Esperanza, an Auberge Resort

2018 AAA Diamond Awards

AAA congratulates the 121 hotels and 68 restaurants that earned the prestigious AAA Five Diamond Award® this year. Honorees include regal historic inns, sleek high-tech high-rises, and sprawling coastal resorts.

Hotels that receive a Five Diamond rating undergo checks and balances including in-person inspections, anonymous overnight stays, and a review by a panel of experts to ensure credibility.

Restaurants that receive a Five Diamond rating consistently provide leading-edge cuisine with the finest ingredients, uniquely prepared by an acclaimed chef, and served by expert service staff in extraordinary surroundings.

Less than 0.5 percent of more than 28,000 inspected and approved hotels and just 0.2 percent of more than 31,000 inspected and approved restaurants receive the AAA Five Diamond Award.

Award winners of the Four Diamond level are also an exclusive group. Hotels must be refined and stylish with upscale physical attributes, extensive amenities, and a high degree of hospitality, service, and attention to detail. Restaurants must offer distinctive, creatively prepared cuisine, skillfully served in a notable environment. 

This year, there are 1,675 AAA Four Diamond hotels, and 665 AAA Four Diamond restaurants.

What are AAA Diamond Ratings?

The AAA Diamond rating system, one of AAA’s hallmark travel services, has helped set high industry standards and is nationally recognized as a trusted symbol of quality. Each year, AAA's inspectors review more than 28,000 hotels and nearly 30,000 restaurants in North America to make sure they meet exacting quality standards.


Budget-oriented, offering basic comfort and hospitality

Affordable, with modestly enhanced facilities, décor, and amenities

Distinguished with enhanced physical attributes, amenities, and guest comforts

Refined and stylish, with upscale physical attributes, extensive amenities, and a high degree of hospitality, service, and attention to detail

Ultimate luxury, sophistication, and comfort, with extraordinary physical attributes, meticulous personalized service, extensive amenities, and impeccable standards of excellence


Simple, economical food, often quick-serve, in a functional environment

Familiar food, often cooked to order, served in casual surroundings

Trendy cuisine, skillfully prepared and served, with expanded beverage options, in enhanced settings

Distinctive fine-dining, creative preparations, skillfully served, often with a wine steward, amid upscale ambience

Leading-edge cuisine of the finest ingredients, uniquely prepared by an acclaimed chef, served by expert service staff led by a maître d’ in extraordinary surroundings

Why AAA Diamond Ratings? 

AAA Diamond ratings give travelers a reliable way to find hotels and restaurants that meet the quality standards that suit their needs.

To be inspected and approved by AAA, properties must pass an unannounced, on-site evaluation. Hotels must provide acceptable cleanliness, comfort, and hospitality; restaurants are judged on cleanliness, food preparation, and service. 

After an establishment is inspected and approved, the AAA inspector reviews a comprehensive list of attributes to determine the appropriate Diamond rating, on a scale of one to five, based on the extensiveness of services, facilities, and amenities.

AAA Diamond Ratings history

AAA began field inspections of lodgings and restaurants in 1937, then went to a formal rating system in 1963 that evolved into the Diamond system for lodgings. Diamond ratings for restaurants began in 1985.

The AAA inspectors who assign these ratings have a wide range of hospitality knowledge, including experiences as hotel managers and food and beverage experts. Inspectors provide an unmatched first-person, on-site view of emerging trends.

Want to know who won this year?

View the full list of Four and Five Diamond Award winners here.

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