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

Varina Ruritans honor students

The Varina Ruritan Club hosted the winners of its 2014 Environmental Essay contest at its monthly meeting March 11 in Varina.

The contest, in its eighth year, was for the first time open to students in grades 3-5 at Varina Elementary School. (It previously was open to Sandston Elementary School students.)

The meeting included the winners, parents of the winners, Varina Elementary principal Mark Tyler and several teachers who were in charge of the contest at the school. > Read more.

Baseball game to benefit Glen Allen Buddy Ball


For the fifth consecutive year, St. Christopher’s and Benedictine will play a varsity baseball game at Glen Allen's RF&P Park as part of a fundraising effort for the River City Buddy Ball program.

The game will take place Saturday, April 12, at 7 p.m., and the teams hope to raise $3,000 through donations, raffles and other efforts. Admission to the game is free, but fans who attend are asked to donate funds for the Glen Allen Youth Athletic Association's Buddy Ball program, which enables disabled children and teens to play baseball. > Read more.

Highland Springs field to be dedicated in honor of longtime coach Spears

The Henrico Division of Recreation and Parks will dedicate the Highland Springs Little League Majors Field in memory and honor of Rev. Robert “Bob” L. Spears, Jr., on April 12 with a ceremony at the field at 8 a.m.

Spears served the league as a coach and volunteer for 30 years and was praised as a pioneer for equality. His “Finish strong” motto embodied ethical perseverance on the field and in life. > Read more.

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Entertainment

A fun, fuzzy ride

‘Muppets Most Wanted’ worthy of its franchise

Do Muppets sleep? It’s hard to say.

They don’t really eat (or breathe, as far as anyone can tell). And only occasionally do they have visible, functioning legs.

As far as anyone knows, sleeping might be off the table. And that makes it very hard to accuse the Muppets of sleepwalking through their latest feature, Muppets Most Wanted – even if that’s exactly what’s going on.

Jim Henson’s beloved creations were back in a big way after 2011’s The Muppets, with fame and fortune and even an Oscar, a first for the group (“Rainbow Connection” was nominated, yet somehow failed to collect at the ’79 ceremony). > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


There’s no excuse for kids and families to not get out of the house this weekend! The Armour House and Gardens has an “Egg-celent Egg-venture” planned and Reynolds Community College will host the Reynolds Family Palooza. If you’re looking to give back to your community, Dorey Park will host Walk Like MADD and coordinators2inc will present the annual Kids Walk for Kids. And a special event for children with special needs will be on Sunday – the Caring Bunny will be at Virginia Center Commons. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

A new meaning for fried chicken

Is it heresy to say – in this bastion-of-tradition capital of the Old South – that it's time for Southern fried chicken to take a step back and make way for a new fried chicken king?

Count me among the new believers bowing to Bonchon Chicken's delectable double-fried bliss. Hand-brushed with signature garlic soy or hot sauce, flash-fried once and then again, the decadent drums and wings take "crisp" to a new level. If you're eating with a crowd and everyone bites in at once, be warned: you might need ear plugs to handle the din. > Read more.

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