AAA Diamond Awards
What They Mean
One of the most recognized and respected ways to find outstanding hotels and restaurants

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The North American equivalent of Michelin

AAA (American Automobile Association) started listing accommodation information in its travel publications in the early 1900s. In 1937 hired its first field inspectors to examine hotels, motels, and restaurants.

In 1963, AAA began to rate all accommodations as good, very good excellent or outstanding. The current one- to five-diamond rating system was introduced in 1977 and continues to be recognized as the trusted leader of quality ratings for North American restaurants and lodgings.

Each year AAA, along with the Canadian Automobile Association, evaluates more than 65,000 lodging establishments and restaurants throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean rating them on a scale of one to five diamonds.


Only 3% percent of the lodgings and less than 4% of the restaurants inspected receive the AAA Four Diamond Award. Even fewer attain Five Diamonds.

To receive a rating of Four or Five Diamonds, a hotel or restaurant must meet high levels of service and hospitality, attention to detail, luxurious surroundings and upscale amenities.

AAA inspectors judge lodgings on the exterior of the facility, public areas, guest rooms, amenities and bathrooms.

AAA's Four and Five Diamond Awards are given to restaurants that offer a high degree of sophistication, complex food with creative presentation, an extensive wine list, professional staff and distinctive decor.

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