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

By Federico Moreno-Nickerson, Apple Leisure Group

In the digital age, surveys, ratings systems, and consumer reviews are an inescapable fact of life. For hotel 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.  The AAA Diamond Rating System, a comprehensive, objective and closely-followed evaluation of travel destinations and experiences.

The fact is, hotels 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 is more revenue and, with the right management, increased profit.

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 and accurate.

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. Here are some factors to consider in your quest for Four- and Five-Diamond recognition – and 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.  At Apple Leisure Group subsidiary AMResorts, 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 Riviera Maya 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.To learn more about hotel development opportunities in the luxury all-inclusive space, please visit algdevelopment.com.

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