For Haiti Jeep


Thanks in part to a $10,000 gift from the Western Henrico Rotary Club, another bright pink Jeep modified to travel extremely rough terrain has been delivered to Midwives For Haiti so that more pregnant women in the quake-ravaged country will have access to prenatal care and a greater chance of surviving childbirth.

The funds were raised at the annual casino night held in February, club president Adam Cherry said. The Rotary Club also helped purchase the Virginia-based charity’s first pink jeep three years ago. > Read more.

Agencies combine on new entry point to Chickahominy


Canoeing and kayaking enthusiasts soon will have a new access point to the Chickahominy River. VDOT, the James River Association and Henrico County Parks and Recreation are teaming up to establish a new site in Eastern Henrico.

The James River Association negotiated the deal with VDOT to procure official access to the area located just east of I-295 on North Airport Road in Sandston. The site includes a park-and-ride commuter lot bordering the Chickahominy River and has been an unofficial launch site used by paddlers for years. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


An eclectic array of events are taking place this weekend throughout the county. In the West End, we have the Richmond Wedding Expo, the Under the Stars Family Film Series and Henrico Theatre Company’s production of “Pump Boys and Dinettes.” In the eastern part of the county, we have a blood drive at the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center, Gallmeyer Farm’s annual Sweet Corn Festival and an origami workshop at Fairfield Library. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

New Italian restaurant opens in Short Pump

Charlottesville's Bella’s Restaurant recently opened a location in Short Pump Village, at 11408 West Broad Street. The restaurant is owned by Valeria Biesnti, a native of Rome who arrived in the U.S. at age 21 and later became a U.S. citizen. With her restaurants, Bisenti has sought to create an ambiance that welcomes diners in a casual setting, like her favorites from her hometown. > Read more.

Henrico native to appear on Travel Channel show


A Henrico native will appear on the third episode of the Travel Channel's new grilling competition series “American Grilled.”

The episode, filmed in Charlottesville, will premier July 16 at 9 p.m. and feature Glen Allen-native Rex Holmes, a patent lawyer who operates http://SavoryReviews.com a blo,g centered around tasty recipes and BBQ.

The show features hardcore grilling enthusiasts from across the country going head-to-head for a chance to compete for a $10,000 cash prize and bragging rights when they are crowned the ultimate “grill master.” > Read more.

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