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Hotel Dream Hotel 4 star
New York, United States of America -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

The Dream is a funky, mid-range hotel with a fantastic midtown Manhattan location. It design is rather eclectic with several styles running through the hotel. Perhaps its major selling point is its rooftop bar, Ava, which boasts unobstructed views of Times Square. The rooms can be quite small and the staff unfriendly, but with its popular restaurant and unique features it is one to consider for both couples and groups of friends looking to try something a little different on their trip to New York.

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    • Hotel Dream

      Dream   -   © Igor Lubinetsky

    • Hotel Dream

      Dream   -   © Igor Lubinetsky

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    Location 5.12 /10

    Ideally situated on West 55th Street between 7th Avenue and Broadway, the hotel is within walking distance of many of the city's attractions and is also well served by the subway. Within just a fifteen minute walk you can find yourself at Central Park, Columbus Circle, Times Square, the Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Carnegie Hall, the Theater district and the shops of Fifth and Madison Avenues as well as those of the smart Upper East Side. Wherever else you need to get to its easy with at least half a dozen lines going through the four subway stations close by. JFK is 17 miles away, La Guardia 8 miles and Newark 16.

    Accommodation 8.20 /10

    The Dream offers 220 guestrooms and suites over 10 or so floors. Open entering your room the first thing you'll notice is the music emanating from the Bose clock radio placed next to the bed. The standard rooms, which are on the small side, are nicely appointed in black and white and cream with a queen size bed dressed in 300-count linen, under which has been placed a blue neon, light taking up most of the room. The furniture comprises a desk, also lit up from underneath its glass top by a blue neon light, a black wardrobe with a white stripe running down the centre, a matching minibar unit and a cream leather armchair. The room's amenities include a 37" flatscreen television (42" in the larger rooms), telephone, safe and iron and ironing board. The fruit of the day placed on each pillow of the bed during turndown is a nice touch. The bathrooms, tiled in white and grey mosaics, are a fairly tight squeeze too and have a regular shower, branded toiletries and hairdryer. There is an internet point in the room and wifi is available although this is charged at $9.95 per day. Some of the room categories above the standard are identical their amenities, the only advantage being a larger surface area. The larger rooms and suites boast separate living areas with all white furniture and décor as well as view of Broadway and Times Square.

    Overview 8.20 /10

    While the hotel's lobby is unarguably originally decorated and has some great features such as the large statue at the end of the hall of Katherine the great flanked by Madonna and Poseidon, it remains quite cold. Thankfully the warmness of the staff helps to cancel this frostiness somewhat and all in all your first experience of the hotel should be a positive one - that's unless your first encounter is with one of the restaurant's members of staff. Other points of interest in the lobby include the giant aquarium which stretches over two floors, the couple of left-hand writing desks against the front wall and the display table in the centre of the room, designed by architect Mark Zeff and creative director Brendan McNamara, which features interesting random tit bits picked up on their travels. Other aspects of the lobby are less successful such as the hideous crystal chandelier in the form of a sailing ship above reception.

    Although the hotel does not offer a wellness centre, it does have a small fitness room with a limited number of machines in a mirrored room with a flatscreen television, towels and water. The rest of the hotel is quite a pleasant place to wander around. Getting to your room is quick and simple via the two regular lifts or the glass one, whose shaft has a giant photo of a tattoo plastered to it. Outside each lift there is a different lightbox with birds, clouds and other such themes associated with dreams. The corridors are wide and light and are laid with a funky print carpet.

    Food and drink 7.20 /10

    The hotel's main restaurant, Serafina, is a popular Italian spot for pre- and post-theatre dining. It's located on the ground floor of the hotel, looking out onto 55th Street and was designed by David Rockwell (although we're sure he wouldn't appreciate the state some of the furniture is in now). Dominating the space is a glittering mosaic portrait of what could be Marilyn Monroe or another Hollywood starlet and a red chandelier with multiple glass swirls twisting toward the ground. The eatery serves breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as brunch at the weekend. In the morning there are three fixed menu breakfasts to choose from however if you want something lighter then you can choose pancakes, eggs, or continental fare. The main menu, which is served throughout the day, has a large choice of antipasti, pizzas (featuring home-made mozzarella), pastas and salads as well as meat and fish dishes. Nothing out of the ordinary as far as the menu goes - just good old fashioned cucina italiana!

    Off the lobby to the left is rmfifty5, one of two bars at the hotel. It is a good place to come for an after work drink with its wooden floors, false baroque furniture and black and white wallpaper picturing a forest. Here you can enjoy a signature cocktail or tapas under the Murano glass chandeliers while chilling out to the live music. For unobstructed views of midtown Manhattan head upstairs to the Ava Lounge, named after Ava Gardner. It features a series of long banquettes coming out from under the large windows as well as wooden columns and a faux library in one corner. A cosy, intimate hangout it also has a terrace open during the summer months.

    To know

    Dream is part of the Chatwal family-owned Hampshire Hotels and Resorts group which also includes The Chatwal. The surreal design and décor of the hotel is meant to offer the guest an escape from the ordinary to the decadent, although we feel this is quite a bold claim to be making. The building that houses the hotel is a landmark 1895 Beaux-Arts building.


    • Car park
    • Handicap access
    • Restaurant
    • Internet access
    • Air conditioning
    • Spa

      massage, beauty salon, sauna, hammam, keep fit, spa, Turkish bath

    • Sports equipment

      gym, fitness, sports

    • Animals allowed
    • Whirlpool bath
    • Safe
    • Meeting room


    • Location
    • Rooftop bar
    • Surreal design features


    • Poor fitness/wellness facilities
    • Staff sometimes unfriendly
    • Size of standard rooms

    Traveller Reviews

    • Overall Score nc/10
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