Wilmington, N.C.: Just in time for Valentine’s Day, AAA Carolinas announces its 2016 AAA Four Diamond North Carolina recipients. This year, three Wilmington hospitality businesses have received this coveted recognition. Two premier bed and breakfast inns located in Wilmington’s historic river district have once again earned AAA’s prestigious Four Diamond ratings for superior customer service and facilities: The Graystone Inn  earned its seventeenth consecutive AAA Four Diamond rating and The Verandas Bed & Breakfast Inn earned its fourteenth. Manna, a Wilmington restaurant, is also being honored with AAA Four-Diamonds for the second consecutive year.  AAA Carolinas presented awards to 14 hotels and 10 restaurants in Central and Eastern North Carolina at the AAA Four Diamond ceremony at the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club on Tuesday, January 19, 2016.

AAA Diamonds are a traveler’s best friend. More than 2,000 properties nationally earn Four Diamond ratings. This year’s North Carolina recipients include 32 accommodations and 15 restaurants. According to AAA Carolinas, requirements for Four Diamond ratings are rigorous, and those that achieve it are among the finest restaurants and hotels. Less than four percent of thousands of annual inspections conducted nationally result in a Four Diamond rating.

“We congratulate the owners and staff of the Graystone Inn, The Verandas and Manna on their AAA Four-Diamond designations and we applaud their commitment to excellence,” states Kim Hufham, President/CEO of the New Hanover County Tourism Development Authority. “Their diamonds shine a positive light on the destination.”

Graystone InnThe Graystone Inn (100 South Third Street, Wilmington), formerly the Bridgers Mansion (c.1905-06), exudes turn-of-the century elegance. Innkeepers Richard and Marcia Moore purchased the 14,300 square-foot mansion in 2004. The elegant bed and breakfast inn welcomes guests and is available for weddings, receptions, and events year-round. The grand historic landmark has appeared in movies, television shows and hosted notable personalities. For reservations call 910-763-2000 or visit www.graystoneinn.com.

Verandas

The Verandas (202 Nun Street, Wilmington) is a Victorian Italianate Mansion originally built in 1853 by Benjamin Beery. The boarded-up mansion was purchased in May 1995 and restored by innkeeper Chuck Pennington and the late Dennis Madsen. Decorated with American, French and English antiques and original art, each room has a distinctive style. Since opening its doors on Valentine’s Day in 1997, the inn has appeared on the silver screen and hosted celebrity guests and dignitaries. For reservations call 910-251-2212 or visit www.verandas.com

MannaAlso located in Wilmington’s historic river district, Manna (123 Princess Street, Wilmington) serves new American cuisine with innovative menus and cocktails. From the moment guests enter the stylishly appointed restaurant, they are treated to an extraordinary dining experience. Owner/general manager William Mellon uses fresh local, regional and American ingredients to create exquisite menus. Mellon and his staff work tirelessly to maintain originality in concept, uniqueness in wine selections and attentiveness to all the extra details that make Manna a destination dining experience. For reservations call 910-763-5252; www.mannaavenue.com.

For a free 2016 Official Visitors Guide for Wilmington, N.C.’s historic river district and the island beaches of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, and Wrightsville Beach, contact the Wilmington and Beaches Convention & Visitors Bureau at 1-866-266-9690 or download a copy at http://365publicationsonline.com/Wilmington_VG2016