Hotel Online  Special Report
Case Studies: Meeting or Exceeding 
AAA Requirements

December 2000 - Can HARRY NOBLES HOSPITALITY CONSULTING help you achieve your objectives?  Past results can be an excellent indicator of potential future results.  These brief case studies show examples of the assistance we have provided other clients.
Case Study 1
Client Description:
  • New Full Service Hotel and Conference Center
  • 250 rooms
Challenges and Goals:
  • New property and inexperienced staff
  • Owners were new to the hotel business
  • Objectives included earning a AAA 4-Diamond rating
Actions Taken:

The opening General Manager  brought me in during the construction phase to assess the physical facilities and ensure that all AAA requirements were met or exceeded. I was also given responsibility for developing a complete guest services program specifically designed to meet or exceed guest expectations at the AAA 4-Diamond level. I worked with the GM, department heads, and other managers to introduce service standards to line employees. I also conducted initial training sessions for line employees. We later expanded the training program to focus on a long-term approach and to assure consistency of guest service delivery. I setup a program of regular mystery shops to assess staff adherence to standards and identify remedial and follow-up training needs.


The hotel earned the AAA 4-Diamond award shortly after opening, and still maintains that rating today.

Case Study 2
Client Description:
  • Historic Country Inn
  • 31 Rooms
Issues and Goals:
  • Owners had limited hotel management experience
  • Inexperienced staff
  • Property needed major upgrade, particularly the guestrooms
  • Property had never been rated by AAA or Mobil
Actions Taken:

I conducted an anonymous service evaluation and inspection to assess existing guest service delivery and physical facilities.  I met with owners to review my findings and my recommendations for corrective actions. I was retained to advise on the renovation and upgrade of facilities and guest amenities. I designed a program of guest services tailored to meet or exceed AAA requirements, and conducted staff training for management and line employees.


The Inn was inspected by AAA and awarded the 4-Diamond rating, which it still maintains

Case Study 3
Client Description:
  • Casino-Hotel
  • 340 Rooms
Issues Identified:
  • New property and new staff
  • Rural location with limited labor pool
  • Small guestrooms
  • Some cramped public areas
Actions Taken:

I made an anonymous service evaluation and inspection to assess the potential for AAA and Mobil approval and to determine the optimum ratings.

I found the service delivery to be good but lacking polish and professionalism.  I did find the staff to be genuinely hospitable. I also determined that the property’s physical facilities would be a deterrent to high AAA and Mobil ratings. My recommendation to the owners was to focus on the consistent delivery of the basic guest services, stress cleanliness and maintenance, and  capitalize on the staff’s genuine hospitality. I further recommended that aspiration to a high rating was not feasible, and not in their best interest at that time. Management accepted and followed my advice.


The property was inspected by AAA and received the appropriate rating.


Harry Nobles Hospitality Consulting
“I’ll always tell you what you need to know, not what you want to hear”
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: 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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