The Only Hotel Opening Next Year I’m Genuinely Excited For

A couple of days ago the developers of the new TWA Hotel unveiled a model guest room for the property that opens next year. It’s not inside the old TWA terminal itself (yet). Instead the guest room and hotel hallway are inside a vacant hangar at JFK Airport’s Building 87.

Inside the building is Jack Frye’s desk and chair, he was President of TWA from 1934 to 1947. They’ve even got TWA fire extinguishers. Yes the hotel will have a TWA museum.

The hotel is a redevelopment of the TWA Flight Center terminal at New York JFK designed by Eero Saarinen which opened in 1962. The hotel is “inspired “by the year 1962.” I’m a fan of midcentury modern architecture and design, maybe just because it was reflected in the home I grew up in so it’s very comfortable for me.

Credit: MCR and MORSE Development

The hotel is on JFK airport property, but they say it will keep out sound exceptionally well, that its glass curtain wall is the second-thickest in the world. The hotel’s 505 guest rooms (22 suites) will feature an Eero Saarinen-designed Womb Chair and Saarinen Pedestal tulip side table which will house a 1950s-style telephone.

Credit: MCR and MORSE Development

Credit: MCR and MORSE Development

Credit: MCR and MORSE Development

Credit: MCR and MORSE Development

Credit: MCR and MORSE Development

There will be 8 restaurants, 6 bars, and a 10,000 square foot public observation deck as well. Ultimately the property should be most accessible to the JetBlue terminal at JFK.

The room looks small. I won’t have any elite status to get into a suite. But the aviation geek in me can’t think of much better than staying at a hotel build from the repurposing of the TWA terminal in New York.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. USA Today showed a picture of one of the rotary dial telephones in the rooms. I wonder if it will come with instructions on how to use them. But rooms looks small, but not NY small.

    A 500+ room hotel sounds rather ambitious. By comparison the Grand Hyatt DFW has just under 300 rooms.

  2. Yes, this TWA Hotel for sure is the most exciting thing to happen at JFK since practically forever – and certainly since JetBlue was launched!!!

    Sorry, Delta, JetBlue or American…your new/newish terminals are functional but otherwise NOTHING special even if they cost far more than they should’ve for so much of “nothing special”…

    So, it that much more exciting to see this happening at JFK now because so many of that airport’s extraordinary art and architectural treasures, were heartlessly destroyed, such as IM Pei’s stunning “Sundrome” (nb: aka Terminal 6) for OG National Airlines, and even worse, American Airlines’ outrageous destruction of one of the greatest pieces of stained glass artwork, Robert Sowers’s breathtaking 327-foot long, 23-foot high mosaic for reasons that the $1 million price tag to preserve and save it was “too high” DESPITE the fact that AA received $800 million in taxpayer financed/government subsidized, tax exempt loans that has saved it tens of millions and more in interest expenses that most other private companies NEVER have a chance to benefit from on the scope and scale that AA does for its operations at JFK Airport.

    To wit, American Airlines also benefits from an extraordinary array of sales tax exemptions at JFK Airport that arise from exemptions commonly available to airlines for their operations within New York State, PLUS other special exemptions that attached with this airline’s use of IDA (short for Industrial Development Agency in the past, but now called by other “special purpose” names that fit various state and local economic development programs/entities) that originated from research I did for other airline clients NOT AA.

    [SIDEBAR/DISCLAMIER: I did NOT participate on the AA assignment…even if my research did…long story, another time 😉 but to be clear: AA was NOT, repeat NOT, aware of the author of research that was presented to them, and therefore is NOT in any way, shape of form, responsible for coming into possession of the innovative research that resulted from my work on other prior assignments where, in the course of the research I was doing, and while I was exploring the universe of technical tax research, the marrying of my extensive education in urban development/planning, featuring extensive research and academic internships regarding public-private partnerships incorporating public financing and other special exemptions (e.g., tax abatements, tax increment financing/phasing, etc.), and including a 40+ page thesis analyzing the use of an Urban Development Action Grant by New York City to build the Marriott Marquis Hotel in the early 1980s when Times Square was at its nadir, resulted in the proverbial “light bulb” going off where the concept, and then the significantly broadened array of items eligible for sales tax exemptions (that were later validated by NY State Taxation & Finance Dept.) was “born”.]

    And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming…

    So, it’s all the more frustrating that despite receiving hundreds of millions of taxpayer cash, and yet still benefitting from extremely valuable taxpayer funded/government subsidized exemptions, that AA shamefully destroyed one of the greatest, and indeed for a long time, the largest of its kind in the world, stained glass mosaic bacause they couldn’t spare $1 million of the $800 they got feeding at the public trough.

    What a travesty!

    Anyhow, and ending on a positive note (!) the pics of the upcoming TWA Hotel, which, btw, will also include a rooftop pool AND a restored Lockheed Constellation, or “Connie”, too, is a refreshing, and very much welcome, addition to an otherwise underwhelming, uninspired airport that people go to because they HAVE to – not because they WANT to!

    …but if the TWA Hotel lives up to what’s been seen to date this week, and from other photos last year when they also staged a mock-up at the World Trade Center, then WOW! WOW! WOW! this hotel sure could make going to JFK Airport WORTH WANTING TO GO TO!!!

    …I’m already gagging over those TWA logo’d toiletry kits, tumblers and slippers – not to mention dying to get my paws on a few of those!!! 😉

    And HOLLA!!! – NO CHEAP as (- – – – ), nasty, unsanitary, wall mounted soap and shampoo dispensers here…THANK GOODNESS!!!

  3. I think I will have to try it should be a great novelty experience back in time to the good old days
    My only regret is no affiliation with a major hotel program so it will likely be a one time thing for novelty sake
    I was a child when I flew out of that original TWA terminal and lived in New York!

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