The Star Diamond Standard

Rhode Island and New York City each became the first ever state and city, respectively, to receive the Star Diamond Award. The brand new $1.3 billion Yankee Stadium also earned the unique distinction of being the first ever sports venue deemed worthy of this prestigious award. Of course there were also plenty of great hotels to be recognized too, so consider these first class accommodations for your 2010 travel plans.

Hotel Plaza Athenee, New York
37 East 64th St. at Madison Ave.
New York

The haute factor: The address. Located on the Upper East Side, surrounded by draping trees and historic townhouses, Hotel Plaza Athenee is just blocks from the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum, the Frick Collection, Barney’s, Bloomingdale’s, and Bergdorf Goodman.

Crash pad stats: The hotel recently unveiled renovated guestrooms with marble baths and suites showcasing elegant hardwood floors that contribute to the European townhouse ambiance throughout the property. In a few months, the completion of two 2,000-square-foot Presidential suites will offer elite travelers ultimate class and style.

Let the feast begin: The amber-lit Bar Seine lounge features exotic artwork from faraway lands, accompanied by plush furnishings accented with rich velvet curtains, red lacquered walls, onyx sconces, animal print fabrics, and leather floors, making it one of the most romantic spots for cocktails in the city. Additionally, the French-American cuisine and ambiance at Arabelle has earned accolades galore, including esteemed recognition for the Sunday brunch.