Press Release  |AAA Four and Five Diamond Ratings: A Path to Success and Profitability for Your Resort

AAA Four and Five Diamond Ratings: A Path to Success and Profitability for Your Resort

In the digital age, surveys, ratings systems, and consumer reviews are an inescapable fact of life. From social media platforms to industry-specific online information sites, we are constantly exposed to experience-based opinions and assessments about every aspect of our lives, from what and where we eat, to how and when we travel. Our purchasing decisions, choice of physicians, and ideas about schools and education are all guided by the judgements of others.

But for hotel and resort owners and operators – and their guests – there is one rating system, developed before the internet’s inception, that in many ways is more valuable and persuasive than all of the other information found across the web.

We are talking, of course, about the AAA Diamond Rating System, a comprehensive, objective and closely-followed evaluation of travel destinations and experiences.

The fact is, hotels and resorts in the luxury category that have earned the AAA Four-Diamond and AAA Five-Diamond ratings are at a distinct advantage over their competitors – specifically because they can command a higher average daily room rate, attract more guests, and achieve consistently strong occupancy levels. The result, of course, is more revenue and, with the right management, increased profit.

Why are AAA Four- and Five-Diamond Ratings So Exceptionally Influential?

AAA has built a respected and proven system over the course of eight decades, employing a network of professionally trained inspectors who use strict, published guidelines to conduct unannounced hotel and restaurant evaluations. Granted only to hotels in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean, approvals and ratings from AAA must be earned every year which makes them rigorous, exacting and above all accurate.

Unlike paid hotel and resort affiliations that recognize their members and certify their status, AAA retains complete financial objectivity. This independence makes their third-party assessments particularly trusted among travelers. Ratings are communicated not only to the 56 million members of the organization in the U.S. and Canada, but to others around the globe, especially travel agents, who consistently rely on the evaluations to recommend and categorize destinations for their clients.

Not surprisingly, top ratings are also prominently broadcast online as a key marketing tool by those who achieve them, in great part because of their uniqueness and exclusivity. Collectively, Four-Diamond hotels represent just 5.9 percent of the nearly 28,000 AAA Approved and Diamond-Rated properties, and the data for Five-Diamond venues is even more impressive; only 0.4 percent of 28,000 hotels are in this category. In the entire Mexico/Caribbean region, for instance, there are only 262 resorts and hotels rated Four-Diamond, and only 25 Five-Diamond properties.

Achieving the coveted AAA Four- and Five-Diamond ratings is a difficult task that requires special planning and management expertise, along with a deep insight into AAA’s strict guidelines. For hotel and resort owners who want to achieve these rankings for their properties, especially those considering converting to a new brand partner, it is essential to research and choose the right management team.

Here are some factors to consider in your quest for Four- and Five-Diamond recognition – and your pursuit of improved rates and revenue:

Look for a Track Record

Since there are very few Four and Five Diamond Rated properties, there are very few management organizations and brands that have achieved them. Those who have done so understand the specific steps required to deliver the physical spaces and experiences needed to show professional inspectors the highest standard, at any given moment.

At Apple Leisure Group subsidiary AMResorts, for instance, we closely track every requirement for AAA ratings, and our seasoned operations professionals work to advance our properties toward the highest recognition. That’s why last month Secrets Akumal Resort & Spa received the AAA Four-Diamond Hotel Award, becoming the 20th of our AAA Four-Diamond Award properties, along with our 2 AAA Five-Diamond Award winners.

Look for the Best Employees

While there are specific physical requirements for top AAA ratings, such as size of rooms, furnishings and amenities, there is a very concrete service and experiential element to the equation. Look for a management partner who is an employer of choice, and can recruit, hire and retain the best staff to provide the best possible service.

Having a dynamic, experienced HR team on your side, and the qualified, trained staff that accompanies them, will make all the difference.

Let us know what you think it takes to be top rated by AAA at

About Apple Leisure Group
Philadelphia-based Apple Leisure Group® is a leading hospitality company holding a unique niche in the U.S. travel industry. Its vertically integrated business model and robust infrastructure leverages the expertise of six innovative subsidiaries to deliver exceptional value to savvy travelers and strong resort performance to owners. ALG’s award-winning subsidiaries include: AMResorts®, provider of hotel management services under six luxury resort brands; Apple Vacations®, the world’s largest tour operator to Mexico and the Dominican Republic; Travel Impressions®, a prominent U.S. wholesaler possessing an extensive global portfolio;®, a popular online travel agency specializing in luxury vacation packages and resort accommodations in Mexico and the Caribbean;; Amstar DMC, a destination management company offering premium airport transfers, tours and excursions; and Unlimited Vacation Club®, AMResorts’ popular guest loyalty program for discerning travelers who expect the very best in a vacation experience. For more information on Apple Leisure Group®, visit