The Vikram Chatwal Hotels (VCH) group is a successful, interesting and increasingly eclectic family of hotels. You may be familiar with The Chatwal New York, an 83-room, luxury Art Deco rising star in the theater district of New York City. You may be less familiar with two other brands that are part of the VCH family: Dream and Night, a portfolio of lifestyle properties, presently in New York City, Miami, Bangkok, Thailand and India, but moving ahead with a major global expansion.
“The Vikram Chatwal Hotels collection represents the forefront of progressive, thought-provoking and thoughtful design,” says Brendan Mc- Namara, v.p. of brand development and communications, Hampshire Hotels & Resorts, the management arm of VCH. “From its inception in 1999 with the Time on Manhattan’s west side, Vikram has sought out the most daring and creative design teams to bring his chic ‘hautels’ to life. The next step up in the haute hostelries ladder was Dream New York, which was so successful that it begged to be repeated and became a whole new brand.” Dream now has a second New York location, Dream Downtown, as well as others in the aforementioned cities. The Dream and Night hotels describe themselves as being all about surreal luxury, playful attitude and intuitive service, and choosing to stay at one or the other “is an emotional choice,” says McNamara.
“A Dream hotel is for the young and young at heart, who will find a full-service luxury stay. Dream is the grown-up version of Night, positioned as an affordably chic hotel option. However, we are refocusing the brand for mid-tier pricing and designing and decorating with cool graphics, furnishings and modern tech capacity.” In the U.S., one of the places Night is heading is to secondary urban areas and university towns, “where we will be hip, but not so hip it hurts.” McNamara assures us that future Night hotels will continue with unique guest offerings: discounts for motorists checking in and parking hybrid or electric vehicles.
We may be hearing a lot more about these lifestyle concept hotels, for the Wyndham Hotel Group has signed a franchise agreement with VCH to manage the Dream & Night brands worldwide. And VCH itself has announced an extensive blueprint for international expansion in India where a 5-year plan calls for 40 Night hotels and 12 Dream hotels. The initial launch sites will be a Dream resort in Goa and India’s first location for Night in Chennai. Another focus is on five capitals in Central Europe, as well as 10 new U.S. properties, including the next up in Hollywood, CA.
Already here and making a splash is Dream South Beach. Opened last June, the hotel captures the golden age of Miami sophistication with its multi-million dollar renovation and combination of two historic Art Deco hotels—Palmer House and the Tudor Hotel—connected by a central courtyard. Interiors are appointed with signature furniture and lighting fixtures, elements that assist in evoking a surrealistic “dream state,” and guestrooms have four-poster beds, decorative mosaic tiles and an eclectic mix of antiques. Located in the heart of the city’s thriving nightlife and historic district, the cosmopolitan-chic hotel has 108 guestrooms (including a show-stopping Sun House duplex penthouse). Other features include the Tudor House restaurant by celebrated chef Geoffrey Zakarian and Highbar, a rooftop pool lounge with ocean views.
Also making its debut last year, Dream Downtown opened on the border of the Chelsea neighborhood and the thriving Meatpacking District. Following a multi-million dollar renovation of an iconic Albert Ledner building, the hotel houses 316 loft-inspired guestrooms and suites (seven of which are pool terrace suites); a fine dining experience by Dr. Miguel Sanchez Romera; state-of-the-art fitness center; landscaped outdoor terrace with heated pool; beach club and expansive rooftop lounge with dramatic NYC skyline views. Rates start at $395 per night dbl and hotel promotions to take note of are 15 percent off room rates on reservations made and pre-paid 21 days ahead (no cancellations honored); stays of three nights, 10 percent off best available rate; five nights, 15 percent off; and seven nights, 20 percent off.
In Thailand, meanwhile, Dream Bangkok welcomes guests into a decked-out lobby—best described as ancient Siam meets modern and surreal decadence. Sleek and sheathed in glass, the five-star property lives in the heart of Sukhumvit—the Thai capital’s epicenter for fashion, entertainment and nightlife. Featuring butler service, a rooftop pool, and tech-savvy rooms, the hotel also offers the Avatar Spa for jet-lag massages, couple’s massages and steam baths. Appropriately, the Flava Restaurant’s cuisine focuses on Thai specialties.