The Hyatt Regency Sacramento is a perfectly serviceable hotel with a nice lobby, generally good staff, and good rooms that gets very expensive and sells out when the legislature is in session in California’s state capitol, given its proximity.
I stayed there recently at the tail end of my UAE and Maldives trip because a friend was getting married nearby.
The hotel was expensive when I looked into it, showing sold out months in advance, but another friend decided not to use his booking at the Hyatt and stay at the nearby Sheraton instead — and transferred his cheapie reservation to me.
I should have known that showing sold out (only “Diamond Guaranteed Availability” open) months out must mean a conference taking up the bulk of the hotel. In those situations rooms often become available close to the stay when the group’s hold on rooms ends and any unbooked ones return to inventory. In this case that didn’t appear to happen, the hotel really was full with a conference — the California Republican Party state convention.
I checked into the hotel and the lobby was a zoo. The front desk clerk noted that the club lounge was closed, even though he said they’d frequently been keeping it open on weekends. I suspect that California Republicans don’t book club level, so they decided they didn’t need to service the lounge.
That meant I would get free breakfast in the hotel restaurant, and also 2500 Gold Passport points for my trip. Score. (I wasn’t going to be around the hotel for evening cocktails anyway, though I’ve heard the hotel does a nice evening setup.)
It was fascinating to be at the hotel as a bystander. A dominant theme of conversation, at least what I gleamed walking from the front door to the elevators and up to my room, and also around the outside bar area, was how much these folks hated the Tea Party — calling them “stupid” on several occasions — although I suspect to (these) Republicans in California, “stupid” means “people who aren’t helpful to my meeting personal electoral goals and advancing my power base.”
Though I had booked a room with two beds (it’s what was available cheap) I was upgraded to a large King Bed room with separate sitting area and a lovely view out over the park.
What was unsettling was the raucous partying through the night by the conference attendees. These folks were loud, and drunk. And not particularly fond of the family value of picking up after themselves, as I discovered in the morning by the elevators.
Checking out of the hotel, I was asked the obligatory, “So how was your stay?” I mentioned the loud partiers. I wasn’t looking for anything, I’m earnest by nature. She asked and so I offered up the most salient detail. She responded with an apology and a promise to post 3000 points to my Gold Passport account for the trouble.
Now, I really wasn’t looking for compensation, I was just looking forward to heading home after a little over two weeks away. But since she promised the points, I did look out for them. The stay posted, the points did not. So I did follow up to get them.
In total, 6500 bonus points on top of the points for the room rate, an upgrade, free internet, and the option of free breakfast (which I never took them up on, I grabbed something from the adjacent Starbucks on the way to the airport) I do feel like I got the better end of the bargain — even if California Republicans are a bit heavier partiers than some might expect!