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AAA Announces 2016 Diamond Award Winners

Of the nearly 28,000 properties evaluated, 1,705 hotels earned Four and Five Diamond awards.

U.S. News & World Report

AAA Announces 2016 Diamond Award Winners

Diamond Hotels 2016

The Broadmoor in Colorado; Trump International Hotel and Tower Toronto in Toronto; The Cloister at Sea Island in Georgia; The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain in Arizona; the St. Regis Deer Valley in Utah; and the Park Hyatt New York in New York all made this year's AAA Diamond Hotels list.(Courtesy of AAA)

On Jan. 15, AAA announced its annual lists of Four and Five Diamond hotels. A total of 109 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 on-site evaluations. The company's team of inspectors assesses each of the nearly 28,000 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 nearly 28,000 hotels that were evaluated, just 118 properties earned Five Diamond distinction for 2016. Six of those properties are newcomers, including four that moved up from the Four Diamond list in 2015 to achieve Five Diamond status in 2016. Those hotels are the Park Hyatt New York in New York City, the St. Regis Deer Valley in Park City, Utah, The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain in Marana, Arizona, and Trump International Hotel and Tower Toronto in Toronto. The remaining two new properties that earned Five Diamond ratings are Hotel Mousai in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and The Cloister at Sea Island in Sea Island, Georgia. 

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 12 properties that have earned Five Diamond status the past 25 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 Ritz-Carlton. More impressive still is The Broadmoor's reign: The Colorado Springs, Colorado, property has been a Five Diamond Award recipient for 40 consecutive years.

"Attaining the Five Diamond Rating is an impressive accomplishment and a point of great pride for these top hotels," Michael Petrone, director of AAA Inspections & Diamond Ratings, said in a news release. AAA also notes in the release that its inspectors get a unique look at emerging hospitality trends across luxury hotels. "At the Five Diamond level, we're seeing hotels using new technology to expand the scope and depth of the traditional hallmarks of ultra-luxury accommodations: indulgent pampering and highly personalized service," 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 2016, 103 new hotels found their way onto the Four Diamond list​, including traveler favorites like the Amara Resort and Spa in Sedona, Arizona, Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel​ in Los Angeles, Omni Riverfront Hotel in New Orleans, The Quin in New York City, Stein Eriksen Lodge Deer Valley in Park City, Utah, Sanctuary Cap Cana in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, and Garza Blanca Preserve Resort & Spa in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. What's more, a handful of hotels, such as The Spectator Hotel in Charleston, South Carolina, and 1 Hotel South Beach in Miami Beach, earned Four Diamond recognition in their first year of operation. A total of 1,587 properties earned Four Diamond distinction this year.

At the city level, New York City once again boasts the highest number of Four and Five Diamond awards​ with 58 hotels earning accolades in 2016. Chicago has the next-highest count of total Diamond awards with 38, and Boston claims the third-highest count with 26 total Diamond awards. State-wise, California is home to the most Four and Five Diamond awards: In total, 204 hotels were honored.

To learn more about the Diamond Ratings or to view all of the Four and Five Diamond award recipients, visit AAA's website. For information on the 2016 U.S. News & World Report Best Hotels rankings, which use AAA Four and Five Diamond awards as part of the scoring formula, check back when the lists are released on Jan. 28.

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