Sant Singh Chatwal is an Indian-American businessman and founder of the Dream Hotel Group where he serves as chairman of the board. He has founded numerous hotel brands including The Chatwal, Dream Hotels, Time Hotels and Unscripted Hotels, which operate in the United States and international
Who is Sant Singh Chatwal? An Indian American hotelier? A man who is behind the Indo-American nuclear deal? Join us as we bring you the story of Sant Singh Chatwal.
Back in the day, said Sant Singh Chatwal, travellers “wanted only very clean” places to stay.
All the wealth in the world and yet Sant still had a son who turned rogue! Vikram Chatwal – The Son Gone Rogue! Article by Gregory P. Mango
When he opened his first hotel, the Time on 49th Street (initially under his own company, Vikram Chatwal Hotels), the Sikh gadabout was the embodiment of the good life. He zoomed around in his Aston Martin, partied with Sean “Diddy” Combs on his yacht, and dated supermodels Kate Moss and Gisele Bündchen, whose first initial Vikram has tattooed on his arm.
Sant tried to temper his party-boy son by arranging a fix-up with Priya Sachdev, a New Delhi actress and former investment banker. In 2006, the two married in a lavish three-city, 10-day wedding where guests such as Deepak Chopra and Naomi Campbell were shuttled around in chartered 737s.
The couple had a baby girl, Safira, that same year. Within five years of getting married, Vikram entered rehab twice for alcohol addiction. His business still managed to flourish, though.
In the summer of 2011, he opened his eighth hotel, the Dream Downtown, under his father’s umbrella. His personal troubles largely concealed, Vikram’s reputation as a jet-setter and gossip-column fixture gave the brand a certain cache.
Despite still being married, Vikram began flagrantly flaunting his new alleged lover, troubled actress Lindsay Lohan.
“One time, Lindsay came outside the Electric Room and was screaming: ‘I can’t believe he brought Russian whores here tonight! What a f - - king asshole,’ ” said a former doorkeeper for Dream Downtown’s celeb hangout.
Within the first eight months of opening the hotel, Vikram was exiled from the Electric Room.
“Once, somebody didn’t know who he was and left a bill on his table, and he . . . threw a drink into a cocktail waitress’s face,’ ” recalled the former Electric Room doorkeeper.
“We [were told]. . . that he was banned,” she said. “There were photos passed around so we could watch for him.”
One night, the doorkeeper said, Vikram overdosed in a suite at the Dream Downtown. “He had a doctor who was on call who showed up in basically a mobile medical unit.”
With Vikram running wild, his father tried to exert control.
The Dream Downtown staff was instructed to report back to Sant about any crazy antics, according to the doorkeeper. And a family friend said Sant has employed an assistant, David Harold, for years to watch after his son.
But Vikram’s handlers can’t always reel him in.
“In 2011, he was having an interview with a Travel and Leisure writer and fell asleep in the middle of [it]at 3 in the afternoon,” said a source who was present. “His butler took a teacup and put some sort of powder in it and gave it to Vikram, and he perked up after that.” (Travel and Leisure had no comment on the matter. Vikram’s lawyer declined to comment on The Post’s story, and his publicist called allegations in the article “not statements of fact.”)
In April 2013, Vikram was arrested at Florida’s Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport for attempting to smuggle cocaine, heroin, marijuana and prescription pills — including muscle relaxants, horse tranquilizers, sedatives and opioids — aboard a plane. He managed to skirt jail time and became engaged to Spanish model Esther Cañadas that year after separating from his wife. The two quickly made Page Six headlines when they broke up weeks later, and Vikram sued Cañadas for the $300,000 engagement ring.
While sources say Sant will never give up on his son, amid the public humiliations, he has stripped Vikram of any real responsibilities related to the family business.
Shortly after the dog attack, the CEO of Sant’s hotel group, Jay Stein, sent a letter to clients distancing the company from Vikram: “Although Vikram was part of the founding team at Dream, he has no active involvement in the Dream Hotel Group [formerly known as Hampshire Hotels & Resorts]operations or management, nor is he an owner of any of our properties. The action of which he is accused [in]no way reflects or represents the values of our brands and organization,” said the letter obtained by The Post.
Those close to Vikram are holding out hope he can shape up. “Everyone I know feels bad,” said the source who has worked with the Chatwals. “I’ve never heard anyone say, ‘What a rich brat.’ He’s a nice guy who can’t get out of a rabbit hole.”