“The past is brought to the present”, “A blast from the past”, “An icon is reborn”. That is what is being said about the brand new hotel that sits next to Terminal 5 at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City. The Trans World Airlines Terminal, known as the TWA Terminal, designed by famous architect Eero Saarinen which has been designated as a historical landmark site, has been closed ever since 2001, but was never forgotten. All that changed in 2014, when the idea to transform the landmark building into a hotel was born by MCR and MORSE Development. Seventeen years after the closing of the airline and terminal, the doors finally reopened again. The TWA Hotel officially opened yesterday, May 15, 2019. I personally went there to see the iconic building myself and experience the past combined with the present. Here are my first impressions of the property.
The TWA Terminal itself has not changed, the physical structure as well as the interior layout has remained the same just like in the past when the terminal was open for flights, however, the building has been refreshed and brought back to the original condition as when it opened in 1962. Certain items had to be recreated as the furniture upholstery and the iconic TWA red colored carpets, as well as a fresh coat of paint, and the installation of new windows.
Other items that have been restored to its former glory, from the signature clock in the center atrium to the iconic Solari arrival/departure boards, were all restored to their original 1962 condition. The Developer wanted the Terminal to be historically authentic.
A real blast from the past was the installation of a former TWA 1958 Lockheed Constellation named “Connie”. The plane sits outside the terminal and acts as a cocktail lounge where guests can even sit at the pilot’s controls in the cockpit. Ready for takeoff on “rum” way “3 shots” left. The plane is not only a unique lounge but also as a perfect spot for anyone looking to post cool and exciting photos on Instagram.
The 200,000 square foot terminal acts as the hotel lobby, the 512 guestrooms are in two separate newly built buildings which are located on each side of the terminal. The lobby is very spacious and open. The check in desk is located where the old flight check in area was, with the old conveyer belts for the luggage still there today. Seating areas are all around the terminal but if you want comfortable seating and a nice drink to go with that vintage feeling, then take a seat in the sunken lounge with views of Connie outside the huge windows. The lobby has other restaurants and bars for guests and the public to experience throughout their visit. Outside of the men’s restroom are vintage rotary dial pay phones for anyone’s use as well as an old fashioned shoe shine area. The one thing that caught a lot of peoples attention was the TWA Shop, the shop sells multiple branded TWA items such as shirts sweaters, shoes, pins, stationery, and more. I personally fell in love with the futuristic looking walkway tubes that connect the actual hotel to the airport terminal. These are the same walkways that connected the original terminal to the gates where passengers boarded their flights. The tubes feel like a hallway on a starship from Star Trek. These walkways are how a guest would get from the lobby to their guest rooms.
The lobby also is home to a museum quality display of the old TWA flight attendants uniforms throughout TWA’s history in chronological order. Many of which were created by famous designers such as Ralph Lauren and Valentino. Each uniform had a unique look and story behind it.
There are some things I did not get to see since yesterday was only the soft opening of the hotel and it was very busy around the property. I did not get to see the rooftop infinity pool since it was closed when I arrived. I also did not get the opportunity to visit a guest room since the hotel was at 100% occupancy. As it was the soft opening some areas were not not quite ready yet, for example, the fitness center was still being built and some of the finishing touches were not completely installed. This is only part one of this post. Stay tuned to read part two after I get a full tour of my new favorite Airport Hotel!
If you want to read past news posts about the TWA Hotel click below!
With love from NYC,
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