One Caribbean hotel, the Kimpton Seafire Resort & Spa in
Grand Cayman, was a newcomer to AAA's Five Diamond list for 2018.
The Kimpton Seafire opened in 2016. It was the boutique brand's first
Caribbean hotel and first luxury property.
In the U.S. and Mexico, seven hotels attained Five Diamond
status for the first time: Esperanza An Auberge Resort in Cabo San Lucas, Grand
Luxe Riviera Maya in Playa del Carmen, Grand Velos Los Cabos in San Jose Del
Cabo, Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown, Langham New York, Ritz-Carlton
Dallas and the Williamsburg Inn in Williamsburg, Va.
A total of 113 hotels retained their Five Diamond ranking
from the year before.
"Attaining a Five Diamond Rating is an exceptional
accomplishment that signifies meticulous attention to detail, creativity in
enhancing comfort, outstanding service and memorable guest experiences,"
said Michael Petrone, director of AAA inspections & Diamond ratings.
He said hotels that aim for a Five Diamond rating "must
stay ahead of the curve to differentiate themselves through advanced design
concepts, quality furnishings and scrupulous attention to guests' expectations."
Fewer than half of 1% of the more than 27,000
AAA-inspected-and-approved hotels receive the Five Diamond rating. The Diamond
rating system for lodging began in 1976; the Diamond ratings for restaurants
began in 1985.