The following article has been sponsored by Dream Downtown
You don’t come to New York City to be sheltered. You come to be part of it all. You come to experience the bustle and buzz that inspired Lou Reed, Frank Sinatra, Jay Z, and so many others. So why stay in a hotel that’s anything but pure Big Apple magic?
Set between the trendy Meatpacking District and stylish Chelsea, Dream Downtown is a boutique hotel with serious NYC attitude. From the stainless steel façade, to the exuberant nightlife, to the exceptional service and indulgent amenities, the hotel is as dynamic and unforgettable as the town it calls home.
When we had occasion to sojurn to the city that never sleeps, Dream Downtown was our first port of call. We sat down with Rohit Anand, Director of Brand Activation and Partnerships, to talk about what makes a Dream Hotels stay so special. The answer? We ended right back where we started: New York City itself.
Big Apple, Big Imagination
“We’re a localised lifestyle hotel brand,” Anand explained. “We’re dedicated to hospitality and the guest experience is really important to us, but so is our connection to culture.” Each Dream Hotel (you’ll also find them in Miami, Bangkok, Phuket, and soon Los Angeles) is deeply tied to its location. With a discerning eye, the brand carefully curates the city’s culture, bringing the best of it indoors to surprise and delight guests.
There’s no shortage of shiny things to distract in Dream Downtown. It begins with the building itself. The semi-reflective metal siding, dotted throughout with nautical “portholes,” is impossible to miss. Step inside and you’re greeted by the spectacular glass-bottomed pool that floats directly over the lobby, a one-of-a-kind view for both swimmers and guests. Venture further in and a veritable playground awaits.
“The hotel is almost a one-stop-shop,” Anand said. “There’s something to do every day without ever leaving. It’s what we pride ourselves on.” For the traveller who appreciates art, music, and fashion, who wants to experience the local culture but also exceptional service, Dream Downtown pulls out every stop.
Art plays a key role in a Dream Downtown stay. A piece by British-Indian sculptor Anish Kapoor welcomes new guests to the property. Elsewhere, a rotating exhibit showcases the work of an array of artists. The star of our stay was “Variety Pack” by WhIsBe, an installation of 85 rainbow gummy bears that combine to make a full colour spectrum.
Dream Hotels also partner with the Morrison Hotel Gallery, which specialises in fine art music photography. At any moment during your stay, you could run into the familiar mugs of Kurt Cobain, Blondie, or David Bowie. If you hadn’t already grasped the hotel’s rock ‘n’ roll vibe, that will do the trick.
Walk On The Wild Side
The actual rock ‘n’ roll happens in other locales. New York City is as famous for its nightlife as it is for its arts scene, and Dream Downtown follows suit. Anand rightfully describes the hotel as “vibrant.” As soon as we entered, we were struck by the energy of the lobby. The space was buzzing, despite it being a Monday night. We’d unwittingly walked into one of the hotel’s unusual features: after dark, a DJ sets up shop and turns the lobby into a venue.
Permanent party spots can be found in several other locations. The roof hosts PH-D, a swanky lounge that offers bespoke beverages and exquisite views of Manhattan and the Hudson River. Lurking deep beneath the hotel is The Electric Room, a nightclub bathed in “Rule Britanina” cool like a rockstar’s hidden bunker. And when the weather’s good, the party moves to The Beach – a 5,000 sq ft deck featuring 800 sq ft of imported sand by the swimming pool.
New York Nosh
No homage to NYC would be complete without cuisine. The city’s culinary culture is one of the finest and most diverse in the country. Dream Downtown doesn’t disappoint on the eats factor, either. “We have seven food and beverage outlets in this hotel,” Anand noted, more than enough to keep you well-fed without leaving the premises.
The highlight of the restaurant offerings is Bodega Negra, a moodily-lit eatery that feeds the eyes as well as the palate. The space is decorated with antique tequila barrels, Spanish guitars, authentic mariachi uniforms, and 10,000 pennies. The Tudor Hacienda’ décor sets the scene for Chef Michael Armstrong’s upscale Mexican menu and a selection of handcrafted mezcal and tequila cocktails.
Our thanks to Rohit Anand for the chat and Dream Downtown for the stay. New York City may not sleep, but it definitely dreams.
Luc Wiesman was a guest of the boutique Dream Downtown hotel in New York during a recent trip to the United States