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Kimpton Sawyer Hotel
Photograph: Courtesy Booking.comKimpton Sawyer Hotel

The 11 best hotels in Sacramento

Stay in style in California's capital at one of the best hotels in Sacramento, whether charming B&B or more upscale digs

Written by
Rebecca Huval
Contributor
Danielle Goldstein
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Until recently, Sacramentans shied away from calling their city ‘destination-worthy'. California’s capital rose to the forefront of the popular consciousness in 2017 with the Oscar-nominated film Lady Bird, backed by a highlight reel of the city’s most charming corners and canopied boulevards. And even then, the protagonist told New Yorkers she was from San Francisco.

Over the past decade, California’s policy wonk capital has been trying to reinvent itself as a proper destination. Despite new adventurous culinary diversions and the sleek Golden 1 Center for Kings basketball to big-ticket concerts, Sacramento still clings onto its jankiness in the form of a lively arts scene and underground local music. The hotel industry is following suit, offering Vegas-like luxury as well as charming B&Bs for a city that’s finally ready to say ‘come on in' without irony.

RECOMMENDED: The 11 best things to do in Sacramento right now

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Best hotels in Sacramento

This 196-room boutique hotel wears the government-city badge with pride. Political cartoons from the Sacramento Bee’s archives adorn the walls, and pompous quotes greet you at the elevator: ‘It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong,’ quoth Voltaire. Inside The Citizen, decor is stately and classic, while the small rooms are cozy, with a truly boutique vibe and all the usual amenities. The Grange beside the lobby is among the top fine-dining restaurants in the city, with daring mise en place and flavor combinations.

Where is it? J Street, overlooking César Chávez Plaza.

Which room? After a recent renovation, every accommodation in The Citizen feels sumptuous and relaxing, but a particular highlight is the curated art in each room.

Time Out tip: Enjoy a meal on the river at the Delta King. Just a 20-minute walk from the hotel, this historic paddlewheel riverboat built in 1927 has not one, but two onboard restaurants to choose from.

Right across from the Golden 1 Center, this 250-suite modern luxury hotel caters to concertgoers and basketball fans visiting from out of town. The rooftop bar makes you feel like you’ve stepped into Vegas with its lounge chairs, infinity pool and views of the Sacramento skyline. There are three onsite dining and drinking options: Punch Bowl Social, where you'll find modestly priced cocktails at its full bar, Echo & Rig by the lobby serves dressed-up New American fare, and Revival at the Sawyer is a lounge by the pool offering beverages and bites. The rooms are sleek and chic, with a geometric aesthetic and nifty details like a sliding bathroom door that doubles as a mirror.

Where is it? J Street, Downtown.

Which room? Don't book without checking the offers page, as there are great deals to be had. Like the Valet Parking Included package or Pet Package, which includes breakfast in bed and a bandanna for your pooch.

Time Out tip: As well as being home to the Sacramento Kings and a live venue, the Golden 1 Center is surrounded by public art that's free to view, including Jeff Koons' flashy 'Coloring Book #4', ten giant dart sculptures by Gale Hart, and a lush soundscape by Bill Fontana.

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Technically a motel because you drive up to your room, the Greens Hotel bills itself as a boutique hotel with its LCD TVs and Keurig coffeemakers for each guest. The design details are quirky, with chartreuse pillows, Edison bulbs lining the parking lot and enormous letters identifying your room in the industrial chrome two-floor building. It’s located in a funky neighborhood beside an old-school diner, a local brewery, delicious grilled cheese-and-coffee shop and an art gallery. Sometimes, a motel trumps a hotel.

Where is it? Stockton Boulevard, Colonial Heights.

Which room? Family Suite or the Patio King, both of which surround the courtyard and come with their own private patio space.

Time Out tip: Got kids in tow? Head to the nearby (less than ten minutes walk) Colonial Playground, which has plenty of climbing/swinging apparatus, as well as a splash pool and basketball court.

This romantic nest of a bed & breakfast is housed in a renovated Mediterranean home that was once owned by a prominent 1930s businessman among Sacramento’s Chinese American community. Antique furniture bedecks the living room that surveys Southside Park. The handful of rooms come with Jacuzzis and several of the units boast their own balconies too. A spa in the basement offers couples massages, facials and a sauna, and there’s a complimentary multi-course breakfast in the morning.

Where is it? 6th Street, Southside Park.

Which room? If you don't mind some stairs, book Happiness. This unique loft room sits on the third floor and features a king bed, kitchenette and large spa tub for two.

Time Out tip: Marvel at California State Capitol Museum, which is only a 25-minute walk from Parkside Inn. Inspired by D.C.’s Capitol Building and completed in 1874, California’s version features art, history and 12 blocks of serene gardens.

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This hotel stays quieter than the rest, though it often hosts weddings in its park beside the Sacramento River. If you don’t need walkability or a central spot, the Westin Sacramento just south of Downtown might be exactly the getaway you’re after, with its peaceful hallways and earthier location, including patios that overlook the river. Scott’s Seafood downstairs offers scenic views of the water and one of the best bang-for-your-buck happy hours in Sacramento, with $2 oysters and two sliders for $8.

Where is it? Riverside Boulevard, Little Pocket.

Which room? Book the standard room with a balcony and river view. The price is only a few bucks more – and often the same – but you get to look out at the water. Lovely.

Time Out tip: The Westin may be further from the center, but it's closer to Sacramento Zoo, Fairytale Town and Funderland Amusement Park, all of which are just a five-minute drive.

Overlooking the State Capitol and leafy Capitol Park, this 15-floor hotel stands out as being the most luxurious of the business-as-usual chains. A full snack bar, flatscreen TVs and plush pillows make the pet-friendly rooms feel especially accommodating, despite the generic art reprints on the wall. A hot tub, pool, gym with recumbent bikes and weight stations, and a spa add up to a full escape at the Hyatt Regency.

Where is it? L Street, Downtown.

Which room? Treat yourself to a 470-square-foot Executive Corner room, providing unparalleled views of the park or the city skyline and lots of natural light.

Time Out tip: Seeing as you'll be overlooking Capitol Park, it'd be rude not to explore. Covering 40 acres and spanning 12 blocks, it is considered one of the most beautiful state capitol grounds in the country.

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The nexus of many a conference, this 503-room hotel is located directly across from the Sacramento Convention Center. The grandest parts of the Sheraton Grand are not found in the rooms, but inside the lobby with its soaring rafters and sculptural installations. A heated outdoor pool, fitness center and top-flight lounge Public Market Bar make this a worthy place to unwind as part of a business trip.

Where is it? J Street, Downtown.

Which room? Get a Club Lounge Access room. Not only are these on higher floors, so you get a better view, they also include breakfast, hors d'oeuvres, non-alcoholic drinks and midday and late-night snacks.

Time Out tip: Explore the murals around Downtown and Midtown. Many of these are refreshed for the annual Wide Open Walls festival and stay on vibrant display all eyar round.

A short walk from downtown and the Capitol, this Victorian Mansion is also a popular wedding destination for its 200-people capacity ballroom. The Sterling's decor clashes and the elevator runs slowly, but you can’t beat the location. Plus the front porch is a classic feature of Sacramento architecture, a relaxing place beneath the shade to work or read. Complimentary breakfast, marble bathrooms (in most rooms) and flatscreen TVs seal the deal.

Where is it? H Street, Mansion Flats.

Which room? These rooms are all huge, so space won't be an issue, but if you want a little something special, upgrade to a Deluxe Queen (and upwards) for a Jacuzzi tub.

Time Out tip: The Sterling is less than five minutes walk to Music Circus, a theater-in-the-round that boasts regular Broadway shows.

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These suite hotel rooms offer extended-stay amenities like a fully stocked kitchen directly across from Sacramento State University in leafy East Sacramento, as seen in Greta Gerwig's 2018 film Lady Bird. The Larkspur's vibe is rustic with textured slate walls and a dark, cabin-like lobby. A free grocery shopping service and laundry room make this a very comfortable option for a night or a month.

Where is it? Howe Avenue, Campus Commons.

Which room? The Executive Suite, with its separate lounge area and kitchen, helps to give a feel of home just that little bit more.

Time Out tip: Don't miss out on the daily complimentary cookies and coffee/tea in the lobby.

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