The Citizen Hotel, Autograph Collection
What We Love
- Ideal location in the heart of downtown Sacramento
- Helpful local staff with spot-on recommendations
- Elegant old-meets-new design
- Grange restaurant’s farm-to-table dining and two-story wine tower with more than 1,200 Cali-centric bottles
What To Know
- Rooms range from a snug 225 to 300 square feet
- Valet parking is $25 per night, or $18 in a city garage across the street
- WiFi is $9.95 a day, but it's free if you enroll in the Joie de Vivre loyalty program
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
In 1926, Calvin Coolidge was president, Clement C. Young was elected governor of California, and Cal-West Insurance opened the building that now houses Sacramento’s Citizen Hotel. The Citizen’s sense of history and connection to Sacramento’s vibrant political scene continues even today, thanks in part to small touches incorporated throughout the sophisticated design. Think leatherbound law books from the 1920s, a stately marble foyer, black-and-white drawings from midcentury Sacramento Bee cartoonist Newton Pratt and the constitution of California screen-printed onto lampshades.
Bed and Bath
The hotel’s 198 rooms are elegant, with a rich, jewel-tone palette that includes chartreuse and gold. Striped wallpaper and large window treatments accentuate the tall ceilings, and vintage touches such as hatbox lights and 1920s-esque tile floors in the bathrooms remind you of the Citizen’s roots. Modern elements are here, too: Each room has a flat-screen TV and an iPod docking station.
Grange, the on-site restaurant, is pure Sacramento, using local ingredients in dishes such as wild California salmon with sunflower seed risotto, lobster mushrooms, house bacon and corn butter sauce. Of course, the meals are best paired with a California wine from the two-story, 1,200-bottle vault.
In the Area
Bookended between City Hall and the Capitol building, the Citizen sits in downtown Sacramento, steps from the political heart of the state, as well as the best the city has to offer in shopping and dining. Sample tortilla española and flamenco guitar at Tapa the World, or head next door for Middle Eastern fare and nightly belly dancing at the Kasbah Lounge. The well-known Paragary Restaurant Group has established a string of trendy bars across the city, from the midtown R15 and Monkey Bar to the perfectly located KBAR downtown. It’s a 10-minute walk from the hotel to Old Sacramento, a picturesque throwback to the Wild West. Debate flavors in saltwater taffy shops, have a pint or two in a saloon and watch the sun set over the Sacramento River. Plan your trip to coincide with the second weekend of the month, as you won’t want to miss the Second Saturday art walk or the Second Sunday antiques fair. A 30-minute drive out of Sacramento will get you to the Locke Historic District. Spend half a day exploring the country’s only remaining rural Chinatown, built by and for Chinese immigrants.
How to Get There
Maybe a bit of a stretch at 4 stars, due to the surrounding neighborhood and mediocrity of its restaurant, Grange. Elegant old hotel, which must have been completely renovated recently. Common areas are very classy, if a bit cramped. You will either be okay with the quirky old school hotel rooms or you won’t. Certainly less cookie cutter than the Embassy Suites off your local highway. Staff was very good throughout. Prices, as of April 2019, are reasonable given its central location. Near City Hall, Capital, Crest Theater, several good bars/restaurants/clubs and not far from many tourist attractions. Its location is also its biggest drawback. The area is strewn with boarded up storefronts and many homeless. Downtown Sacramento is right now an example of the abject failure of urban policy in CA. (It’s very discouraging.) It does not seem, and probably isn’t, safe at night or on weekends. Bottom line? I would be happy to stay here again under the right circumstances.
Had late night cocktails and breakfast at Grange. Have to say both were disappointing. Pricey. Servers were very nice, but nobody does anything with the slightest sense of urgency. Could not make an Amaretto Sour. Had no Amaretto, or so the story went. Fluffy eggs benedict for breakfast with chipotle sauce and pork belly was a very good idea that did not quite come off. It is dominated by some sweetish greens that we did not care for.
Nicely renovated/maintained historic hotel. Used to be a Joie de Vivre property, which stresses unique hotels. Now owned by Marriott but maintains the unique hotel character. Attractive stairs to upper rooms and modern elevator as well. Decent sized rooms with high ceilings, attractive furniture, comfortable bed. “Art”works are prints of historic cartoons and drawings of political issues/events which is appropriate in a capitol city. In an “upgraded” room I had ceramic coffee cup, Kureg coffee maker, and glass for water and wine glasses (a rare hotel hits all my criteria there). Only suggestion for improvement is better lighting in the bathroom.
We were attending a concert at the nearby Golden 1 Center and The Citizen Hotel was convenient and looked okay so we decided to stay there. We reserved the Mayor's Suite which is supposed to be their best and most spacious suite. If this is their best I would hate to see what the other rooms look like. The suite was oddly configured and felt more like a hallway than regular sized rooms. Because of the narrowness of the room it was difficult to even watch TV from the couch. The bathroom was clean with nice tiles but the shower/bathtub was strange, dated and a low point for me in hotel showers.
When I called up for ice the person on the phone said there was no ice machine on my floor and I would have to go down three floors. How is that for service and convenience.
The restaurant was okay but it closes early and that was especially disappointing when coming back from a concert.
The pros are:
Nice housekeeping staff
Close to the concert venue.
A nicely restored historic building.
Easy valet parking.
The room was quiet.
I think the Citizen Hotel is an okay hotel for one night if you happen to be in town and with the absence of good hotels in Sacramento there seems to be little choice.
The location is a 15-20 minute walk to old Sacramento and all the good restaurants and bars. There are quite a lot of homeless people in the area though. Parking was inconvenient because the hotel does not have their own parking spaces, we had to park in the public parking a few blocks away, expect 15-25 dollars in parking fees for overnight. The room was okay, it felt very old and cramped. They don't give out complimentary water, the water was 3 dollars each per small bottle. The bathroom was tiny but clean, there was soap, conditioner and shampoo. The bed and pillows were comfortable. The walls are very thin! We could hear the couple in the next room and they were up til 4 a.m. sigh...
The staff is very friendly and professional. The lobby is a bit chaotic, I studied it a bit, there are no service elevators or service entrances, so all the staff who come to work pass through the main lobby, seems also like the kitchen is beside the lobby because I saw food being brought up via the passenger elevator. It's fine though, It's an old building and they are not a 5-star hotel. Doubt I will stay here again though, mainly because the walls are too thin!
A very good hotel with a very professional friendly staff making sure every important detail is taken care of. The beds are excellent. The rooms in excellent condition. Right in the center of Downtown this is my choice for my Sacramento trips.