Hotel Online  Special Report
Are U.S. Hotels Rated Differently From Other North American Hotels?

April 2001

Are  hotels in Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean  rated differently from those in the United States?  Are there different guidelines for properties in other countries?   The simple answer is  “No, The AAA/CAA Diamond Rating Guidelines are the same for all areas, and are designed to be uniformly applied”. 

In my experience, regional differences do exist, and not only between countries.   Regional rating differences often exist between different locations in the same country.   I have found that a 4-Diamond rated hotel in a small town  might not have been  awarded that same rating in New York City, Chicago, or San Francisco, or in Toronto, Montreal, or Vancouver.

These regional differences most often result from the inspector’s interpretation of the Rating Guidelines not from the Guidelines’ content. 

Misinterpretation can result from the inspector’s lack of field experience and limited exposure to upscale properties. It can also result from personal bias for or against a particular type property.    I believe it is the former more often than  the latter.  Over the years, I have found the majority of inspectors make a sincere effort to be as objective as possible. In my experience, most are successful.

Despite this professional objectivity, there are properties in  all areas that are not accurately rated..  If you feel that your property is one of these,  I would suggest you consider discussing the rating with the inspector..   I always advocate an initial discussion with the inspector while he or she is actually on property; you can always take up your case with AAA/CAA management later.
If you question your own objectivity about your property’s ratings potential, and still disagree with the current rating, you might also want to seek the expert opinion of a more objective third party.


Harry Nobles Hospitality Consulting
POC:  Harry Nobles
Phone:  757-564-3761
Fax:        757-564-0076

  • Former head of AAA Lodging/Dining Ratings Program. 
  • An independent consultant serving the hospitality industry. 
  • A Special Training Consultant to the Educational Institute, American Hotel/Motel Association
Also See: 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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