Dream Hotel Gets Noise Complaints

By Meredith Hoffman on July 14, 2011 9:00am 

CHELSEA — One month after opening on West 16th Street, the new boutique hotel Dream Downtown is proving to guests it's the place to party — but also frustrating neighbors who feel it's disturbed their peace.

The Vikram Chatwal-owned hotel has 316 guest rooms, a pool bar, rooftop bar and restaurant as well as a Marble Lane steak joint. Its glamorous grand opening in June had celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio and Justin Bartha in attendance.

But the high-fashion establishment has met a slew of complaints about the loud pool bar, groups congregating on the sidewalk and double-parking, said Community Board 4 chair Corey Johnson.

"They pleaded for patience, and said they were still ironing out the kinks," said Johnson about the hotel's representatives, who attended the board's liquor license committee meeting Tuesday night.

Johnson said the hotel recently installed a "limiter" on the pool bar's sound-system to subdue the noise and got a taxi stand to diffuse groups waiting outside the hotel. The establishment is also hiring a traffic security person and starting monthly meetings with the community, said Johnson.

Some guests also took issue with the noise.

"If you're young and you don't want to sleep, the place is good," joked Maniga Lawrent, 35, who was visiting from Switzerland with her husband. "It's a discotheque, not a hotel."

"Boom, boom, boom," her husband, Nicolet Lawrent, said, trying to mimic the sound of bass thumping. "That's what you hear all night in your room."

The couple, who chose the hotel for its outdoor swimming pool, said the staff had been helpful and courteous during their eight nights at the hotel, and allowed them to switch rooms from a tenth floor room to one on the ninth floor because of the rooftop bar's noise.

Still, the Lawrents lamented that the metal doors on the rooms would bang shut all through the night.

"It's designed nice but cheap," said Maniga Lawrent. "You're washing your hands and the water goes everywhere...we're in a big nice room but there's no drawer, no closet."

Another guest, Leia Sopata, 28, said she'd heard another guest complain of the noise, but claimed she was able to sleep in the hotel. Sopata was more focused on the novel scene. 

"It seems like an impossibly trendy crowd," she said of her impressions at the 2nd floor bar. "There were people dancing on chairs...model-ish people and crazy drunkards. And some ... making out by the pool."

Another couple visiting from Toronto, Dylana and Shannon Mumm, agreed the "funky boutique hotel" was "a young scene."  

They complimented the food in the hotel's restaurants, but admitted they had to switch rooms because of a "funny smell." They also noted that the air-conditioning in their room the previous night had not worked. 

One customer in her 40s laughed that her children got excited because they saw a contestant from America's Top Model in the Lobby, and another guest called the hotel "futuristic, like straight out of Space Odyssey."

A spokesperson for the Dream Downtown did not return calls for comment.

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