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Star Billing

Luxury travel is back in vogue, whether it's for business or pleasure, so bragging rights are key for resorts that charge $400 or more a night. Cable TV and a chocolate on your pillow just don't cut it anymore. That's why Mobil Travel Guide's 2005 list of the nation's 31 five-star hotels hit especially hard for four south Florida luxury hotels that still haven't achieved the holy grail of the industry. The Ritz-Carlton resorts in Coconut Grove and Key Biscayne, the Four Seasons in Miami and the Mandarin Oriental in Miami missed the top tier of the Mobil list, ranking at four stars.

Florida has only three hotels on Mobil's five-star list: The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in Naples, the Ritz-Carlton in Palm Beach and the Four Seasons in Palm Beach.

But the four-star resorts are in good company, joining 177 nationwide and six others in Florida: The Breakers in Palm Beach, Loews in Miami Beach, The Peabody in Orlando and the Ritz-Carlton resorts in Naples, Orlando and Sarasota. The Ritz in South Beach opened last year, too late to be included in the rankings.

The industry holds Mobil's rankings in even higher regard than those of AAA, which rated 85 hotels at its five-diamond level for 2005. The Ritz-Carlton in Coconut Grove and the Mandarin Oriental made that list.

AAA Five-Diamond Resorts

The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island
The Ritz-Carlton, Coconut Grove
The Ritz-Carlton, Palm Beach
Mandarin Oriental, Miami
The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples
The Ritz-Carlton, Naples
The Breakers, Palm Beach
Ponte Vedra Inn and Club, Jacksonville