CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Seven Charlotte hotels and three restaurants were honored Friday by AAA Carolinas with Four Diamond Awards, one of the most prestigious rankings given by the organization.

Hotel winners were the recently renovated Charlotte Renaissance SouthPark, Hilton Charlotte City Center, Duke Mansion Historic Inn & Meeting Place, Westin Charlotte, The Ballantyne, Omni Charlotte and Marriott SouthPark. Restaurants were Bonterra Dining & Wine Room, Zebra Restaurant and Fine Catering and McNinch House. Charlotte's Ritz Carlton is the only local property to receive a five-diamond rating from AAA.

Dave Parsons, president of AAA Carolinas, said that inspectors from the organization examine 58,000 properties annually. Only about 3 percent earn Four Diamond ratings, and the Carolinas are disproportionately represented for their size. Clearly, southern hospitality is alive and well here, he told winners at a luncheon at the Omni.

This was the first year for the Renaissance SouthPark, a Marriott property, to make the four-diamond list. Marriott's nearby SouthPark hotel has had a four-diamond rating for 23 consecutive years, the longest in the region.

Among restaurants, it was the 15th consecutive year for the McNinch House on the list.

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