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It's official! The still-not-open-but-almost-there Dream Downtown hotel on the edge of Manhattan's Chelsea and Meatpacking Districts has a sense of humor. And truly, if there's something we've learned while observing the lives of the hotels around this area, a sense of humor is a serious key for survival.
The Dream Downtownor "The Cheesegrater" as we've preferred to call it since last yearowned up to their extreme similarity to the culinary tool by actually sending us a cheesegrater, complete with their logo attached. The Dream Downtown may have been delayed for ever and ever and their website might look like Karim Rashid did it for homework (and he might have; his studio is on the block), but the Dream Downtown knows it looks just like a kitchen utensil and it's okay with that. So rock on, Cheesegrater. We can't wait to see what you've been hiding under the slick, silver exterior of yours this summer.
A pic of the hotel itself, behind the cheesegrater:
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Checking in on The Cheesegrateraka the Dream Downtown hotel in New York Citywe discover that the opening date has again been pushed back. Last we heard, Vikram Chatwal's newest hotel would be opening it's shiny silver doors in March 2011, but a recent press release firmly changes that to "Summer 2011." Okay, so we've got to wait a few more months before checking out its 316 "loft-inspired guestrooms," but it's not like the hotel is filling a need in the neighborhood; its Swiss cheese facade cuddles right up against the rear of the similarly holey Maritime Hotel.
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Please, let us introduce you to "The Cheesegrater!" Or, that's what we're calling it, anyway. The odd-looking building you see down the street there, just behind the white cube that is the Maritime Hotel, is hotelier Vikram Chatwal's long-delayed, long-constructioned Dream Downtown Hotel. As the name suggests, it is to be a downtown version of midtown's Dream Hotel, whose website makes it look more like a cheesy Eurotrash club.
Anyways...the Dream Downtown will join Chatwal's other hotels eventually, and it recently got a new skin of shiny metal panels. You can seem them reflecting the beautiful late summer blue sky above, but trust usthat hotel is as metallic silver as a 1950s toaster.
Last we heard, scheduled opening date for the
Dream Downtown Cheesegrater was March 2011, but then we can't forget that this is New York, and although the city never sleeps the construction takes twice as long (at least).
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Vikram Chatwal lives! The WSJ has an in-depth look at the hotel business of Vik and his father, Sant Singh Chatwal, who just opened his Chatwal Hotel the other week. You can see our tours of the hotel here and here.
From the article, we learn some rather interesting things like the genesis of Sant Singh's hotel business in America and his trips and falls along the way. We also learn Vikram has moved in across the street from the Soho Grand Hotel into a $5.4 million townhouse at Soho Mews. (pic of Vik's building.)
But the most surprising news is that aside from opening The Dream Downtown, the Chatwals have another hotel planned for NYC's NoHo nabe which will open in Spring 2011
AND the Dream Hotel South Beach will actually be two hotels called The Dream and The Night. (Currently, it's half-open as the Palmer House. That property will now open in October.) (False Alarm! We read the article too fast. The Dream South Beach will be one hotel, one dream and no Night.)
But they won't stop there.
Broadway Shows / Hotel Packages / Manhattan Hotels / Times Square Hotels / Vikram Chatwal / Dream Hotels / Dream Downtown / → All Tags
If last week's Tony Awards put you in the mood to see some Broadway theatrics, Vikram Chatwal Hotels will put you in front of two of the hottest shows, Fela! and Promises, Promises.
Seeing Jay-Z and Jada Pinkett Smith share producer credits for a production is enough to pique our interest. But if you need more reasons to catch Fela!, about the life of Nigerian musician Fela Kuti, it won three Tonys this year, including one for best choreography.
As part of the Fela! at the Time package, The Time will snag you two orchestra or front mezzanine tickets to the show, dinner at Serafina, memorabilia from the musical and a night in a king room in the Times Square hotel. And if the great music gets you in the mood to move, you can add on African dance lessons for two at Djoniba Dance Center. Prices start at $425 a night.
Back in April of 2008, we stood at this very same vantage point in West Chelsea for a look at hotelier Vikram Chatwal's upcoming Downtown Dream Hotel, which abuts the back end of Sean MacPherson's Maritime. Now almost a year later, the Dream construction (on the left) remains shrouded like Chernobyl while the Maritime beams at the thought of having another summer to itself.
Originally slated for "early 2009" and with no official revised date, we'll take the initiative and peg this as early 2010. If we're to understand anything from the construction company's project website for the Dream Downtown, then they're having enough issues with the porthole-like windows, forget the rest of the place. What this means is that The Maritime will enjoy smooth sailing this summer, its (most likely) final one as the only hotel and cabanas on the block. That is, unless you're willing to walk down several blocks to The Standard.
Vikram Chatwal / Dream Hotels / Dream Downtown / Hot Hotelier News / Hotel Hype / Hampshire Hotels / → All Tags
Is what you see above: A) another nautical building sticking off the back of the Maritime Hotel? B) a homeless shelter? Or is it C) Vikram Chatwal's $70 million dollar chunk of the Meatpacking District?
As is only proper in the business of building New York hotels, ALL THREE crazy statements are very true. The property at 346 West 17th Street, formerly The Covenant House homeless shelter, was purchased by Vikram's father's company Hampshire Hotels late last year.
Looking like The Maritime in drydock, the Downtown Dream so far has a gutted interior, a fully painted mud-grey exterior and construction that appears to be moving right along...for now.
According to Vikram's company website, his Downtown Dream is due to debut in early 2009, just in time to give The Maritime a run for its summer rush. And yes, just in case you need to hear it again, the Downtown Dream is right next to the Maritime Hotel so that should be a very interesting situation when it opens.
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Since getting married and having a baby last year, hotelier Vikram Chatwal has been keeping quiet lately. With the exception of Dream Bangkok, we hardly heard anything from this playboy-turned-actor-turned hotelier.
That is, until now. New York mag reports that Vik will be opening two hotels in the next few years. The first, the Lamb's Club (pictured, right) will be another tourist draw in midtown at 44th Street, close to his Dream and Night hotels.
The Lamb's Club is scheduled for an August 2008 opening (way later than what we predicted) and will feature an upscale restaurant from Lotus partners. A word about the restaurant from Lotus' David Rabin:
"It's not going to be off-putting or stiff," says Rabin. "It will be very top-of-the-line food and top-of-the-line drinks à la Double Seven, but we hope it will be a place where real regulars develop." Will the hotel, with its restaurant on the ground floor and steps up to a bar on the second floor, be as over-the-top as Chatwal's Dream? "It's going to be very subdued and classic," Rabin tells us, "The designs on the restaurant are beautiful woods and stones and rich fabrics. We hope it's going to be one of those places that New Yorkers adopt."
If you're not keen on adopting a place in midtown, never fear. Vikram Chatwal tells the mag that his Dream Downtown outpost in the Meatpacking District is about a year and a half away. Looks like 2008 will be the year of the Vik.
[Photo: NYC Architecture]
· Chatwal, Zakarian, and the Lotus Boys Teaming Up for Midtown Hotel [New York]
· 2007 New York City Hotel Openings Preview [HotelChatter]