While figuring out what to do during a ten-hour layover and minor snowstorm before a 15-hour flight to India, I decided to check out the TWA Hotel in the JFK Airport terminal in Queens, New York.
With over 500 guestrooms, including ones with a view of the runway where you can see flights taking off. I was able to get a day room stay from 8 a.m to 8 p.m. There are also overnight options available for long layovers.
The hotel opened in May 2019. It transports visitors to 1962 near the head house of the TWA Flight Center airline terminal designed by architect Eero Saarinen.
Walking into the structure you’re greeted by friendly staff in classic TWA airline attendant and pilot uniforms along with a red sunken in the seating area with a bar on each end. On one winding staircase is a museum area dedicated to original TWA staff clothes designed by Ralph Lauren and Valentino.
On the other winding staircase is the restaurant called Paris Café which serves food by chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. It serves everything from personal pizzas to a monster portion of fish and chips, varied types of burgers and full entrees featuring wagyu beef tenderloin, pork chops and salmon.
Passed the sunken lounge is the ice skating rink, a winter addition to the hotel. Right next to the rink is the Connie Cocktail Lounge. The TWA terminal was designed around the Lockheed Constellation, referred to as “Connie” for short, a beautiful quad-engine prop aircraft that became one of the first pressurized aircraft to go into widespread commercial service.
The plane turned lounge is a place to relax while sipping on vintage-inspired cocktails with a modern twist. We had the entire plane to ourselves, the perfect time to enjoy it happens to be during an impending snowstorm in the midst of January.
While flurries began to swirl, luckily the only delay I encountered was the cocktail of the called Weather Delay which included Belvedere Vodka, Hot Chocolate and tons of marshmallows. Other classic cocktails such as their version of a hot toddy, negroni and old fashioned were offered.
After you’ve had enough drinks you can catch the elevator to the rooftop where you’ll find the heated pool which was open even on a chilly pre-snow storm day. A covered bar that sits right next to the pool facing the runway where you can get a view of the planes.
Whether you want a good stiff drink, fulfilling meal, memorable selfie or just want to learn some history, the TWA museum is a gem for any traveler while in New York.