Around The Globe With Dr Ron: Fall 2019!September 3, 2019
Oxford, England Sunday September 8, 2019 and a lovely Sunday it was!September 9, 2019
Hello from the new TWA Hotel at JFK Airport in New York City, well on the edge of New York City in Queens. The new TWA Hotel is an almost complete makeover of the old TWA Terminal at JFK which attempts to embody the nostalgia for the heydey of TWA with the desire of modern travelers for hotel amenities. The Hotel is the only one where you can walk directly from Terminal 5 which is the JetBlue Terminal, take a short elevator ride and then a walk through a long red-carpeted tunnel and into the new hotel. If you arrive at another terminal you can take the free and convenient Air Train a short ride to terminal 5.
My root 706 is located in the “Sarrinen” wing of the hotel. The other wing, the Hughes wing is on the opposite side of the hotel. The entrance and the foyer area is meant to look just like it did when it functioned as the TWA Terminal. Throughout the hotel, there are reminders of its past function as an airline terminal with an original schedule board of flights all over the world displayed at the entrance to the hotel from the street level instead of from terminal 5. A magazine- stand with old magazines like “Life” etc. as well as a shoe-shine stand add to the nostalgia but perhaps the biggest nostalgia piece for me is the Lockheed Constellation Airplane or nick-named the “Connie” which took Howard Huges across the USA in the record time of 6 hours and 58 minutes. Stationed outside the hotel, visitors can walk around and in the Connie to get an idea of what air travel was like in the past. My older readers will recall a time when air travel was quite an event in one’s life and a rather grand affair with no security checks like today, no crowding of passengers, lots of legroom and delicious meals served onboard. Our planes today are certainly faster but the mystique of flying which the Connie embodied is non-existent today. Oh for the “old days??”
My room is a king-sized room suitable for one or two people. I have large windows which look out onto the street entrance to Terminal 5 and I can see regular flight departures from my windows. The room is not especially spacious but certainly adequate. The large flat-screen TV has one of the best channel line-ups of any hotel that I have visited recently and the picture quality is excellent. The king-sized bed is very comfortable although like with most hotels I have stayed in recently, the pillows are “mush!” I wish hotels would give their guests a selection of different pillow types instead of four pillows all of the same consistency. The bathroom is very modern with a nicely tiled white decor but even at the maximum setting, the shower water is at best only a little more than lukewarm.
In spite of its location within JFK Airport, my room was very quiet and the electrically operated blinds shut out the light very well unlike the drapes at many hotels which don’t. I had lunch yesterday at the Paris Cafe by Jean-Georges. The decors is a mixture of nostalgia and modern with music from the 50s to the 70s playing but a sleek modern style overall appearance to the restaurant and bright windows overlooking Terminal 5. The menu is not extensive but very adequate for lunch. My spicy fish tacos were delicious. The menu goes from seared tuna appetizers to burgers and main dishes of fish and meat with vegetarian options available too. Cocktails, beer, and wine are available in a quite good selection. All-in-all I think the Paris Cafe suits the bill very well for a hotel restaurant.
Time will tell whether the TWA Hotel is going to be just a novelty which travelers like me stay at once or twice or if it will regain its life as a hotel that many travelers wish to stay at. A huge plus for me is the convenience of the hotel, especially as usually fly into New York on JetBlue. You can walk right over to the hotel in a few minutes avoiding the otherwise necessary Air Train to Federal Station and then a shuttle ride to your hotel. In cold or wet weather the outside waiting area at Federal Circle can be most unpleasant. I hope that the hotel can stay afloat because it adds a definite air of distinction to JFK Airport. If you have an overnight stay at JFK I would recommend that you give the new TWA Hotel a try. I think that you will like it.