Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 July 2019

Step back in time at New York's TWA Hotel

Housed in a terminal at JFK airport the TWA Hotel is a retro-filled step back in time to the golden age of jet travel

One of New York's most anticipated hotels opened its doors at John F Kennedy International Airport on Wednesday. The TWA Hotel was officially opened by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo who cut the ribbon officially declaring one of the city's most anticipated new hotel's open.

Click through the gallery above to see more photos of the throwback TWA Hotel.

Housed in the sprawling flight centre that was previously used as the Trans World Airlines terminal, the building was designed in 1962 by legendary Finnish architect Eero Saarinen. It was listed as an official city landmark in 1994 and the creation of the hotel has involved 22 government agencies and 170 companies.

Epitomising the optimism of the jet age, the sprawling terminal is now home to what is JFK Airport's only hotel. Two new buildings have been added to the space, directly behind the terminal, which will accommodate 512 guest bedrooms designed to reflect the thriving days of mid-century air travel.

To combat what could be serious flight noise at the busiest international passenger gateway into North America, each hotel room is insulated with a glass curtain wall that contains seven layers of sound-proofing materials. Designed with a retro-modern vibe, the rooms are fitted out with authentic Saarinen-designed mid-century furniture, rewired vintage rotary phones and Hollywood-style bathroom vanity units.

Food, fitness and rooftop vistas

Inside the flight centre there are six restaurants including The Paris Cafe by culinary star Jean-Georges Vongerichten. A restored version of the original Sunken Bar, beautifully recreated to honour Eero Saarinen's vision of the lounge, this is surely a place where if walls could speak they would have plenty to say. Having hosted a manner of political, celebrity and royal passengers in its hey-day, it is also where the Beatles touched down in 1965 ahead of their first New York gig. Fittingly, a flash mob entertained guests on opening day, taking to the terminal to dance to hit pop tunes from the 1960s.

Elsewhere, a cocktail lounge has been set into a 1958 Lockheed Constellation aircraft parked right outside the Sunken Lounge and guests can also grab a bite to from The Halal Guys, a company run by three Egyptian immigrants who rose to fame serving gyro and chicken from their Midtown Manhattan hot dog cart.

Up on the roof, a rooftop infinity pool that stretches across 20 metres will be open to hotel guests year-round. Chilled in the summer, it will be turned into a Jacuzzi-pool in winter when its filtered water will be heated to combat New York's chilly weather. An observation deck commands unique vistas of planes landing and departing on JFK's busy runway, and as far west as Jamaica Bay on the southern side of Long Island. Guests can also work out at the world's biggest hotel gym, spread across 10,000-square-feet.

Time travelling

A TWA billboard in New York's Times Square in 1959. Courtesy Ken Peacock / TWA hotel
A TWA billboard in New York's Times Square in 1959. Courtesy Ken Peacock / TWA hotel

Guests staying at the hotel will also be able to spend time taking a nostalgic trip down memory lane thanks to an exhibition carefully curated by the New York Historical Society.

Designed to pay tribute to the glory days of jet travel, it consists of over 2,000 artifacts including old crew uniforms and flight attendant logbooks, many of which were donated by former employees and their families. Toys and books distributed to junior TWA passengers and vintage furniture from the original TWA headquarters are also part of the exhibit.

At the moment, the hotel is accepting guest reservations but it will officially be in soft launch mode until later this year.

Updated: June 9, 2019 02:00 PM

SHARE

SHARE