This item from Hotel Online from AAA about hotel ratings says:
One large hotel booking Web site is spending millions of dollars on a national advertising campaign touting a non-existent team of hotel evaluators. While intended to be humorous, this campaign draws attention to what has become a concern for consumers - companies that don't physically check out the hotels they rate."
Well, isn't that confusing? AAA, which does do its own inspections for its Diamond ratings, offers some tips on what to look for, including: Ask whether the site does its own ratings, and if it does, what criteria it uses. AAA also recommends asking "how long the rating organization has been evaluating properties, how many properties are rated each year, whether there is a financial obligation between the rating organization and the listed properties, and whether the rating criteria or guidelines are published."