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An explanation of diamond ratings

With the tens of thousands of available hotels and restaurants out there for tourists to visit, it can be difficult to know what to expect when it comes to quality. The American and Canadian Automobile Association publishes a lifestyle and travel magazine and they have developed a diamond rating scale to clearly spell out what a certain hotel or restaurant has to offer. This article explains the AAA/CAA Diamond rating.

Why diamonds?

CAA Magazine chooses diamonds as a symbol in order to differentiate from the many ranking systems out there that use star ratings. Some less reputable ranking systems have marred the credibility of that symbol for boasting the range and quality of services offered by a particular establishment. For example, some restaurant and hotel star rating systems accept money in exchange for a good rating which is not useful for travel research. The AAA/CAA does not charge establishments a fee to earn a rating and uses a strict process of inspection and stringent standards in rating hotels and restaurants.


Before being assigned even one diamond, a lodging must meet 27 basic requirements according to the CAA Magazine website. The site is then given a thorough inspection and assigned one to five diamonds depending on several variables. Awards One diamond is awarded to establishments that are clean and comfortable, while two diamonds are reserved for places which have also made some modest improvements to the appearance and amenities offered. A three diamond establishment has an upgraded level of comfort, facilities and amenities and four diamonds are awarded to places with impressive service. The fifth diamond represents the highest peak of luxury and quality service.


To be awarded any diamonds at all, a restaurant has to meet 11 basic requirements. If qualified, the restaurant is visited by a member of the CAA staff and evaluated for cleanliness, and the quality of food and service. One diamond represents an affordable and casual restaurant. Two diamonds are awarded to informal and family dining restaurants. Three diamonds are reserved for upscale adult dining establishments and four for luxurious fine dining with excellent service. The highest honour of five diamonds goes to restaurants that offer a world-class dining experience and outstanding service. Reference (caadvice articledetail)

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