If you are like me and you have lived in Vegas so long you can’t live without Vegas even when you travel, make sure and check into the Dream Downtown on your next break to New York City. Not only will Las Vegans find familiar faces right and left (Thanks to the fact that the rooftop bar PH-D and lobby restaurant Marble Lane are kin to Vegas’ Tao Group) but the thumping DJ in the lobby and stylish crowd will make you feel as if you never left the desert, save for the better weather this time of year.
When its time to rest those dancing feet, rooms are ample and all have a distinct maritime feel with a porthole, silver sequin-like wall coverings and uber-modern interiors. The ball-chain shower curtain and full-audio speakers in the bathroom are equally nice touches. Accommodations are divided in five levels from Bronze to Pool Suite. When staying at the Dream I normally opt for the Gold rooms, which are huge by New York City standards (but small by Vegas standards). Located on floors 9 to 11 in the North Tower, facing the Empire State Building, Gold rooms are a comfortable 400 square feet. Room rates start around $395 depending on the time of year., but again, that’s quite a bargain in Gotham, and you get a lot for the dough including Etro toiletries and free Wi-Fi. On West 16th Street and adjacent to one of my favorite places, Chelsea Market, the Dream is the hotel for you if you’ve ever fantasized about dosing off in the middle of Tao for a pleasant respite.
The Package Deal
The Dream offers eccentric packages to match its party vibe. My favorite is the Independence Day, which is for newly single women or men. This deal includes a room for two (presumably for after the night goes well), champagne, a bottle of perfume or cologne from the hotel shop Safira, a new hairdo from a partner salon and a book of pick up lines to actually use, or amuse yourself with. The real kicker is the six-month membership to an online dating service that also comes with this great deal.
The Sweetest No.
While in New York City, I also checked out No. 8, which is latest incarnation of the infamous Bungalow 8. It was there I did something I have never done in a nightclub before: ate a grilled cheese. And damn it was good. Billed as a gastropub (huh? but it’s really not) socialite goddess Amy Sacco partners with LDV Hospitality (the same restaurant group that brought us DOCG and Scarpetta at The Cosmo) outdoes herself once again with a door that is iron tight (Vegas should take note) and a VIP area that 99 percent of the people who get through the barrage of security out front won’t see. Notated only by the No. 8 on its door handle, this super sexy
what-ever-you-want-to-call-it bears a palm tree motif and spinning chandelier and is located conveniently right next door to Dream Downtown. And we salute No. 8 for being the last nightspot on earth without a website. Chances are if you need to Google it, you won’t be getting in. Somewhere on West 16th.
No trip to NYC is complete without a hop over to Brooklyn and this time—unlike the last time I was there strained on Christmas in a snowstorm on my way to somewhere better—my mission was food. Joe Isidori, an old pal from when he opened up DJT at Trump Las Vegas and subsequently won a Michelin star for his concept even though the restaurant was closed after barely a year, recently opened a small Italian eatery called Arthur on Smith. I could have sat there licking the remnants of every bowl of delicious pasta on the table if I didn’t have expensive cocktails to drink back in Manhattan. Isidori is as charming as his food and he curated, made or constructed nearly all of what you will see at Arthur on Smith from décor to cuisine.