After a week of private events, the Chatwal's Dream Downtown opened in a big way, as the Strategic Tao Group's Jason Strauss, Noah Tepperberg, Marc Packer and Rich Wolf invited everyone and their +1's to enjoy a New York version of their Las Vegas business empire at the hotel's various hospitality spaces. Party guests approaching the hotel's entrance were met with a mass of humanity trying to get someone's attention to get inside, mixed with a traffic jam of SUV's, Bentleys, 18 wheelers, and garbage trucks who looked likely to mow down at least one person before the night ended.
After getting inside, everyone's first stop was Marble Lane, the hotel's lobby steak centric restaurant and bar that is helmed by former Lavo NY chef Manuel Treviño. Passed appetizers made their way to guests, but it seemed no one wanted to stay in the lobby area for long. There were more important places to go.
Once you tired of the lobby scene, guests could either go to the pool bar or PhD, the hotel's roof club. Since the mass of humanity trying to get to the pool lounge was about 50% smaller than PhD, we decided to head there first. The area, which will only be open to hotel guests during the day and now features actual sand in one portion, was jammed with party goers all fighting to find a drink. While that never happened for us, we did find mermaids and other creatures swimming in the pool by themselves, overseen by a dedicated lifeguard staff that made sure no one drowned in the four-foot-deep body of water. After about 20 minutes and no drinks, the music suddenly stopped and a security guard told everyone that they wanted to clear the pool area. Was the party already over? Not quite. It seems they just wanted everyone to get ready for this amazing fire show we were lucky enough to capture.
Once we caught our breath, it was time to descend back downstairs and fight through the crowd to get to PhD, where the crowd was wowed by the DJing skills of Solange Knowles and Samantha Ronson. The new rooftop club is set up in an Avenue esque way, with a row of tables on either side with a narrow dance/walking area in between. Like the Boom Boom Room a few blocks away, PhD has glass walls offering views of the Manhattan skyline in each direction. Unlike the Boom, all of PhD's tables face inward to give the place a much better nightclub feeling. The room has a balcony on the northern side which offers additional seating and a smoking area, and will be tented over once the weather turns chilly. The room will operate like all of the other Strategic Tao group venues (Avenue, Lavo and Marquee), meaning it will be heavy on the bottle service and club music favorites. The popular rumor these days is that the hotel is also holding back on a few other nightlife spaces, including a small basement VIP lounge that will be akin to a subMercer space, which will make an appearance later in the year.
While last night's event was a hot mess, expect PhD and the pool club to be the hot spots in the neighborhood all summer long. In fact, the poolside fun kicks off this Sunday with a Shark party. And while the success of the operation is not much in doubt, it will be interesting to see how the hotel handles so much nightlife and hospitality operating inside a smaller space then this group normally operates with in Las Vegas.
· Dream Downtown Coverage [~ENY~]
· Nightlife Coverage [~ENY~]