diamond inspector - woman using her tablet going over her list

New AAA Diamond Program Revealed

AAA is unveiling a transformed, contemporized version of its highly acclaimed AAA Diamond Program. The program will remain backed by professionally trained inspectors using member-driven criteria to recommend only clean, comfortable, hospitable hotels and restaurants.

What’s new? Replacing ratings with designations. A Diamond designation reflects AAA’s professional inspector reviews using updated, member-centric guidelines, setting the program apart from services that leverage unverified, often biased hotel and restaurant ratings.

“We’ve transformed the AAA Diamond Program to help travelers better understand the overall quality, range of facilities and level of services offered by a property,” said Stacey Barber, executive director of AAA Travel Information & Content. “Unlike ratings from unknown users sharing their opinions, the Diamond designations are provided by experienced professionals using consistent guidelines to tell travelers what a property offers.”

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Under the new system, previously One and Two Diamond hotels and restaurants will transition to the Approved designation while Three, Four and Five Diamond establishments will retain their designations. However, the 2020 inspection cycle will be the determining factor for all properties’ future designation.

The modernized AAA Diamond Program guidelines for hotels and restaurants reflect the latest in traveler expectations and industry trends. AAA has removed outdated criteria in favor of factors that more directly relate to guest comfort, design and layout. For example, AAA inspectors will now look for sufficient storage space and shelving for clothes and personal belongings in guest rooms, and not for ironing boards or printed guest information, to reflect modern guest expectations.

The AAA Diamond Program comprises nearly 60,000 properties in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean, including nearly 27,000 hotels and more than 30,000 restaurants. To be included in the AAA Diamond Program, properties must pass an unannounced, on-site evaluation. Hotels must provide acceptable cleanliness, comfort and hospitality, and restaurants must meet requirements for cleanliness, food preparation and service.

“Only the best hotels and restaurants are included in AAA’s Diamond Program – professional inspectors eliminate substandard places from consideration as a service to our members. For more than 80 years, travelers have relied on AAA’s trusted recommendations, and these latest changes only strengthen AAA as a go-to source for relevant information and advice for all trip planning needs,” added Barber.

While AAA recommends only good options for its members and travelers, additional Diamonds indicate more elaborate surroundings and attention from service staff. Here is a breakdown of what travelers can expect at each Diamond designation.

Travelers can learn more about the new AAA Diamond Program at AAA.com/Diamonds and search the AAA Travel Guides for their next great hotel or dining experience.

More About the AAA Diamond Program

For more than 80 years, AAA’s professional inspectors have conducted in-person property evaluations. AAA is the only entity using comprehensive, on-site professional hotel and restaurant evaluations guided by member priorities. AAA’s inventory includes some 60,000 Diamond hotels and restaurants across the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. Travelers can find AAA Diamond hotels and restaurants and inspector insight in AAA’s trip planning products: AAA Mobile app, AAA Travel Guides, TripTik Travel Planner and the AAA TourBook guides available to members at AAA offices. For more information, visit AAA.com/Diamonds.

2 Thoughts on “New AAA Diamond Program Revealed

  1. Unless you’re planning on spending a month in a hotel room, the most important amenities are not storage and hanging space for clothes. Does the facility offer free Wi-Fi? Is it free to everyone or just members? Are the bath and shower clean and not rusted? Is there a layout of the facility in the room showing where ice machines and exits are located? Does the facility offer coffee in the room? Does the facility offer amenities like shampoo, etc? Is the breakfast free for all guests or is there a separate charge for some?

    1. Hi Phyllis!
      Thanks so much for reading. I agree – and so does AAA! AAA inspectors judge hotels on many services and amenities during the inspection process. Every Diamond Rated property must have Wi-Fi available, for instance, as well as some sort of dining options available for guests. Comfort and cleanliness is of upmost importance, as well. Feel free to read more about Diamond Ratings at AAA.com/Diamonds.
      Thanks! 😉

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