I’ve always wanted to visit and or stay at the TWA Hotel at New York’s JFK Airport. The theme is super cool as it is located in the landmark 1962 TWA Flight Center, and takes you back to the past with the vintage design of the 60s. It is certainly nostalgic, and exciting for those who love the history of airplanes and airlines.
There have been some mixed reviews online on the TWA Hotel, and the nightly rates are a bit pricey. Every time I consider staying here, rates are always over $300 a night, and they have an odd cancellation policy where they tack on a $10 fee for any change/cancellation even on their “Flexible Rate”.
A perfect opportunity arose to visit the hotel when my friend and I flew back to New York from Martha’s Vineyard last week, and she would have 6 hours before her flight back to Los Angeles. We decided to tour the hotel, have lunch, and grab some drinks.
Accessing the Hotel:
My friend and I got off of our JetBlue flight and headed straight to baggage claim. Lucky for us, the TWA Hotel is connected to JetBlue’s Terminal 5 at JFK airport. You’ll see signs directing you at baggage claim to the TWA Hotel, and then you can take an elevator to the hotel itself.
Once you get out of the elevator, you’ll see a nice little exhibit of a replica of the old TWA President Jack Frye’s office. He is credited with making TWA a world-class airline during his time as president from 1934-1947. Across from the office, there is a wall that goes over the history of the airline, which is a cool read.
Then, there is a tunnel (tube) to the hotel and lobby. It also connects to one wing of the hotel rooms. The hotel has two seven-story wings that provide a total of 512 rooms.
The tube feels quite unique and goes with the throwback theme of the hotel.
The TWA Hotel JFK lobby really is the star of the show. It’s breathtaking, and you feel like you’ve entered back in time to 1962. The lobby itself is a full restoration of the old TWA Terminal at JFK.
The flight board is cool as it updates new times and destinations and you can hear the letters and numbers change. But, just note that it isn’t synchronized to actual flights at the present time. I mean, we are in 1962 apparently 🙂
On the other side of the lobby is the Sunken Lounge.
As of my June 2023 visit, the Sunken Lounge (Lobby Bar) is open Monday-Wednesday from 4 pm to 11 pm, Thursday and Sunday from 11 am to 11 pm, and Friday and Saturday from 11 am to midnight. Cocktails, bites, and dessert are served here.
There’s a gift shop in the lobby area, and also a food hall. The food hall has a few stands which include soft serve ice cream, crepes, a juice bar, bagels, hot dogs, paninis, and a corner store. There are still a few stands at the end that are currently vacant.
Across from the food hall, is the check-in desk + Intelligentsia Coffee bar.
Above the ground floor lobby level, is the Paris Café by Jean-Georges. My friend and I made a reservation to eat here for lunch. As of my visit, the Paris Café is open for breakfast from 7 am to 11 am and for lunch/dinner from 12 pm to 10 pm daily.
I loved the retro design, with spinning chairs!
We ordered the Fish and Chips ($32) as well as the Rigatoni with Meatballs ($28). Both were quite tasty, but the portion sizes were a bit too small given the price tag, especially with the rigatoni.
There was an issue with the order system, so our order was lost while waiting for our food and we had to replace our order. No worries though, the waiter felt bad and offered to comp some drinks, so we got to try some of their signature cocktails. We tried the Raspberry Lychee Bellini ($20) and the Cucumber Martini ($20), and they were both decent. But, I would suggest you wait to get drinks until later, as you’ll soon see in my review…
Overall, we enjoyed the meal at the Paris Cafe, but wish the portions were larger given the price tag. I could see myself grabbing a meal here in the future!
On the other side of the Paris Cafe, is a cool exhibit of the history of the crew uniforms.
And, if you cross the second cool tube, you’ll find your way to another exhibit. This one goes over how a living room looked back in 1962.
There’s also a giant Twister game, as well as history boards sprinkled throughout the hotel. Certainly, there are plenty of things to do for aviation lovers, or even those who are just on a long layover.
There’s a cool outdoor area with Camp TWA and the Connie Airplane.
During the winter, Camp TWA has ice skating, but during the summer season, it has games such as life-size chess and checkers, ping pong, and more. Camp TWA is currently open Saturdays and Sundays from 9 am to 6 pm.
The coolest part of the outdoor area is the Connie Airplane. It is a 1958 Lockheed Constellation airplane that has been converted into a cocktail lounge. How awesome is that?!
Connie Cocktail Lounge:
The current hours at the time of posting for the Connie Cocktail Lounge are 4 pm to 10:30 pm daily. It was quite cute when we were visiting, a group of friends dressed up to match the era of TWA, and held a birthday party.
There is a variety of seating in the cocktail lounge, ranging from sofa-style seats to traditional airplane seating.
The seat-back pockets even had some fun flyers and pamphlets. I particularly liked the brochure with the old seat map configurations of the Connie aircraft!
The vibes were so cool, and I loved every moment of my visit. The bar area was in the back of the plane, and there are cocktails, wine, champagne, and a limited variety of snacks.
They also preserved the cockpit, and you can see it from a distance. According to the sign, Connie is “grounded” as she flew out after curfew. Too cute!
One of the coolest features of the TWA Hotel JFK is the Rooftop Pool. It’s open year-round and has great views of the airport and runways. As a non-hotel guest, you can make a 1 hour and 45 minute reservation and it currently costs $50 for adults ($20 for children 5-12, and under 5 is free) during the summer and fall season. During winter and spring, it is $25 for adults ($10 for children 5-12, and under 5 is free). It seemed a bit too pricey for me, so we passed on this trip, but maybe in the future. The pool and pool bar area are open from 7 am to 11 pm daily.
Overall, I loved my visit to the TWA Hotel JFK, and it was a blast from the past. I definitely would visit again, and perhaps grab a drink at Connie’s again, or perhaps try to access the rooftop pool. And of course, for the right price, I’d love to give the hotel itself an actual try someday.
Have you visited or stayed at the TWA Hotel JFK Airport before? What did you think of it? Comment below!
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