Five hotels, resorts and inns in the Myrtle Beach area recently received AAA's prestigious Four Diamond Lodging Award, and none of them are strangers to the honor.
The 2013 awards were announced in February 2014. Only a handful of the hundreds of hotels on the Grand Strand - which covers the 60-mile stretch of beach from the Carolina border to Georgetown and inland from the coast to Conway - made the list.
Earning the Four Diamond rating, along with the number of years they have received the award, are the historic Cypress Inn in Conway (16 years), the Marriott Myrtle Beach Resort and Spa at Grande Dunes (nine years), the Marina Inn at Grande Dunes in Myrtle Beach (seven years) and North Myrtle Beach hotels the Mar Vista Resort (four years) and North Beach Plantation (three years).
Four Diamonds, five winners — Photo courtesy of Marriott Myrtle Beach Resort at Grande Dunes
The exclusive award was bestowed on only 34 hotels in South Carolina this year, an indication of the high standards of properties that pass AAA’s rigorous evaluation. AAA sends specially trained, undercover evaluators for overnight stays to the resorts. AAA inspects about 59,000 properties annually, and only 3.4% of those lodges receive the Four Diamond rating.
The Cypress Inn in Conway is located on the scenic Waccamaw River and offers a wide range of spa services for its guests. They also host weddings, honeymoons and other special occasions. The inn features a large back porch overlooking the river and a private boat dock, where guests can arrive by water as well as by vehicle.
The Marriott Myrtle Beach Resort and Spa at Grande Dunes is an exclusive resort located on the oceanfront in the prestigious Grande Dunes section of Myrtle Beach. Luxurious amenities, such as a multi-pool sun deck and a full-service spa, are among the many features to land this resort on the list.
The Marina Inn is located on the scenic Intracoastal Waterway and adjoins a large marina, where guests can moor their boat or yacht. Guests receive access to the Grande Dunes Golf Club's championship courses and beach access at the Grande Dunes.
The Mar Vista Resort is the Strand's northernmost recipient. It was cited for its stylish and spacious condo-style rooms and its excellent amenities, including several oceanfront pools and a 24-hour exercise facility.
North Beach Plantation, located near Barefoot Landing in North Myrtle Beach, is modeled after the exclusive Atlantis in the Bahamas. Featuring twin towers joined by a beautiful arch and amenities that include a huge pool deck with a swim-up bar, North Beach is the newest member on the list.