Morris Inn received the a AAA Four Diamond award for the first time. The award comes after a more than $30 million renovation and expansion of the hotel’s public spaces, guest rooms and restaurants.
Morris Inn, which reopened to the public in August 2013 following a nine-month renovation, is the only property north of Indianapolis in Indiana to hold the Four Diamond distinction and becomes the 10th hotel in the state of Indiana to achieve this rating. Less than five percent of the more than 30,000 properties approved by AAA are awarded Four Diamond status.
Owned and operated by the University of Notre Dame, Morris Inn was built on the campus in 1952 as the first structure of the Notre Dame post-war building program. It was made possible through a generous donation from 1906 Notre Dame alumnus, Ernest M. Morris and his wife, Ella L. Morris. In 2012, their daughter, Ernestine Morris Carmichael Raclin, along with her family and the Carmichael Foundation, provided the lead gift to the University for the purpose of funding a major renovation and expansion of Morris Inn.
“It is truly an honor to have been recognized with AAA’s Four Diamond award,” said Morris Inn Director and General Manager Joe Kurth. “We’re proud of the level of service we offer our guests and look forward to continuing that service in the years to come. We invite guests to come explore the recent re-imagination of the hotel, in which the goal was to provide our visitors with an updated design and all of the modern amenities expected by today’s traveler, while still preserving the spirit and tradition of Notre Dame experienced in the original hotel.”
To qualify as a AAA Four Diamond hotel, each lodging facility must undergo an intensive evaluation process that assesses the hotel’s cleanliness and condition; management and staff; exterior, grounds, and public areas; guestroom décor, ambiance and amenities; bathrooms; and guest services. AAA defines Four Diamond hotels as upscale in all areas and progressively more refined and stylish, with physical attributes that reflect enhanced quality throughout. The fundamental hallmarks at this level include an extensive array of amenities combined with a high degree of hospitality, service, and attention to detail. More information on the AAA Rating program can be found at newsroom.aaa.com/diamond-ratings.
“We are thrilled that the outstanding work of our University Architect office, along with that of many other campus units and our newly integrated Morris Inn staff, has resulted in such prestigious recognition. The AAA Diamond Rating Process is one of the most trusted and reliable rating systems for hotels and restaurants in the country and we are proud that our Morris Inn, long the center of campus hospitality, has been awarded the Four Diamond distinction following its nine-month expansion and renovation,” said John Affleck-Graves, the University’s executive vice president.
Currently seeking LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, the new Morris Inn incorporates a number of sustainable features and practices including, a ‘green roof’ for storm water management and improved air quality, an extensive recycling program, water filtration systems on every floor, and LED lights throughout the building.