Any time a country or region imposes any sort of visa stipulation - even if it’s a waiver - the travel industry sighs a collective groan, knowing the obstacles and headaches to come.
NEW YORK — The new TWA Hotel is now open at JFK Airport, completing the transformation of Eero Saarinen’s landmark 1962 former Trans World Airlines terminal into the heart of the new 512-room hotel.
Thousands of guests took part in the grand opening this week, including New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Tyler Morse, CEO and Managing Partner of MCR and MORSE Development. Based in New York City, MCR is the sixth-largest hotel owner-operator in the U.S. with a US$3 billion portfolio of 86 premium-branded hotels, including The High Line Hotel in Manhattan.
Guests at the event were surprised by a flash mob dancing to 1960s tunes, while TWA alums came out in droves, wearing their uniforms, reuniting with friends and sharing memories.
The iconic TWA terminal, designed by legendary architect Eero Saarinen, opened in 1962 and was designated a New York City landmark in 1994. It closed in 2001 and was listed on the National and New York State Registers of Historic Places in 2005.
The massive restoration project included the construction of two brand new hotel wings behind the terminal, plus a 50,000-square-foot events centre.
“Eero Saarinen’s cathedral to aviation has always looked toward the future,” said MCR’s Morse. “We restored and reimagined his landmark with the same care that he devoted to his design. No detail went overlooked — from the millwork by Amish artisans to the custom font inspired by Saarinen’s own sketches to the one-of-a-kind manhole covers. Starting today, the world can enjoy this midcentury marvel for many years to come.”
Highlights of The TWA Hotel, JFK Airport’s only on-airport hotel, include…
. The Paris Café by Jean-Georges, a 200-seat restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner from an open kitchen in collaboration with Tastes on the Fly
. The Sunken Lounge, a cocktail bar operated by Gerber Group and located in the historic chili pepper red-carpeted lounge
. A Lockheed Constellation ‘Connie’ L-1649A transformed into a cocktail lounge operated by Gerber Group
. Departures Hall grab-and-go dining operated by Fooda, including restaurants such as Antico Noè, Empanada Republic, Fresh&Co, The Halal Guys and Playa Bowls
. An Intelligentsia coffeebar and coffee carts throughout the hotel grounds
. 50,000 square feet of event space, including a 15,000-square-foot ballroom
. A rooftop infinity pool and observation deck with views of runway 4 Left/22 Right plus The Pool Bar operated by Gerber Group, serving cocktails and meals
. The world’s biggest hotel gym: a 10,000-square-foot fitness center operated by The Wright Fit
. Authentic split-flap boards manufactured by Solari di Udine
. Iconic flight tubes featured in Catch Me If You Can that connect to JetBlue’s Terminal 5
. The TWA Shop, selling apparel and gear honouring Trans World Airlines’ legacy
. Museum exhibitions on TWA, the Jet Age and midcentury modern design curated by the New-York Historical Society
. BLADE helicopter service to Manhattan
There’s always something new happening in New York City, and this week really proves the point, with the opening of the TWA Hotel plus the grand opening of Empire Outlets, New York City’s first-ever outlet centre.
With 340,000 square feet Empire Outlets’ list of stores includes Banana Republic, Brooks Brothers, Columbia Sporting Goods, Gap Factory, H&M, Jockey, Nike Factory, and Old Navy.
Additional retailers, including Nordstrom Rack, American Eagle Outfitters, Crocs and more will open their stores throughout the spring and summer.
Also this summer, a 40,000-square-foot food and beverage deck with sweeping views of Manhattan, will open with dozens of food concepts including MRKTPL, Staten Island’s first-ever artisanal food hall.
Also this week, the brand new Statue of Liberty Museum opens, the biggest addition to Liberty Island since the Statue herself.