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Yes, there are plenty of places to do it in NYC—by "it," we mean enjoy a cocktail in the open air from a hotel rooftop or terrace. But some places are more exclusive than others, some have better nibbles to munch on, and not all killer views are created equal. So to help you find the best hotel rooftop to suit your mood, we've broken down the top seven venues by each day of the week. Starting with...
We've already taken a gander inside the monumental lobby, but this summer we'll be riding the elevators straight to the top of Conrad New York to hang out at Loopy Doopy (above). The new rooftop bar, located on the 16th floor, is set to open in May with a full menu of cocktails and nibbles from Atrio downstairs. Oh, and in addition to the cool name (Loopy Doopy references the Sol LeWitt wall mural in the lobby), this summer the bar will be offering the perfect end-of-weekend hangover cure: boozy popsicles!
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[UPDATE 10:37am: Though Jelsomino is located inside the Dream New York, sources at the hotel have told us that the bar is actually a separate entity, owned by (and imported from) Russian hospitality and nightlife company, Ginza Project]
Our friends at Condé Nast Traveler have picked up on a new venue that recently opened inside The Dream New York: a Broadway-themed underground karaoke bar called Jelsomino. And, as we've seen with other NYC hotel venues under the Chatwal empire (we're thinking of high-concept hotspots like Romera at Dream Downtown and the all-red Lambs Club inside The Chatwal), there's nothing subtle about the place.
The Dream doesn't just 'open a karaoke bar' and that's that. No, it sets up eight VIP tables with bottle service, astronomically-priced cocktails, iPad song menus, and even a troupe of backup singers and dancers on stage. Golly, our dreams really have come true.
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Now, a new retail space, named Safira, is being added to the giant lobby, and it will function as the hotel's go-to spot for a whole slew of fancy thingamajigs and what's-its like silky dresses, perfumes, art books and sunglasses. Dream is referring to the shop as an "inventory of must-have brands from around the globe." Well, "must" is a relative concept, but we doubt they'll have any trouble luring guests in. The fact that Safira is located right next to the elevators doesn't hurt, either.
Well, judging from how many of them it takes to babysit him while he eats dinner, we're guessing: a lot.
The Biebs was spotted at New York's Dream Downtown on Saturday night, dining at Marble Lane with his pal Usher. According to Page Six, the pair stopped in for a late dinner, and were taken to a corner booth of the ground-floor restaurant. Surrounding them throughout the entire meal were four bodyguards, plus an extra "lookout guy" to make sure no one came close enough to swipe their bread sticks.
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Romera is located in the Dream Downtown's basement, and its chef Miguel Sanchez Romera, is a former neurologist who decided to show the world how he thought molecular gastronomy should be done. But judging from Pete Wells' recent review for the New York Times, the various tasting menus, (6-course, $125 ; 9-course, $185; 12-course, $245) sound more like a tutorial in how to make very pretty food art.
Disappointing—and kind of ironic—for the Dream Downtown, which until now had proven to be an exceptionally pretty addition to the NYC hotel scene. A "Romerian mosaic" (the pattern of brightly colored spices and powdered vegetables seen above, and on many of the dishes) would be great to look at in a museum. But for dinner? Folks wanna munch, not ponder!
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Last we heard, Hampshire Hotels & Resorts, which manages all the Chatwal properties, was being taken over by Wyndham (yeah, it all gets a little confusing after a while, doesn't it?), which was going to help take the brands "to the next level." The way we see it, Chatwal was so pleased with the success of Dream Downtown, he just couldn't wait to bring a little (or a lot) of that same sexiness to Indian hotel guests. Aiming to pump out 52 new hotels over the next five years (40 Nights, 12 Dreams), now Hampshire/Wyndham just have to convince Indian investors and franchisees to share the 'dream' (get it?).
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Looks like Hampshire Hotels will be "hopping off the plane at LAX with a dream and their cardigan." Ok, well maybe not the cardigan but definitely a dream...a Dream Hotel, that is.
The LA Times reports that construction on the 148-room hotel will begin in the spring at Selma Avenue and Cahuenga Boulevard, right in the middle of Hollywood (and closest to the W Hollywood and The Redbury.)
Not many more details have been released but the hotel will have a rooftop swimming pool, a restaurant and a lounge. It should open in the fall of 2013. Is it us or does that just seem like forever away? Let's hope we don't forget about this dream in the meantime. But considering how long we waited for the Dream Downtown in NYC, we guess we'll be able to tough it out.
[Photo rendering: LA Times]
The gossip site posted a series of photos of Lohan and Vik inside Vik's apartment in Soho doing whatever it is two people like Lohan and Vik do. Apparently, these shots were taken before Lohan's disastrous attempt to get into some Fashion Week parties at the Dream Hotel.
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A lot of talk is flying around these days about a potential expansion into India (as well as London) by big-time hotelier Sant Singh Chatwal, who is Indian himself. Citing the "maximum potential" and "7%-9% growth rate" of India's current economy in this article, Chatwal makes it clear he has his brand-oriented mind set on expanding his luxury hotels onto Indian turf.
But until we get shots of a construction site, we have to scratch our heads and wonder: when will this Dream become a reality?
Now, this is something that's been on our minds for a while now, ever since we first visited the Dream Downtown. Though at the time, it was more like a nagging thought in the back of our minds—call it a persistent unease—that something wasn't quite right.
We're talking, of course, about the cloying, slightly church-like fragrance that permeates every corner of the Dream's bubble-icious lobby. If you've walked through those heavy wooden doors, even just for a second, then you'll know what we mean...
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Yes, we finally made it to the Dream Downtown. But before we go all mushy talking about how it was everything we'd hoped it would be (of course, it's more complicated than that), let us clear something up real quick.
Despite blatantly obvious similarities, Dream Downtown and The Maritime are separate hotels. That's right—two distinct, neighboring hotels, both with portholes dotted around their exteriors. An architect by the name of Albert C. Ledner designed both buildings in the 1960s, though neither were originally planned as hotels.
Now that Dream South Beach is officially open--fire-eaters and Nicky Hilton at the party officially open--we decided to stop in at the hotel's restaurant, Tudor House, to sample Geoffrey Zakarian's menu.
The first thing we devoured, though, was the decor. We're big fans of the Art Deco period--which is one reason we also love the look of Zakarian's Lambs Club at The Chatwal in New York. Tudor House is less clubby and masculine than Lambs, but the clean lines and airy feel suit Miami Beach. Being hotel nerds, we also love that the Tudor House bar utilizes the former hotel's check-in desk area. (Where they make a mean Moscow Mule and a delightful vodka cocktail called Peggy's Punch.)