AAA has updated the guidelines its inspectors use to
evaluate hotels in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean, taking into
account the need for connectivity and technology, among other things.
For instance, ratings that were previously given for a business
center have been replaced with a score for "connective technology,"
reflecting the hotel's capacity to connect with its guests, AAA said. That
includes things like free WiFi, USB ports, mobile apps, mobile key technology,
kiosks and digital messaging services.
In addition, inspectors now review the technological
capabilities has at Five Diamond properties, especially looking at
"Inspectors use the hotel's digital systems during
their stay and evaluate responsiveness, communication, presentation and
follow-up," AAA said.
While technology was the focus of the updated guidelines,
several other trends were taken into consideration: the popularity of
open-concept lobbies and shower-only bathrooms and details like bedding, large TVs
and bathroom lighting.
AAA has hired inspectors to report on hotels and restaurants
in 1937. Its first rating system for hotels was introduced in 1963, and in 1977
AAA added the diamond symbol for its 75th anniversary. The Diamond Rating
system was expanded to include restaurants in 1989.
AAA inspects and approves more than