Hotel Ratings: How Concur Crowns Compare to AAA Diamonds

AAA World Article

The majority of our clients use our online booking tool, Concur, so we often get asked about the difference between Concur “Crown” ratings and AAA Diamonds. And in the last 10-15 years, consumer reviews can be found on almost every direct booking site and search engine. So how do you know which ratings are accurate and who to trust? We took a closer look at both rating systems to better understand how ratings are determined, how they compare to each other, and how they also compare to Google Reviews, the most widely used online consumer rating tool.

How ratings are determined.

AAA Diamonds and Concur Crowns are not about the “experience” but about the “quality” of a property. An individual’s experience is going to be theirs and theirs alone. A rating system like AAA and Concur cannot tap into that, however if your experience is tied to quality, which of course it will be, then ratings do matter.

At AAA, we are tough on rating hotels. We use a 33-point checklist, AAA member feedback and we have professional evaluators that personally review all properties.

Each year our team of professional AAA inspectors visit thousands of hotels and restaurants across North America to find the best hotels for our 60 million AAA members. Out of the thousands of hotels we consider, nearly 2,000 establishments fail to even meet our basic requirements each year. The AAA Diamond hotel rating system has become the industry go-to for ratings that are accurate and vetted.

NorthStar Travel Media, who Concur partners with as their hotel ratings expert, also uses a similar approach to AAA but there are subtle differences. Similar to AAA, NorthStar has professional inspectors evaluating everything about a property including accommodations, range of services, amenities, public space and competitive level of the destination. In addition, they also rely on consumer reviews. Comments and candid photos on social media sites are taken into consideration as well. Once all the review information is consolidated and assessed, a Crown rating is assigned.

Comparing AAA, Concur and Google in metro areas.

We did a side by side comparison of the top hotels booked through AAA Corporate Travel to see how Concur Crowns stacked up against AAA Diamonds. We found that Concur Crown ratings were very comparable to AAA, with AAA ratings being slightly lower than Concur. When comparing Google reviews to Concur and AAA as well, we found that consumer ratings were 81% higher. Given that Concur also uses consumer ratings, it is no surprise that Concur was slightly higher than AAA.

 Hotel Name  City/State  AAA Diamonds  Concur Crowns  Google Stars
 Residence Inn by Marriott Atlanta Midtown Atlanta, GA  3 3 4.1
 Aliz Hotel Times Square New York, NY  3 3 4
 Hyatt Place Lake Mary/Orlando Lake Mary, FL  3 3 4.2
 Colorado Springs Marriott Colorado Springs, CO  3 4 4.1
 Hilton Austin Austin, TX  4 4 4.4
 Kinzie Hotel Chicago, IL  3 4 4.4


Ultimately you must be the final judge of the hotels you trust and feel confident about prior to booking. In addition, your company policy about usage of preferred hotel properties should weigh heavily in your consideration.  While the hotels we compared did not match “crowns-to-diamonds” 100% of the time, these ratings are comparable enough to give you credible information as to whether or not a property will meet your expectations.

We would love to hear your thoughts and experiences with hotel ratings during your travels. Have they been accurate? Which ratings do you typically pay the most attention to? And how do you make your final decision?

Do you need help managing your travel program? Contact us to learn how we can help.

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