Sacramento Travel Guide
And we thought hotels having iMacs in the guestroom was cool. The Citizen Hotel in Sacramento, a Joie de Vivre property, has begun offering Mac Minis that are hooked up to 42" flat screen TVs in the guestrooms.
The Mac Minis will serve as "one-stop media portals" that connect not just to the internet but also videos on-demand and guest services. The service is called Joie Connect:
Joie Connect offers the best of video on demand, as well as easy access to browse the Internet, find area attractions, read news feeds and much more. Essentially, the new media centers will enable guests to do everything they can do on their own computers, from checking e-mail, Twitter, or Facebook to downloading music on iTunes, movies from Netflix or HULU.
When it opened last December, we told you all about the geeky glory of the Citizen Hotel in Sacramento. Now we want to tell you about a more macho offering inspired by Californiaís upcoming duck-hunting season. Donít tell Dick Cheney, though, because we don't want anyone getting hurt.
For most people hunting may be a thing of the past, relegated to rusticated retreats in the middle of the country for the most part, but there are bound to be a few political sharpshooters who will want to take advantage of duck season this fall. That is why Executive Chef Michael Tuohy of Citizenís Grange Restaurant will be offering area hunters the opportunity to bring in their feathered trophies this fall, and give the duck its full due as the centerpiece in a four-course meal.
Eating fresh, local, sustainable food is quickly moving from niche lifestyle to commonplace practice. The next time you find yourself in Sacramento, the Golden State's capital, why not opt to learn more about produce grown around the area? It's a very special, meaningful way to become familiar with different places you travel to, and Sacramento is rich with excellent locally-sourced fruits and vegetables.
At Grange Restaurant & Bar (adjacent to The Citizen Hotel
and within easy walking distance of the state capital), Executive Chef Michael Tuohy has attracted nationwide attention for his undying commitment to regional, seasonal, and sustainable foods. Dine at Grange and plan on the best of Californiaís bounty paired with wines from around the state and the possibility of politico sightings. Arnold needs to eat (and eat well), too.
Political cartoons on your hotel room wall are here. And we sure know you've been waiting for them! JDV's The Citizen is now up and running and yes, the unique selling point here is 40 different political cartoons spread across the 198 rooms.
Luxist agrees with the hotel's advertising pitch that it's a boutique hotel, although we think almost 200 rooms makes the boutique label a bit misleading. Similarly, we're still not sure about the name. Chip Conley promised us a very unique name but we're already mixing up this Sacramento newbie with the European CitizenM chain--perhaps Conley was just going for the "unique on this continent" tag.
Our small grumbles aside, The Citizen is a central spot for any business you might be doing in Sacramento and if you're a vacationer, then it gets a whole lot cheaper on weekends: weeknight rates are $249 and weekends sink to $149.
Oh, and if the political cartoons thing is what's attracting you to The Citizen right now, then there's even more. The lampshades are covered in text from the Californian constitution. Doesn't turn us on, but perhaps we're just not politically hip enough.
You know how your local news is always rounding up the cheapest and the most expensive gas stations in your area? We're doing the same thing except with Hotel Gas Packages. Seen a gas package? Let us know.
This gas package was found by HotelChatter reader Steve at the Holiday Inn Sacramento Northeast which is right off the I-80. A convenient place for a gas package indeed.
AAA GASOLINE PACKAGE: Enjoy a deluxe guest room and receive one 25 dollar gasoline card for every night that you stay with us.
72-hour advance reservations are required. AAA card must be presented upon check in. Name on card must match the name on the reservation.
The gas package cannot be combined with other offers but it is valid way beyond summer until December 31. If you're not a AAA member, don't sweat it. The hotel is also offering a Free Gasoline package which is the same deal as above and the $25 card is good for Shell gas stations.
However, buyer beware. The rooms under the AAA package start at $149 a night, while the "Free Gasoline" packages start at $164 a night. We definitely failed math more than once in our lifetime but we think that difference is about $15 right? So it's really only about a $10 savings on gas if you aren't a AAA member. Regular room rates start at $126 a night. Tricky Holiday Inn.
Since we've been talking about hotel theft this week, a tipster John sent us this news link on hotel security.
A local news station in Sacramento went undercover at a few area hotels to see how hotel security stacks up. Nine hotels were tested including the Sheraton Grand, Hyatt and Embassy Suites who passed this newsteam's test. At each hotel, front desk clerks refused to turn over hotel keys unless the guest/undercover reporter could show ID.
All of the other hotels tested passed as well, but one failed. And that was the Clarion Hotel. Even more embarrassing the hotel's general manager said the hotel security was a #1 priority and staffers went under rigorous training on security issues. However, the reporter was able to walk away with a key to someone else's room. Scary.
But in typical local news fashion, the aim of the newscast was probably to scare you. Only 1 of 9 hotels failed their test but what was the headline for the story? "Security Lax at Some Sacramento Hotels" followed by the brief description: "Serious security lapses exist at several of the busiest hotels in Sacramento."
That said, hotel theft is a serious issue so make sure you lock your stuff up or even better, don't bring along valuables when staying at a Clarion Inn.
· Security Lax At Some Sacramento Hotels
And the name that he has chosen is fitting for the capital of California, The Citizen Hotel.
It's intended, Conley says, to reflect the pride locals have in their city as well as the role Sacramento plays as a site of political discourse.
Renderings of the hotel's interior design have been released and which include a private law library and a mezzanine lounge where Conley hopes guests will be able to see the "celebrities checking in."
In other JDV news, we just noticed that they have closed the making whoopie Commodore Hotel.. According to the JDV site under "Closed Hotels", the San Fran hotel was closed after 12 years to make way for some residences. Also closed? Nob Hill Lambourne (as suspected) and the Archbishop's Mansion but just for renovations.
· Citizen Hotel name chosen to reflect Sacramento [SacBee]
· Chip Conley's Sacramento Hotel To Be 'Unique', 'Eclectic', 'All-American' [HotelChatter]
JDV Hospitality is continuing its expansion across the state of California but no further than that.
The latest property under development is in Sacramento where Chip Conley informed townspeople and city officials of what to expect from the 197-room hotel when it opens in 2008:
"Authentic," "influential," "surprising," "classic/All-American" and "eclectic."
Conley also said the hotel's name will be very unique and that they can't reveal it until the name has been officially trademarked. Considering the hotel is in the heart of California's captial and is being built from a 1920s era-building, the name could encompass a whole bunch of things. Off the top of our heads we guess it has something to do with either the Golden State, the gold rush, the Sacramento Solons, or maybe it has something to do with Schwarzenegger.
Also, Conley told the crowd that the hotel's lobby "will feel like a law library meets a cool bar." Given Chip's penchant for creating hotels inspired by magazines, we say this one is gonna be a combo of the Harvard Law Review and TimeOut.
Maybe something else good can be found in Sacramento aside from The Terminator and Kevin Federline.
The city council there is expected to vote tonight on investing $8.4 million to turn the historic 926 J Street building in a 197-room Joie de Vivre hotel.
Overall, the hotel will take $55.5 million to build out of the former office building in downtown.
Joie de Vivre's Chip Conley has been snooping around Sacramento for a place to give birth to another hotel and he may have found it with the historic 926 J Street in California's capital.
The Sacramento Bee reported that Conley is trying to work out a sale with the city for the building.
Conley says his hotel will be so different from anything that exists downtown that he'll bring in new visitors from around the region and beyond - not steal business from existing hotels.
How nice, a hotelier with a soft side.
If it does go through, the new hotel would generate $1 million in taxes for the city each year.
In Hotel Angeleno news, we hear the hotel is done but are now awaiting proper permits from the city of Los Angeles. An opening should be happening within the next month.
We'll believe it when the construction crews and porta potties vacate the hotel's parking lot.
Former American Idol contestant Corey Clark, who last month accused judge Paula Abdul of seducing him, was cited on a misdemeanor battery charge over the weekend for a food fight in a Sacramento Hotel.
Apparently Clark and his record company manager Laura Kathleen Troy, got into a fight on Saturday morning at the Sheraton Grand Hotel that escalated to throwing food and hurling flatware.
Other hotel guests upset by the loud noise and possible Corey Clark's attempt to sing, called the cops.
Both Clark and his manager suffered scratches but no serious injuries. She did not press charges and the two apparently left together but are not boyfriend-girlfriend.
Hear that? That's the sound of Paul Abdul exhaling. Corey Clark is crazy after all.