SACRAMENTO: Hilton Arden West

We've stayed at this particular property many times. It's about time I got around to blogging about it!

With family in and around Sacramento, we visit the area frequently. Over the last couple of years, this property has become our hotel of choice.

As I've stated elsewhere, I'm a fan of Hilton properties and as a HiltonHHonors Diamond member, we usually get some additional perks. Accordingly, the Hilton Sacramento Arden West is a great choice for us.

It's a 12-story hotel that is outside the city's downtown area. For our purposes, the location is a plus, as we don't need to be downtown or anywhere near the state capitol. Even for those who do, however, downtown is only a short drive away.

The rooms are consistently nice. Recently updated, they're furnished with all the things you'd expect. Flat-screen TV, desk, Internet access (wired and wireless), high-end amenities in the bathroom, coffee maker and, in many, sitting areas with sofa and coffee table.

There's an on-site restaurant, bar, a pool and workout facilities, a pay-as-you-go business center, banquet facilities, a small shop with toiletries and snacks, an executive lounge (which is usually closed during the holidays), and abundant free parking.

Front desk and bell staff are consistently great. They've come to recognize us as frequent guests and always take good care of us. On our most recent visit, for example, I asked for a room without an adjoining door. They had none available but the room next to ours was empty so the desk clerk put it "out of service" for the night. Of course, they couldn't have done that if the hotel was full but it speaks to the level of service they strive to provide.

Bar staff is usually very good as well. We've often enjoyed snacks and beverages at the bar rather than opting for a big meal at the end of a long day.

The weak spots at this hotel seem to be the restaurant and the kitchen. I've had more than one experience where service was inattentive, surly, or just plain slow.

During our most recent stay, a couple of incidents revealed the kitchen's shortcomings. On the night of our arrival, we opted for snacks in the bar before retiring. Though it wasn't particularly late - or especially busy - the kitchen had already run out of one of its "featured appetizers."

At breakfast the next morning, a party of 12 - whose members opted to order from the menu instead of partaking of the buffet - completely overwhelmed the kitchen and resulted in lengthy delays for everyone who didn't choose the buffet. To his credit, the restaurant manager made the rounds an apologized for the delay. And when the food finally arrived, it was hot and well-prepared.

All things considered, I strongly recommend the Hilton Sacramento Arden West when your travels take you to the capital of the Golden State.

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