Close your eyes and picture yourself back in the 1960s, when air travel was a whole different experience. People would dress up in their best clothes, the flight attendants were like polished models, and in-flight drinks were served in real glass. There was something magical about flying in the 1960s, and the TWA Hotel at JFK Airport in New York acts as a time machine back to the optimistic era of adventuresome and glamorous travel.
Staying at the TWA Hotel has been on my bucket list ever since it opened to the public in 2019. In fact, it was enough of a priority for me to plan my New York City trip via JFK (using another airport would have been more convenient). Some people make special trips to famous stadiums; I made my design pilgrimage to visit the refurbished Eero Saarinen-designed terminal. I arranged the itinerary so that our departing flight was early-ish. Since we were already at JFK overnight, “getting to the airport” stress was eliminated.
TWA Hotel Room Review
The room, a “Deluxe King with Historic TWA View” was among the lower-priced options. It was on the small side but still had room for a slim desk and comfortable womb chair (also designed by Saarinen). The decorations were fabulously on-theme and the bed was extremely comfortable with top quality linens.
The bathroom was sleek and clean, with good shower pressure. I will say it was quite small. Fine for one night… I’m not sure who exactly would stay multiple nights at what is technically JFK Airport. The very thick windows kept out almost all of the airport noise, which I found remarkable.
To access the rooms, there are two long corridors on each wing of the terminal. These each connect to the newly-built towers which house the 512 rooms. Eagle-eyed design enthusiasts will notice the terminal and corridors in the Tom Hanks/ Leonardo DiCaprio film Catch Me If You Can.
Outside the Rooms (Amenities)
If you’re not staying at the hotel, you can still access the TWA Hotel from JFK Airport, however you will have to exit and re-enter security. There are lots of things to do onsite, and it seems the hotel is constantly adding or refreshing options. Check their website for full information.
- Step into the 1960s in the sunken lounge. Watch the comings and goings of plants at JFK through the iconic huge windows. Food and drink are available.
- Have a drink or a snack aboard Connie, a vintage Lockheed Constellation plane
- Visit the rooftop pool and you guessed it: have a drink if you’d like one. (Are you sensing a theme here?) Note: The pool is heated in the winter!
- Dine in the Paris Cafe, headed up by a Michelin-star chef. (Prices at this restaurant are less expensive than I expected).
- Visit the gift shop with curated retro-style items and fun photo booth.
- Burn off some energy in the gym (included for guests, day pass available for non guests).
- Look around every corner and you will find something fun, delightful, or informative. Like a historical recreation of a 1960s living room, or whatever this is…
Are you feeling inspired to plan a trip via JFK to check this spot out yourself? Are there any other one-of-a-kind airport hotels I need to plan a trip around? Let me know in the comments. As always, thanks for reading!
The TWA Hotel cannot be booked on booking.com. Visit their website directly to make a reservation. Or scroll down a little further for an interactive map with other NYC hotel options.
John F. Kennedy International Airport
One, JFK Access Road
Idlewild Dr, Queens, NY 11430
Photos by Doug and Staci Jackson for The Voyageer.