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Thursday, June 4, 2009

AAA awardsfor lodging & dining

Their inn in Burton has been honored by AAA for each of the last seven years, but for Gordon and Evie Safran and innkeeper Gina Houlk, it’s still a thrill.
This year the Red Maple Inn Bed & Breakfast was strutting its stuff for the other winners when it hosted the recent AAA East Central Awards reception.
A pair of unoccupied rooms were open so their hospitality industry colleagues could check out the Amish made furnishings, the in-room fireplaces and the whirlpool bathtubs. They were invited to see the basement fitness room and to walk the 4-acre grounds on a knoll behind Century Village.
When Gordon Safran owned the E.B Brown Optical stores, he traveled among his 42 stores and stayed at country inns and bed & breakfasts. That’s where he got many of the ideas that have been incorporated into the 18-room Red Maple Inn, his post-retirement dream. It has become a favorite retreat for romantics and a popular headquarters for out-of-towners who come to enjoy the delights of the world’s fourth largest Amish community which surrounds Burton. Often they bring their bikes to explore the countryside on two wheels. Guests attend the pancake breakfasts hosted at the fire department in spring, the Apple Butter Festival in fall and the many special events at Century Village.
The Red Maple Inn has again been honored with AAA’s four-diamond rating, an exclusive honor shared with Julia’s Bed & Breakfast in Hubbard and the Georgian Manor Inn Bed & Breakfast in Norwalk.
Northeast Ohio lodgings also honored with the four-diamond award include the InterContinental Hotel and the Ritz-Carlton, both in Cleveland. Three hotels in Cincinnati and four in Columbus also achieved four-diamond honors.
Ohio’s only five-diamond award went to Inn Walden in Aurora for the fifth year. It’s the crown jewel of a 1,000 acre sanctuary that includes a spa, horseback riding, swimming and fine dining.
Four area restaurants were singled out for their food and service to be honored with four-diamond awards from AAA.
Carl Quagliata, who has deep roots in Lake County, accepted the four-diamond award for the 17th year for his Ristorante Giovanni’s in Beachwood. Other winners were the Leopard Restaurant in Aurora, Blue Canyon Kitchen and Tavern in Twinsburg and the Baricelli Inn in Cleveland’s Little Italy neighborhood.

Honored lodgings and restaurants
Red Maple Inn, 14707 S. Cheshire St., Burton: 888-646-2753;
Julia’s Bed & Breakfast, 6219 W. Liberty, Hubbard: 888-758-5427;
Georgian Manor Inn Bed and Breakfast, 123 West Main St., Norwalk 800-668-1644;
Inn Walden,1119 Aurora Hudson Road, Aurora: 888-808-5003;
InterContinental Hotel, 9801 Carnegie Ave., Cleveland ; 877-270-1390
Ritz-Carlton Hotel, 1515 West Thirds St., Cleveland 216-623-1300;
Ristorante Giovanni’s, 25550 Chagrin Blvd., Beachwood: 216-831-8625;
The Leopard, 600 N. Aurora Road, Aurora; 330-562-2111;
Blue Canyon Kitchen & Tavern, 8960 Wilcox Drive, Twinsburg; 330-486-2583;
Baricelli Inn, 2203 Cornell Road, Cleveland: 216-791-6500;


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