November 1, 1971|
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
|Alma mater||Wharton School of Business|
Early life and education
Chatwal was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and his family moved to Montreal, Quebec, Canada in the 1970s and then to New York City in the 1980s, where his father invested in fine dining and hotels. Chatwal is of Indian Sikh heritage, growing up in a Sikh household and attended Sikh camp in upstate New York where he learned to recite prayers. Chatwal attended the United Nations International School in New York City as well as the Wharton School of Business where he graduated in 1994.
Chatwal's father, Sant Chatwal, founded Hampshire Hotels and Resorts, as well as the Bombay Palace restaurant chain, but in 2014 had to resign as CEO due to an arrest by the FBI on illegal campaign contributions to which Sant Chatwal plead guilty in the US District Court, Eastern District of New York getting US$500,000 fine and 1,000 hours community service. After graduating from Wharton in 1994, he decided to try a career path different than the family business and began working for Morgan Stanley. He worked as an actor and movie producer, landing roles in films such as Zoolander and Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd.. He was also a model, becoming the first Sikh model to appear in Vogue Magazine. Chatwal decided to join the family business in 1999 and opened the Time Hotel, a luxury hotel located in New York City. This was the first of six independent luxury hotels that he initially operated under his company Vikram Chatwal Hotels.
In 2006 Chatwal opened the Night Hotel, located in New York's Times Square. In his early career, Chatwal was often referred to as a "Playboy" for his eccentric lifestyle and social network he hung out with. During that time, he was named one of the world's most eligible bachelors by a BBC television program the magazine Radar. Chatwal's business was affected by the real-estate crisis of the 1990s and in August 2010, it was reported Chatwal's flagship property the Dream Hotel in Manhattan was scheduled to enter foreclosure proceedings within 90 days if he did not make payment on a $99 million mortgage. Despite the economy, Chatwal expanded his hotel-management operations by opening additional hotels in New York City, Miami and overseas. The initial expansion came in 2010 with the opening of the Chatwal Hotel, a $100 million project in the New York Theater District. Through his expansions, Vikram has helped grow the Chatwal brand to include additional properties in Manhattan, Miami, Bangkok and Cochin, India.
In 2015, Chatwal's Dream New York hotel completed a $20 million renovation. Updates included a playscape in the ground floor lobby as well as updates to guest rooms and suites. As part of the renovation, the hotel name was changed from Dream New York to Dream Midtown.
During his career, Chatwal was awarded the Entrepreneur of the Year Award at the first South Asia Media Awards in New York City in June 2005. He was also featured on the June 19, 2006 cover of Forbes Asia. He is also attributed as revitalizing the hotel industry in Manhattan, opening the Time Hotel during a time when few other hotel groups were investing in the area.
- Sold (2014)
- Spring Breakers (2012), Executive Producer
- Days of Grace (2011)
- Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd. (2007)
- Karma, Confessions and Holi (2006)
- Hope and a Little Sugar (2006)
- Ek Ajnabee (2005)
- One Dollar Curry (2004)
- Zoolander (2001)
Chatwal was previously married to Indian model Priya Sachdev with whom he legally separated from in 2011. The wedding took place on 18 February 2006 and was spread across ten days in three Indian cities. It was attended by more than 600 people from 26 countries and included notable guests such as steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, model Naomi Campbell, Patricia Velásquez, rapper P Diddy, HRH Prince Nikolaos of Greece, Bill Clinton, and several Indian celebrities. Chatwal was previously engaged to Spanish model Esther Cañadas in 2013. They broke up approximately one month later, after which it was initially reported that Chatwal filed a lawsuit against Cañadas to recover the $300,000 engagement ring that he gave her; however, no lawsuit was pursued.
Chatwal made news in December 2014 during his appearance at the Miami-based Art Basel. Chatwal purchased a Pablo Picasso piece named Venus in the amount of $1.2 million, beating out P Diddy who was also bidding on the piece.
In April 2013, Vikram was arrested at Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport in Florida while trying to board an aircraft with cocaine, marijuana and prescription pills. After posting $13,000 bail, he flew back to New York City to attend a drug treatment program, which helped in dropping the charges by the 17th Circuit Court in Broward County the following year
In 2016,he was arrested again, this time by the NYPD for setting fire to 2 dogs with an aerosol can and lighter. Chatwal was booked on one felony count of criminal mischief—and 3 misdemeanors. He was booked for torturing an animal, reckless endangerment and arson. Vickran Chatwal got 5 days community service.
- Priya Sachdev and Vikram Chatwal - New York Times
- Rathe, Adam (2014). "The Rebirth of Vikram Chatwal". DuJour Magazine. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
- Walters, Joanna (30 July 2006). "Turban Cowboy hits town". The Observer. London. Retrieved 18 February 2010.
- Holson, Laura M. (20 July 2011). "Hotelier In A Good Place". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
- Schoeneman, Deborah (5 March 2006). "Vikram's Big Fat Sikh Wedding". New York Magazine. Retrieved 18 February 2010.
- Kumar Sen, Ashish (24 August 2003). "Clinton's India connection". TNN. Retrieved 18 February 2010.
- Kuczynski, Alex (14 March 1999). "A Night Out With Vikram Chatwal, The Turban Also Unwinds". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
- Bahree, Megha (22 April 2014). "Sant Chatwal: An Indian American Hotelier's Fall From Grace". Forbes. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
- "One Man's Dream is Another's Hotel". Leaders Mag. 2013. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
- Hudson, Kris (30 August 2010). "Survivor Stands on Verge of a Grand New Expansion". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
- "NYC delinquency rate continues upward as distressed properties list grows". The Real Deal Online. 6 August 2010. Retrieved 6 August 2010.
- Hruska, Rachelle (6 April 2009). "The Grand Openingof Vikram Chatwal's Dream Cochin Hotel". Guest of a Guest. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
- Chao, Vivian (22 January 2015). "Dream Midtown Completes a $20 million Renovation & Officially Changes Name from Dream New York". Hotel Online. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
- "Could Vikram Chatwal become the world's first Sikh billionaire?". Money Week. 8 August 2006.
- Bahree, Megha (19 June 2006). "Upgrading". Forbes Asia. Retrieved 18 February 2010.
- "Manhattan's Time Hotel Rings in 15th Anniversary with Renovations". Haute Hotel. 23 May 2014. Retrieved 28 August 2014.
- Koumelis, Theodore (15 May 2014). "Hotel Pioneer Vikram Chatwal's Time Hotel celebrates its fifteen-year anniversary with a new look". Travel Daily News. Retrieved 28 August 2014.
- "Vikram Chatwal spotted in rehab". Nagaland Post. 31 December 2009. Retrieved 18 February 2010.
- Pasternack, Alex (14 April 2009). "Fashionably Late Hotelier Vikram Chatwal Now 10 Percent Less Party Animal". pp. Observer. Retrieved 18 February 2010.
- "Rehab healed me: Vikram Chatwal". The Times Of India. 4 September 2011.
- Giridharadas, Anand (1 March 2006). "Cool begins to catch up to India". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 February 2010.
- Ramesh, Randeep (21 February 2006). "Jet set feted at Turban Cowboy's wedding". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 18 February 2010.
- Splitsville for hotelier and supermodel, Page Six, September 29, 2013
- Hotel tycoon claims model bolted with $300,000 engagement ring by Jamie Schram, The New York Post's Page Six, March 21, 2014
- Garvey, Marianne; Niemietz, Brian; Cartwright, Lachlan (25 April 2014). "Former lovebirds Esther Canadas and Vikram Chatwal settle spat over separation and $300K ring". The New York Daily News. Retrieved 27 August 2014.
- "He's not used to losing! P Diddy misses out on $1.2 million Picasso painting as it goes to hotelier at VIP Art Basel show". Daily Mail UK. 5 December 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2015.