Built in a historic renovated building, this Joie de Vivre boutique hotel is just what Sacramento has been needing - an iconic landmark that celebrates the city's history and culture.
Unlike all the other national chain hotels in town, Citizen gets that Sacramento is a government town and they've built a stylish and urban hotel to celebrate it. The theme is politics - photos of past California politicians and political events (anything from protests in the 60's to school children touring the Capitol building) decorate the walls. Visitors of right and left political leanings will be pleased to know that the hotel does an excellent job of representing both parties' histories; I honestly didn't sense a "bent" to the hotel at all. The theme extends to all aspects of the hotel: In the rooms there are political cartoons and the conference and meeting rooms are called things like "Legislature Room" and the "Big 4 Lounge". The lobby is also decorated like a legal library with leather bound case books stacked up to the second floor. Scandal, the bar, features photos on the wall of flashing cameras to give you the feel that you're being chased by the paparazzi. All of this is done in an upscale and chic way - not cheesy at all.
As for food, we dined at the restaurant in the hotel which was excellent and featured a lot of locally grown items. The bar, Scandal, was also fun and had some nice drinks - but no shot glasses (disappointing for those of us that wanted Irish Car Bombs). Their menu looked nice as well, but we didn't eat here. The room service menu was a nice change from the ordinary and the food was good, although not as good as the restaurant. I usually think room service items are obscenely costly and of poor quality. While Citizen's room service certainly wasn't cheap, it seemed more worth its value because it was actually edible.
The rooms are fairy small, I assume maybe because this was an old building, but they are nicely decorated and very comfortable. All of the electronics are the latest and the bed was very comfortable. For being situated on a major downtown street, it was really quiet at night. Our room had a lovely view of City Hall and our friend's room overlooked the State Capitol. Rooms have a great attention to detail. Even the morning paper comes in a bag outside your door that says "Read between the lines" - cute.
My only complaint about the room is the bathroom. They were large - maybe a little too large - and the tile floor (while keeping in line with the theme and decor) was really cold. The door was a sliding door and I couldn't figure out how to keep it fully shut, it kept sliding open an inch or two. Also, it took forever for my shower to warm up, but given that the hotel has just opened and is far from capacity, I may have just been the first shower of the morning. There also wasn't a garbage can in the bathroom, which was inconvenient. Again, it could be chalked up to working out the bugs, since the hotel has just opened. Hopefully they'll fix these small details.
The staff was attentive, hard working, and ready to please. There is no parking garage, so you'll need to valet your hotel. It takes a while to get your car back, so I suggest calling to the concierge to ask for it before you check out. Also, I don't think the cars are parked in covered parking overnight so be aware if you like to baby your vehicle.
Overall, I thought Citizen was a fabulous stay and is sure to be a destination hotel. If you're from Sacramento, you'll get a kick out of the old-school politics vibe and if you're a visitor it's a must visit to get a taste of our Capitol culture. This is the kind of place I'll take all my out-of-town friends when they visit!