AAA Announces it's 2013 5-Diamond Hotels & Restaurants

The list is out.  Today AAA announced it's 2013 list of the best hotels in the US, Canada and Mexico.  Best as in hotels earning AAA's coveted Five Diamond desigation.  The list of top hotels includes 125 hotels and 53 restaurants.  Thirteen of those are new to the list this year.  

Among the additions, the Four Seasons Resort Nevis and the St. Regis Bahia Beach Puerto Rico.

Here are the nine new hotel additions:


According to AAA fewer than one percent of the hotels they review receive a Five Diamond award.  Interestingly enough ten hotels were dropped from the list this year.  I do find the diamond ratings helpful when searching for a quality hotel.  If I'm looking for luxury benefits I look for Four and Five Diamond award properties.

So how does a hotel receive a Five Diamond?  According to AAA the process is rigorous.  Properties are identified by AAA as potential candidates and then undergo multiple unnanounced (think secret shopper) evaluations by a AAA inspector.  (Talk about a great job)  From there a panel will evaluate the property and determine which hotels will receive the Five Diamond distinction.  Hotels are evaluated for their service, reservation systems, rooms, bathrooms, basically anything the guest would need or come in contact with. 

AAA defines Five Diamond as "ultimate luxury, sophistication and comfort with extradordinary physical attributes, meticulous personalized service, extensive amenities and impeccable standards of excellence."

Here's AAA's list of what's noteworthy with this year's list:

  • The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, CO is the only hotel that has maintained the Five Diamond Rating for 37 consecutive years, since the Five Diamond was first introduced in 1976.
  • The Inn at Little Washington in Washington, VA has the longest Five Diamond restaurant at 25 consecutive years.
  • With two restaurant editions, Eleven Madison Park and Le Bernardin, New York now ties with California for the most AAA Five Diaomond Restaurants with seven in each state.
  • The number of Five Diamond hotels in Canada doubled to four this year.
  • The only new AAA Five Diamond hotel and restaurant pair is The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island and its restaurant Salt.

You can view AAA's complete list and learn more about their Diamond rating system on their website.