About TrueGuest

Headquartered in Los Angeles, TrueGuest was created by former hotel executives to serve
the hospitality industry by measuring and improving guest service and internal controls. Our Service Experience Audits are used by top brands such as Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, Marriott, Renaissance, Hilton, Hyatt, W Hotels, Intercontinental, Sheraton, Radisson, Holiday Inn, Wyndham, and many more.

AAA Adds 7 Hotels to Exclusive Five Diamond List for 2017

AAA has published their new list of approved Five Diamond Hotels for 2017.  After years of shrinking the list, AAA has finally increased the total 5 Diamond hotel list to 120 hotels.  The new hotels added are the following:

  • THE MODERN – NEW YORK CITY
  • FOUR SEASONS RESORT LANA’I – LANAI CITY, HAWAII
  • THE ST. REGIS NEW YORK – NEW YORK CITY
  • SPICE ISLAND BEACH RESORT – ST. GEORGE’S, GRENADA
  • FOUR SEASONS HOTEL MEXICO D.F. – MEXICO CITY
  • DORADO BEACH, A RITZ-CARLTON RESERVE – DORADO, PUERTO RICO
  • THE JEFFERSON HOTEL – RICHMOND, VIRGINIA

Congratulations to the new award-winning hotels and restaurants!  From the AAA press release:

“Five Diamond establishments represent the upper echelon of hospitality, redefining personalized service, using creativity to enhance guest comfort and providing memorable experiences,” said Michael Petrone, director, AAA Inspections and Diamond Ratings. “Attaining the Five Diamond Rating is an impressive accomplishment and is a point of great pride for these top hotels and restaurants.”

Also of note among the new additions to the list is the first Five Diamond Rated property in Grenada, Spice Island Beach Resort. The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs remains the only hotel that has maintained the Five Diamond Rating for 41 consecutive years – since 1976 when AAA first introduced the Diamond Ratings for accommodations. The Inn at Little Washington Dining Room in Virginia remains the longest tenured Five Diamond restaurant, the only one to maintain the coveted status for 29 consecutive years, since 1988.

“These leading edge properties are well-positioned to meet the needs of discerning travelers. Their noted attributes include contemporary design trends and the highest quality food and amenities. Personalized, attentive service is foremost, delivered in ways that offer guests inspiring and memorable local experiences,” said Petrone.

Candidates for the Five Diamond Rating undergo multiple unannounced evaluations and a final decision by a panel of experts. Using guidelines weighted by member priorities, inspectors meticulously evaluate guest services and physical attributes to assess the level of competence, refinement and hospitality and assign a corresponding rating of One to Five Diamonds.

For more information about Diamond Ratings and the complete lists of Four and Five Diamond hotels and restaurants, visit AAA.com/DiamondAwards.

Currently, only .3% of all AAA-rated hotels achieved the Five Diamond Rating.  AAA rated 59,000 hotels for 2017.

Here is the full list of 2017 AAA Five Diamond Rated Hotels: Continue reading

Five Diamond Hospitality is now TrueGuest

trueguest-horizontal

Los Angeles, CA, July 12th, 2016 – Five Diamond Hospitality, a leading company for quality assurance audits, is preparing for the future with a new name, logo, and website.  Under the new name, TrueGuest, Five Diamond Hospitality will continue to serve their clients with the same high-quality service audits they have provided for the past decade.

 

About TrueGuest

TrueGuest, formerly known as Five Diamond Hospitality, is the premier Service Experience Audit company for the hospitality business.  The company provides service audits to many of the top brands in the United States.  Founded in 2006, TrueGuest is celebrating 10 years of service.

 

Contacts

TrueGuest

TrueGuest.com

(818) 301-5655

AAA Adds 6 Hotels to Exclusive Five Diamond List for 2016

aaa-five-diamond-awardAAA has published their new list of approved Five Diamond Hotels for 2016.  Continuing the recent trend, the number of approved hotels has dropped again this year, from 121 to only 118.  AAA added 6 new or returning hotels this year, and removed 9 hotels that were approved in 2015.  The new hotels added are the following:

  • Hotel Mousai – Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
  • Park Hyatt New York – New York, N.Y.
  • St. Regis Deer Valley – Park City, Utah
  • The Cloister – Sea Island, Ga.
  • The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain – Marana, Ariz.
  • Trump International Hotel and Tower Toronto – Toronto, Ontario

Congratulations to the new award-winning hotels!  For a full list of 5 Diamond award winners, click here. 

 

Forbes Travel Guide Releases 2015 Star Award Winners

ForbesTravelGuideLast month AAA published their list of the newest Five Diamond hotels.  Now, it is Forbes’ turn.  Forbes has continued to inspect and add hotels to their last at a rapid speed.  There are now 115 Five Star Hotels, up from just 76 two years ago!  From the press release:

Forbes Travel Guide revealed its 57th list of Star Rating winners, which include our first star-rated properties in Mexico, the Caribbean, Latin America, Japan and Thailand. For the past year, our team of professional incognito inspectors has traveled the world in search of the best hotels, restaurants and spas to add to your must-visit list.

The Forbes Travel Guide Star Rating list now includes 115 Five-Star hotels, 55 Five-Star restaurants and 48 Five-Star spas. It also has a total of 336 Four-Star hotels, 192 Four-Star restaurants and 163 Four-Star spas, along with 100 Recommended hotels and 60 Recommended restaurants.

There are 18 Hotels that made the Forbes list for the first time.  From the press release:

Among our 2015 award recipients are 18 new Five-Star hotels, 10 new Five-Star restaurants and seven new spas capturing the top honor. In Mexico, Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita in Nayarit andRosewood Mayakoba in Playa del Carmen snagged Five-Stars, while the Caribbean saw Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Resort in Antigua, andCheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France and Eden Rock – St. Barths in St. Barts earning the coveted distinction. Guangzhou debuted on the list with two Five-Stars, Four Seasons Hotel Guangzhou and The Ritz-Carlton, Guangzhou. Bangkok’s grande dame, Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok, grabbed Thailand’s first Five-Star hotel award, and Tokyo landed a Five-Star with Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo. The Langham, Hong Kong and Conrad Macao, Cotai Central scored first-time Five-Star awards for their respective brands.

Stateside, new Five-Stars went out to Park Hyatt Aviara Resort in Carlsbad, California; Keswick Hall and Golf Club in Keswick;Rosewood Sand Hill in Menlo Park, California; The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain in Marana, Arizona; The Setai, Miami Beach in Miami Beach;Trump International Hotel Waikiki Beach Walk in Honolulu; and Wheatleigh in Lenox, Massachusetts.

AAA Adds 8 Hotels and 6 Restaurants to Exclusive Five Diamond List for 2015

aaa-five-diamond-awardAAA has published their new list of approved Five Diamond Hotels for 2015.  Continuing the recent trend, the number of approved hotels has dropped again this year, from 124 to only 121.  AAA added 8 new or returning hotels this year, and removed 11 hotels that were approved in 2014.  The new hotels added are the following:

  • Four Seasons Hotel Denver – Denver, Colo.
  • Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort – Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
  • Grand Luxxe – Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico
  • One&Only Palmilla – San Jose Del Cabo, Mexico
  • Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa – Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.
  • Shangri-La Hotel – Toronto, Ontario
  • The Langham, Chicago – Chicago, Ill.
  • The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman – Seven Mile Beach, Cayman Islands

The new Five Diamond Restaurants are the following:

  • Le Chique – Puerto Morelos, Mexico
  • Orchids at Palm Court – Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Palme d’Or – Coral Gables, Fla.
  • Passion by Martin Berasategui – Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
  • Saison – San Francisco, Calif.
  • Twist – Las Vegas, Nev.

Congratulations to the new award-winning hotels and restaurants!  From the AAA press release:

2015_HotelDiamondlRatings_infographicAAA has unveiled 121 hotels and 63 restaurants that have earned the AAA/CAA Five Diamond Rating in the past 12 months, qualifying them for the 2015 Five Diamond Award lists. This exclusive group represents just 0.3 percent of the more than 58,000 AAA/CAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants.

AAA inspectors collectively visit approximately 1,200 hotels and restaurants each week, allowing them to identify emerging trends in the industry. “At the ultra-luxury level we’re seeing an increasing number of hotels offering guests the choice of high-end service by white glove or touch screen — in person or electronically,” said Michael Petrone, director, AAA Inspections & Diamond Ratings. “They’re complementing personal delivery with technology options such as in-room iPads and TV menus for ordering and scheduling services, apps for accessing newspapers and local reservations, mobile check-in and text alerts when their room is ready. Some Five Diamond hotels even place a TV within the bathroom mirror to complete guests’ high-tech stay.”

Of note among the new additions to the 2015 list is the Orlando area’s only Five Diamond hotel, the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort, marked by numerous upscale service options. Each room is equipped with an iPad that serves as the radio, resort map, event guide and newspaper, as well as a Bose Bluetooth speaker system and high-tech keypads that control lighting, air temperature and even guests’ request for privacy. For additional custom luxury, guests can create their own fragrance at the spa’s Aroma Design Bar. At the Shangri-La Hotel in Toronto, the guest room drapes, bedside lighting and air-conditioning system are all electronically controlled by the guest. In-room iPads are available to order room service, call housekeeping or contact the 24-hour concierge.

The best high-end restaurants are fast becoming international destinations by providing a unique dining experience in which the selection and enjoyment of exceptional food is also an educational event. Typically, Five Diamond restaurants are ahead of trends in farm-to-table and super-local food sourcing.  Directed by artistic whims, the chef creates solid, lifelong relationships with farmers, purveyors and producers who can deliver the finest ingredients, whether it’s coffee, olive oil or artisan cheeses.

At the Inn at Little Washington Dining Room in Washington, Va., for example, AAA’s longest tenured Five Diamond restaurant, Chef Patrick O’Connell uses as many local ingredients and foods as possible, along with bounty from his own garden, applying masterful techniques to create captivating results. At Eleven Madison Park in New York City, diners are invited to build their dinner around specific ingredients instead of predetermined recipes. But it’s the service experience that shines brightest as guests are pampered in a manner that is intimate yet relaxed. With personalized service or surprising insight, each staff member adds a special touch to the guest’s dining experience, creating a powerful, memorable event.

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Hotel fines $500 for every bad review posted online, served some street justice by Reddit

Yelp-LogoA small hotel in Hudson, NY thought it would be a great idea to threaten wedding couples with a $500 fee for any negative reviews posted by their wedding attendees.  From the Page Six article:

A hotel in tony Hudson, NY, has found a novel way to keep negative reviews off Yelpand other sites — fine any grousing guests.

The Union Street Guest House, near Catskills estates built by the Vanderbilts and Rockefellers, charges couples who book weddings at the venue $500 for every bad review posted online by their guests.

“Please know that despite the fact that wedding couples love Hudson and our inn, your friends and families may not,” reads an online policy. “If you have booked the inn for a wedding or other type of event . . . and given us a deposit of any kind . . . there will be a $500 fine that will be deducted from your deposit for every negative review . . . placed on any internet site by anyone in your party.”

If you take down the nasty review, you’ll get your money back. Continue reading

USA Today – You call this a five-star hotel?

Grand Hotel PlazaThere is a great article in today’s USA Today about a problem we’ve complained about for years: websites overstating the quality of hotels.  The culprit is a hotel in Rome that Priceline.com was selling as a 5-Star hotel.  Spoiler alert: the hotel is far from a 5-Star hotel.  From the article:

We recently stayed a few nights in Rome before a Mediterranean cruise. We were traveling with family, including my in-laws. We booked a five-star hotel, the Hotel Grand Plaza, through Priceline.com. We were excited because the hotel website looked great.

When we got there, we found the property was old and tired and the rooms we had booked each had significant deferred maintenance. For example, in one room, water continuously dripped from the bathroom ceiling onto the toilet seat. The electrical faceplate in one room was lying on the floor, leaving wires exposed in a room where small children were staying. Another room had no closet, only a plywood armoire that was too narrow for the four hangers inside to hang properly. One room had a tub but no shower curtain, so water went all over the floor. The list goes on.

USA Today did a little digging and found that Priceline.com was overstating the quality of the hotel.  From the article: Continue reading

JD Power: Hotel Satisfaction Reaches Record High

According to the newest JD Power rankings, hotel guest satisfaction has reached its highest level since 2006.  From the article:

The study, now in its 18th year, measures overall guest satisfaction across eight hotel segments: luxury; upper upscale; upscale; midscale full service; midscale; economy/budget; upper extended stay; and extended stay. Seven key factors are examined in each segment to determine overall satisfaction: reservation; check-in/check-out; guest room; food and beverage; hotel services; hotel facilities; and cost and fees.

Overall satisfaction in 2014 averages 784 points on a 1000-point scale, up 27 points from 2012, with significant improvement in all segments except upper extended stay and extended stay, where satisfaction remains stable. The midscale segment posts the largest year-over-year improvement, increasing by 10 points to 801, which is the first time satisfaction in the segment has surpassed 800 points.

According to JD Power, here are the brands that scored the highest in each category:1 Luxury

  • Luxury: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
  • Upper Upscale: Kimpton Hotels (for a second consecutive year)
  • Upscale: Hilton Garden Inn
  • Midscale Full Service: Holiday Inn (for a fourth consecutive year)
  • Midscale: Drury Hotels (for a ninth consecutive year)
  • Economy/Budget: Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham (for a second consecutive year)
  • Upper Extended Stay: Homewood Suites by Hilton (for a second consecutive year)
  • Extended Stay: Candlewood Suites

Continue reading

The Telepgraph – Hotels ‘hostage to TripAdvisor blackmailers’

blackmail-messageWe’ve heard a little chatter over the years about guests blackmailing hotels to remove negative reviews.  Our hoteliers from across the pond have been apparently experiencing the same problems.  From the Telegraph:

Hotels and restaurants are being targeted by “blackmailers” who demand free meals and stays in exchange for not writing bad reviews on the TripAdvisor website, hospitality chiefs have warned.

Guests are warning staff that they will post bad comments on the review website if they are not given better service, meals or upgrades.

Restaurant, hotel and B&B owners in Britain have reported a huge rise in the number of customers using the site as a threat. They say the guests often make a complaint and say they will post a bad review unless given a free bottle of wine, dessert or a bill reduction.

Other “gastronomic blackmailers” even claim that they work for TripAdvisor and will post a series of negative comments unless they get free upgrades.

Hopefully a solution is on the way.  From the article:

Continue reading

Share, Like, Tweet, Repeat…Get Marriott Rewards “PlusPoints”

Marriott LogoMarriott finds a way to make tweeting even more rewarding!  If you are one of those people who love to tweet, share, or instagram everything that you are doing, you are going to love this.  From the press release:

Are you constantly sharing with friends, family and colleagues on social media?  Now, once again, Marriott Rewards is changing the game with PlusPoints, a new, easy and fast way to earn points whenever and however you connect.  All those Likes, Tweets, re-Tweets, Instagram posts and Foursquare check-ins can instantly result in up to 2,000 PlusPoints per month.  Download image.

“Our members have been supporting and talking about Marriott Rewards and our hotels on social media for years and we think PlusPoints will be a fun and innovative way to say thanks and to keep the conversation going,” said Rich Toohey, vice president, Marriott Rewards.  “It is another bold step in making Marriott Rewards an active participant beyond the travel experience and engaging our members as they connect with their social networks.”

With PlusPoints, Marriott Rewards members see their points accumulate immediately, in real time.  PlusPoints can be earned everyday through social media sharing – enrolled members will receive 25 points each time they share content about Marriott Rewards and our hotels and 250 points when they Like a hotel’s Facebook page or follow a property on Twitter. PlusPoints are instantly loaded into the member’s Marriott Rewards account and a confirmation will be sent by email.

With PlusPoint’s easy and instant way to earn points, Marriott Rewards is also offering low-point redemption options. For as little as 5,000 points, members can purchase a $10 gift card for Best Buy, Gap, Lowes or Macy’s or view a variety of merchandise options.  Members can also spend 7,500 points for a $15 iTunes gift card. To get started and begin earning PlusPoints, visit www.marriottrewardspluspoints.com.

Is this an exciting new program?  You bet!  Is it bribery?  Nah, we prefer to say ‘viral marketing’.

Source:  Marriott Press Release