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A ‘sexy’ rooftop lounge and extra-long beds for NBA players: Sacramento’s Sawyer hotel opens

A view of the outdoor pool and bar area looking toward Golden 1 Center from the Kimpton Sawyer Hotel, set to open on Tuesday in Sacramento.
A view of the outdoor pool and bar area looking toward Golden 1 Center from the Kimpton Sawyer Hotel, set to open on Tuesday in Sacramento. rbyer@sacbee.com

Sacramento’s newest major hotel, the Kimpton Sawyer, is set to open Tuesday and boasts what may become the busiest nightspot in the city on game nights – a rooftop lounge and pool called Revival that overlooks the main plaza at Golden 1 Center.

“It’s going to be crowded,” hotel general manager Brent Larkin said during a tour Monday as construction crews added last-minute finishes. A roped-off waiting area is ready outside the club’s frosted glass doors. If that gets too packed, Larkin said, the line will be extended at an elevator bank on the ground floor, near the vaulted lobby.

The 250-room hotel with 35 suites – some with extra long beds for NBA basketball players – is the second major structure built by the Sacramento Kings and their partners in the redeveloped area they call Downtown Commons, former site of Downtown Plaza. The team expects to open 45 condominiums atop the Sawyer at the end of this year. A multiplex theater, restaurants, stores and other entertainment venues are expected to open nearby as well in the coming months, joining Macy’s.

When finished, the area should be bustling even on days when there are no events happening in the arena, said John Rinehart, team business operations president.

The hotel is part of the 16-story Sawyer tower, named after Gold Rush-era Judge Lorenzo Sawyer, a state Supreme Court justice, who is honored with a larger-than-life painted portrait in the lobby.

The hotel, where room rates typically run from the low-$200s to the mid-$300s a night, will be a gathering place for more than just those who rent rooms, owners said. The lobby will serve as a passageway – one with 30-foot-tall glass walls on either side – offering a shortcut for pedestrians between J Street and the arena’s main plaza.

The as-yet unopened Echo & Rig steakhouse connects to the lobby as well and spills onto the main plaza. An Urban Outfitters store will tuck into another corner of the building, and two lower levels of the Sawyer will house an adult playground called Punch Bowl Social, which will offer bowling, shuffleboard, karaoke, skee-ball, cornhole, billiards and other games.

But the hotel’s signature public venue is Revival, which will host live music and DJs on some nights, and will serve small plate food with a farm-to-fork approach. Kimpton’s marketing team is labeling the lounge “sexy.” Interior designer David Lee, who worked with The Puccini Group, calls it luxurious but not pretentious.

It includes an interior bar and a wall of windows that can fold away on mild days to open to the adjacent pool deck. An infinity pool is surrounded by bar tables and fire pits. The pool itself is primarily for hotel guests and condo residents. However, there are adjacent cabanas that can be rented by groups not staying at the hotel, allowing them to use the pool. Cabana rentals require a $200 minimum fee for food and drink.

Kimpton officials said the hotel will have a strong security presence, including eight security guards for peak times at Revival, and another five security employees throughout the hotel. Cameras cover access points.

Larkin, the general manager, said he expects some Sacramentans to come for a “staycation” to take advantage of the pool deck and close-by restaurants while seeing a Kings game or concert next door.

“It really becomes a central hub of a new kind of town square,” he said. “A reason to come to downtown.”

Tony Bizjak: 916-321-1059, @TonyBizjak

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