Ever since shopping malls became trendy in Kyiv, every new mall opening tries to outdo its competitors in size and entertainment offerings. The latest mall on the scene – Dream Town in Obolon – opened Oct. 22 at the head of the pack. The mall, developed by “Stolitsa” Corporation, offers the biggest area and greatest number of shopping venues and entertainment offerings under one roof.
The whole Dream Town complex includes two giant buildings, 80, 000 square meters each. One of them runs right down the middle of Obolonsky Prospect, from Obolon metro station all the way to Minska. The second stretches between Minska and Heroyiv Dnipra. The two complexes are to be connected with an underground passage. Only one of the two parts of Dream Town is open so far (the Obolon-Minska one), and it’s the one dedicated to fashion shopping, entertainment and recreational activities. The second part will open next year and feature furniture stores and various household goods.
Stolitsa Corporation, the mall developer, is a major real-estate player in Kyiv and says it is the main developer of the Obolon district. Started in 2004, its president is Valentyn Isak. Last year, more than half of its total portfolio included residential homes with just 7 percent in retail.
A trip around the world
After you’ve appraised the size and scale of Dream Town, the next thing to impress will be its design. The long three-level construction with tiled floors, high ceilings and wide passages is divided into blocks by five staircase-atriums, each lusciously decorated after a certain place on the map.
If you enter from the Obolon side, you will find yourself in front of the Hollywood-style atrium. Even before you read the name “Hollywood” running across the construction in big letters, you can easily guess its theme as you look at a several meter tall dinosaur standing proudly on the ground floor. There is also King Kong hanging by the skyscraper-elevator shaft, Oscar statuettes standing here and there and numerous pictures of Hollywood stars. If you proceed along the mall, the next atrium you will come across is dedicated to Brazil. The pictures on its inner walls depict the nation’s legendary Carnival, while the rest of the place is a complete jungle. As you watch the giant boa constrictor, lianas and rope ladder spread between the sides of the atrium, you almost expect a Tarzan to jump at you from anywhere. Palm trees, exotic birds and a waterfall at the bottom completes the sensation.
Next in line is Chinese atrium painted in bright red, green and gold. Elevator tower is encompassed in a bamboo construction. At the bottom is an altar-fountain with a statue of Hotei – the Japanese god of luck. Other colorful decor elements are shapes of pagoda roofs, red lanterns, tall vases with Chinese ornaments, dragons, and big fans adorning the sides of the escalator.
Greek atrium has the classiest look of all with a marble staircase, pots with grapes growing from them, Ancient Greek black-figure paintings, Greek statues and bas reliefs. On the ground floor of the atrium, a Neptune statue stands in the middle of the beautiful fountain. The last atrium is themed after Paris. It’s plain to see from the Eiffel tower model on the ground floor and elevator shaft shaped as a Notre Dame de Paris. The famous Notre Dame gargoyles protrude from all sides of the atrium. Other parts of the staircase resemble beautiful Parisian gardens with classical statues and neatly trimmed small trees. Once you’ve reached “Paris,” you’ve seen all of Dream Town – or at least one of its floors.
Though not all shops are already opened at Dream Town, at least 60 percent of them already are, and many of those who aren’t, are something to look forward to.
The two floors of the complex carry quite a few clothing shops. You will find American O’Stin, French Promod, Puma sportswear store, Estonian Monton, internationally known fashion brands – Miss Sixty and Energy, United Colors of Benetton and Guess, jeans chains Lee Cooper, Colin’s and Motor. All there is Pull and Bear, Stradivarius, Savage, BGN, Monica Ricci, Pierre Cardin, Polo Garage, Timberland and Grandi Firme Outlet – an outlet store of high fashion brands, which so far has only one location at Globus. Among the shops scheduled to open in near future are British Peacocks, Next and Marks & Spencer as well as boutiques of Spanish brands Mango and Zara – both top popular fashion shopping destinations, which shops could be only found on Khreshchatyk until now. Another famous mid-priced clothing brand from Spain, Bershka, will open its very first Kyiv shop at Dream Town.
For shoe shopping. you may head to Geox, Monarkh, Respect and Carlo Pazolini chains, and, of course, Kyiv’s main multi-brand shoe chain – Intertop. Lingerie shops are many, including such brands as DIM, Milavitsa and Belle Femme. Jewelry shops are also plenty: Lausanne Watches & Jewelry, Zolotoy Vek chain, Jemma Jewelry, Swarovski boutiques and Center Yuvelir are half of what’s on offer.
Dream Town also houses the biggest store of Sportsmaster chain. This one is a hypermarket, which carries an extensive selection of sport-related goods in one place. You no longer need to roam around Kyiv in search of a perfect pair of rollerblades, skiing equipment, skates, dumbbells or any kind of sportswear – it’s all there. Clothes and shoes, including those for children, are conveniently sorted by sizes, making it easy to navigate the store.
Stuff for travelers and explorers is offered at Expeditsiya (Expedition) shop. Beautiful tableware, kitchen utensils and some house decor are found at Butlers and Wintzer. Young mommies will appreciate Mothercare store selling clothes and other goods for babies. Seta Decor carries stylish gifts – many of which can be used as home design elements, and items that help create a carnival or party look: wigs, plastic star- or heart-shaped glasses, crowns and hats. More original and funny presents can be found at neighboring Wow Shop. However my favorite gift destination would be Veshchichka shop, located on the third floor, next to French atrium. The other two shops of this chain were previously mentioned in the Kyiv Post on more than one occasion. One part of the store is occupied with all the necessary goods for artists – paints, brushes, pencils, easels – you name it, and the other is dedicated to all kinds of exclusive beautiful items: clothes, costume jewelry, bags, clocks, and adorable handmade toys.
Skate, roll and party
Apart from Veshchichka and few other shops, the third floor is most entirely dedicated to entertainment, recreation and dining – its ceiling is especially high, painted in blue and white to resemble the sky. There you’ll find a roller rink – a rollerblading ground (Hr 40-60 for grownups, Hr 35-50 for kids per hour); “Ice Dream” skating rink (Hr 30-50 for adults, Hr 20-30 for kids per 45 minute session) with a curious lighting system – colorful disco lights are combined with large pieces of shiny transparent fabric to create the Northern Lights effect; and separate ground for practicing curling (Hr 800-1, 000 per hour). The area next to it is designed in “wild west” style. It has a green platform for mini golf (Hr 30-50 for grownups, Hr 20-30 for kids per hour) – little hillocks and ponds on its surface create an illusion of a natural golf ground; “Ugly Coyote” (actually spelled “cayote”) shooting gallery and, of course, a saloon-bar called “At Baby Sue’s.” To allow you conveniently engage in any of the sports offered, there are several cloak rooms and changing rooms.
As for food and drinks at Dream Town, you have quite a few options. Above the rink, the “Ice Cafe” is located, its rails hung with “icicles.” Plus there are two bars with tables placed along the sides of Rolledrome and the ice-skating rink. Fast food selection includes: Potato House with its separate sitting area, Shashlik Mashlik, Only Spoons (serving all kinds of soups), Yapona Khata, Pechena Kartoplya, Pizza di Favola and other places. For a more intimate dinner, go to Shakherezada restaurant, designed in rich oriental manner.
Vitamin chain bowling alley, Liniya Kino cinema and Novus supermarket promise to open up soon at Dream Town. Among additional services offered at the mall, there are several Express Manicure spots and a few mini-bars offering fresh juices. The most remarkable of the latter is Jimbo Shake serving smoothies of juices, fruit and yogurt, milk shakes, fresh juice cocktails and more – over 40 different drinks on the whole.