Catching an early morning flight into JFK is a terrible experience. The trains are usually late, delayed, and/or running local, meaning you need to leave the house at an ungodly hour or dish out the $70+ for a cab. Both options quite frankly suck. Either you start out a trip on no sleep or you start out a trip on almost no sleep while being poorer. If you are like me, you’ll having crippling anxiety every step of the way with the fear of missing the flight.
Unwilling to go through either of those options, we decided to stay at the new TWA hotel before Jeremy flew off to Canada to rejoin the Westerdam.
Sometimes convenience trumps frugality.
Staying at the TWA saves time as well as the hassle, headache, and stress that come with trying to catch an early flight. The pool bar has awesome runway views and the gym is top-notch (you can get day passes if you aren’t staying at the hotel). Be sure to bring your own food and drinks because the available options are subpar for the price tag.
Here are the bare bones run down of what we thought:
- Convenience (hello you are actually staying IN the airport!)
- Rooftop infinity pool and bar that look over the runway.
- The gym is amazing with anything and everything, including a whole Peloton studio.
- Pricey food options
- Everything has an extra fee
- The venue is often rented out for weddings and parties
- Paying for a hotel room
If you want a longer story…..
The room was under $200 which seemed reasonable for the location and we were pretty stoked to check out this used-to-be Jetblue Terminal to see how they made it into an accommodation.
Upon entering, we felt like we were back in the 50s with the old timey music, decorations, and that type of carpet that elicits a “boy is this place dated” remark. It paradoxically felt like nothing had changed in the past 50 years while simultaneously being new and fresh. Check-in was appropriately at flight check-in counters, and we were quickly attended to, but with a notice that the lounge and plane bar would be closed for a few hours due to a wedding.
The hotel room was lovely. A big bed looked over the airport through a floor to ceiling window, there was an old timey phone, a big shower, and plenty of bar snacks. Everything felt new given the fact the hotel just opened in May 2019, and I couldn’t help but wonder how many affairs would be happening in these rooms…
We quickly revamped and headed up to the rooftop infinity pool and bar that looked over the runway. It was cool to sit in the pool while watching plane after plane set off towards some new adventure. I like watching planes, and thinking about which of the passengers are headed to an exotic place and which are headed home. I can’t help but get twinges of travel envy, itching for the chance to go somewhere else.
While we got a couple IPAs, the pricey menu with hardly any options under $20 forced us to stave off the hunger a bit longer. Upon toweling off in the room, we searched and searched for the mini bar and snack prices, but couldn’t find them anywhere. It turned out they were all online, and good thing we didn’t lift up the bottle of whiskey for more than 30 seconds because we would have been charged. The system made me feel like they were trying to trick and conn us into spending way too much for average liquor and gummy bears.
Granted… we did get the gummy bears.
Next, we headed out to find dinner. The restaurant was expensive and the lounge was closed, so we opted for the dining hall. Four vendors were shacked up in what used to be airline check-in counters, and we settled on two empanadas from Empanada Republic and two bowls from the Halal Guys that were $12 or so each. It was the best bang for your buck diner, but we weren’t thrilled with the lack of options given the fact there were no nearby restaurants.
Despite being a New York staple, this was our first halal guys experience and we mistakenly asked for extra hot sauce despite the woman’s warning. Too stubborn to not eat it, we both managed to get through our bowls with teary eyes.
Following dinner, we checked out the avantgarde wedding. We felt like we were in a time capsule; the women were in 50s/60s inspired dresses with gloves and birdcage headpieces and the men were in dapper suits and bowties. The bride was in an intricate lacey, bejeweled dress that was easily 10K, and she seemed like the type of person I wouldn’t enjoy casual conversation with as she huffed around. It was a spectacle and a to-be-seen event. Maybe I’m just not a romantic, but I don’t see the point of spending 70K on a wedding. That money could support a family for a whole year, but yet it’s being blown on one day that probably wasn’t that much fun anyways.
As soon as the wedding was over, we hopped over to the plane that was converted into a cocktail bar. The lights were a bit too bright for our liking, but my Manhattan and Jeremy’s Old Fashion came quickly. We made the $16 drinks last as we reminisced on the past four months of living together in New York, going through peaks and valleys. From taco crawls, to walking for hours, to figuring out what our land based relationship would be, we’ve had a pretty great time and our relationship grew.
Jeremy left at 4:30am, and I sat awake watching the planes in a sad, nostalgic state. I decided to hit the gym to feel a little less useless. The facilities were amazing with everything you could need and then some. You can buy a day pass or special month long bundle, so I’m guessing it’s partly designed for frequent fliers who want to workout while traveling. The gym was an A+, but I’d give my work out a C-. It’s hard to lift weights at 6am on a couple hours of sleep. I packed up, checked out, and took the dreaded subway ride home to my now room for one headed into two bar mitzvahs followed by 4 eleven hour work days. The joys of being an artist.
The night served as a period on yet another chapter of my life that I will call “New York with Jeremy.” (Don’t worry I’ll workshop the title.). As always, when one chapter ends, another will begin and there are certainly exciting things ahead.
Stay tuned, I’m just as excited to find out as you!