Thanks to my younger sister, who participates in Junior State of America (JSA), I get to wake up at an ungodly hour on Saturdays every couple of weeks to drive her to one of these events. This time around, it was a huge event held in downtown Sacramento, which meant I got to stay at the Hyatt Regency Sacramento. This is a Category 4 hotel that goes for 12,000 points per night. This is the same hotel Arnold Schwarzenegger stayed at during his tenure as the Governator, as opposed to actually living in Sacramento, which was apparently beneath him.
My older sister had her wedding at the Hyatt Regency Sacramento four years ago, so this was my second stay. At the time, the hotel was nice (though it hadn’t undergone a renovation) and the staff were friendly at every turn. Even when every single person with a key to the bridal suite kept leaving it in the room (and we’re talking half a dozen people), and security had to be called up to open the door every time, they were nice about it. Being the cynical person that I am, I figured the service must have deteriorated or that they were only on their best behavior because of the wedding. Not so.
As soon as I walked in, I noticed a huge difference. The whole place looked much more sleek and there was a self check-in area. There was nobody at the Diamond check-in, so I just walked up to the rep who was free. I believe his name was Adam and he was talkative and friendly, pointing out the renovation, asking if I had stayed here before, etc. He offered me my Diamond amenity (I took the points) and explained that I’d receive another 2,500 points since the club lounge was closed on weekends. I asked for late check-out, which was promptly granted. He then came around the counter to hand me my keys and direct me towards the elevator.
The room was a huge improvement from the last time I was there. While I stayed with my sister in an Executive Suite, which was spacious, my cousin was staying in a standard room and it was just your run-of-mill hotel room – definitely a bit dated. The difference was definitely noticeable. The room itself was around 400 sqft. There was the bed with not one, not two, but six pillows. There was a nice work desk and a seating area. Under the desk was a coffee machine with coffee and tea provisions.
One of my pet peeves about hotels is when they fail to install an outlet near the bed. Here, the outlet was installed in the side table, which was just perfect. When I tried to connect to wifi, I was offered a premium version for an extra fee (I think about $5), but I picked the regular speed, which worked just fine. I’m sure “premium” wifi will become the norm as more and more hotels begin offering “free” wifi.
The window was on the small side and wouldn’t open all the way, but I had a great view of Capitol Park, so no complaints there. I could not get away from the glare, so the photos really don’t do it justice.
I loved the wood sliding doors that had been installed in the bathroom. The bathroom itself was clean and spacious. I like that hotels are now installing cabinets without doors. Most of the time the doors don’t open anyway and just make the whole unit look cheap, so this was much nicer in comparison.
Shampoo and conditioner was in the shower, and a small bottle of lotion on the counter. This made the amenities seem sparse, but for a 1-night stay it was enough.
On weekends, many of the restaurants in downtown are closed, so I decided instead of hunting for a place to eat, I’d order room service. None of the items I wanted were available until dinner, so I just ordered the flank steak flatbread with sweet potato fries. It arrived right on time, though the meat was cold. And something on the flatbread smelled really funky (I can’t tell if it was the cheese or aoli). After a few bites, I just picked off the steak and ate the sweet potato fries.
As a Diamond member, I was told I could order breakfast a la carte at the Vines Cafe or opt for the buffet. When I headed over there just around 10, there were perhaps half a dozen people. I was shown to a table and given a menu. Spa music was playing and with so few patrons, it was a relaxed vibe.
My server, Shoban, came by shortly after and since I didn’t feel like waiting for breakfast, I picked the buffet option and orange juice. She explained that the buffet includes an omelette and that she’d be happy to order it for me when I was ready. In addition to the usual stuff (bacon, eggs, sausage, fruits, cereal, smoked salmon, etc.), the buffet spread included eggs benedict. To my surprise, they were still warm and perfectly cooked. The chicken sausage was dry and tasteless, but the potatoes were good.
I decided to skip the omelette, since this more than sufficed. The latte, which I got upon Shoban’s suggestion, was worth the calorie bomb. I sat and worked for a while longer and she returned with new silverware and suggested I help myself to some fruit from the buffet. She was very friendly and attentive, without being at all intrusive. After about another half hour of work, I decided to get out for some fresh air.
Capitol Park is right across from the hotel and on a cold, brisk morning there is no better place to go for a walk. Aside from a man reading on the bench and a couple of joggers on the sidewalk, the place was deserted.
The Capitol Building is pretty impressive (depending on which side you’re standing on) and the park itself is kind of a lame attempt at grandeur and historical significance. For example, there is a 60 year-old replica of the Liberty Bell, which isn’t in any way historical.
There’s also a memorial to Union soldiers of the civil war (in the form of trees planted in 1897), and the bell from the USS California.
Across the street there is a Peace Officer’s memorial along with a sort of bizarre statue representing the families of the fallen officers. I think it could have been done in a more subtle way.
It was a nice walk and my sister tells me the interior of the Capitol Building was very impressive. I thought the exterior wasn’t so bad either.
I have to say, I loved everything about the Hyatt Regency Sacramento. The location is perfect, it’s small for a Hyatt Regency, with kind of a boutique hotel vibe. The service was friendly and sincere, and the hotel just had a relaxing atmosphere. I felt more like I was at a resort than a hotel in the middle of a city. I had tons of work ahead of me and the week before had been stressful, but sitting in the lobby of that hotel, taking a walk around Capitol Park, was a good way to detach myself from it.
This was my second stay and it was just as great as the first. I highly recommend this hotel if you’re in the area. If you have an annual free night certificate from the Chase Hyatt Visa (good for a Category 1-4 property), this is a great place to put it to use.
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