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When is the Right Time to Worry About
Your AAA or Forbes Rating?

E-mail:  hospsvc001@aol.com
by Harry Nobles
July 16, 2010

When is the right time to worry about your AAA or Forbes rating?  I believe the best time to begin to worry, or at least to be concerned over the potential loss of a Star or Diamond is when you first earn the rating.  It is easier to prevent the loss of a Star or Diamond or the loss of your AAA or Forbes approval completely than to earn it back.

The first problem you encounter is that the rating organization is often reluctant to grant your request for another inspection; there are several valid reasons for this.  One reason is that both AAA and Forbes have firm deadlines that must be met.  Another is that the AAA Tourism Editor or inspector is often unable to accept the fact that an operator who has not made the necessary improvements to retain the rating in a year  since the last inspection, is now going to make the improvements in a few weeks. 

The operator does not always find a friendly ear when trying to make the case for a re-inspection especially after having been told in writing a year earlier that the rating was in jeopardy.  By the way, a downgrade or disapproval rarely happens without a clear and unambiguous advanced written notice.

Another reason to take proactive measures is that it can be less expensive than playing catch-up after the fact.  Your preventive action may include incremental FF&E upgrades, shopping around for the best price, and addressing problems before they become even more serious.  Proactive measures should definitely include frank and open communication with the inspector about your plans and priorities.  The inspector is not an advisor or consultant to give you specific advice, but he or she can certainly answer some basic questions, and possibly point you in the right direction. 

During my tenure at AAA and since I have found the Tourism Editors to be knowledgeable, professional, and willing to discuss rating matters with operators. Finally, I suggest you stay as involved with the rating issues as you do all the other details of your operation, and keep up with the ever-changing rating requirements, policy, and procedures

So, I urge you to talk to your inspector, talk to me, talk to someone who will give you some answers to your questions.  Please remember that only you can make the final decisions.  That is as it should be because nobody knows your property as well as you; just get all the accurate information you can so you can make an informed decision.

My best wishes to you during this difficult time.

Contact:

Harry Nobles Hospitality Consulting
www.nobleshospitalityconsulting.com
hospsvc001@aol.com
(757) 564-3761


Also See: Is 'Mega Boutique Hotel' an Oxymoron? / Harry Nobles / April 2010

Boutique Hotels: Have They Gone Too Far? / Harry Nobles & Lisa Jackson / March 2010

Does AAA Approval Help? / Harry Nobles / November 2009

Which Training Plan is Right for You? / Harry Nobles / June 2009

Is Hospitality For Hotels Only? / Harry Nobles / June 2009

How Important is Service? Very! / Harry Nobles / May 2009

What to Do? Improve Guest Services or Upgrade Facilities / Harry Nobles / December 2008

My Dream Hotel? / Harry Nobles, October 2008

Hurricane Ike:  Challenges and Opportunities? / September 2008

Who Should Train Your Employees?/ Harry Nobles / September 2008

Designing for the Future a Key to Earning 4 or 5 Star/Diamond Rating / Harry Nobles / February 2008

Look for the Ducks / Harry Nobles / April 2007

How Should Casino-Hotels Be Rated? / Harry Nobles / April 2007

Is 'Mega Boutique Hotel' an Oxymoron / Harry Nobles/ December 2006

Hotel People I Have Know / Harry Nobles / October 2006

Now I’ve Seen Everything -  “Food Servers Employing the Internet to Divulge Names of Customers Who Tip Less than 17%”/ Harry Nobles / September 2006

Does Hotel Room Size Matter? / Harry Nobles / September 2006

If You Disagree With Your AAA Rating / Harry Nobles/ May 2006

AAA Evaluation Procedure: Is It Fair? / Harry Nobles/ May 2006

Four Star vs Mobil Four Star / Harry Nobles/ February 2006

Rating Condominiums / Harry Nobles / January 2006

AAA Five Diamond Lodgings; Chain vs Independent / November 2005

Katrina & Rita: Silver Lining or Opportunity? / Harry Nobles & Cheryl Griggs / October 2005

Our Dream Hotel / Harry Nobles & Cheryl Griggs / July 2005

Losing a Diamond or Star / Harry Nobles & Cheryl Griggs /  March 2005

Ratings vs Guest Satisfaction / Harry Nobles & Cheryl Griggs / February 2005

Our "Pick of the Month" / Harry Nobles & Cheryl Griggs / November 2004

5 Star vs 5 Diamond: What’s the Difference? / Harry Nobles & Cheryl Griggs / November 2004

Strategic Alliance Announced, Committed to Hospitality Excellence / August 2004

Family Resorts: Suggested Strategies / Cheryl Griggs / July 2004

Are Small Resorts Unfairly Treated by the AAA and Mobil Rating Criteria / July 2004

Designing For Optimum Global Ratings / Cheryl Griggs / June 2004

QualAsia Formed to Provide Authoritative Organization to Inspect and Evaluate Hotels Across Asia; Harry Nobles Appointed Chairman of New Asian Hotel Rating Service / May 2004

Validity of Online Hotel Ratings / Cheryl Griggs / April 2004

Resorts Ratings Redux / Harry Nobles & Cheryl Griggs / February 2004

Are Your Trainers Trained? / Harry Nobles & Cheryl Thompson Grigg /  January 2004 

The Language of Service / Cheryl Griggs / October 2003

Hotel Renovation Ideas vs AAA Ratings Criteria / Harry Nobles / October 2003

New Employee Orientation: Necessity or Luxury?  /  July 2003

Save the Best - Replace the Rest / July 2003

AAA and Mobil Ratings As a Sales Tool / May 2003

How Well Do You Know Your Competitor? / May 2003

Our Favorite Hotel?  / March 2003

The Current Value of AAA Hotel Ratings / Feb 2003

Stars and Diamonds; Some Similarities and Some Differences / January 2003

AAA's Delay: Good or Bad? / July 2002

Timing Is Everything, Or Is It? / July 2002 

Boutique Hotels: Have They Gone Too Far / May 2002

People Really Do Make the Difference / Jan 2002

What Is a Boutique Hotel? / Dec 2001

The Non-negotiable Traits of Leaders / Oct 2001 

How Important is Service? / Sept 2001

Front Desk Service Mistakes / Aug 2001

Food & Beverage Mistakes & How to Correct Them / July 2001

Bell Staff Mistakes & How to Correct Them / July 2001 

Attitude vs Aptitude / June 2001

Female Business Travelers' Expectations / June 2001

Is Outsourcing Your Training a Viable Alternative? / June 2001

Unique Identity + Consistent Service = Success / May 2001

AAA Standards vs  Guests' Expectations / May 2001

Are Your Guests Better Informed Than Your Staff? / April 2001

Are U.S. Hotels Rated Differently From Other North American Hotels? / April 2001

The Design Theme - AAA / Mobil Ratings Connection / March 2001

Attitude Can Make the Difference / January 2001

How Should Casino-Hotels be Rated? / Dec 2000

Does AAA Rate Resorts Fairly? / Nov 2000

Is Your Property Suffering From Design Deficiency? / Nov 2000 

The Future of AAA Ratings / September 2000

What Is Your Optimum AAA Rating / August 2000

If You Disagree With Your AAA Rating…../ June 2000

Are AAA Ratings Always Accurate and Objective / May 2000

Creating Atmosphere / Jan 2000

What is "Atmosphere"? / December 1999

Maintaining Your AAA Rating / Nov 1999

Earning a AAA Rating vs Maintaining a AAA Rating: Which Is More Difficult? / Oct 1999

Can Outstanding Service Offset Hotel Physical Deficiencies in the Rating Systems? / Harry Nobles / June 1999 

Consistency: The Hallmark of a Fine Hotel / September 1999

Who Should Train Your Employees  / Aug 2000 

Mobil Travel Guide Announces 1998 Mobil Four-and Five-Star Award Winners / Jan 1998 

Key to Success: Training + Follow-Up / June 2000

The Legend of the Pineapple / Harry Nobles / Feb 1999 

To Harry Nobles Hospitality Consulting Index Page


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