TWA Hotel JFK: Where to Not Spend a Layover

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TWA Lounge Review is part of the Reunion Tour Trip Report.


I had the world’s longest layover at JFK (see 13.5 Hours in JFK: Wait, There Was Early Check-in!) before taking the world’s longest flight (see World’s Longest & Best Flight: JFK-SIN). The last time I had a long layover, a reader suggested I visit the TWA Hotel (see JFK: Too Early to Check-In). The last time I listened to a reader’s pizza suggestion in Chicago (see Giordano’s Pizza Chicago: Trust Your Taste Buds, Not Your Friends), I came away disappointed.

TPOL’s Tip: Don’t listen to readers’ recommendations.

First, a quickie at the TWA goes for $200. Who is going to pay that much for 4 hours? One night costs $350, also terrible. Second, and more importantly, the Wi-Fi, which is actually called TWAFastWifi, was anything but.

I thought I could tough out the bad Wi-Fi on account of the great Motown music played in the lobby. Since I was not there to work nor audition for the Temptations reboot, I decided to leave.

The TWA hotel is run down. The furniture was worn, and the white decor was covered with the expected filth that took over the World Trade Oculus. There’s nothing to do here but take some retro photos and move on.

That’s B-A-C-H-U-W-A, not B-A-K-L-A-V-A, not B-A-C-O-W-A.

TPOL’s Tip: Hey New York, white isn’t the color for your grimy city.

 

 

33 COMMENTS

  1. Too bad you didn’t see our review in Hiutube from 1.5 years ago! We could of save you the disappointment!! We feel the same.

  2. I politely disagree. Mid July – we landed around 7am and had till 6:00pm got our next flight. I had booked us via the day rate. As we had been on a red eye from the west coast, we showered, and went to sleep for a few hours. Then, after visiting the cafe’s (and their Motown music) for coffee, went for a swim, had a real breakfast, did some photo shoots, marveled at the nostalgia, showered again, and wandered off for our early evening departure. After doing many long layovers at JFK, I’m perfect ok with our TWA Hotel stay. We posted our fun pics on Instagram (as one does) and our followers loved them!

    • Some of the stuff you said I agree but I’m not paying that much to sleep. See my post post tomorrow for how I spent my 13.5 hour layover.

  3. Too bad you were so harsh. If internet is that important but a mobile hotspot. I’ve stayed at the TWA hotel a couple of times. The money spent for the runway view was worth it especially for AVgeeks. The rooftop pool, especially in the winter is amazing. Give it another try sometime.

  4. It’s not the greatest and it is fairly expensive, but I’ll pay for being next to the terminal/airport rather than having to carry luggage to a hotel in Jamaica or a 5 star in Manhattan just to come back the next morning if I have an overnight.

  5. I disagree. The TWA Hotel is a great place for a JFK layover BUT only as a brief visit of 5-15 minutes. Admire the floor, ceiling, exterior, imagined views of 1975, etc. The Lockheed Super Constellation is a misfit because by the time the terminal was built, the Lockheed was on its way out and the Boeing 707 was already flying for a few years.

      • Whether it’s worth paying a day rate is how much one values sleep. Some people pay for business class even though sleep quality, while better than economy class, is not that great.

        If one has a 13 hour layover and is not too tired, then going to NYC is worthwhile. Depending on one’s interest, renting a car and seeing Long Island is also ok. One could visit the monument commemorating Charles Lindburgh’s flight, see the remains of the Grumman factory, or the Cradle of Aviation Museum/Pan Am Museum near the Charles Lindburgh monument in Garden City.

        I once walked the approximate path of Charles Lindburgh’s take off run. Start at the Best Buy, walk past Walmart and Costco, then to a parking garage and a little south is a monument to Charles Lindburgh. His plan was a short take off compared to modern 737’s so it is walkable.

        The address of Best Buy is 1100 Old Country Rd, Westbury, NY 11590

        • Interesting suggestion. I’m a lawyer in NYC so no interest in going there. And I would never fly long haul economy. My plan for the 13 hours was to work. See the post tomorrow

  6. Yea I agree with the writer my TWA hotel stay within the first year they opened was ABYSMAL! WiFi was crap couldn’t connect – and my own cellular carrier Verizon wasn’t picking up a strong signal either. Somehow the pool wasn’t just for guests as it seems anyone could and did walk in as a rest stop watering hole for lunch too at the bar. Onsite food was not great at all and at the time you were captive to what was available. Does it look cool being Retro? Absolutely and loved sitting in the Connie outside too! But the look of it didn’t match service/cost expectations. Oh and there was an in room stained or ripped bedding issue I recall that they never remedied and oh yes I remember the air conditioner wasn’t working properly too in the heat of summer no less!

  7. I will never return to this hotel for all of the reasons cited above and then some. When things go wrong here, and they really went sideways during a stay where the power went out, catering wasn’t staffed or stocked, no hot water … there was NO staff empowered to provide a credit or even slightly address all of the issues.
    I like to call it, The Worst Airport (TWA) Hotel….lol. They could so many basic things to improve, but it sounds like they haven’t, and that’s unfortunate. Maybe they’ll end up as the same destination as Trans World Airlines. It’s where most businesses run this way end up. Sigh.

  8. I disagree. Others above have already stated the reasons why. 😉

    Also, as to the Chicago Pizza question, the answer is Lou Malnati’s. (Or Pequod’s, but that’s a harder get.)

  9. I enjoyed my stay there. You don’t have to be such an ass in your replies to everyone’s comments. First and last time I read an article on this blog.

    • The writer is right. TWA Hotel opened to great anticipation and fell down the abyss. Overpriced and limited service. I was there twice, thinking the first time bad experience was a fluke. However, the second time was even worse. As for me: never again.
      Too bad. The concept resonated with a lot of people (prior to opening)

      • Obviously I went there hoping it would be good. What’s the crime in writing that it was not? Thank you for your comment.

  10. I loved staying at the TWA Hotel. Great food and drinks. Perfect music for the era. Loved the rooms as well. Maybe a little expensive but there are discounts to be had that got my rate to $200.00 for the night. Being that close to my gate for an early morning flight was well worth the $$$

  11. I’m not famous and don’t write a blog, but I sure as hell know that you READ REVIEWS of any hotel you’re considering. You read many reviews. “A reader’s recommendation”? ONE reader? Seriously?

  12. The TWA Hotel is the most magical, iconic, elegant, timeless most beautiful airport hotel and Terminal ever. My overnight stay could not have been more delightful. You are transported back to the Golden Age of travel.
    The attempted snarky, seeking their 15 minutes of fame , need to be relevant, get clicks so called reviewers are sad and disappointing. Opinions are a part of free speech but really?
    This fantastic hotel is not, I repeat not meant to be a St. Regis nor a Four Seasons.
    Every hotel or restaurant has good and bad days. Problems that occur should be brought to the attention of the GM and hopefully resolved to the satisfaction of the guest. I have over 40 years experience with Fine hotels and restaurants and have flown close to 2 million miles and I am more than qualified to comment. The hotel is not without its problems and issues but is well worth the price. Others not happy should check into a Motel 6.
    I cannot wait to stay there again and enjoy this masterpiece and enjoy the roof top pool!

  13. This review has to be noted as from someone who did not stay at the TWA hotel. If you were too cheap to spend $200 why did you even bother to go, just to try Wi-Fi and complain about it? Don’t you have data on your cell that you can use as a hotspot? You said where not to spend a layover. Did you “spend” anything?

    • Oh I’m too cheap now? Thankfully you clicked on the post to help my struggling situation.

      Question to self: Who are these people?

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