Officially open today after a $270 million-dollar renovation of an iconic 1960s Albert C. Ledner building, the newest Vikram Chatwal Hotel, Dream Downtown, has opened, situated on the cusp of Chelsea and the Meatpacking District.
The hotel offers 316 guestrooms and suites, a lobby restaurant and VIP penthouse lounge, fine dining restaurant concept, expansive pool deck, contemporary beach club and extensive fitness facilities with spa services.Fronting both 16th and 17th Streets, Dream Downtown marks Chatwal’s fifth hotel opening in New York, with existing properties The Time, Night, Dream New York and Stay, all sharing uptown locations in Manhattan’s theater district.
With Dream Downtown, Frank Fusaro of Handel Architects has successfully captured and modernized the surreal aesthetic that has become synonymous with the Dream hotels brand. The original building – designed in 1966 for the National Maritime Union by Albert C. Ledner – has enjoyed a storied past as a union annex and, during the 1980s, a halfway home managed by Covenant House. Fusaro worked to preserve the building’s distinct character, including its unique block-like structure and portal windows, while revealing a potential for new expression and function in its current standing as an upscale hotel.
The hotel boasts maritime-inspired windows of varying dimensions, a new façade clad in stainless steel, inspired by modern artist Anish Kapoor’s installation Sky Mirror.
Throughout the interiors of the property, Handel Architects captured the essence of another downtown legend, the visionary Andy Warhol and his Factory of artistic personalities. Influenced by the gritty yet sleek aesthetic of The Factory – the walls of its expansive loft space adorned with reflective aluminum foil.
The spacious guestrooms are loft-inspired, reinvented with Ardex cement floors featuring a slight sheen and deconstructed patchwork Tabriz rugs positioned under the beds, flanked by contemporary pieces such as a butter-leather Chester love seat and an oxblood Safari chair. Custom-chrome FX headboards mimic the hotel’s façade, while customized Etro amenities bedeck the bathroom. Gorgeous teak honor bars feature 375 sized bottles of select liquors, custom stemware and purple spot lighting with a peek-a-boo “window” into the bar’s offerings. Elemental materials – particularly warm teak woods – balance the industrial-chic aesthetic in a natural and sophisticated manner, while carefully curated details add a sense of the handcrafted at every corner.
For optimal views, many of the guestrooms feature Juliet balconies, while several of the suites even feature private pool deck patios.
Pool Deck, Beach Club & Fitness Facilities
Brimming with stylized Côte d’Azur glamour, the exclusive pool deck is located between the southern and northern wings of the property and resides directly above the lobby lounge, with a translucent glass bottom peering down below. The whimsical outdoor terrace and garden stand as the central focus for the hotel, featuring a chic lifeguard staff, day-lit outdoor bar and grill specializing in gourmet burgers and hand-crafted cocktails, and a dedicated beach club – complete with white sand and plush lounge chairs – ideal for sunbathing. Or, you know, pool partying.
Perched above the outdoor pool area, with magnificent views of the surrounding neighborhood, is a 1,500 square-foot fitness center with state-of-the-art Cybex equipment and spa treatment rooms.
Dining & Nightlife
Just off of Dream Downtown’s 16th Street entrance and adjacent to the sleek concierge and reception area is Marble Lane, a contemporary steak restaurant with an international touch courtesy of Executive Chef Miguel Treviño, formerly head chef at Lavo and a celebrated Top Chef alum. Operated by TAO/Strategic Group, the powerhouse behind successful nightlife and dining ventures TAO, Avenue, Lavo and Marquee, Marble Lane is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as 24-hour room service. At dusk the restaurant-lounge becomes the ideal spot for early evening cocktails and socializing. Décor elements include sumptuous black leather banquets, low-slung seating and European-inspired white marble tables.
Also open is the PH-D Rooftop Lounge, or “Penthouse at Dream.” Evoking the “early ‘80s era of excess when Wall Street jet set mingled with New Wave cool,” PH-D features a spacious dance hall, elevated DJ booth and state-of-the-art sound equipment housed between two floor-to-ceiling glass walls. One of the walls opens onto an expansive outdoor terrace offering magnificent views of the Manhattan skyline.
Opening fall 2011, Romera New York, an intimate 65-seat venue with a dedicated entrance on 16th Street, will feature a 12-course tasting menu.
In-season room rates at Dream Downtown start from U.S. $395, based on double occupancy. We’re excited to try this new hotel out, although, in our executive opinion, it seems like it’s going to be overrun by party types and might be a better spot for a quick cocktail than a relaxing stay.
Want to play William and Kate? Now you can- for $50,000, you can enjoy a royal experience at the intimate Maison 140 in Beverly Hills. Rent the entirety of the 44 room hotel (maximum 50 guests) for a one-night stay, including:
- Champagne welcome
- Salon Blow dry and style
- Scalp massage with hair treatment
- Gift bag with Neil George products
- $50 gift certificate for future services
- High Tea service
- Cocktail Reception at Bar Noir featuring the famous Petrossian Caviar Martini
- Dinner at Petrossian Restaurant on Robertson
- Turndown service with a complimentary scent of Beverly Hills
- Night Cap at Bar Noir Cognac service
- Continental Breakfast in the morning