AAA Announces 2019 Diamond Award Winners

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

By Zach Watson, Staff WriterJan. 31, 2019
By Zach Watson, Staff WriterJan. 31, 2019, at 12:01 a.m.
U.S. News & World Report

AAA Announces 2019 Diamond Award Winners

AAA Diamond hotels

AAA's Diamond Rating is one of the few hotel appraisal systems that rely on physical evaluations.(NIZUC Resort & Spa/Courtesy of AAA)

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.

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 2019 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. 5.

The 50 Most Scenic Mountain Resorts

Best mountain resorts

Zach Watson, Staff Writer

Zach Watson is an Associate Editor for the Travel section at U.S. News, where he writes and ...  Read more

Recommended

The 5 Best Kauai Helicopter Tours

See the Garden Island's far-reaching beauty from the air.

Holly JohnsonJune 14, 2019

The 6 Best Las Vegas Helicopter Tours

Get a thrilling look at the lights and sights of Sin City and its surroundings with one of these tours.

Holly JohnsonJune 13, 2019

20 Road Trip Essentials for Your Vacation

These road trip must-haves can help you save money, travel more comfortably and ensure you stay safe on the open road.

Holly JohnsonJune 13, 2019

13 Top Charlottesville Wineries to Visit

Sip a glass of Virginia's signature viognier as the sun sets over the Blue Ridge Mountains.

June 12, 2019

The 16 Best Seattle Tours

Explore the Emerald City's natural beauty and urban offerings with these guided excursions.

Lyn MettlerJune 12, 2019

The 24 Best London Tours

Whether it's your first time in London or you're a repeat visitor, you'll experience a side of the city you've never seen with these tours.

Kim Foley MacKinnonJune 6, 2019

The 21 Best Paris Tours

Enhance your visit to the City of Love with one of these top tours.

Claire LawtonJune 5, 2019

The 20 Best New York City Tours

These guided tours help make the most of your time in the Big Apple.

John RodwanJune 4, 2019

The 24 Best Rome Tours

Enjoy the efficiency of an organized tour led by experts who bring Rome's history to life.

Kyle McCarthyMay 31, 2019

The 8 Best Savannah Ghost Tours

Prove you're not afraid of the dark by taking one of these terrifying tours.

Gwen PratesiMay 31, 2019