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New AAA Inspector ‘Best Of’ Badges Revealed

aaa inspector best of badges

When you go searching for a hotel or restaurant, you likely have certain criteria in mind. Luckily, AAA Diamond Ratings and new AAA Inspector “Best Of”badges rate eligible hotels and restaurants to help travelers find exactly what they’re looking for.

AAA ‘Best Of’ Locations in the Northeast

AAA uses several badges for rating properties. The recently redesigned badges are diamond-shaped and can be found in AAA online listings for restaurants and hotels.

Badges show where hotels and restaurants have exceeded in their AAA inspection and denote inspector favorites in categories such as Entertainment, Family-Friendly, Pet-Friendly, Recreation, Scenic View, Value and Wow Effect.

As of 2019, AAA Northeast has 1,342 amazing hotels and restaurants with AAA Diamond Ratings. Here are some with unique features and amenities that won “Best Of” badges.

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New Jersey

New York

AAA Inspector’s Best Of Family-Friendly and Four Diamond Rated Weekapaug Inn in Rhode Island describes the value of their AAA accreditation:

Rhode Island

Look for Best Of badges in AAA hotel and restaurant listings. 

What AAA Ratings Mean

AAA has inspected and approved roughly 59,000 Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants. Diamond Ratings evaluate the kinds of experiences different locations offer and highlight their attributes. Essentially, you can use AAA Diamond Ratings to find the best fit for your occasion and budget.

The ratings for hotels and restaurants mean slightly different things. For hotels, Five Diamonds means “Ultimate Luxury,” while a Four Diamond establishment will provide a “Refined” experience. Three Diamonds indicates the lodging is “Distinguished,” and Two Diamonds means “Enhanced.” Lastly, a One Diamond rating means the accommodation is “Budget-Oriented.” For restaurants, a Five Diamonds rating signifies an establishment is “Leading-Edge,” while a Four Diamonds location is “Distinctive.” Three Diamonds restaurants are “Trendy,” and Two Diamond restaurants are more “Casual.” Lastly, One Diamond means an eatery is “Quick-Serve.”

So if you’re looking for a high-end experience where you’ll need reservations well in advance, like for a honeymoon, vacation or other special occasion, you’ll want a location with Four or Five Diamonds. If you’re looking to have a good time on a budget, a one or two Diamond Rated establishment will likely be a better fit. Learn more.

How AAA Ratings Happen

AAA would never recommend subpar eateries or lodgings to members, and so Diamond Rated locations are carefully graded by professionally trained inspectors. They’re industry experts who put the wants, expectations and priorities of AAA members first. Reviews are completely objective to assure honest results.

According to an anonymous AAA Inspector, the Three Diamond rating is the most sought-after. “This is where most properties want to be, as it is seen as the most approachable by the American traveler. They only want Four-to-Five Diamond places for fancy vacations or special occasions.”

With so many AAA Inspected and Approved properties to choose from, it can be difficult to decide where to go. Thankfully, the Diamond Rating System is here to help you find exactly what you’re looking for based on your budget, expectations and priorities.

To learn more about AAA Diamonds, this Diamond Rating explainer breaks down the basics. For a behind-the-scenes look at how restaurant ratings are determined, check out our inspector shadow

What do you think of the new AAA Inspector “Best Of” badges? What AAA Rated hotel or restaurant would you like to visit?   


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