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

Celebrating 106 years

Former Sandston resident Mildred Taylor celebrated her 106th birthday Aug. 9. Taylor, who now lives in Powhatan, is still a member of Sandston Baptist Church. She was visited the day after her birthday by several members of the church, who played for her a recording of the entire church membership singing happy birthday to her during worship. > Read more.

YMCA breaks ground for aquatic center

YMCA officials gathered last week to break ground on the new Tommy J. West Aquatic Center at the Shady Grove Family YMCA on Nuckols Road. The center, which will featured 7,600 square feet of competitive and recreational space, including water slides, play areas for children and warmer water for those with physical limitations, is the fourth phase of a $4 million expansion at the facility. West was president and CEO of Capital Interior Contractors and a founding member of the Central Virginia Region of the Virginia Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors. > Read more.

Rotary donates to ‘Bright Beginnings’

The Sandston Rotary Club recently donated $1,000 to the Sandston YMCA for its Bright Beginnings program, which helps provide children in need with school supplies for the new school year. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


Enjoy the final days of summer with comedian Guy Torry, the Sam’s Club National BBQ Tour or mystery writer Mary Miley Theobald at Twin Hickory Library. Another great way to welcome the beginning of fall is to check out the UR Spider Football season opener with man’s best friend. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Bottoms up

Short Pump brewery offers more than just beer
I am still (happily) thinking about my entire experience at Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery last week. Knowing nothing about this new brewery out of Denver, I was leery of brew-pub in the heart of Short Pump Town Center – this is not what I’d usually think of as a perfect fit, and yet, it was.

The restaurant and craft brewery opened in early June and features 10 beers made by female brewmaster Becky Hammond (pictured). This is the restaurant’s second location in Virginia; the first is in Arlington. Behind glass walls, customers watched the beer brewing in massive steel barrels. For our up-and-coming beer region, it makes sense that Short Pump would jump on board.

As I walked up to the back of the mall near the comedy club, I was taken aback by what I saw: at the top of the stairs was an overflowing restaurant with outdoor seating, large umbrellas and dangling outdoor lights. > Read more.

Cultural Arts Center announces 2014 fall class schedule

The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen is now registering participants for its fall 2014 schedule of classes.

The center will offer more than 100 classes for children and adults, covering topicssuch as culinary arts, fiber arts, visual and performance arts and more. Instruction is structured to appeal to a wide range of abilities, from beginners to experts of all ages. Class sizes are kept small to ensure maximum benefit for participants with generally no more than 15 students. > Read more.

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The Short Pump Ruritan Club is seeking crafters for its 24th annual craft show, which will be held Saturday, Oct. 25, at Short Pump Middle School, 4701 Pouncey Tract Road.… Full text

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