I discovered Dream Hotels in New York City way back in 2015. A friend of mine from Los Angeles would book a room at Dream Downtown in Chelsea whenever she came to town. I fell in love with Dream Hotels the first time I visited my friend's room. I remember sporting a black and white checkered top and white skirt from TopShop and my brand new Karen Walker black circular framed sunglasses from Barneys New York (RIP), where I was interning at the time.
I looked around the room to see her opened Louis Vuitton trunk, designer clothes casually draped about, and a handwritten note from Dream's staff personally thanking her for regularly choosing Dream Downtown. We cherished our bubbly on the balcony of her room, and I admired her long pink Barbie-core, blinged-out nails. This is the life I want, I thought. Without a trust fund, certainly, there is another way...
What I'm long-windedly trying to say is that Dream Hotels represented an aspirational lifestyle to me as a very young adult and helped spark the dream (oh, God) of a "jetset" lifestyle full of fashion, first-class, rooftops, and modern minimalistic hotel rooms.
Dream Hotels are owned by TAO Group, the comprehensive and hip hospitality group that owns some of the most popular clubs and restaurants in the country, such as LAVO (where I celebrated my going away party before moving from New York to LA), Beauty & Essex, TAO, OMNIA, Marquee, and the Highlight Room- to name a few.
Fast forward several years, and due to some life changes (working for a travel and fashion magazine, seeking out and saying yes to opportunities, and chasing my music dreams), some of my fondest memories have been spent at Dream Hotel properties. When I lived in NYC, Downtown and its rooftop lounge and bar, PHD Club, became one of my friend group's favorite spots to get together.
The hotel is within walking distance of the Meatpacking District, High Line Park, and Chelsea Market, providing guests with a variety of shopping, dining, and entertainment options nearby. The convenient location makes it an excellent choice for travelers looking to explore and experience the city. From the street, you can't miss the striking design of Dream Downtown. The facade is characterized by its metallic exterior and distinctive circular windows, creating a visually appealing and modern look that makes it stand out from the rest of the buildings in the area.
If you're looking for a fun and unpredictable adventure, Bathtub Gin is right around the corner from Dream Downtown. This unique speakeasy-style bar captures the mystique and taboos of the Prohibition era. With its secret entrance, vintage decor, and exceptional cocktails, Bathtub Gin offers a one-of-a-kind experience that will transport you back in time to the golden age of cocktails, jazz, and burlesque. Watch out for tricky magicians who make you think you spilled your drink and then pull a new glass of champagne out of a hat for you (I still don't know how he did that).
Also around the corner is TAO Downtown, a renowned and upscale dining destination offering a unique blend of Pan-Asian cuisine and stunning design in a sophisticated atmosphere. Upon entering TAO, guests are greeted by a serene, Asian-inspired garden complete with a reflecting pool, setting the stage for an immersive dining experience. The main dining area features larger-than-life statues, intricate murals, dramatic lighting, and an open, multi-level layout. The impressive space is designed to transport diners to a faraway, exotic destination, always making for a memorable evening for locals and visitors alike. I held my small and intimate wedding reception at TAO Downtown in a private dining area. While there isn't a single menu item I wouldn't recommend, I can't dine at TAO without ordering the Miso Roasted Black Cod.
Just like its sister properties, Dream Midtown, situated in the heart of Manhattan, is an embodiment of luxury, style, and aspirational living. Nestled between Times Square and Central Park, this hotel offers a perfect blend of urban sophistication and comfort. The moment you step inside, you can't help but be enchanted by its modern, minimalistic design and the welcoming ambiance that pervades the entire space.
The guest rooms at Dream Midtown are beautifully appointed, featuring plush bedding, chic furnishings, and state-of-the-art technology. The floor-to-ceiling windows offer captivating views of the city skyline, while the thoughtfully curated amenities ensure a stay that is both comfortable and memorable. Each room is a sanctuary, a place where you can escape the city's hustle and bustle and indulge in the life you've always dreamed of.
One of the highlights of Dream Midtown experience is its stunning rooftop lounge, The Rickey. This swanky bar is the ideal spot to sip on innovative cocktails, mingle with the city's fashionable crowd, and soak up the breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline. With its vibrant atmosphere and exceptional service, The Rickey has quickly become a favorite amongst locals and visitors alike, adding yet another layer of allure to the already unforgettable Dream Midtown experience.
Dream South Beach
I had the pleasure of experiencing Dream Hotel South Beach in Miami when I attended and covered Miami Swim Week. I had a blast shopping at Kith (about a twenty-minute walk up Collins Street) for an impromptu white party that Treats! magazine threw.
I chose Dream South Beach again when I visited Miami to see my mom's artwork at Art Basel. Dream never disappoints. The property features a classic Art Deco design that is characteristic of Miami's South Beach. The rooms boast some of the most beautiful blue mood lighting, but my three favorite things about Dream South Beach are:
1. The rooftop pool is an oasis and a true haven for relaxation and socializing. The plush daybeds and private cabanas make it the perfect spot to unwind and enjoy delicious cocktails with friends. The view from the rooftop is simply breathtaking, offering a panoramic view of the Atlantic Ocean, the Miami skyline, and the iconic buildings that line the streets of South Beach.
2. The light blue waffle robes. They're waffle cute (don't hate me). If you visit Miami for Art Basel, it can be a little chilly on Dream's roof- but wrap yourself up in one of these babies, and you're good for a nice lounge.
3. The Naked Taco. Tacos genuinely taste better if they are served in a taco holder. Do you know what I'm talking about? I didn't at first, but then I read an entire article about the surprisingly exhaustive history of the "taco holder" and the many patents and redesigns it went through to become what it is today. The Naked Taco is a lively and vibrant restaurant with several locations in the Miami area. It serves a variety of flavorful tacos (yes, in a sexy taco holder) and other Mexican-inspired dishes, along with an extensive selection of tequila, mezcal, and signature cocktails. Truffle steak tacos? Yes, those exist. The portobello tacos are also to die for.
Lights, camera, action! At Dream Hollywood, every guest gets a taste of the limelight. Nestled in the heart of Tinseltown, this swanky haven is the perfect place to channel your inner star and revel in the glitz and glamour of La La Land. I stayed at Dream Hollywood while filming the music video for my song, Everyday Existential Crisis. I also shot promo photos for the single with the photographer Jeffrey Fountain.
Another memorable experience was attending Scott Lipps' launch of Lipps LA at The Highlight Room, Dream Hollywood's rooftop hotspot, just days before the club's official opening in July of 2018. It was an unforgettable night during which I saw Courtney Love sing Doll Parts and Malibu as well as a set from QuestLove. I also thought I saw Calvin Harris and asked to take a picture with him. It was, in fact, not Calvin Harris. Not one of my finer moments.
The Highlight Room seamlessly transitions from a glamorous nightlife destination to a daytime lounge with a great brunch and a side of panoramic views of the iconic Los Angeles skyline, attracting a chic and sophisticated crowd. Its innovative menu features a delightful fusion of California-inspired fare and expertly crafted cocktails that are bound to tantalize your taste buds. The Highlight Room truly shines as a coveted hotspot for LA's social elite, blending relaxation, entertainment, and breathtaking scenery.
One rather unique feature of Dream Hollywood is the now famous robotic employee, Alfred. Introduced during the time of COVID, the robot is designed to deliver small items like towels, toiletries, and snacks to guests' rooms upon request. Guests can request items through an app, and the robot will use its sensors and advanced mapping technology to navigate the hotel corridors and arrive at the guest's room. You can even get room service from TAO delivered to your room! It's a really cute feature and a bit similar to R2D2.
As if all my other encounters with Dream properties weren’t magical enough, my now husband surprise proposed to me while I was staying at Dream Hollywood. He flew to Los Angeles from Cleveland, stopped at Jack Weir & Sons in Beverly Hills to pick up the ring, and after knocking on my hotel room door on one knee for ten minutes, eventually found me at a rooftop restaurant across the street from Dream Hollywood called Mama Shelter
I’m not saying that all your dreams will come true, too, if you adopt Dream Hotel properties as one of your top favorite hospitality groups, but I’m also not not saying that!
At Dream Hotels, you can expect nothing less than the best in luxury and style. Whether you're looking for a romantic getaway, a fun-filled vacation with friends, or a sophisticated business trip, these properties have everything you need to make your stay unforgettable.