Airport Hotels: TWA Hotel at JFK Airport Opens

Photo by Jena Tesse Fox

New York City’s JFK Airport has a hip new airport hotel with 50,000 square feet of event space. The TWA Hotel, the product of a long-running restoration of the airport’s historic TWA terminal building, is now officially open. 

The new hotel celebrated its official grand opening Wednesday with a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Tyler Morse, CEO and managing partner of MCR and MORSE Development.

Designed by Eero Saarinen, the landmark TWA terminal building opened in 1962 and closed in 2001. It was also placed on the National and New York State Registers of Historic Places in 2005. 

Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners led the restoration of the iconic Jet Age building, as well as its transformation into a hotel. The project involved constructing two new hotel wings behind the terminal building, which were designed by LUBRANO CIAVARRA Architects with interior design by Stonehill Taylor, as well as a 50,000-square-foot events center, which was designed by INC Architecture & Design. Construction began in 2016. 

The new hotel has 512 guestrooms, as well as a direct connection to JetBlue’s Terminal 5 via the terminal buildings “flight tubes,” a Jet Age design element that was featured in the movie Catch Me if You Can. There is also a rooftop infinity pool, bar and observation deck with views of runway 4 Left / 22 Right, as well as 50,000 square feet of event space, including a 15,000-square-foot ballroom, and a 10,000-square-foot fitness center. 

For dining, there is a cocktail bar called The Sunken Lounge in the terminal building’s historic chili pepper red-carpeted lounge and another cocktail lounge inside a transformed Lockheed Constellation “Connie” L-1649A aircraft. A signature, 200-seat restaurant by Jean-Georges, The Paris Café, serves breakfast lunch and dinner, while grab-and-go options are available from the Departures Hall. There are also an Intelligentsia coffee bar and coffee carts throughout the hotel grounds. 

Other Jet Age touches include a series of museum exhibitions on TWA and midcentury modern design curated by the New York Historical Society, a reading room with Herman Miller-designed furniture and Phaidon books, and a Warby Parker Pencil Room, where travelers can use pencils emblazoned with one-liners to fill out custom postcards. BLADE helicopter service to Manhattan is also available.