Guide to AAA Ratings

Whether using our online trip planning tool, TripTik® Travel Planner, or online destination guides, AAA TourBooks, take advantage of North America's premier rating system for Lodgings and Restaurants. Sure, there are other rating systems, many based on traveler feedback or even self-evaluations by the hotels themselves. But only AAA has full-time inspectors who personally visit and evaluate each property we rate. If our AAA inspectors don't feel a hotel meets our strict standards for value and quality, they don't receive a diamond rating. It's as simple as that. Properties are assigned a rating from one to five diamonds. Our AAA Diamond Ratings represent a combination of overall quality, the range of facilities, physical attributes, and level of services offered.

In addition to the AAA Diamond rating system for Lodgings and Restaurants, AAA rates Campgrounds, Attractions, and Events. Use the simple AAA Rating matrix below to help you choose what is right for you...


AAA Approved Lodging
  • To apply for evaluation, properties must first meet 33 essential requirements based on member expectations - cleanliness, comfort, security, and safety.
  • Properties selected for evaluation must demonstrate the strict quality guidelines required to be AAA Approved.
  • Properties that are AAA Approved are assigned a rating of one to five AAA Diamonds, ranging from simple to luxurious.
  • The Diamond ratings indicate the extensiveness of services, amenities, and décor provided.
  • Rated by Full-time, professional evaluators...AAA Member feedback...clear quality standards.
  • Over 31,000 hotels in the US, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean are AAA Approved and Diamond rated.
One Diamond One Diamond
These establishments typically appeal to the budget-minded traveler. They provide essential, no-frills accommodations. They meet the basic requirements pertaining to comfort, cleanliness, and hospitality.
Two Diamond Two Diamond
These establishments appeal to the traveler seeking more than the basic accommodations. There are modest enhancements to the overall physical attributes, design elements, and amenities of the facility typically at a moderate price.
Three Diamond Three Diamond
These establishments appeal to the traveler with comprehensive needs. Properties are multifaceted with a distinguished style, including marked upgrades in the quality of physical attributes, amenities, and level of comfort provided.
Four Diamond Four Diamond
These establishments are upscale in all areas. Accommodations are progressively more refined and stylish. The physical attributes reflect an obvious enhanced level of quality throughout. The fundamental hallmarks at this level include an extensive array of amenities combined with a high degree of hospitality, service, and attention to detail.
Five Diamond Five Diamond
These establishments reflect the characteristics of the ultimate in luxury and sophistication. Accommodations are first class. The physical attributes are extraordinary in every manner. The fundamental hallmarks at this level are to meticulously serve and exceed all guest expectations while maintaining an impeccable standard of excellence. Many personalized services and amenities enhance an unmatched level of comfort.
fyi FYI
The lodging listings with fyi in place of Diamonds are included as an information only service for members. The icon indicates that a property has not been rated for one or more of the following reasons: too new to rate, under construction, under major renovation, not evaluated, may not meet all AAA requirements.
Red & Black Diamond Red and Black Diamond Ratings Information
AAA Logo or CAA Logo and Save Logo identify hotels that offer members a rate guarantee and up to two free special amenities as part of their Official Appointment partnership with AAA. Rate guarantee: Discounted standard room rate (usually based on last standard room availability) or the lowest public rate available at time of booking for dates of stay. Free special amenity options are included in the listing and could be either: breakfast, local telephone calls, newspaper, room upgrade, preferred room, or high-speed Internet. The number of Diamonds informs you of the overall complexity of a lodging's amenities and service. Red Diamonds indicate an Official Appointment lodging.

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AAA Approved Restaurant
  • To apply for evaluation, restaurants must first meet 13 essential requirements based on member expectations - cleanliness, comfort, security, and safety.
  • Restaurants selected for evaluation must demonstrate the strict quality guidelines required to be AAA Approved.
  • Restaurants that are AAA Approved are assigned a rating of one to five AAA Diamonds, ranging from basic to world-class.
  • The Diamond ratings indicate the extensiveness of food, décor, and personal service.
  • Rated by Full-time, professional evaluators...AAA Member feedback...clear quality standards.
  • Nearly 27,000 restaurants in the US, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean are AAA Approved and Diamond rated.
One Diamond One Diamond
A One Diamond restaurant must meet basic requirements pertaining to management, cleanliness and overall quality. The primary focus is on providing wholesome, straightforward and familiar food at an economical price. Generally, the menu selection is limited to a restaurant’s specialty, such as hamburgers, fried chicken, pizza or tacos. Service is limited, in many instances self service, and the surroundings are often utilitarian.
Two Diamond Two Diamond
A Two Diamond restaurant displays noticeable enhancements to food presentation, such as the use of common garnishes in combination with the dishware. Typically, the menu offers a wide selection featuring familiar favorites or home-style foods often cooked to order and reasonably priced. The service, while often limited, is plain-speaking and relaxed. The surroundings, while limited in scope, typically reflect a clear theme. All elements combine to provide a familiar, often family-oriented experience.
Three Diamond Three Diamond
A Three Diamond restaurant often employs a professional chef and a supporting staff of highly-trained cooks. The menu is skillfully prepared and often reflects interpretations of the latest trends or a mastering of traditional cuisine. Typically, there are expanded offerings of beverages in complement to the menu, such as international/regional wines, specialty beers, cocktails and soft drinks. A professional dining room manager leads a complement of efficient service staff. The service reflects some degree of refinement, such as reservations accepted, personal assistance or the ability to adapt to the guest’s specific needs. The décor reflects the use of well-coordinated design mediums that provide a distinct theme and good comfort. Restaurants at this level convey an entry into fine dining and are often positioned as an adult-oriented experience.
Four Diamond Four Diamond
A Four Diamond restaurant is geared to individuals in search of a distinctive fine-dining experience. Often orchestrated by an executive chef and an accomplished staff, menus reflect a high degree of creativity and complexity, using imaginative presentations to enhance high quality, market-fresh ingredients. The equally proficient service staff demonstrates a strong desire to meet or exceed guest expectations. A wine steward is typically available to provide menu-specific knowledge on wine selection. The ambiance is highly refined, comfortable and well-coordinated, incorporating quality materials and a variety of upscale design enhancements to give a first-class impression. The overall dining experience is typically expensive.
Five Diamond Five Diamond
A Five Diamond restaurant is renowned and consistently provides a world-class experience. This is "haute cuisine" at its best. Menus are cutting edge, using only the finest ingredients available. Food is prepared in a manner that is highly imaginative and unique. The combination of technique and ingredients is extraordinary, reflecting the impeccable artistry and awareness of highly-acclaimed chefs. A maître d’ leads an expert service staff that exceeds guest expectations by attending to every detail in an effortless and unobtrusive manner.
fyi FYI
The restaurants with fyi in place of Diamonds are included as an information only service for members. These listings provide additional dining choices but have not yet been evaluated.

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AAA Approved Campground
  • To apply for evaluation, privately operated campgrounds must first meet 17 essential requirements that address management style, general facilities, and site specifications.
  • During an unannounced site visit, campgrounds are assigned a Level 1, 2, or 3 rating based on overall visual appeal, environmental quality, and the completeness, cleanliness, and condition of facilities.
  • Rated by Full-time professional evaluators...AAA Member feedback...clear quality standards.
  • Nearly 4,000 privately operated campground in the US, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean are AAA Approved and rated.
1 Modest natural appeal, rustic sites, limited facilities. Suitable as a base for budget-minded travelers and campers seeking a simple, unadorned setting.
2 Enhanced natural setting, well defined sites, at least one general service facility. Appropriate for campers who prefer modest social or recreational options and some access to conveniences and comforts.
3 Prominent natural elements, groomed sites, extensive recreational options, variety of general service facilities. Ideal for campers seeking exciting visual elements, social programs, and comfortable amenities such as temperature controlled bathrooms and heated showers.


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AAA GEM
  • GEM attractions are also listed in the printed TourBook guide by city and on designated pages at the front of each state and province Points of Interest section. These attractions are judged to be of exceptional interest and quality by AAA's professional evaluators.
  • GEM events may be of exceptional interest or quality, highly profiled or widely publicized, nationally recognized, long-standing or heavily attended, or a one-time extravaganza, celebration, or centennial.
  • Judged to be of exceptional interest and quality by AAA's professional evaluators.
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