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Fly Me to the Moon from the TWA Hotel

Step back to the 1960s. When flying was glamorous.

By victoria patricoloPublished 3 years ago 4 min read
The Sunken Lounge - The TWA Hotel - JFK International Airport, New York

I recently had the opportunity to visit the TWA Hotel, conveniently located at Terminal 5 - JFK International Airport. While there the strangest thing happened. I was sitting at The Sunken Lounge minding my own business, sipping a specialty cocktail, Vodka is My Copilot (Vodka, Dry Vermouth & Olives). I was enjoying the 1960’s ambiance of the hotel lobby when out of nowhere Don Draper walks up. He was styling a slick haircut, thin black tie, and slimming gray suit.  His trench coat was casually draped over his left arm and a briefcase in the other. Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon” was playing in the background.  He walked up and took a seat at my table. Looking everywhere but directly at me, he lit up a cigarette, took a sip of scotch, and said. “ If you don’t like what is being said, then change the conversation.”  I gazed at him with disbelief, as I took a sip of my cocktail, the large flight board began to flap. Flight numbers and their destinations appeared on the screen. Don Draper got up, checked his watch, picked up his briefcase, and disappeared through the long oval tube to catch his flight. 

Ok, so this is not an episode of Madmen. But, it is the feeling you get when visiting the TWA Hotel. The original terminal was designed by Eero Saarinen in 1962. TWA was an airline owned by eccentric Howard Hughes. The TWA Hotel opened its doors in 2019 after years of renovations and the genius partnership of MC/MORSE Development.  500 newly built hotel rooms flank the hotel lobby, 50,000 square feet of meeting space, and a heated rooftop infinity pool that overlooks one of the longest runways in the United States.

I have been wanting to visit this hotel for quite some time. I love the concept and the environment. As you pull up to the hotel you can’t help but notice its bird-like shape. With its graceful wings and long beak extended towards the sky.  Every detail you can imagine has been put into this property. From the TWA drink stirrers to the font of the logo. 

There are trendy lounges and restaurants, large expansive windows, direct access to Terminal 5. Then there’s Connie, Lockheed Constellation Airplane commissioned, by Howard Hughes in 1939. Connie has had a long history. In 1946 she broke the transcontinental speed record on a flight from CA to NY.   She served as Air Force One for President Dwight D. Eisenhower. In 2018 she was restored to her original condition down to the paint. She has now been reimagined and has found her permanent home as a cocktail lounge. A view of Connie can be seen right outside the hotel lobby. 

Throughout the lobby, there are historical references to a time, when air travel was glamorous when women wouldn’t dare leave home without a pair of white gloves, and men always wore a hat and suit. Flight attendants’ stylish uniforms are on display in the common areas. Along with antique luggage vehicles and a re-creation of a 1962 living room. Posters of dreamy destinations and shiny landline payphones line the hallways.  

If you’re leaving your car at the terminal there are hourly, overnight, and Park and Fly rates. Have a layover between flights? Choose a Day Stay and reset your circadian rhythm. Go to the gym, grab a drink, have a meal, take a swim.  In the winter months, there is even an ice skating rink and in the warmer months, it becomes a roller skating rink. Have a morning flight? Start your vacation early and check into the TWA Hotel the night before. Gift Cards are also available, perhaps you know someone who loves all things about flight and wants to experience this hotel for its history. This is a unique experience and the only one of its kind. 

Location: Terminal 5, JFK International Airport, Queens, NY.

Restaurants and Lounges: 

**Some restaurants and lounges may be closed due to Covid-19 protocols. Please call in advance or check the website for up-to-date information.

  • Paris Cafe’ by Jean-Georges - Historic cafe’ located in the heart of the Terminal. It Opens Wed March 24, 2021. Wed-Sun. Reservations suggested. 
  • The Sunken Lounge - Offering retro cocktails, windows look out on to “Connie” plane, and an overhead split-flap departure board. Historical note: Crowds gathered here in 1965 to watch the arrival of The Beatles. 
  • Runway Chalet - Located at the Rooftop Pool. 
  • Connie Cocktail Lounge - Located on the Hotel’s tarmac. Step back in time to 1958. Have a drink on this historic plane. 
  • Food Hall - Assortment of eateries offering everything from sandwiches, salads, crepes, bagels, and ice cream. 
  • Intelligentsia Coffee - Exclusive coffee provider of the TWA Hotel. 


**Some shops may be temporarily closed due to Covid-19. Please call in advance or check the website for up-to-date information.

  • The TWA Shop - Offering a range of unique TWA Hotel souvenirs 
  • Shinola - Handcrafted luxury watches. 
  • Reading Room - The world’s premier publisher of illustrated books and iconic design company of Herman Miller along with the TWA Hotel created this library/bookstore that embodies 1960’s modern elegance. 
  • TWA Gift Cards - Purchase online.

Room Categories:

Room features include - Ultra-quiet floor-to-ceiling windows | Authentic Eero Saarinen-designed mid-century modern Knoll furnishings | Luxurious bedding | 50 to 65 inch HDTV | Extra large bath towels | Custom bath amenities | Pets welcomed for an additional fee. 

  • Howard Hughes Presidential Suite with Runway View 
  • The Eero Saarinen Presidential Suite with Historic TWA View. 
  • Executive Double Queen Suite with Runway View.
  • Executive King Suite with Runway View.
  • Executive King Suite with Historic TWA View.
  • Executive King Suite.
  • Deluxe Double Queen with Runway View.
  • Deluxe Double Queen with Historic TWA View.
  • Deluxe Double Queen.
  • Deluxe King with Runway View.
  • Deluxe King with Historic TWA View.
  • Deluxe King.
  • Standard Double Queen.
  • Standard King. 
  • Accessible Rooms are available with views. 


  • During construction of the resort, 74000 cubic feet of sand was donated to the National Park Service for Spring Creek Park in Jamaica, NY. 
  • Custom-built millwork by expert Amish woodworkers (family-owned business) Highland Wood Products of Millersburg. Used for the walnut bars and tambour walls throughout the hotel. 
  • Restoration of the 1939 Connie-Lockheed Constellation airplane. 

If you enjoyed this article, please visit my blog ConsciousTraveler.CO. We explore sustainable luxury resorts, unique experiences, travel tips and trends. Explore, Shop and View Deals.


About the Creator

victoria patricolo

In April, 2020. I launched ConsciousTraveler.CO. A travel blog focused on sustainable luxury tourism, unique experiences, travel tips and trends. I hope to inspire people to travel again...so much depends on it.

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    victoria patricoloWritten by victoria patricolo

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