I’ve Never Been This Excited About An Airport Hotel Before!

Filed Under: Hotels

Update: Here’s my review of the TWA Hotel JFK.

It’s not often that I get excited about airport hotels, though perhaps the most anticipated airport hotel ever started accepting reservations yesterday.

The TWA Hotel JFK

The TWA Hotel JFK has been undergoing construction for more than two years, and will finally be opening on May 15, 2019. It’s located in JFK’s former TWA Flight Center, which was designed in 1962, and in 1994 was declared a city landmark.

It’s located next to Terminal 5 at JFK, so will be super convenient for JetBlue passengers. It will also be the only JFK airport hotel actually connected to the airport, and accessible from all terminals with the AirTrain.

But it’s not convenience that will draw many people to this hotel, but rather just how damn awesome it looks.

This 512 room hotel will have six restaurants (including Paris Cafe by Jean-Georges), eight bars, a 10,000 square foot rooftop observation deck with pool, a 10,000 square foot fitness facility, a TWA museum, and a departures flip-board.

This hotel simply looks like an aviation geek’s dream.

The hotel is now accepting reservations

If you’re as interested as I am in the hotel, the TWA Hotel JFK is now accepting reservations for stays as of May 15, 2019. Rates are quite reasonable, and start at $215 per night for an advance purchase rate.

Interestingly premium rooms aren’t that much more. An executive suite with historic TWA view is $278 per night, by comparison.

The fascinating business case for this hotel

As an aviation geek I absolutely love this hotel, and I’ll gladly forego points to stay here.. This is easily one of the coolest things ever, as far as I’m concerned.

But I still question the business case for this.

Yes, there’s absolutely merit to an airport hotel located on the premises at JFK. All the other airport hotels are basically awful, so to have this much capacity added directly to JFK is great news for travelers.

That being said, how many travelers will actually appreciate how damn awesome this hotel is? Most people booking an airport hotel want a clean, comfortable hotel that’s as reasonably priced as possible. And when I think of the JFK airport hotel options, I think of just how bad most of them are. Clearly that’s simply because there hasn’t been room in the market for anything bigger.

So assuming this hotel will actually have good service and be as incredible-looking as it seems, will they be able to command a sufficient price premium for it long-term, especially since they have 500+ rooms? Or was the TWA theme the only way they could get permission to build a hotel in this historic terminal?

Regardless, I love this hotel, and am so excited to stay here.

Bottom line

Ford is going to be thrilled when I propose that our next vacation should be in Jamaica… Queens. But seriously, this hotel looks so awesome, and I can’t wait to check it out. If it’s half as cool as I imagine it’ll be, I’m going to be a very happy camper.

Do you plan on checking out the TWA Hotel JFK? Do you think there’s a business case for this type of hotel, and that the average person will be willing to pay a premium to stay at an airport hotel this cool?

  1. Wondered for a long time why you havn’t talked about this hotel ever.Just the Lockheed Constellation turned into cocktail lounge is worth a vist.And for movie fans:Catch me if you can.

  2. American fixation with mid century (twentieth) reminds me of our British obsession with all things Edwardian. It is from the golden years when you were the Superpower at your Cultural and Economic zenith.

  3. Made our reservations yesterday. Should be a nice place to stay before our flight to Frankfurt on Singapore.

  4. My wife totally doesn’t get why I want to stay at an airport hotel traveling from NJ to JFK without taking a flight.

  5. Wow didn’t know about this, looks awesome and as luck would have it I’m flying into JFK the 16th and overnighting before a flight out the morning of the 17th and just booked a room.

  6. @ Audley

    “…reminds me of our British obsession with all things Edwardian”.

    Speak for yourself, mate.

  7. I booked for the opening night on May 15th. As an avgeek, a hotel geek, and a collector of mid century modern this is like the perfect dream property. I imagine the entire first night will be a complete an utter geek fest throughout. I think some of the blogs should get together to arrange a party.

    I am surprised at the rates. I mean, the horrid Hilton JFK is usually more expensive than they are charging. I assume this is a soft opening and some of the offerings will not be ready.

  8. The TWA Terminal is to today’s airports like Dubai or Beijing as The 747 is to an A380. No comparison. Checking in, having a drink at the Constellation Club, walking that iconic red carpet to the gate and boarding a 747 for Paris or London – talk about your golden years of aviation! I would take that over an inflight shower any day! It’s a National Historic Landmark for a reason.

  9. @travel4b. I agree. The only comparison is Dulles which is my hometown airport. Even with all its quirks and impracticalities it still fills me with joy after all these years driving the access road and rounding the corner where that amazing building comes into view. The TWA terminal is even more dramatic but was buried in the mess of design with the other terminals at JFK. Thank god they preserved it.

  10. Perhaps I’m too fond of Hyatt, but the Grand Hyatt DFW is hard to beat. Attached to terminal D and about a 5 minute stroll from the Centurion – I love it. Awesome runway views, superb Hyatt service and food…no wonder it’s one of the few non-Park Hyatts I’ve never had a gripe with…the TWA stuff is cute – let’s see how it holds up.

  11. “But I still question the business case for this.

    Most people booking an airport hotel want a clean, comfortable hotel that’s as reasonably priced as possible. And when I think of the JFK airport hotel options, I think of just how bad most of them are. Clearly that’s simply because there hasn’t been room in the market for anything bigger.”

    I’m not sure what your logic is here. On the one hand, all existing options are horrible. On the other hand, this beautiful, classy, large new hotel, which will be the ONLY hotel on the airport grounds, won’t have a market? Why on earth not?

    If they do it right, this place will be the only hotel that anyone with a few coins in their pocket will choose for an overnight at JFK.

  12. This makes JFK a much more compelling place to transfer . . . while AA and DL are slashing their overseas schedules.

  13. Agree with JakePB. GH DFW will be hard to top (bummed it’s jumping a category).

    They should have gone with a TSA themed hotel instead. You get needlessly corralled and probed at check-in by unpaid front desk staff. If you pay $85 you can keep your shoes on.

  14. I remember flying through the TWA airport terminal as a kid going to Paris and Cairo with my grandmother in the 90s (when the glory was fading). I am SO EXCITED to see it!

  15. Where are the actual rooms for this hotel? The original structure doesn’t look like it has space for anything like 500 rooms. Did they build a new wing or tower? Where is it located?

  16. I will visit the hotel when I am at JFK, but I am not sure if I want to stay there. It’s probably for people who have a long layover in NY. JFK doesn’t have a direct subway line to Manhattan and it takes 3 connections (over an hour of ride) to get there. This will be too inconvenient for most people visiting NY.

  17. Ah … the memories! Flying on TWA from BOS to IND with a plane change at IDL (yep, it was Idelwild when I first took the trek) in a brand new B727. Rushing off the plane at IDL to head to the bar (upper level, right hand side of the terminal) to quickly throw back a couple of whiskey sours (I was over 18 but under 21, and NY’s drinking age was then 18) before getting on my connection to IND (and trying to hide my inebriation from my father upon landing at IND). It was love at first visit to that terminal. Years later, I relished hanging out in the Ambassador Club before my transcons back to SFO. Now the challenge is for this old avgeek retiree to convince his wife that we need to go to the NYC area just to grab a night or two at the TWA Hotel!!!

  18. @mg “Where are the actual rooms for this hotel? The original structure doesn’t look like it has space for anything like 500 rooms. Did they build a new wing or tower? Where is it located?”

    If you click around the hotel website, there’s a time-lapse video of the structure going up. It’s a huge block-shaped building right behind the old iconic terminal building.

  19. Just made my reservation over the summer – this place actually makes me WANT to transfer at JFK (not something I ever thought I would say)… Cannot wait!

    @mg, they built two new wings around the original terminal building that hold the rooms – the entire original terminal building is public space – lobby, bars, restaurants, hence it will be the largest hotel lobby on earth.

  20. @ Kerry not quite the largest lobby. Have you been to the marina bay in Singapore or any hotel in Las Vegas ? Nonetheless it will be iconic

  21. NOOOOOOOO!!! I fly out May 14 from JFK and would have booked this immediately if it were two days earlier. Would have been perfect! Oh well…

  22. Just booked a room at this hotel earlier today!

    I have so many fond memories of flying TWA in and out of this terminal in the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s. My first ever 747 flight was on a just-delivered TWA jumbo from JFK to Paris in 1970. (The inflight movie was Summer of ’42) It was a whole different world…

    I predict this hotel will be a huge success.

  23. Should have added to my earlier post (for those interested)

    Thursday, October 03, 2019
    Room Type Executive Double Queen Suite With Runway View
    Rate USD 319.00 + taxes and fees

  24. I booked immediately after it went live. We are staying for a night before spending the summer in Europe. This will be a great way to start the trip!

  25. Awesome!!! But they have to work on their background window images, the Deluxe Double Queen With Runway View for example has the plane pic they used mirrored lol. I like they placed the Lufthansa A388 with the old livery. Thank you for this article and i can t wait to read your review and stay there by myself.

  26. I think there is a business case to have this hotel at JFK; especially if htey have 6-hour or 12-hour options (best for those transiting at JFK with long layovers.)

  27. We love TWA my brother worked at JFK for 45 years.
    We are looking forward to this special day and renew our memories.

  28. I definitely plan on checking this out… hopefully within a year!!! Looking forward to plane spotting, too!!!

  29. Yes! I’m booked. This is one of the very few times that I will schlep out to Queens from Manhattan and not be catching a flight.

  30. I always wondered why JFK did not have a on-premises hotel, being a major airport. The current so-called airport hotels are crap and not in the least convenient to access. For this reason I avoided a long JFK transit between flights. No more~ count me in! In fact I may need a 2 night booking to really enjoy this place! A masterstroke!
    (Is it affiliated with any chain where rewards are on the table?)

  31. I despise JFK and will do anything to avoid it but might actually plan a connection because I totally agree that this is the coolest thing ever.

  32. @Glen. No affiliation. But the property is so unique who cares.

    I have been watching this develop the past few years and am so excited. I mean, wow, a restored Lockheed Constellation as a bar?

    You can grab points at the Hilton a mile away though. And enjoy, well, nothing, lol.

  33. @Stuart. Agree; happy to pass on rewards here. Looks great, and cost not too bad. Looking forward to staying.

  34. @glenn Seriously, yeah. I am shocked that there are still rooms available for the opening night, which is when I am booked. This is one of the most exciting hotel openings in the U.S. in a long time. And the rates are pretty much the same as the Hilton a mile away.

  35. Booked for May 18th, you guys will think I’m crazy flying all the way from HNL to JFK to do this but such is the life of a die-hard AV Geek. So excited to stay at this hotel, thanks Lucky!

  36. Presumably they’ll cut deals with a few carriers for canceled flights – at least for passengers in premium classes.

    Then you have people who miss the last flight of the day.

    Weather delays/airport closure.

    People who live in Westchester and Fairfield counties who have very early flights and don’t want to deal with traffic or getting up at 3 am to make a flight. I wouldn’t underestimate that market.

    Meetings at the airport – people can fly in for a conference, likely arriving the night before.

    Student and other groups gathering prior to study abroad or other educational trips.

    I think there is a very compelling business case, especially as the hotel is likely to be flagged by one of the majors, either because it is under-performing and needs a boost, or because it is performing very well and is an attractive opportunity.

    I believe that they are playing this really well.

  37. @Icarus – I was quoting the hotel’s own claim that it’s 200,000 Sq Ft lobby will be the largest in the world – I have been to the Marina Bay Sands many times, it’s impressive but I’d imagine the entirety of the TWA terminal will be far larger. Either way, will be impressive!

  38. So excited! Curious why you’re questioning the business case. Between business travelers, stranded travelers, AvGeek/nostalgic types, airline crews, locals (like me) from across the NY metro area departing on early-morning flights, the lack of any decent hotel options around JFK, and the meetings/conventions market, it seems like a slam-dunk to me.

  39. Let’s see, pay $180 for a Hampton Inn where you have to take the AirTrain to a terminal and wait for 30 minutes for the shuttle bus to show up, and then do it all again the next day?

    Or get out of customs, take the Air Train to the Jet Blue Terminal and stay in an iconic building I have been fascinated with since the 60’s for $20-$50 more?

    No brainer.

    Can’t wait for your review!

  40. @Lucky – Is the only way to book this directly through the hotel website? I don’t see it on Orbitz of Hotels.com.

  41. Airport or Airport adjacent hotels must be in vogue. A new property opened up adjacent to DIA in Denver. It has a “lazy river” open year around and an outdoor heated pool that is heated year around. This property also has many restaurants. It is such a destination Hotel managed by Gaylord that I am taking my grandchildren there and they live just a few miles from the property.

  42. So excited about trying this new hotel! I stayed at the BLOC airport hotel about 3 yrs ago at the Gatwick airport outside London. I was totally fascinated with the first in airport hotel I ever had the pleasure of staying. So convenient to wake up to bustling airport corridors outside the doors with quick access to coffee, shops, connecting planes and trains. The room was soundproof with amazing views, high tech with all room controls via the room’s wall ipad. The cost was perfect, no complaints at all.- super quiet and clean.

  43. I am so excited…booked for October… TWA Silver Wings convention to be held there….this was my home away from home for most of the 21 years I was a TWA Flight Attendant and Purser!!

  44. Originally I was just going to stop by for a drink at the hotel but finally bit the bullet and made a hotel reservation. I’m quite surprised the first evening is not sold out. However, for the next evening (May 16 to 17) it seems fully booked with the exception of 2 hotel suites: the Howard Hughes suite priced at $1139 and the Eero Saarinen suite priced at $1039! These suites seem to be priced a lot higher than the other suites mentioned in your article. It’s interesting because in the website, both suites have the same stock photos. Would be interesting to see what these suites are all about!

  45. They should have some sort of reward program, Hilton Honors, Choice Privileges, something. Or even just miles in a few airlines, like DL, UA, AA, AS, B6, BA, SQ, AF/KL.

  46. @Derek seems not to be able to comprehend that a desirable hotel does not belong to some hotel chain or another. It is doing well enough to be independent, following it’s own unique path.
    Totally fine with me! Booked to stay on 26th of this month, using (gasp~ don’t faint) , cash!! Or AMEX anyway…

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