TWA Hotel – Saarinen’s Iconic Terminal Is Back In Business
512 showstopping guestrooms feature soaring views of JFK’s runways plus authentic 1960s furnishings.
At the TWA Hotel in New York’s JFK Airport, guests can hop on a flight back to the Golden Age of Aviation. Hence, going by the unbeatable setting, offerings and look-feel of this chic hotel, they’ll be flying first class.
For decades, Eero Saarinen’s iconic TWA Terminal has symbolized man’s romance with aviation. Unveiled in the 1960s as the architectural face of Trans World Airlines, the building captured the energy of the times and the spirit of flight in its unique, futuristic build. Since the terminal’s closure in 2001, New Yorkers have been struggling to find a fitting use for the well-loved structure. Consequently they found the answer in an ambitious and one-of-a-kind hospitality project.
To be more specific, TWA Hotel, which will start hosting guests from May 15, is no standard-edition airport hotel. A remarkable restoration effort coupled with a masterful reimagining of 1960s New York. Seems like it aims to serve as a destination of its own – even for people who aren’t boarding a plane the next morning.
What is more, Saarinen’s original building serves as the public section of the hotel. It houses a string of restaurants, bars and retail outlets. This 200,000 square-foot space exudes delicious old-school vibes. Chili pepper red carpets play with penny-round tiles to divide the massive space into its various zones. In addition, the original sunken lounge gets a new role as a ‘60s-themed bar. Also, a stylish and delightfully retro Paris Café replaces the terminal’s original first-class lounge.
Flanking the historic structure are two towers that house TWA Hotel’s 512 rooms and suites. Staying in one of these makes for a journey into a time long past but never quite forgotten. Mad Men-esque minibars and closets welcome guests into their stylish quarters, which flaunt an array of stylish Mid-Century appointments.
The base palette in each room is a combination of white walls and dark wooden flooring, topped with walnut panelling and bronze fixtures. 7-paned floor-to-ceiling windows offer ring-side views of JFK Airport without any of its associated noise. The furniture range is decidedly retro, complete with red Womb chairs, white Tulip side tables, and suave Executive Chairs alongside rich walnut desks. Rotary phones add a delightful touch, as do posters referencing 1960s New York, classic glassware, and TWA-branded toiletries in spacious all-white bathrooms.
In its efforts to break away from the biases surrounding airport hotels, the TWA team has gone above and beyond to create unforgettable experiences for guests. As a result there are as many as 6 restaurants and 8 bars to choose from, headlined by Jean-Georges’ Paris Café. The Michelin-starred chef has concocted a distinctive menu which references the ‘60s much the same way as the rest of the hotel. Furthermore, a cocktail bar aboard a restored Lockheed Constellation L-1649A Starliner airplane. This will undoubtedly serve as another crowd-puller. As similarly will the hotel museum’s vintage TWA paraphernalia.
Topping all the aviation-themed extravagance, quite literally, is the hotel’s swish rooftop pool bar. Up here, an infinity pool and a sprawling deck let guests observe JFK’s runways from the best seats in the house – while raising a glass to things that stand the test of time, of course.