With 59,000 Diamond Rated establishments from which to choose, AAA has unveiled a new "Best Of" designation to give travelers another way to find great options for any trip or budget. Currently just seven percent of AAA Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants have earned the “Best Of” distinction. These establishments have overall ratings in the top 20 percent for their Diamond Rating level, no member complaints in the past 12 months and, for hotels only, A Rated cleanliness and condition.
“When travelers are choosing a Diamond Rated hotel or restaurant, they should think of each additional Diamond as an indicator of more extensive services offered. AAA doesn’t approve substandard properties, which separates our ratings from the rest,” said Michael Petrone, director, AAA Inspections and Diamond Ratings, in a written release. “Whether an establishment offers a simple environment or extensive luxury, it provides members with a good choice for the type of experience provided.”
The vast majority of AAA’s Diamond Rated establishments ‒ 90 percent of hotels and 97 percent of restaurants ‒ earn a rating of One, Two or Three Diamonds. Undergoing evaluation from one of AAA’s professional inspectors, these hotels and restaurants meet AAA’s standards for cleanliness, comfort and hospitality, and they offer travelers more casual and affordable options that are often just as charming and memorable as their higher rated counterparts.
“Every AAA Diamond Rated establishment must consistently meet and exceed the expectations of the most discriminating traveler — the AAA inspector,” said Petrone. “It’s a great accomplishment for any property to be listed as AAA Inspected & Approved. Those at the One, Two and Three Diamond levels are the most common and frequently visited by AAA members. This new Best Of designation highlights those at the top of their rating level.”
Here is a sampling of the diverse One, Two and Three Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants across North America that have earned a Best Of designation. Travelers can find more selections at AAA.com/123Diamonds.
Best Of One, Two and Three Diamond Hotels
Mountain Waters Resort – Portland Creek, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada (AAA One Diamond)
AAA Inspector Notes: These cozy, well-kept cabins with decks are located in a quiet and picturesque wooded setting. Fishing is popular here as the renowned Salmon River and Portland Creek Pond border the property. Guests can immerse themselves in the outstanding natural surroundings thanks to the lack of internet and cell phone reception.
Cowboy Village Resort – Jackson, Wyoming (AAA Two Diamond)
AAA Inspector Notes: Located near dining and specialty retailers, the village offers a wonderful selection of studio and one-bedroom log cabins. All cabins have a picnic table, seating on a covered porch and a sofa bed as an added bonus. In the main building, the upscale lobby features an impressive floor-to-ceiling fireplace, the perfect spot to sit and relax.
Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort – Lake Buena Vista, Florida (AAA Two Diamond)
AAA Inspector Notes: Giant football helmets, hockey sticks and baseball bats decorate this sports-themed property. Abundant recreational amenities include dive-in movies and play areas with ping-pong, corn hole and foosball games. Guests can easily quell their hunger pangs at the food court and purchase souvenirs at the convenient on-site Disney store.
Inn at Cape Cod – Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts (AAA Three Diamond)
AAA Inspector Notes: Massive, iconic columns define the front porch of this Colonial-style mansion with grounds shaded by stately trees leading to a 100-acre nature reserve. Rooms are outfitted with rich furnishings, pillow top mattresses, soft triple sheeting and high-end bath amenities. A 24-hour coffee and tea station is available on each floor and complimentary homemade cookies are offered every afternoon.
Ocean Place Resort & Spa – Long Branch, New Jersey (AAA Three Diamond)
AAA Inspector Notes: A great option for a sunny escape, this hotel features sleek, modern rooms (some with ocean views); a luxury spa; beach club access; and a laid-back tiki bar. The hotel features dozens of mature palm trees brought in from the Gulf Coast to give the resort a distinctly Floridian feel.
Best Of One, Two and Three Diamond Restaurants
Rodeo Goat – Dallas, Texas (AAA One Diamond)
AAA Inspector Notes: This is the place for diners who have ever thought their burger needed grilled peaches, a fried egg or blackberry compote on top. Those and other creative ingredients are combined to make a distinctive burger menu. Get there early; the place fills up quickly, especially at lunchtime.
Tupelo Honey Café – Chattanooga, Tennessee (AAA Two Diamond)
AAA Inspector Notes: Traditional Low Country favorites such as fried green tomatoes and shrimp and grits are served in heaping portions. The menu features twists on Southern staples, such as nutty fried chicken served with smashed sweet potatoes, asparagus and a side of goat cheese grits.
Sava’s – Ann Arbor, Michigan (AAA Two Diamond)
AAA Inspector Notes: Locals love the expansive Sunday brunch buffet offering everything from homemade pop tarts to egg dishes that change weekly. For lunch and dinner, the seasonal menu features fresh salads, small plates, steaks, juicy burgers and pasta. Friendly servers are always ready to make a recommendation, such as the lobster BLT topped with thick-cut bacon.
The Boiler Room – Omaha, Nebraska (AAA Three Diamond)
AAA Inspector Notes: The menu changes often and is focused on local, farm-to-table ingredients and pre-Prohibition era cocktails. The two-level space, a restored boiler room originally built in 1887, offers guests a bird's-eye view of the expert chefs working diligently in the kitchen to prepare delicious meals.
Outpost – Goleta, California (AAA Three Diamond)
AAA Inspector Notes: This restaurant offers retro California style with original artwork and a lively atmosphere. The covered patio area features views of the fire pit and pool at AAA Three Diamond Rated The Goodland hotel. For a tasty alternative, try the duck tacos paired with a local wine from the surrounding area.