AAA evaluates Idaho hotels and restaurants with surprise inspections

We tagged along with AAA inspector at The Grove Hotel.

Inspector 12 goes town to town, rarely revealing his real identity. Although he isn’t a secret agent for the FBI or the CIA he does work for another three letter organization: AAA.

Inspector 12 is a hotel inspector for AAA, he recently visited the Gem State to evaluate The Grove Hotel in downtown Boise.

The Grove Hotel has no notification that their inspection is happening, Inspector 12 says that keeps management on their toes.

“We walk in, we introduce ourselves to the front desk and we go around with management. We''ll see between four and eight rooms," said Inspector 12.

The inspector will evaluate The Grove’s cleanliness, comfort and hospitality, and then decide what the overall hotel's rating is. AAA rates from one to four diamonds, and The Grove came into the review with a 4-diamond rating.

There are no 5-diamond destinations in Idaho, but there are three other 4-diamond hotels in Idaho: The Coeur d’Alene Resort, the Shore Lodge in McCall, and the Sun Valley Lodge and Inn. 

The question is: Will The Grove Hotel be able to keep their rating after today's evaluation? KTVB followed along to find out.

Inspector 12 started his evaluation with a walk through of the hotel restaurant, checking tables for cleanliness, layout for comfort, and the aesthetic of the décor.

The next stop is the fitness club and spa. The inspector made sure the equipment was clean, the space well maintained, and that the pool was in top condition.

Finally, and maybe most importantly, he checked out the rooms.

Inspector 12 browsed through each room, putting every inch under the microscope. Every cabinet, every cup, and even inside every pamphlet. The hotel management nervously watching the entire process.

Halfway through the evaluation KTVB checked in with Inspector 12 to see how he thought things were going.

"We've found a few very minor things but certainly the property is in good shape and they've been very accommodating. It's been a good, routine inspection so far," said Inspector 12.

The hour-long inspection concluded with a few more room checks, Inspector 12 marking down every detail on his tablet.

The inspection ended with a meeting between Inspector 12 and the hotel manager, John Cunningham, to reveal the hotel's rating.

After much consideration Inspector 12 decided that The Grove Hotel has met the standards to keep their 4–diamond rating. This is a mark the hotel management says they are very proud of.

Inspector 12's full evaluation will be published in the 2017 Idaho Tour Book, as well as on the AAA app.

As for Inspector 12, he says he is proud of his work and it is on to the next place.

"AAA is the only source I know of that has the thoroughness of the inspection process,” said Inspector 12. “Our published guidelines that the public can review gives results that everyone can trust."

Copyright 2016 KTVB


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