Dream Downtown: New York City’s Unique Hotel

A stunning luxury retreat in the heart of Manhattan

Located in the Meatpacking District, Dream Downtown is a stunning luxury retreat. The façade, a sheet of light-reflecting platinum stretching from sidewalk to penthouse and inset with scaffolding-scaled “bubbles” (windows, in fact), is reminiscent of sea, space, and something…otherworldly. Inside, the visual stimuli are equally engaging. The catwalk to the reception desk feels like a sequence from the other side of the looking glass—or an experiment in letting loose a high-end, Warhol/Wonka-inspired designer—at once refined and whimsical.

The texturally ambitious rooms demonstrate restraint from all-out excess, despite the calf-hide ottomans, futuristic embellishments, and glam mini-bar (equipped with a full-size bottle of Patrón and rainbow-hued jelly beans). After toying with the space-station-like tech controls, you can marvel at the view through those aforementioned “bubbles,” transformed at this vantage into enormous port holes you could easily take a seat in—a prime spot for an anytime reverie. A Platinum Suite features a spacious bedroom for two, plus a bathroom that’s rather “downtown Manhattan” in size. We loved the unexpected wink of a chainmail shower curtain, the Etro bath products, and the cloud-like bedding.

Dine: The lobby’s high-gloss Marble Lane restaurant is perfect for discreet people-watching. Whet your appetite with a Wet Dream (Belvedere Black Raspberry, white cranberry, and elderflower liqueur; $14) before selecting a creatively seasoned prime cut. Don’t care for a DJ at dinner? Have a drink al fresco at La Bottega (themaritimehotel.com), around the corner on West 16th Street, then take your pick from the “best” lists, any number within a brisk walk. Beat the line for breakfast at tiny Tartine (tartinecafenyc.com) over on 11th Street, a local/critics’ favorite.    

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Explore: Get your dose of the great (urban) outdoors on the High Line, a walkable 1.45 miles of elevated 1930s freight railway reclaimed as a lush park, where Brooklyn artist Carol Bove’s seven-sculpture Caterpillar is taking (free!) viewing reservations until September 28. Grab lunch at the gourmet food stands until October 18. Shop and sample at Chelsea Market, then head to Sleep No More (sleepnomorenyc.com) at The McKittrick Hotel for an evening of spine-chilling interactive Shakesperian theater. (Calm your nerves with a drink afterward at Gallow Green, the theater’s trés-cool rooftop bar.)

Insider tip: New York recently dubbed the hotel “Best One-Stop Hot Spot.” Book a room with direct access to The Beach, an outdoor heated pool (you can glimpse the lobby below through skylights in its glass floor) plus an adjoining bar and separate meeting space. Post-swim, head up to the PH-D rooftop lounge just before sunset for outstanding skyline views (inside or out) before the fashion and PR ingénues arrive for bottle service and bass-driven dancing. Downstairs, the super-VIP (and hush-hush) Electric Room caters to a more avant-garde set—if you can access it.

Dream Downtown

355 West 16th St
New York, NY
(212) 229-2559, reservations (646) 625-4847
Details: A Queen Bronze room, at a compact 225 square feet, goes for $395 per night (fall rate, tax included); 520-plus-square-foot King Platinum rooms and suites start at $750 and include a balcony and separate living room, or private garden terrace. Present your tri-state-area driver’s license for complimentary valet service; snap a photo of the NYC skyline on your way in, post to Facebook, and tag the hotel for $100 towards tolls, gas, and a car wash, along with a complimentary round of drinks or late checkout and bike cruiser rental. 

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