No trip or stop over to New York’s JFK is complete without a visit to the newly opened TWA Hotel. The hotel which is in the refurbished TWA Flight Centre connected to Terminal 5 at JFK, pays respect to the golden age of travel, with amazing attention to detail and modern touches that make your stay comfortable and relaxing.
As soon as you arrive at the hotel you are transported to the 1960s and actually feels like you are entering an airport terminal rather than an actual hotel. Check-in is all done manually at on an iPad at airport check-in desks, this was really easy but it needed to be pointed out by the concierge standing close by, the process was also missing some handy housekeeping features that you get from a hotel concierge. For example, I wouldn’t have known where to go after I had checked in or any information about the amenities in the hotel. There was staff everywhere but it felt like they want you to wander around the hotel and discover all of the amazing features yourself.
Arriving at the room felt very glamorous on the plush red carpet but after entering to the room the door didn’t lock back into place, I had to almost slam the door to get it to lock which took a bit away from the reveal of the room.
The first thing you notice when entering the hotel and the rooms were how quiet it is, even with a view of one of the busiest airports in the world it was silent. This is thanks to the “Glass Curtain” seven panes of glass four and a half inches thick which cancel out all of the runway noise.
Once I had gotten over the amazing view out to the Jet Blue terminal and runway, I was fully able to appreciate the level of detail of each item in the room. Everything from the light switches to the mini bar was of the era, including the 1960s packaged Kit Kats and an Etch-A-Sketch.
The beautiful terrazzo floor and the lit mirror will make any tired traveller feel like a 1960s Hollywood star, and if you need some touch ups, look no further then the replica TWA amenity keep complete with Hairspray, shampoo and conditioner, aftershave body lotion and even the fashion tape.
The bed that was surrounded by brass, and leather ascents and was the perfect softness for a good nights sleep, and the side lamp and small table was the perfect size for a phone charger and other essentials. Unfortunately, a fire alarm went off just before I started getting ready for bed, after going downstairs I found out it was only a false alarm and issue with the new system. Luckily it didn’t happen again and I was able to have a great sleep and completely forgot I was practically sleeping on a runway. Rooms at the TWA Hotel can be booked from $250USD for a night.
After getting settled in the room it was time to explore the hotel a bit more, and it did not disappoint, from the historical display of TWA Flight attendant uniforms to the welcome desk with different messages there was something new around every corner. Including newspapers and magazines from the 1960s and rotary pay phones that worked!
But the best find was the view from the rooftop pool, only recently opened the pool is complete with TWA tiled logo and looks out over the JFK runways. From here you could see everything, including the faintest view of Manhattan in the distance. The pool is opened for guests from 7am - 11pm weather permitting (it can be heated to 37 degrees for use during the winter) and non-hotel guests can enjoy the pool from 11am - 8pm. The Pool Bar which serves food and signature cocktails makes it the perfect place to watch the planes go by. The pool area is complete with towels, lounge chairs.
Whether you are arriving fresh of a plane at JFK or coming in from the city for the night before an early morning flight, getting to the hotel is easy. If you are arriving into another terminal at JFK simply catch the AirTrain from any terminal and get off at Terminal 5, and follow the signs to the TWA elevator near the Jet Blue baggage claim. If you are arriving by car or taxi just let them know it is near Terminal 5, it may be easier for them to take you straight to terminal 5 as I found the hotel is not that well known yet and my taxi driver really didn’t know where it was. There are also signs coming into the airport that can be followed.
Other than a few teething issues which are to be expected in the first month of opening, the overnight stay at the TWA Hotel one to remember. When the golden elevator doors open you almost expect Don Draper to walk out with a martini in hand, a stay at the TWA is a must for aviation and architecture lovers as well as anyone travelling through JFK, whether it is for a delicious meal before your next flight or an overnight stay before an early morning flight.
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