New diamond rating guidelines reflect the connectivity preferences of today’s travelers

BOISE – (April 9, 2018) – AAA recently updated its hotel Approval Requirements & Diamond Rating Guidelines to reflect the increased importance placed on connective, leading-edge technologies.

Based on feedback from AAA inspectors, members and industry professionals, the new guidelines replace the ratings previously given for traditional business centers with standards that emphasize the digital interactions between a hotel property and its guests. These include access to free Wi-Fi and USB ports, robust mobile apps, interactive kiosks, mobile passkey technology, and more.

“It’s clear that travelers no longer see a hotel stay as just an opportunity to rest and relax, but rather as a base of operations to stay connected,” says AAA Idaho Public Affairs Director Matthew Conde. “AAA’s new guidelines help hotel properties improve the guest experience.”

AAA members put a high value on being able to use their tablets and smartphones for a variety of functions, including checking in at a hotel, checking out, ordering room service, making special requests, and using their phones as room keys. Hotel properties will be given time to adjust to AAA’s new guidelines – it is expected that few will be impacted by the changes.

In addition to connected experiences, AAA’s new guidelines reflect a growing popularity for open-concept lobbies with plenty of space to sit and visit, shower-only bathrooms, modern construction materials and furnishings, and extras like large, flat-screen televisions and plush bedding.

AAA’s full-time, professional inspectors began evaluating lodgings and restaurants in 1937. In 1976, the ratings system was re-branded Diamond Ratings for AAA’s 75th anniversary.  Inspectors update the Diamond Rating for more than 27,000 hotels every year.

“It’s worth noting that every AAA Inspected & Approved hotel must meet the essential requirements for cleanliness, service, and quality,” Conde said. “The Diamond Rating a property receives reflects any extra enhancements that members can experience during their stay.”

AAA updated diamond rating guidelines information can be found in printed TourBooks, at, and through the AAA mobile app.  A brief video of the AAA inspection process can be found here.