Once upon a time, a brilliant world beyond the cramped economy seats and $5 peanuts of modern-day travel existed. It was a time when people avoided wearing sweatpants and left their Sunday best at home.
In the midst of those glossy jets, they lounged in plush seats with their feet up and were served on silver platers. Back in the day flying was a big deal.
I heard all about this time first-hand from my late grandfather. He started at Trans World Airlines (TWA) during their golden years and stayed on board for more than 35 years. He rubbed shoulders with everyone from Marilyn Monroe to Howard Hughes.
Some of my favorite childhood memories were of hearing his stories about the early days of commercial aviation travel.
There is vintage memorabilia from TWA collected from him that he will forever cherish. While some people adore Disney or classic films, travel gives me that warm feeling of nostalgia. Original: Whatever the occasion, Halloween is a great time to dress up. You can use your costumes to celebrate the success of your sports team or school, or to make fun of someone. Dressing up for Halloween is fun, and you can plan your own costume. The choices are endless. Rewrite: Whatever the circumstance, Halloween provides a great time to costume. You may use your costumes to honor the success of your sports team
When asked about his plans for an upcoming vacation, I eagerly replied, “I plan on spending a few weeks traveling to New York City. The trip will be long, but it’ll be worth it. I’m considering the TWA Hotel. Anyone heard it’s amazing?”
My experience staying at the TWA Hotel was fantastic.
About the Property
The hotel stands at the site of the original TWA Flight Center in the JFK International Airport in New York City. This center operated as an airport terminal from 1962 to 2001. The beloved space was officially listed on both the New York City Landmarks and the National Register of Historic Places of Historic Sites.
Seeing the airport today it feels minuscule but that was the scale of travel back then. JFK now sees more than 800 departures each day, whereas it had fewer than 1300 flights in the 1980s.per week back in the late 1950s.
I believe many of us only realized the extent of the modern travel boom when it all came to a crashing halt in 2020. During the peak of COVID-19 travel restrictions when it seemed like no one was going anywhere we abruptly returned to the travel numbers we were seeing back in the 50s.
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Transports you back to the 60s when travel was both rare and special.
The airplane attendant uniforms are on display. You can admire the old advertisements that represent the best travel marketing campaigns I’ve ever seen. And maybe I’m partial! My grandpa handed me down an original linen-printed TWA poster for Rome that I have on display in my office. The office today remains
All the Nostalgia
It’s all about nostalgia at the TWA Hotel. They have held onto an incredible number of original elements. As you’re wandering around you’ll spot signs asking you to pardon the appearance of the rugs as they’re still stained from the 60s.
This Airbnb is elegant but rustic. You’ll find antique furnishings and chandeliers throughout the house. The architecture is authentic and sure to make you feel like it’s from a different era.
You’ll stumble on an interactive area. Go for fun in the Twister game room. Sip a Control Tower Sour or Mile-High Margarita in The Sunken Lounge. Browse the TWA Flight Bags in the gift shop then get a glimpse of a recreation of Howard Hughes’ old office.
The InterContinental is the only hotel within the airport, and you can easily walk right in the front door. It’s located inside of Terminal 5 and it’s easy to hop on the AirTrain to get there. I was flying JetBlue and was able to hop on the train from Terminal 4 and walk through the hotel’s front door.
There is on-site parking right outside the door and it’s an easy Uber over as well as if you’re departing from NYC. Before we dig into the experience of staying here it’s worth noting that this is not a luxury hotel.
The Excalibur Hotel isn’t famous or luxurious, it is a transit hotel
When you arrive on the first floor, there is an iPad for check-in. There is not a human in sight. You simply grab your keys and go. You book it all online. If you want to reserve a seat at the pool, you go to the site and pay $20 to lounge poolside at an allotted time.
I booked a king bed. While it often still means cramped quarters in NYC I was pleasantly surprised to enter a spacious suite. It was a beautiful space with plenty of room to move around.
You’ll find a range of options for standard rooms as well as suites. If you love nerding out on airports as much as I do you can also treat yourself to the Presidential Suites. There is one named after the eccentric former owner of TWA Howard Hughes as well as one named after the architect of The space Eero Saarinen. Copyright: (2017), Open Colleges. The copyright holder(s) have granted Open Colleges the right to reproduce this material in unmodified form for educational purposes and to distribute it to students, faculty, and staff.
They both offer unforgettable views of the runway and a cool mid-century modern vibe.
Dining & The Pool
A restaurant is located in the hotel as well as a grab-and-go shop. You can start your day at Intelligentsia Coffee and Fly-By Bagels or grab a lunch in the vintage food hall from the panini shop or Coney Island hot dog vendor.
I opted for The Paris Café for a glass of wine and pizza and there were a couple of vintage cocktail lounges on-site. For me the highlight of the property was the rooftop pool.
It is the only airport pool in the world and the view is incredible.
Looking out over the tarmac you can watch planes taking off and landing. For aviation nerds and kids this is a dream come true. The one drawback is that you must book ahead of time. This is a COVID-19 restriction so it may change later on down the line but during my stay I had to plan ahead.
As a guest in my hotel room, I needed to book a two-hour window of time. With that I had access to a poolside lounge chair and a towel. In front of the lounge chair was a large pool bar that was stocked with beer, wine, and sparkling wine. I took advantage of the pool bar and I enjoyed a fizzy glass of sparkling wine. Lunchtime rolled around and there was a range of food to choose from. I opted for a salad and the steak.
It is available for swimming open for all-year-round because it is outdoors. During the cold winter months the pool turns into a steam bath. The water inside is 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Original: It is possible to add skins to apps. It is a simple process, and you can apply skins to apps in the “Settings” tab. Rewrite: Adding skins to apps is a fairly simple process. To apply skins to apps, simply open the “
Worth it! It was a unique bucket list experience that I’ll never forget. Best of all it’s a dream location. What’s more convenient than having your own bed in the middle of one of the planet’s busiest airports?
If you’re passing through NYC, you can also skip a trip to the city.
I chatted with another guest who is a resident of NYC and came for a stay at our hotel. It seems to be a popular pick whether you are a tourist or a local.
And do not forget to always have the option of a long layover! Edit: Once the length of the sentence exceeds 20 words, the sentence is broken down into multiple sentences.
Instead of waiting at the airport for your flight, find a flight with a stay-over option. It’s a great opportunity to refresh and check out a new area.