TWA Hotel: Bringing Back the Glory Days of Aviation to JFK

The iconic TWA Terminal at JFK is being transformed into a mid-century modern inspired hotel.
The iconic TWA Terminal at JFK is being transformed into a mid-century modern inspired hotel.
The iconic TWA Terminal at JFK is being transformed into a mid-century modern inspired hotel.

The John F. Kennedy Airport in New York is receiving a new addition to its landmark former TWA Terminal. The TWA Flight Center at Kennedy International Airport is now being remade into a retro hotel that is planned to open in 2019.

Hotelier Tyler Morse is pioneering the project of having the first hotel within walking distance of the various terminals at Kennedy International Airport. Morse is said to be attempting to embrace the style and glamour that surrounded aviation in the past.

Plans for World’s Largest Lobby

The hotel will feature the world's largest lobby!
The hotel will feature the world’s largest lobby!

The hotel is set to live up to glorious standards with the plans for the lobby. The plans for the hotel lobby are to create the largest hotel lobby in the world.

The lobby is set to be 200,000 square feet with a museum inside that is celebrating mid-century design, the dawn of the jet age, and the terminal itself.

The Flagship Terminal

The TWA Terminal at Kennedy Airport opened in 1962 when the Trans World Airlines opened its flagship terminal at the JFK location. Morse hopes to capture the atmosphere and glory of this time in his upcoming hotel.

The original structure of the terminal, the gull-wing-shaped structure, is made of steel and concrete and reminiscent of flight. It was built by the famous Finnish architect Eero Saarinen, and his original intention for the structure was that the airport guests would catch sight of it and this would initiate the beginning of their journey.

For a long period of time, Trans World Airlines was the United States’ sole airline with both domestic and international routes that could be taken.

Past Failed Renovations

Renovations of the terminal had been planned over the years, but these were never carried out. It became increasingly difficult for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to find someone who could salvage the space.

The terminal had been considered for a hotel and conference center in 2013, but this fell through, as well. It continued to sit as a beloved landmark.

Bringing Back the Glory Days

After Morse took on the daunting project, plans for the hotel started to come together. The hotel is now planned to embody the time period that planes were flying out of the TWA Terminal.

Mid-century modern is the look for the new TWA hotel at JFK.
Mid-century modern is the look for the new TWA hotel at JFK. 

The 512 rooms are set to be both evocative and nostalgic with rotary dial phones, iconic mid-century modern architecture, and TaB sodas in the mini-bars.

The TWA Hotel will also include six different restaurants and eight bars. One of the bars, a cocktail bar, will be located within a redone Lockheed “Constellation” aircraft. This particular aircraft was a staple of the TWA fleet in the 50s and 60s.

Aviation and architectural enthusiasts are anxiously awaiting all of the emerging details about the construction and completion of this historic location’s new hotel.

Find NYC hotels almost as cool as this one on Bonwi!  And use Bonwi points to get another hotel stay after paying for just one.

Gulliver’s Gate Brings the World in Miniature to Times Square

Gulliver's Gate is a giant 3D model of the entire world laid out inside the former New York Times building, where people can walk as if they are giants among a tiny created world.
Gulliver’s Gate is a giant 3D model of the entire world laid out inside the former New York Times building, where people can walk as if they are giants among a tiny created world.

You can pay a visit to Times Square in Manhattan, New York any day and you will surely be bombarded will thousands of eager tourists wanting to see the city.

You are also likely to be approached by a topless woman with painted breasts, or the Naked Cowboy, strumming his guitar in his skivvies, asking if you want to pose for a photo next to them.

However, the city is about to get a whole lot busier as its new attraction called Gulliver’s Gate becomes more and more popular.

On the floor of the former New York Times Building, (kind of neat!), the 23,000 square-foot space is the new home to Gulliver’s Gate. It took a whole slew of engineers and designers to replicate the phenomenal view of the Big Apple, not to mention it took 358 days to create.

The metropolis exhibit, opened on May 9, features miniature 3-D models of the city, including more than 300 tiny buildings and over 1,000 model train cars. There is no doubt that you will feel like the giant from Gulliver’s Travels after peering down at dwarf-sized printed replicas of Times Square, Grand Central Terminal, and other scenes from around the world.

There is no doubt that you will feel like the giant from Gulliver’s Travels after peering down at dwarf-sized printed replicas of Times Square, Grand Central Terminal, and other scenes from around the world.

You don’t even need to travel to Beijing, Buenos Aires, or Israel because they are culturally diverse displays created from all of these places, and more! Some models are even interactive, bringing the displays to life.

Guests can choose to either buy a timed ticket for $31, which allows them to book a certain day or time, or buy a flex ticket for $41, which permits them to go whenever they please. The easiest way to buy tickets it through their online website at gulliversgate.com.

Located on 216 W 44th Street, the exhibit opens every day at 9 a.m. If you’re not impressed yet, you can also become a citizen of Gulliver’s Gate, which entails getting yourself scanned and becoming a miniature 3-D replica human in the display. You then receive your very own framed photo of the “mini you” and you will also be given a lifetime discount for anytime you want to go back.

If you’re looking to change your own perspective, well literally I guess, stop by Times Square and visit this new attraction. Find the best deal on a NYC hotel room and use Bonwi points for a return visit!

Talk about living large!

New York Is Getting the Wheel of the Century

The New York Wheel will be the world's tallest Ferris wheel, with pods that hold 40 people, towering at 630 feet above Staten Island!
The New York Wheel will be the world’s tallest Ferris wheel, with pods that hold 40 people, towering at 630 feet above Staten Island!

New York City has always been the top destination for tourists both near and far, but the upcoming tourist opportunities have just expanded as the city welcomes the New York Wheel.  More than 60 million tourists came to the Big Apple in 2016. 

In June of 2018, the tallest observation wheel in the world will open on St. George, Staten Island. Visitors can look forward to an unique experience for the whole family, from a 10,000 square-foot playground to an outdoor beer garden, there are options for the both the kids and adults.The wheel itself will feature a 30-minute ride and will include 36 capsules with over 7 million dollars worth of LED lighting, the wheel will surely illuminate the skyline, paving way for an epic view.Each pod holds up to 40 people and allows its guests to see beautiful views of the New York Harbor, Statue of Liberty, Verrazano bridge and the New York City Skyline. With an expected visitation rate of 30,000 visitors per day, the attraction will also feature a five-acre green roof, which will host concerts, festivals, and other outdoor events.

The attraction will be open to the public and accessible seven days a week from 10 a.m. until midnight. But, if you really want to be stunned, stay until sunset, and see the reflection of the 630-foot-tall wheel emerge on the New York Harbor. If you decide the come by boat, the project plans to partner with private ferry services to bring guests from different locations along the harbor.

The wheel will also an attraction for the local Staten Island community, as it will draw tourists to visit area shops, eateries, and cultural institutions. All the foot traffic near the wheel will encourage people to visit the surrounding area, benefiting St. George economically.

With $1.2 billion invested in the project, local contractors and building trades will be utilized and hundreds of construction jobs will be created. It seems to me that the New York Wheel is a win win for both the city and its tourists.

As 2018 creeps around the corner, I’d start planning your trip now, I wouldn’t want to miss out on seeing one of the most spectacular views in the world.

If you want to catch a ride on the New York Wheel in 2018, book your NYC hotel using Bonwi points!