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TWA Hotel: JFK Airport’s Only On-Airport Hotel

TWA Hotel: JFK Airport’s Only On-Airport Hotel

There’s nothing more convenient during a long travel journey than an on-site airport hotel. On my way to Bali last month, I had the pleasure of staying overnight at the brand new TWA Hotel at John F Kennedy Airport in New York. This is JFK Airport’s only on-airport hotel! For those who don’t remember, Trans World Airlines was a major American airline founded by Howard Hughes, lasting from 1930 until 2001 when American Airlines took over.

This fabulously themed hotel celebrates TWA’s history and takes you back in time to an elegant, bygone era of aviation. With just over 500 guest rooms, exhilarating runway views, multiple restaurants, and 50,000 square feet of event space, the TWA Hotel is a very exciting addition for travelers at JFK Airport.

I arrived at the hotel from Terminal 5 via Saarinen’s iconic flight tubes which were featured in the 2002 film Catch Me If You Can.

Check-in was easy and I was very happy to discover my stylish and surprisingly quiet room. Even if your room overlooks the runways and TWA Flight Center, you don’t have to worry about the noise of the airport. Their windows are over 4 inches thick, making them the second thickest in the world! I also appreciated the electric darkening shades that block out all light and make sure you sleep nice and cozy, despite whatever time of day you arrive.

The fantastic interiors reminded me of the TV show Mad Men. Each guest room features a glamorous martini bar, custom built from walnut, glass, mirrors, along with brushed brass and crystallized glass. Combined with the warm wood accents throughout the room and bathroom, and authentic Knoll furnishings, this is absolutely the chicest airport hotel room I’ve ever stayed in. The plush bed is very comfortable and also lined in brass with a custom quilted leather-look headboard which features a crystallized glass ledge that easily holds overnight accessories.

As far as amenities, I loved the full lineup of grooming essentials. TWA Hotel has created replicas of an authentic TWA toiletries kit which is such a nice touch. I also really enjoyed the vintage rotary phone, sitting next to an authentic Saarinen Womb Chair, upholstered in red Knoll fabric. This retro 1950s phone is a blast from the past, but it’s still useful because you can make unlimited free international and local calls from it!

As far as places to eat, you have half a dozen choices at the TWA Hotel! A couple notable eateries are the Departures Hall Dining and a cocktail lounge in the Connie Airplane.

The Departures Hall Dining is perfect for a quick bite or grab-and-go option. You’ll discover locally-made meals at the historic Departures Hall where TWA travelers once checked in for flights. The Halal Guys, Empanada Republic, Antico Noè, Fresh & Co, and Playa Bowls are currently serving up a variety of delicious dishes here. Additional food partners will be joining in the coming months.

If you want something even more unique and special, I highly recommend visiting the Connie Airplane. That’s right, you can dine on board a renovated TWA plane from the 1950s! Their cocktail lounge serves vintage-inspired cocktails, snacks, and wonderful hospitality.

You can also pop into the cockpit and navigate the original controls, including a hidden radar.

After drinks, I recommend enjoying a nice, sit-down dinner at their Jean-Georges Restaurant (aka the Paris Cafe) for a memorable meal crafted by Michelin-star Chef Vongerichten.

TWA Hotel - Paris Cafe

For those looking to burn off some energy, you can enjoy two incredible options at the TWA Hotel. There is a rooftop infinity pool to take advantage of, which also has an observation deck with runaway views. If that’s not enough for you, head to the extraordinary hotel gym. This is actually the world’s largest hotel gym, with a 10,000-square-foot fitness center!

TWA Hotel Gym

Last but certainly not least are the museum exhibitions that I highly recommend visiting at the TWA Hotel, whether you’re a hotel guest or not. Thanks to the New York Historical Society, you can enjoy curated exhibitions here that celebrate TWA’s history, as well as examine the Jet age and midcentury modern design movement. I particularly enjoyed taking a photo inside a replica of Howard Hugh’s office.

There are many authentic artifacts to admire, along with interactive displays and personal narratives. In fact, more than 2,000 artifacts were given to the exhibition, most of them donated by former TWA explorers and their families. I loved seeing the vintage TWA uniforms, travel posters, luggage tags, and even cars!

What are you waiting for?! Whether you’re just passing through JFK Airport or have a long layover, consider the TWA Hotel as your home-away-from-home.

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About the author

Carmen Edelson is the Founder of Carmen's Luxury Travel. Carmen has been traveling the world for over a decade. Our travels allows her the opportunity to pursuit her itch to travel to the best luxury destinations, and experience those first class tastes from around the world.

18 Comments

  1. Wow! What an incredible hotel. The whole place looks so chic and vintage. Im loving that Connie Airplane restaurant and big bonus on the free international calls. Thanks for sharing.

    • Carmen Edelson

      The airplane restaurant was really impressive!

  2. The lobby architecture is so unique ! The lounge inside the plane is quite cute too ! Love to check this out some day ! =)

    • Carmen Edelson

      It’s such a fun and interesting place to stay!

  3. This is a great hotel and one of the most interesting tips I have seen in a long time. This is definitly in my bucket list to one of the unusual places to stay.
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    • Carmen Edelson

      I hope you get to stay there one day, Susanne!

  4. What a great hotel. All the vintage touches are so lovely, even the old black phone. Looks like a very comfortable stay and plane enthusiasts would really enjoy that cockpit.

    • Carmen Edelson

      Yes very comfortable!

  5. Putting this in my bucket list. Pretty unique things to see and do at the TWA Hotel at JFK!

    • Carmen Edelson

      Hope you enjoy it, Carol!

  6. I’m not a big fan of airport hotels, they are usually impersonal and cold. However, I quite like the museum aspect of this one, with the flight crew uniforms on display. The decor is very 70s-like, the times of TWA’s heyday. I don’t necessarily want to be stuck in transit at JFK but this hotel will do me nicely.

    • Carmen Edelson

      I know what you mean, and this is the completely opposite from your typical airport hotel 🙂

  7. Wow, the TWA Hotel at JFK sounds like a destination onto itself. I love the attention to detail, so that everything down to the rotary phone and the toiletries kit is so vintage. The architecture is fantastic, and I could definitely see myself recovering from jetlag at that rooftop pool

    • Carmen Edelson

      The attention to detail is amazing!

  8. This would be such a cool experience! We have a small TWA museum at the old downtown airport here in Kansas City, including an old plane that you can go through. Love exploring aviation history like that! ~ Sage Scott, the Everyday Wanderer

    • Carmen Edelson

      Oh I didn’t know that, thanks for sharing!

  9. I am loving the decor here. I am starting to become a big fan of airport hotels especially for early morning flights as I did my first one recently at Hong Kong. I would prefer to book a stay here than trying to get to the airport from downtown for an early morning flights. I like to have no hassle and would pay the extra for a stress free journey.

    • Carmen Edelson

      I know what you mean!! Hassle free please..!

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