AAA’s professionally trained inspectors use published guidelines to evaluate and rate lodgings and restaurants as a service to members. Members assign importance ratings to each of the attributes assessed during inspections, making AAA the only rating system that provides detailed, expert rating information weighted by member priorities.
AAA rates more properties than any other rating entity — with a current inventory of more than 59,000 AAA Approved and Diamond Rated lodgings and restaurants. AAA’s Diamond Rating System is the only rating system that covers the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.
What It Means to Be AAA Approved and Diamond Rated
To be eligible for evaluation, establishments meet basic requirements for cleanliness, comfort and security (hotels) or cleanliness, food preparation and service (restaurants). Evaluations are unannounced to ensure that AAA’s professional inspectors experience a hotel or restaurant just as a guest would.
Establishments that demonstrate these requirements during an unannounced inspection are designated as AAA/CAA Approved. Every hotel or restaurant that achieves the AAA Approved designation offers an acceptable level of quality for members; AAA does not distinguish any degrees of quality.
After establishments are designated as AAA/CAA Approved, inspectors assign a rating of One to Five Diamonds based on the extensiveness of services, facilities and amenities typical of each rating level. The Diamond Ratings guide members in selecting establishments appropriately matched to their needs and expectations.
AAA Inspectors: On-Site and In the Know
Inspectors are in an ideal position to observe industry trends as they emerge. When they see service changes, colors, layouts and decorative elements across multiple segments or geographic areas, they watch for related trends that may prompt changes in the evaluation guidelines.
For the current hotel guidelines inspectors noted a prevalence of open and active lobby areas, dramatic headboards, wood and laminate flooring options and the increased use of glass, marble and stone. They observed the use of sustainable and allergy-free products in amenities and expanded fitness options. And they noted technology trends including easy-to-use alarm clocks, single-use coffee makers and power stations for gadgets and devices.
Travelers can get an inside view and first-person travel stories in the Inspector Diaries section of the AAA TravelViews blog, along with the inspector notes in hotel and restaurant listings. And for real-time insight from the road, they can look for #AAAInsp posts on the AAA Travel Twitter page, @AAA_Travel.