The TWA Hotel opens today: Here’s everything you need to know

How to book a room, what amenities are available, and more

The day has finally arrived: The TWA Hotel is due to welcome its first guests today, giving New Yorkers (and out-of-towners) access to one of the city’s most magnificent midcentury landmarks.

The hotel is the culmination of years of work to revive Eero Saarinen’s beloved midcentury landmark: The TWA Flight Center, a stunning example of Space Age architecture, closed in 2001, and has largely been hidden from public view since then, save for a few tours and events here and there. Now, the flight center building will function as the lobby of the 512-room hotel, with shops, restaurants, and other perks for guests.

Here, you’ll find everything you need to know about the brand-spanking-new TWA Hotel, including how to book a room, where to eat and drink, and more.


How to make reservations

Reservations for the hotel will only be available through the TWA Hotel website—Morse says the hotel has no plans to offer rooms through booking sites like Expedia or Kayak.

There are currently two types of reservations available: an overnight stay, and a special day rate—available in the morning, afternoon, and evening—for those who need just a few hours to decompress between flights.

How to get there

The TWA Hotel is adjacent to JetBlue’s Terminal 5 at JFK Airport, and is accessible in all the usual ways: via taxis or ride-hailing services, or via public transportation. If you’re taking the latter, you’ll take the A train to the Howard Beach station, and then transfer to the AirTrain. Exit the AirTrain at Terminal 5, and walk through the JetBlue terminal to access the hotel—the iconic tunnels that were featured in Catch Me If You Can will take you right to the lobby.

The rooms

The hotel’s 512 rooms also take inspiration from the Mad Men era, and are outfitted in materials like walnut, terrazzo, and brass; Knoll provided furnishings, which include Saarinen’s own Womb chairs. There’s even a stylish cocktail bar—with Tab, no less—tucked into a wall near the door.

But if you’re worried that sleeping near an airport will lead to a sleepless night, fear not: The windows are made of ultra-thick glass—the second-thickest in the world, according to the developer—and blackout curtains help keep the light out. Should you want to peek at what’s happening outside of your room, you can choose one with a view of JFK’s runways or of the Saarinen building.

Also included in the room are a small toiletry kit, robes, a desk, television, 5G Wi-Fi, and other modern conveniences.

Where to eat and drink

Our pals at Eater NY have the full rundown on the bars and restaurants in the TWA Hotel, but here are some of the highlights:

Connie: A cocktail bar, operated by the Gerber Group, that’s located inside an actual airplane—specifically, a decommissioned Lockheed Constellation propliner, which has been redesigned to seat 125 for cocktails and small plates. (There are even a few upholstered chairs from a 1958 TWA airplane, perfect for Instagramming.)

The Paris Café.

Paris Café: Jean-Georges Vongerichten will run this restaurant, located in the footprint of the Saarinen building’s original Paris Café, which was designed by Raymond Loewy. Vongerichten’s spot will serve an all-day menu “inspired by Trans World Airlines’s in-flight menus from the ‘50s and ‘60s,” according to Eater.

The Sunken Lounge: One of the terminal’s most iconic spaces is the red-upholstered gathering area on the first floor, which is basically the coolest conversation pit ever. Gerber Group has also taken over this space, and will operate another cocktail bar there.

There are also more casual spots for food, including vendors in the Departures Food Hall, and an Intelligentsia coffee stand.

Honoring TWA’s history

The hotel makes a point of embedding the history of Trans-World Airlines—which started in 1930, was controlled by mercurial movie mogul Howard Hughes for many years, and went out of business in 2001—throughout the hotel. These collections were curated by the New-York Historical Society, but many of their items were sourced from places like eBay.

Here’s where you can find vintage uniforms, old TWA posters, and more:

  • On the upper level of the lobby, there’s a selection of TWA uniforms throughout the years, designed by the likes of Ralph Lauren, Valentino, and Stan Herman.
  • Works by iconic midcentury designers are scattered throughout: Peep the Noguchi fountain where the Ambassador Lounge used to be, with Eames chairs facing it. In a small annex behind that, Eames also designed a small room that was reportedly where Popes (yes, Popes) who flew on TWA would relax after flights.
Vintage TWA uniforms.
  • In the event space below the Saarinen buildings, small displays show off TWA artifacts like paper dresses, dishes, magazines, and more.

Other amenities

What else can guests expect at the TWA Hotel?

  • A 10,000-square-foot fitness center from the Wright Fit
  • A selection of shops, including Shinola and Warby Parker
  • A reading room curated by Phaidon and Herman Miller, filled with furniture from the midcentury brand
  • A rooftop infinity pool and observation deck

Source: ny.curbed
The TWA Hotel opens today: Here’s everything you need to know