TWA Hotel: Reserve Your Trip Back to New York’s JFK in the 1960s
“Nobody likes to hang around airports” ran TWA’s 1960s slogan – but the new TWA Hotel at New York’s JFK airport aims to encourage travellers to do just that.
The TWA Hotel will officially open 15 May 2019 inside JFK’s former TWA Terminal, which has undergone a major overhaul after being shut for 16 years, but prospective guests can already book rooms.
The original 1962 building, known as the TWA Flight Center was completed by architect Eero Saarinen in 1962 for Trans World Airlines – a major American airline that operated from 1930 until 2001. The building was closed in 2001 as it was unable to support the size of modern aircraft.
The former airline’s stylish terminal building will be the hotel’s main hub, featuring six restaurants, eight bars, shops and a rooftop pool, while two new “wings” will house the 512 guest rooms.
The 1960s-style interiors are designed to evoke the history of the original terminal will include white walls, dark wood floors, walnut-panelled accents, and bronze accents characterise the rooms with ample light and views of the runways through noise-cancelling floor-to-ceiling windows.
Details include mid-century retro TWA posters, rewired vintage rotary phones and Saarinen-designed furnishings, which were provided by Knoll. Among the pieces are red, curvy Womb chairs and white Tulip side tables. A custom walnut desk area behind the bed has an armless Executive Chair in tan leather.
Decor in the bathrooms includes bubble lights and terrazzo floors. Other details in the rooms are original branding from the sixties that features on toiletries, notepads, and key cards holders.
TWA Hotel guests will have access to a huge range of amenities – including the previously mentioned six restaurants, eight bars, shops and rooftop pool, guests will also be able to enjoy a coffee bar, ballroom, fitness centre, an observation deck and a museum that displays vintage TWA air hostess uniforms.
There is also a cocktail lounge on the tarmac, which occupies a retrofitted Lockheed Constellation L-1649A Starliner airplane dating back to 1956. Originally commissioned in 1939 by TWA owner Howard Hughes, the “Connie” model broke the transcontinental speed record in 1946.
This particular plane, Connie N8083H, is one of only four remaining of its kind, and has been restored with original parts, including cockpit controls. It had a colourful former life, shuttling supplies to Prudhoe Bay in Alaska in the 60s before being modified to airdrop marijuana from in South America, and abandoned in Honduras in the 80s.
Managed by MCR and Morse Development, the hotel has been under construction since late 2016 and is expected to be popular with “avgeeks”, preservationists and Mad Men fans as well as JFK stopover travellers. Rooms will cost from $249 a night
TWA was a major player in the aviation world from the 1930s, through Hughes’ days of glamour and celebrity in the 40s and 50s. The eccentric tycoon owner relinquished control in 1960, and subsequent decades were a mix of highs (such as carrying more than 50% of all transatlantic passengers in 1988), and lows, culminating in TWA’s closure in 2001.
“The TWA hotel project is a labor of love for our entire team,” says Tyler Morse, CEO of MCR and Morse Development. “We are counting down the days until the landmark building, dark since 2001, is filled with life again.”