Last week was an unusual one in New York City. The Mets threw a no-hitter, rain fell from the sun during Sunday brunch, and a glittery drag queen mermaid welcomed me into the Dream Hotel lobby with lobster claws as hands. Having been to the Dream Downtown on a few occasions (to utilize their nice pool situation), I was interested in checking out what the midtown version had to offer. Ok, I was actually interested in checking out the complimentary booze and canapés from the event invitation, but my motives are neither here nor there. Located at 210 W. 55th Street and boasting ‘panoramic views of the Hudson River to Times Square’, the Ava Lounge in the Dream Hotel seemed like a place to get involved with. I got to the Dream Hotel around 9:00pm on Wednesday night. It was 75 degree – prime weather for rooftopping – so I didn’t waste anytime finding the elevators.
Getting off on the fifteenth floor of the Dream Hotel is like walking into a chic 1950s penthouse apartment. There are mirrored glass tables, low cushioned couches striped in blue, green and brown and tall windows looking out over Broadway. A giant portrait of Ava Gardner, the space’s namesake, hangs above the blue and gold-accented bar. To the left of the bar is a staircase that leads up to the rooftop. I armed myself with a gin and tonic and up I went.
Emerging from the staircase presents the stunning view of the Ava Rooftop, engulfed in the glowing lights of Midtown Manhattan. Dune grass hedges and tropical plants line the perimeter of the wooden deck flooring, while the leaves of a giant palm dangled above the bar. White wicker ottomans and low-slung lounge chairs complete the chic beach club vibe. The backdrop of sparkling city lights enhances it. I ordered another gin and tonic and found a cushioned bench in the roof’s south-west corner. From here, the view down Broadway to the lights of Time Square reminds rooftoppers that they are in Midtown New York. The Hamptons-esque throw pillows and hibiscus flower plants let us pretend that we’re not.