Dream Downtown Opens in Manhattan’s MPD
NEW YORK - Opening after a $270 million-dollar renovation of an iconic 1960s Albert C. Ledner building, Dream Downtown is situated on the cusp of two of Manhattan’s most exciting neighborhoods for art and design - Chelsea and the Meatpacking District. The 190,000 square-foot property marks a reinvigoration of the Dream brand by Vikram Chatwal Hotels, a collection of upscale lifestyle properties in coveted locations worldwide, from New York to Miami and Bangkok.
Presided over by internationally renowned architecture firm Handel Architects and leading design partner Frank Fusaro, the hotel offers 316 guestrooms and suites, a lobby restaurant and VIP penthouse lounge both operated by TAO/Strategic Group, a fine dining restaurant concept by internationally acclaimed Dr./Chef Miguel Sánchez Romera, as well as an expansive pool deck, contemporary beach club and extensive fitness facilities with spa services.
"We are excited to announce the official opening of Dream Downtown, our new brand flagship and latest Manhattan offering," said hotelier Vikram Chatwal, founder of Vikram Chatwal Hotels, a subsidiary company of operating parent corporation Hampshire Hotels & Resorts. "We hope guests and visitors agree that the hotel marks a bold new direction for the Dream brand, with eclectic design elements and art pieces hand-picked from all over the world. We look forward to introducing a new hospitality experience in this incredible city."
Of the collaboration between Sant Singh Chatwal, Chairman and CEO of Hampshire Hotels & Resorts, and Handel Architects, Brendan McNamara, Senior Vice President of Brand Development for the company, said: "Sant Chatwal’s foresight in acquiring the formidable remnants of this historic complex, coinciding with the global expansion plans afforded us by our newly birthed venture with Wyndham Hotel Group, presented us with the opportunity to really hit the pause button and ask ourselves where the brand should go to set a new standard for what Dreams may come. Handel Architects listened to our team’s vision and made the next generation Dream come to life."
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.
To make the exterior suitable for its newfound hospitality purposes, Fusaro and the Handel design team added additional maritime-inspired windows of varying dimensions, thereby creating a façade that respects the essence of the Ledner vision while transforming it to accommodate the hotel’s guestroom program.
The resplendent façade, newly clad in stainless steel, is inspired by modern artist Anish Kapoor’s installation Sky Mirror, and creates stunning celestial reflections when light hits the exterior, making the circular windows appear as though they were floating. The design team also used the sloping façade on 17th Street as an opportunity to offer the hotel a wide variety of room types, as well as a different experience each time guests visit.
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 - Dream Downtown transports the metallic theme to the modern day, with layers of silver serving as the shimmering backdrop to the guest experience and advancing the feel of limitless space. The palette of sparkling silvers, grays, purples, glass and chrome complements the hotel’s remarkable 17th Street façade.
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.
Newly created by Handel Architects and 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.
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.
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 operated by TAO/Strategic Group is Manhattan’s latest social hive, 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 be the first project from Dr./Chef Miguel Sánchez Romera in the United States. Romera New York offers an introduction to Neuro-gastronomy, a culinary style pioneered by Chef Romera. Neuro-gastronomy embodies a holistic approach to food, addressing the relationship between the purity of ingredients, the taste-memories evoked through food, and the ceremony that is fine dining. The restaurant will offer a 12-course tasting menu that allows diners to explore this completely unique style of cuisine in an ethereal and elegant setting.
Rounding out the hotel’s superb entertainment venues is a 4,500 square-foot exhibition space located on the ground floor, available for private events and functions.
In-season room rates at Dream Downtown start from U.S. $395, based on double occupancy. For more information and to make a reservation, contact 1.800.336.4110 or visit www.dreamdowntown.com
Dream, the brainchild of hotelier Vikram Chatwal, is informed by a design philosophy that is contemporary, daring, at times surreal and always chic. Properties are highlighted by whimsical public spaces that mimic dream sequences and serene accommodations lit to lull the guest to sleep. Cosmopolitan yet comfortable, luxurious without being fussy, Dream hotels are remarkable for their genuine connection to the distinctive character of each locale, from New York’s thriving theater district to the colorful soi of Bangkok.
The brand recently entered into an agreement with Wyndham Hotel Group, the world’s largest hotel company as measured by nearly 7,210 hotels, in which Wyndham gained exclusive rights to franchise and manage the Dream brand globally. Dream hotels will be able to leverage Wyndham’s reservations system, Wyndham Rewards loyalty program and extended reach of sales, marketing and development professionals designed to further expand the brand.
Vikram Chatwal Hotels is an international collection of upscale hotels in coveted destinations around the globe - from chic New York boutique properties to an alluring Bangkok retreat. Each address shares a connection to the atmosphere and energy of its city, combining intuitive high design, world-class service, unique food and beverage and modern accommodations to offer guests a truly cosmopolitan experience. www.vikramchatwalhotels.com
Wyndham Hotel Group has entered into an agreement with Chatwal Hotels & Resorts, LLC, and its management arm, Hampshire Hotels & Resorts, gaining exclusive rights to franchise the Dream and Night brands globally. As part of the agreement, Dream and Night hotels also will be able to leverage Wyndham’s management services, global distribution system, Wyndham Rewards loyalty program and sales and marketing channels.
Wyndham Hotel Group, part of the Wyndham Worldwide (NYSE:WYN) family of companies, is the world’s largest hotel company with approximately 7,190 hotels and 609,600 rooms in 66 countries under the hotel brands: Wyndham Hotels and Resorts®, Ramada®, Days Inn®, Super 8®, Wingate by Wyndham®, Baymont Inn & Suites®, Microtel Inns & Suites®, Hawthorn Suites® by Wyndham, TRYP® by Wyndham, Howard Johnson®, Travelodge® and Knights Inn®. In addition, the company has a license agreement to franchise the Planet Hollywood Hotels, Dream® and Night® brands and provide management services globally.
All hotels are independently owned and operated excluding certain Wyndham and international Ramada hotels which are managed by Wyndham Hotel Management, Inc., one of its affiliates or through a joint-venture partner. Wyndham Hotel Group is based in Parsippany, N.J. www.wyndhamworldwide.com
TAO/Strategic Group is considered one of the nation’s leading restaurant and nightlife companies which develops, owns and operates many of the most successful food and beverage facilities in the United States. TAO founding partners Marc Packer and Rich Wolf teamed up with Lou Abin, Jason Strauss and Noah Tepperberg to launch TAO Las Vegas in 2005. In the last five years the five operators, along with managing partners Kim Kurlanchik, Matt Strauss, Andrew Goldberg, Paul Goldstein, Judy Tepperberg and chef partner Ralph Scamardella have been responsible for hotspots TAO Asian Bistro, Nightclub & Beach and LAVO Italian Restaurant & Nightclub, Marquee Nightclub & Dayclub and Avenue among others.