AAA Announces 2019 Diamond Award Winners


Of the more than 27,000 properties evaluated, 1,843 hotels earned Four and Five Diamond awards.

On Jan. 31, AAA announced its annual lists of Four and Five Diamond hotels. A total of 123 properties in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean were added to the prestigious lists this year.

AAA’s Diamond Rating is one of the few hotel appraisal systems that rely on physical evaluations. The company’s team of inspectors assesses each of the more than 27,000 eligible properties based on comfort, cleanliness, security and available services and amenities. Each hotel is then awarded a Diamond Rating between one and five, with five being the best.

Of the more than 27,000 evaluated hotels, just 121 properties earned Five Diamond distinction for 2019. Ten of those properties are newcomers, including two hotels that are the first properties to receive the Five Diamond award in their areas. Those hotels are the Hotel Emma in San Antonio, Texas, and the Rosewood San Miguel de Allende in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. The remaining eight properties that earned Five Diamond distinctions for the first time this year are Baccarat Hotel New York, Banyan Tree Mayakoba, Fairmont Pacific Rim, Montage Los Cabos, NIZUC Resort & Spa, The Dominick Hotel, The Post Oak Hotel at Uptown Houston and The St. Regis Mexico City.

These new honorees join the ranks among plenty of prestigious hotels – but they have a ways to go before solidifying the long-standing success of the 15 properties that have earned Five Diamond status the past 25 or more years in a row. They range from smaller boutique hotels like The Little Nell in Aspen, Colorado, and The Inn at Little Washington in northern Virginia to larger resorts that are part of big-name luxury brands like the Four Seasons and The Ritz-Carlton. More impressive still is The Broadmoor’s reign: The Colorado Springs, Colorado, property has been a Five Diamond Award recipient for 43 consecutive years.

“The Five Diamond Rating is an impressive accomplishment that recognizes the upper echelon of hotels,” Michael Petrone, director of AAA Inspections & Diamond Ratings, said in a news release. According to AAA, Five Diamond hotels must now offer connective technologies plus luxurious amenities and outstanding service to stand out from the competition. “These properties have extraordinary physical qualities, extensive amenities and impeccable standards of excellence in delivering a highly personalized experience,” Petrone said.

While not as selective as the Five Diamond Award list, the Four Diamond list still features hotels that are considered top properties. In 2019, 113 new hotels found their way onto the Four Diamond list, including traveler favorites like the Omni Frisco Hotel in Frisco, California, The Kimpton Journeyman Hotel in Milwaukee, the Royalton Negril in Negril, Jamaica, and the Kimpton Sawyer Hotel in Sacramento, California. What’s more, a handful of hotels, such as the Fairmont Austin in Austin, Texas, and the Archer Hotel Napa in Napa, California, earned Four Diamond recognition in their first year of operation. A total of 1,722 properties earned Four Diamond distinction this year.

New York City once again boasts the highest number of Four and Five Diamond awards with 74 hotels earning accolades in 2019. Chicago has the next-highest count of total Diamond awards with 42 and Boston claims the third-highest tally with 29 total Diamond awards. State-wise, California is home to the most Four and Five Diamond awards: In total, 193 hotels received honors.

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