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AAA Announces 2017 Diamond Award Winners

Of the nearly 28,000 properties evaluated, 1,735 hotels earned Four and Five Diamond awards.

U.S. News & World Report

AAA Announces 2017 Diamond Award Winners

Businessmen speaking with staff at the front desk reception of a luxury hotel.

These hotels are at the top of the list for comfort, cleanliness, security and available services and amenities.(Getty Images)

On Jan. 27, AAA released its annual lists of Four and Five Diamond hotels. In total, 94 properties across the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean were added to the distinguished 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.

Four Seasons Resorts Lana'i.
(Courtesy of Four Seasons Resorts Lana'i)

Of the nearly 28,000 hotels evaluated, just 120 properties earned Five Diamond distinction for 2017. Six of those properties are newcomers, including the first Five Diamond Award-winning hotel in Grenada, the Spice Island Beach Resort in St. George's. Other new additions to the list include the Four Seasons Resort Lanai in Lanai City, Hawaii, The St. Regis New York in New York City, The Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, Virginia, the Four Seasons Hotel Mexico City, and Dorado Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Dorado, Puerto Rico.

These newcomers join an impressive list of first-rate properties, but they have more work to do before achieving the enduring success of the 11 Five Diamond hotels that have managed to sustain the top-tier status for the past 25 consecutive years. They range from smaller boutique hotels such as The Little Nell in Aspen, Colorado, and The Inn at Little Washington in northern Virginia to larger resorts that are under the umbrella of well-known luxury brands such as the Four Seasons and Ritz-Carlton. The Broadmoor's reign is even more impressive: This outpost in Colorado Springs, Colorado, has been a Five Diamond Award recipient for 41 consecutive years, since the Diamond Ratings originated in 1976.

The St. Regis New York.(Courtesy of The St. Regis New York)

“Five Diamond establishments represent the upper echelon of hospitality, redefining personalized service, using creativity to enhance guest comfort and providing memorable experiences," Michael Petrone, director of AAA Inspections & Diamond Ratings, said in a news release. AAA also notes in the release what amenities help a Five Diamond hotel stand out from the competition. "These leading edge properties are well-positioned to meet the needs of discerning travelers. Their noted attributes include contemporary design trends and the highest quality food and amenities. Personalized, attentive service is foremost, delivered in ways that offer guests inspiring and memorable local experiences," Petrone said.

While not as selective as the Five Diamond Award list, the Four Diamond list is still considered an esteemed group. In 2017, 88 new hotels joined the Four Diamond list, including traveler favorites such as the Nautilus, a SIXTY Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida, The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead in Atlanta, The Inn at Hastings Park in Lexington, Massachusetts, Greektown Casino-Hotel in Detroit, The Venetian Las Vegas and Hyatt Ziva Cancun. In total, 1,615 properties earned Four Diamond distinction this year.

The Jefferson Hotel.
(Courtesy of The Jefferson Hotel)

Once again, New York City lays claim to the highest number of Four and Five Diamond awards. A total of 64 New York City hotels received recognition in 2017. Chicago has the next-highest count of total Diamond awards with 37, and Toronto boasts the third-highest count with 27 total Diamond awards. Meanwhile, California is the state home to the most Four and Five Diamond awards: In total, 193 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 2017 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 Feb. 2.

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