It was less than nine months after the completion of our $17 million renovation that the Hermitage Hotel received the prestigious AAA Five-Diamond rating. Since 2003, The Hermitage has been among the very few hotels – just .27 percent of the 60,000 AAA-rated lodgings in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean – to proudly bear the highest honor a hotel in North America can achieve.
From time to time, guests ask me what it takes for a hotel to earn the five-diamond rating. The short answer is this, “It takes a hotel experience like none other.” But since you have a moment, I’ll give you the longer answer.
After a hotel meets AAA requirements for comfort, cleanliness and hospitality, it is rated on a scale of one to five diamonds, describing the level of complexity in service, décor and amenities — from simple to luxurious. Lodgings receive their annual ratings from one of AAA’s 65 full-time, highly trained evaluators. All evaluations are unannounced to ensure that AAA professionals experience a hotel just as a consumer would.
AAA’s evaluation criteria are rigorous to say the least. The main categories of inspection are the hotel’s exterior, public areas (including breakfast area, restaurant and dining facilities, recreational facilities, shops and lobby), guestrooms, guestroom amenities and bathrooms. Within each category are many sub-categories of inspection with corresponding requirements for each diamond rating.
I’ll spare your time by not listing the strict requirements of each sub-category that a hotel must meet to receive the five-diamond rating. (However, if you would like to know the specifics, CLICK HERE.) But I can sum up the five-diamond level by saying it requires going beyond the highly elite, narrowly defined requirements of the four-diamond rating to a level that can often only be defined as stunning, of unique design or of outstanding elegance.
While AAA describes its five-diamond rating as, “North America’s most coveted symbol of excellence in the hospitality industry,” it is our norm that we strive to deliver and exceed for our guests day after day.
Since the best is our standard, we need a new challenge. If only there was a six-diamond rating…
Greg Sligh, Managing Director of The Hermitage Hotel