Abandoned JFK Airport Terminal to Reopen as the Luxurious TWA Hotel

Retaining aspects of the terminal’s original design, the 512-room hotel will feature a bar inside a retro plane, as well as a rooftop infinity pool overlooking the runway.

Inside the TWA terminal. Photo: Max Touhey

Inspiring a sense of grandeur, the beautiful architecture of the Trans World Airlines Flight Center at New York’s JFK International Airport harkens to the golden age of travel when it first opened in 1962. However, it was later shuttered in 2001 and sat abandoned for 18 years due to bankruptcy.

The glass exterior. Photo: TWA Hotel

Come May 15 this year, the Eero Saarineen-designed airport terminal will open as a luxury accommodation called TWA Hotel. Reimagined by developer Tyler Morse, the 512-room property will retain various iconic aspects of the original terminal, including its lounge and a Lockheed Constellation L-1649A Starliner.

Bright red carpeting and seats. Photo: Max Touhey

Guests can enjoy 1960s-inspired drinks at the terminal’s famous lounge, which has been restored to its original 1962 design and transformed into a cocktail bar called the Sunken Lounge. Operated by the Gerber Group, the bar will be decked out in the terminal’s iconic bright red carpeting and seats. Menu highlights include a classic Old Fashioned, as well as a modernized version of the Royal Ambassador Cocktail, which was reportedly served to the Trans World Airlines’ VIP passengers.

The hotel’s retro 1958 Lockheed Constellation L-1649A plane will be transformed into a bar. Photo: TWA Hotel

Another of the hotel’s eight bars will be located inside a retro 1958 Lockheed Constellation L-1649A plane, affectionately called “Connie”. Here, guests can make two-hour reservations to relax and sip on vintage cocktails inside the photo-worthy space.

The hotel’s rooftop infinity pool overlooks a busy runway. Photo: David Mitchell

Other highlights include six restaurants, high-end retail, a rooftop pool, and an observation deck.

Overlooking one of JFK’s busiest runways, the hotel’s rooftop infinity pool will open 365 days a year and turned into a heated “pool-cuzzi” during the brutal winter season. According to the hotel, the water in the hotel’s pool is purified every thirty minutes, as opposed to every six hours at a standard swimming pool.

Inside a guest room. Photo: TWA Hotel

The rooms, which are located in brand-new buildings right behind the original terminal, will be priced from US$249 per night. While boasting views of the runway, the rooms have also been thoughtfully designed with floor-to-ceiling, noise-canceling windows by Fabbrica—they’re said to be the second-thickest glass walls in the world, after the wall at the US Embassy in London.

Other amenities in the room include a wet bar stocked with alcohol. Photo: David Mitchell

Furbished with classic Saarinen midcentury modern furniture, walnut ceiling trim and accents, as well as a brass lined bed, each room is a picture of elegance. Other amenities in the room include a wet bar stocked with Moët & Chandon Imperial Brut Champagne, Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège Cognac, and the Belvedere Martini with Belvedere Vodka. For a touch of glamor, the “Hollywood-style” bathrooms come with bubble lights and subway tiles.

The hotel’s lobby features an Intelligentsia coffee bar that serves rotating in-season coffees. Photo: TWA Hotel

On the dining front, Michelin-starred French-American chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten will helm the hotel’s Paris Café in the original 1962 terminal. And for jet setting guests, the hotel’s lobby features an Intelligentsia coffee bar that serves rotating in-season coffees alongside espresso drinks, flash-chilled cold coffee, tea, and Sudden Coffee—a high-quality instant coffee for those in a hurry to catch their next flight.

More information here.

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