Checking in: Dream Hotel Downtown, NYC (Review)

The road to the opening of the Dream Hotel Downtown in New York City‘s Chelsea neighborhood was a long and expensive one. The project took 4-6 years, depending on who you ask, and the total construction price tag was in the ball park of a quarter billion dollars. Given the investment at stake it is no wonder that the owners did everything they could to make the property shine. It definitely does, from the lobby to the pool deck to the roof-top bar area, so much so that the police were called in several times during the grand opening party due to noise complaints.

Looking up at the northern façade of the hotel. The original building was designed to look like a ship with portholes; they were augmented with smaller ones to look more artistic in the renovations.


That’s probably not the initial interaction the hotel wanted with its neighbors and things have gotten better since then. As part of their soft launch process (and partially to smooth relations after the late-night bender) they also had an open house for locals recently, showing off their pool area and some guest rooms.

I have to admit, they’re pretty impressive.

First, the pool area, including the walk up from the lobby (access is also available directly from the elevator banks).


The larger holes in the pool bottom go all the way through to the lobby ceiling, providing both a skylight and fish bowl effect.
Feel real sand between your toes on the "beach" adjacent to the pool deck.
Rooms in the south tower include Juliet balconies, some overlooking the beach area.


The pool and "beach" area include a lifeguard and bar service, with specialty cocktails in the $14 range which isn’t horribly expensive for either a hotel bar or a pool-side bar. And while the pool is only open to hotel guests the bar area is one of 6 F&B facilities on the property open to the public. Also of note is that the pool is only open to children prior to noon; after that, until it closes at 8pm, the pool area is restricted to adults only.

The lobby area is similarly swank, with the Marble Lane steakhouse and bar as well as a lounge area that includes a DJ station and banquettes situated under the pool area for prime swimmer-watching if you’re so inclined.


We got to see two different rooms during the tour. The first was the room they wanted to show us, a Platinum King room (starting at $655++ on the random night in July I searched and listed as a "B Suite" on the website) and it was quite nice. The bathroom area is huge and there is a separate sitting area with a couch, plus the space for the bed, of course. And the views are phenomenal, including unobstructed sight-lines to the Empire State Building through the porthole windows.


The mini-bar is fully stocked and the toiletries and other amenities in the room are top-notch, which I’d expect at those prices. Still, it is good to see that they deliver on those details.


The other room we saw was decidedly not on the tour agenda. But I have a bad habit of walking off and poking my nose into things so I got to see one of the regular rooms that was still under construction. It was decidedly smaller than the 480 square feet of the Platinum King room, probably a bit under 300 square feet based on what the website is showing (though those specific rooms are not yet bookable). And if you’re more excited about good closet space and a huge bathroom in your hotel room then these are probably right up your alley. The room looked to be split about 50/50 between the bathroom/closet and the living space where the bed would be. That’s not a problem, really, but it is an interesting use of the limited space and probably not my first choice. Then again, I know I’m not the target market for this hotel.

With a sizeable number of premium hotel rooms already in the area (The Maritime is directly adjacent while the Gansevoort and The Standard are only a couple blocks away) it is going to be a challenge for the Dream to compete in the market. Maybe their recent association with the Wyndham Guest Rewards loyalty program is a small tip in their favor.

There are a lot of other little things I noticed on the property, like heavy use of LED light bulbs in the public areas to conserve energy, all of which add up to making for what appears to be a pretty awesome stay experience. I just wish I had an easy way to come up with the scratch to afford it. I wonder how many Wyndham points it takes to redeem for a room…..

This property is also bookable on the website and participates in their Welcome Rewards program so there is at least one other option for getting a discount on the rates (searching right now is 20% off the hotel’s asking price) and loyalty points for the stay.

Finally, I only got to walk around the place, not actually sleep there, so no guarantees on that front. Still, the food and drinks I experienced were pretty solid and the room looked nice enough so I’m guessing it’ll be just fine.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. This hotel is clearly meant to be a party hotel. And it’s located in Chelsea? Nuff said. Can’t wait to try it out!

    1. It is definitely a party scene, Tee.

      The main question for me, as we share a back yard, is just how much the party life affects my back deck area. But outside of that it is likely going to keep a certain demographic that I’ll never be a part of quite entertained for quite some time.

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