|The Citizen Hotel|
Opened in 2009, the Citizen Hotel boasts 198 guest rooms each appointed with clever politically-themed touches. Monogrammed bags boasting “Hot Air” hold the hair dryers, and one of the lamp shades in my room bore a copy of the California State Constitution. The hallways and public spaces sport large photographs of protests and political leaders from California’s colorful past; political cartoons hang in the bed and bathrooms. And a hang tag reading “Closed Door Session” replaces the traditional “Do Not Disturb.”
The nouveaux-Federalist rooms are draped in men’s suiting from the wool, herringbone headboards to the silk-striped lampshades. And while the hotel is new, the building is nearly a century old. Smartly, the rooms and common areas maintain much of the 1926 glamour of the Cal Western Life building -- soaring ceilings, elegant moldings, and impossibly tall windows. Combined with the dark furnishings and masculine fabrics, the effect is much like the interior of a humidor.
The Gypsy’s Essentials
- The Shower: fabulous! Great water pressure, a luxurious rain-style head, fluffy towels, and room for two in the standard shower. And the bath products, scented with lemongrass and bamboo, are incredible -- even if you do come away smelling ever-so-slightly like Thai food.
- The Bed: good. The pillows are really squishy of which I am not a fan. But the linens are lovely, and the mattress was fabulously comfortable.
- The Green Report: like many hotels, the Citizen gives you the option of recycling your linens rather than having them washed. And the staff says they recycle what’s put in the trash bins, but I didn’t see any evidence. The bath products are all eco-friendly and are packaged in biodegradable bottles made from cornstarch. Perhaps the greenest spot in the hotel is Grange, the hotel’s restaurant. The food is locally-sourced and seasonal with an emphasis on goods from the Central Valley and an all-California wine list.
- Internet Access: The Citizen prides itself on being accessible and technologically friendly for those working at the hotel -- with “screaming fast, wired and wireless 10Mbps HSIA Internet” -- but the technology doesn’t come cheap. There is an iMac in each room, but internet service (wired and wireless) is a pricey $7.95 per computer per day.
- Children Welcome: yes, but it is not a particularly child-friendly hotel. There is a children’s menu, but from the decor to the clientele, the Citizen means business.
- Breakfast: not included.
- Price: expensive (rack rate: $209-599 per night; but cheaper rates can be had online).
- Notes: valet parking is also expensive ($25 per day which is high for Sacramento), but it is the best parking option in the area.
- A Huge Bonus: the Citizen Hotel has the best dog policy in Sacramento: any dog is welcome at no cost! In fact, I would venture to say this is the ONLY hotel in the city that is this generous.
|Evening view from my room toward the Cathedral|
|The lampshade: a copy of the California Constitution|
In all the Citizen is a charming hotel. Despite its power center, Sacramento often feels like a small town lacking sophistication. But in the country’s most populated state with a powerful legislature and a gigantic budget mess, the Citizen Hotel capitalizes on its location and plays to its strengths. Once they get the service right, this will be a hotel deserving of its four-star price tag to be sure.
The Citizen Hotel
926 J Street
Sacramento, California 95814
F: Fax 916.447.2701
Reservations: Reservations 916.492.4460
Note: The Citizen Hotel sponsored my stay. Read more about my review policies.