The Michelin organization has just released its first ever guide to and rankings of US hotels, and like the Michelin Guides to restaurants dole out stars, the new guide has given "key" rankings to 124 hotels across the country.

While we know that three Michelin stars are a distinction reserved for very high-end, typically very expensive and refined restaurants across the world, Michelin "key" rankings are new. Michelin inspectors fanned out across the cities and regions that Michelin currently covers for their restaurants: Atlanta, California, Chicago, Colorado, Florida, New York, and Washington D.C.

Reflecting the standards that Michelin is setting for hospitality and hotel quality, only 11 hotel and resort properties across the country received three-key ratings.

"Just like the famous Stars that indicate the best culinary experiences in the Michelin Guide restaurant selection, the Michelin Keys reveal accommodations in the Guide’s hotel selection that offer the most outstanding stays," the company says. "They are a new benchmark for travelers, qualifying each hotel experience in broader terms than simple amenities."

Three keys indicates an "extraordinary stay," two keys an "exceptional" one, and one key is "a very special stay."

The local places getting three keys include SingleThread Inn in Healdsburg, Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, and both Meadowood and Auberge du Soleil in Napa Valley. Canyon Ranch Woodside, on the Peninsula, also received three keys, as did two hotels in Los Angeles, The Beverly Hills Hotel and the Hotel Bel-Air.

SingleThread, in particular, "might be one of the most luxurious experiences" in California, the inspectors wrote.

Thirty-three hotel properties received two Michelin keys, including the recently renovated Madrona Inn in Healdsburg, The Battery in San Francisco (which has just 14 guest rooms), and the Four Seasons Hotel Embarcadero (which is actually at 222 Sansome).

Others in the two-key tier include The Montage in Healdsburg, Cavallo Point Lodge in Sausalito, the Milliken Creek Inn & Spa in Napa, the Stavrand in Guerneville, the North Block in Yountville, and Bardessono in Yountville.

NorCal spots that were deemed one-key or "very special" places to stay include Stanly Ranch in Napa, and 1 Hotel in San Francisco (the former Hotel Vitale).

All the hotel listings and rankings are now available for free on the Michelin website.

To date, Michelin has only done a hotel guide for France, and they are getting ready to announce hotel guides for Spain, Italy, and Japan in the coming weeks.

Top image: The Madrona Inn in Healdsburg, via the Michelin Guide