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The world's coolest airport hotel is now open for business, but this is no ordinary slab of real estate.
Taking the term 'airport hotel' quite literally, New York's TWA Hotel sits the 1960s-era TWA Flight Center at JFK Airport.
Eero Saarinen's eye-catchingly futuristic terminal was a cathedral to the then-new jet age, and it hasn't lost an ounce of its retro-chic mojo.
Once the NY home of Trans World Airlines (TWA), the terminal has been restored to its former glory and repurposed as a five-star luxury hotel which raises a cocktail glass to to the Golden Age of travel.
Most public spaces of the building retain their original look and feel.
However, the eyes of many travellers will be drawn to the beautifully-restored Sunken Lounge nearby: a venue carpeted in 'chili pepper red' – TWA's signature colour – pouring a variety of retro cocktails, with views to the airport outside:
That view isn't what you'd see from your typical airport window, however.
Outside, the hotel has restored and parked a 1958 Lockheed Constellation, nicknamed 'Connie': a former TWA aircraft that also served as Air Force One for US President Dwight D. Eisenhower in the 1950s.
This also doubles as a cocktail lounge for both hotel guests and airport visitors – accessed via the airport tarmac from the main Flight Center building – although reservations are recommended.
Sharp-eyed guests may notice that the signage throughout the property reflects styling originally used by TWA, reinvented by the hotel as a custom font dubbed 'Flight Center Gothic'.
Inside that TWA Hotel, The Paris Café serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and cocktails designed by French chef Jean-Georges, with the airport as a backdrop.
That signature red carpeting takes you through to one of 512 guestrooms, equally inspired by the year 1962, but with a fresh modern look:
Inside one of the 'runway view' rooms, you'll enjoy more views of the airfield – after all, this airport hotel is right at the airport itself – and to ensure a good night's sleep, each room features a soundproof 'glass curtain wall'.
Constructed of seven consecutive glass panes at a total depth of 4.5 inches (11.5cm), the hotel claims this to be the second-thickest glass curtain wall in the world, bested only by the high-security windows of the US Embassy in London.
The room itself trades in the bold TWA reds in favour of more subdued walnut elements on the doors, feature wall and ceiling trim.
The bedside is lined in brass and accented with a quilted 'leather-look' headboard atop a crystallised glass ledge, serving as a bedside table.
Retaining that connection to TWA, you'll spot themed artwork, an appropriately-coloured statement chair with coffee mugs to match, and in a nod to the decades gone by, a 1950s-era rotary phone.
It's more than a desk accessory – retrofitted with a pulse-to-tone converter, guests can make unlimited free national and international calls during their stay:
Business travellers gracing the hotel will appreciate that their working space takes full advantage of the view (and offers desk-level power points), but after hours, are sure to be tempted by the in-room Martini bar: a staple of every room here.
As for the bathroom, a Hollywood-style vanity also comes as standard, drawing inspiration from the former Four Seasons' iconic ladies’ lounge in New York City.
As for the amenities, this replica of an authentic TWA toiletries kit is yours.
In need of some relaxation? Go for a swim in the rooftop infinity pool – once it's opened, as some construction works are still being finalised.
There's also an observation deck.
Elsewhere in the hotel, spend time exploring a collection of original TWA uniforms on display from designers such as Balmain, Valentino and Stan Herman.
Other museum exhibitions cover TWA, the Jet Age and mid-century modern design as curated by the New York Historical Society.
If duty calls, the hotel boasts a variety of event spaces.
When it's time to depart, you can walk the iconic 'flight tubes' to JFK Terminal 5 – made famous in the 2002 Leonardo DiCaprio film Catch Me If You Can – as the hotel is attached directly to the airport.
Prices for an entry-level Deluxe King room start at US$271/night in late May (including all taxes and fees).
The hotel also offers a variety of 'day stay' rates for visits of 4-12 hours – tailored primarily to travellers seeking comfort during a long flight connection – commanding between US$185 and US$254 as an all-inclusive lead-in rate, depending on the timing and duration of the visit.
Bookings are now open via the TWA Hotel website.
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