TWA Hotel is a hotel at John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, New York, United States, that opened on May 15, 2019.[1] It utilizes the headhouse of the TWA Flight Center airline terminal, designed in 1962 by the architect Eero Saarinen. The TWA Hotel project added two buildings on either side of the existing headhouse.

TWA Hotel
TWA Hotel Logo.png
TWA Hotel at JFK Airport, New York City 20190521-jag9889.jpg
TWA Hotel building with Constellation Starliner aircraft, in 2019
General information
Town or cityNew York City
Coordinates40°38′45″N 73°46′40″W / 40.64576°N 73.77771°W / 40.64576; -73.77771Coordinates: 40°38′45″N 73°46′40″W / 40.64576°N 73.77771°W / 40.64576; -73.77771
GroundbreakingDecember 15, 2016; 3 years ago (2016-12-15)
CompletedEarly 2019
OpenedMay 15, 2019; 9 months ago (2019-05-15)
Design and construction
Architecture firmBeyer Blinder Belle/Lubrano Ciavarra Architects
Other designersStonehill Taylor (hotel rooms)
INC Architecture and Design (basement event space)
Other information
Number of rooms512
Number of restaurants6


In 1994, the terminal was declared a city landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, which prevented its demolition. In 2005, the National Park Service listed it on the National Register of Historic Places.[2] The boarding gates were demolished following the construction of Terminal 5, which is occupied by JetBlue Airways.[3] In April 2015, The Wall Street Journal reported that JetBlue and its partner, a hotel developer, were negotiating for the rights to turn the head house into a hotel.[4] In July 2015, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo confirmed that the Saarinen building would be converted into a new on-site hotel for the airport's passengers.[5]

Groundbreaking took place on December 15, 2016, in a ceremony attended by Governor Cuomo, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, and former employees of Trans World Airlines.[6] A topping out ceremony for the hotel's first tower was held in December 2017,[7][8] followed by the topping out of the second tower in March 2018.[9] The next month, a model hotel room built inside a JFK Airport hangar was shown to the press.[10]

Model poses as stewardess in Times Square during the transportation of the hotel's Lockheed L-1649 Starliner

That October, a Lockheed Constellation L-1649 Starliner was shipped to the hotel site for conversion into a cocktail bar. The Starliner arrived at the hotel site at the end of November 2018.[11][12] In March it was displayed in Times Square.[13][14]

The hotel started taking reservations in February 2019[15] in advance of a May opening.[1][16] The hotel opened on May 15, 2019.[17][18][19]


Front view of the TWA Hotel from a nearby parking lot; the AirTrain JFK track is in the foreground
TWA Hotel lounge area

Morse Development developed the site along with MCR, which operates middle-to-budget hotels in the United States. It is the only hotel operating within the boundaries of JFK Airport.[20] Beyer Blinder Belle is the architectural firm responsible for renovating the terminal, while Lubrano Ciavarra Architects is the firm designing the two new buildings.[2][21] Stonehill Taylor designed the hotel rooms,[22][23][24] and INC Architecture and Design designed the underground event space with 45 meeting rooms and a 7,000-square-foot (650 m2) meeting hall.[23][24]

The two buildings contain a total of 512 rooms between them,[25] as well as conference space, six to eight restaurants, and an aviation history museum.[2] There is a rooftop infinity swimming pool[1] and an observation deck with 10,000 square feet (930 m2) of floor space.[26][25] The developers have a 75-year lease with the state.[6] Many of the TWA Flight Center's original details, such as the custom ceramic floor tiles and the 486 variously-shaped window panels, were replaced with replicas of the originals.[26][27] These details were intended to give the hotel a 1960s-era vibe, and include brass lighting, walnut-accented furnishings, and rotary phones. The hallways contain red carpeting, evocative of the color of the furniture in the original TWA lounge. However, the rooms also contain modern amenities such as blackout curtains and multiple-pane soundproof windows.[27][25] The large departure board, a split-flap display made in Italy by Solari di Udine [it] and which has been a feature of the building since the Flight Center's opening in 1962, was fully restored as part of the hotel project.[1] The TWA Hotel also includes a cocktail lounge installed inside a preserved Lockheed L-1649 Starliner, the last model of the Lockheed Constellation line of airliners; the lounge is nicknamed "Connie".[11][12] The hotel includes the Paris Café, a Jean-Georges Vongerichten restaurant, as well.[28]

During construction, a sales office and exhibition center, located on the 86th floor of One World Trade Center,[2] was occasionally opened to the public.[21]

Critical receptionEdit

In the September 2-9, 2019, issue of Time, the hotel made the magazine's list of "The Worlds Greatest Places of 2019".[29] The hotel was featured as the cover story in Interior Design magazine's September 2019 issue.[30]


  1. ^ a b c d "Up, up and away at the TWA Hotel". CBS News. May 12, 2019. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d Gannon, Devin (September 29, 2017). "New details about JFK's TWA Hotel revealed, on track to open in 18 months". 6sqft. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  3. ^ "Gensler Designing Jet Blue Terminal at JFK Airport". Architectural Record, August 10, 2004.
  4. ^ Karmin, Craig (April 14, 2015). "JetBlue Wants to Turn Former TWA Terminal Into Hotel". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved April 18, 2015.
  5. ^ Governor's Press Office (July 27, 2015). "Governor Cuomo Unveils Vision for Transformative Redesign of LaGuardia Airport" (Press release). State of New York. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
  6. ^ a b Plitt, Amy (December 15, 2016). "TWA Terminal hotel celebrates groundbreaking with a new rendering". Curbed NY. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  7. ^ "TWA hotel at JFK Airport tops out". Queens Chronicle. December 21, 2017. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  8. ^ "Hotel Transformation of Saarinen's TWA Terminal Tops Out". ArchDaily. December 17, 2017. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  9. ^ "TWA hotel's second tower tops out at JFK". Queens Chronicle. March 29, 2018. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  10. ^ Plitt, Amy. "First look inside the TWA Hotel's sleek, midcentury-inspired rooms". Curbed. Retrieved April 22, 2018.
  11. ^ a b Mauceri, Joe (November 29, 2018). "Vintage plane arrives at JFK, will be converted into retro cocktail lounge". WPIX 11 New York. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  12. ^ a b Fox, Alison (November 29, 2018). "Sneak peek at TWA plane tapped for cocktail lounge". am New York. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  13. ^ "Rare Lockheed plane in Auburn getting a new life – as a cocktail lounge". Press Herald. October 8, 2018. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
  14. ^ "Constellation jet gets a flat during journey to JFK - Lewiston Sun Journal". Lewiston Sun Journal. October 10, 2018. Retrieved October 13, 2018.
  15. ^ Potter, Everett (February 10, 2019). "JFK's TWA Hotel is Now Taking Reservations". Forbes. Retrieved February 25, 2019.
  16. ^ Jasta, Happy (February 22, 2019). "TWA Hotel to Open in New York City's JFK Airport in May This Year". HomeCrux. Retrieved February 25, 2019.
  17. ^ "The TWA Hotel Takes Flight at J.F.K." The New York Times. May 15, 2019. Retrieved May 18, 2019.
  18. ^ "The TWA Hotel opens at JFK". May 16, 2019. Retrieved May 18, 2019.
  19. ^ "What's Old Is New Again: TWA Hotel Opens At JFK Airport". CBS New York. May 15, 2019. Retrieved May 18, 2019.
  20. ^ Matthews, Karen (October 12, 2017). "Hotel at iconic TWA terminal will evoke glamour of jet age". USA TODAY. Retrieved December 26, 2017 – via Associated Press.
  21. ^ a b Plitt, Amy (September 29, 2017). "TWA Hotel unveils new renderings, retro-themed sales lounge". Curbed NY. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  22. ^ "Peek Inside the New TWA Hotel in Eero Saarinen's JFK Airport Terminal". Architectural Digest. Retrieved September 1, 2019.
  23. ^ a b "The TWA Hotel's Interiors Aim to Recapture Midcentury Glam". Metropolis. May 28, 2019. Retrieved September 1, 2019.
  24. ^ a b Firshein, Sarah (July 23, 2019). "How the TWA Terminal, a midcentury icon, became one of NYC's coolest new hotels". Curbed NY. Retrieved September 1, 2019.
  25. ^ a b c Brown, Genevieve Shaw (April 17, 2018). "Step inside the brand new TWA hotel at JFK airport in New York City". ABC News. Retrieved April 18, 2018.
  26. ^ a b Grabar, Henry (May 1, 2017). "Jet-Age Chic". The Atlantic. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  27. ^ a b Plitt, Amy (April 17, 2018). "TWA Hotel's rooms will combine the best of '60s style: first look". Curbed NY. Retrieved April 18, 2018.
  28. ^ Vianna, Carla (May 15, 2019). "Inside the TWA Hotel's Over-the-Top, '60s Chic First Day". Eater NY. Retrieved June 21, 2019.
  29. ^ "Worlds Greatest Places 2019 - To Stay - TWA Hotel". Time. August 22, 2019. Retrieved September 19, 2019.
  30. ^ Giovannini, Joseph (September 19, 2019). "Beyer Blinder Belle, INC, Lubrano Ciavarra, and Stonehill Taylor Propel Eero Saarinen's TWA Flight Center into a 21st-Century Hotel". Interior Design. Retrieved October 3, 2019.

External linksEdit