It’s no secret that my favorite hotel (of all time) is the TWA Hotel at JFK. I’ve stayed there four times since 2019, and every experience has been nothing short of amazing. For my most recent visit, I decided to splurge on the Howard Hughes Suite. It was spectacular.

Reality check: “spectacular” doesn’t always mean “luxurious.” In the context of the TWA hotel, it means that the views of the airport (combined with the vintage airline vibe oozing from every corner of the suite) made it an experience I’m not likely to forget.

A full review of my one night stay inside the Howard Hughes Suite at the TWA Hotel

Spoiler alert: all rooms at the TWA hotel feature the same vintage-themed furniture and airline decor. The only difference comes down to size and views. The Howard Hughes Suite is the largest room you can get. Being on the 8th (top) floor, it also offers the best views of the airport.


The TWA Hotel is connected to Terminal 5 at the John F Kennedy Airport in New York (JFK). The easiest way to access it is from the arrivals (baggage claim) level of T5. You can also access it via its own dedicated driveway. Parking is available directly across from the main entrance.

Elevator to TWA hotel terminal 5 JFK
Arrivals level, Terminal 5. That’s where to get the elevator to the TWA hotel (without freezing your a** off by going outside).
TWA hotel mockup of Jack Fry's office
The Howard Hughes Suite is amazing, isn’t it?! Just kidding – this is a mockup of Jack Fry’s office (the guy who founded TWA). It’s the first thing you’ll see as soon as you step off the elevator. He must be out to lunch. Or dead.
Red carpeted hallway leading to TWA hotel
Moving on. In order to reach the actual hotel, you’ll have to make like a blood clot down this long red carpeted corridor.
Scott Leazenby walking into TWA hotel
I know. My blood clot impression needs work.

The lobby (and checking in)

Checking in at the TWA Hotel is a fully self service experience. Follow the instructions on the automated kiosks to get your room key. Don’t worry – there are always several employees on site to assist anyone who needs a little help. 

TWA hotel self-serve check in
Once inside, the first thing you’ll see is the self-serve check in counters. This used to be the actual TWA check in area when this was a functioning airport terminal. Can you believe that I resisted the temptation to casually stroll up to one of these kiosks, take a long drag on a cigarette, then ask “how much for a one-way ticket to Cincinnati?”

The lobby itself is nothing short of amazing. This is the old TWA terminal (built in the 1960s), and it has been restored to absolute perfection. It looks exactly the same today as it did back then. Well, with modern touches of course.

TWA hotel lobby
I do realize this is supposed to be a review about my Howard Hughes Suite experience. But stay with me here. This is easily the most awesome hotel lobby you’ll ever see in your entire life!
TWA hotel lobby details
I actually feel dirty for blasting through these lobby pics so quickly. An entire review could be written about what you’re seeing here (which I may do at some point), but…my goal today is to show you a really sweet suite. Focus, Scott!
TWA hotel Lockheed Constellation
Frick. There’s even a restored Lockheed Constellation converted to a 1960’s themed bar for crying out loud. It’s almost like they don’t want me to show you the suite.
TWA hotel café
OK. One last pic of the lobby before getting to the whole point of this review. This is the café, which offers a fairly wide variety of hot and cold food items. Blah blah blah – lobby pics complete!

Getting to my suite

There are two separate wings at the TWA hotel (the Saarinen Wing and the Hughes Wing). Obviously, the Howard Hughes Suite is located on the top floor of the Hughes Wing. Access is made possible through a long (blood red) corridor pumping out vintage 60s music. It’s awesome.

Twa hotel elevators and a guest room hallway
The attention to detail in this place is otherworldly. Even if you have zero interest in vintage airline memorabilia (how dare you!), everything from the elevators to the guest room hallways is on point.
Twa hotel room 878
This is it! Room suite 878 will be my domicile for the evening.

The Howard Hughes Suite

Opening the door to the suite felt every bit as thrilling as I thought it was going to be. Not only was I hit over the head with the same vintage design elements I enjoyed so much from past stays, the huge windows overlooking the airport were nothing short of stunning.

It was basically a much larger version of every other room that I had experienced at this hotel (with a much better view of course).

Twa hotel Howard Hughes suite bar
Oh sh*t! You just know it’s gonna be a good time with the first thing you see when stepping into your room suite is a full bar.
Walking into Howard Hughes suite for the first time at the TWA hotel
“Yo Howard! You decent?” (Figured it was worth asking just in case he was frolicking around in here – naked – watching airplanes).
TWA hotel Howard Hughes suite
OK, yeah, this is impressive. It’s a little small for a hotel suite IMHO, but I can already tell that the view of the airport is going to make this more than a little freaking awesome.
Twa hotel Howard Hughes suite room details
I’ll talk more about the view in a moment (especially because there’s an Emirates A380 about to push back from the gate), but…uh…
View of emirates A380 from Howard Hughes suite at the TWA hotel
…boom! Like I’m actually going to be able to get any sleep tonight lol.
Twa hotel Howard Hughes suite lighting
Meanwhile, back in the room…
Twa hotel Howard Hughes suite furniture
There’s definitely a vintage / 60s vibe going on with the furniture in here. It’s perfect.
Twa hotel Howard Hughes suite couch and coffee table
Is it luxurious? Absolutely not. Is it nice? You’re damn right it is. As long as you don’t go into this hoping for something as nice as the room I had at the St. Regis in Rome, I promise you’ll have a good time.
Twa hotel Howard Hughes suite foyer and entrance
To be honest, this is more like a large hotel room than it is a suite. Am I about to stomp my way down to the lobby and complain about it? Hell no!
Twa hotel Howard Hughes suite bed and desk
The bed (which I may or may not have a use for considering how awesome the view is) and the desk (again…the view) look pretty nice to me.
Twa hotel Howard Hughes suite desk
You gotta, like, totally hate airplanes to be able to get any work done at this desk IMHO.
Twa hotel Howard Hughes suite TV hanging on wall
That TV placement? If this were any other hotel, I wouldn’t have any nice things to say about it (and I might even be cursing). That said, the amazing views of the airport rendered that TV both useless and unnecessary.
Twa hotel Howard Hughes suite couch and living area
I’ll bet you’re just dying to know how comfortable couch is. Amirite?
Scott Leazenby sitting on couch in TWA hotel Howard Hughes suite
I’d love to tell you, but I just heard the sound of a Boeing 777-300/ER starting up.
TWA hotel Howard Hughes suite room details
Vintage Life magazines from the 1960s, more TWA-themed pencils than you could ever possibly use, and a wireless phone charger (featuring dual USB-A ports). What possibly could be cooler than this?
TWA hotel Howard Hughes suite rotary telephone
A fully functional rotary telephone, that’s what.
TWA hotel Howard Hughes suite bar details
Mental note: Bring a bottle of bubbly next time. And maybe an entourage? They certainly aren’t discouraging it.
TWA hotel Howard Hughes suite window blinds
By the way, you can raise and lower those blinds with push a button. But why would you ever want to do that?

The view

The views of both Terminal 4 and 5 are excellent. And because JFK is a 24 hour airport, there’s always something to see at any hour of the day (or night).

Vew of Emirates and Virgin Atlantic airplanes from the TWA Hotel Howard Hughes suite
This particular suite had a really nice view of Terminals 4 and 5. It was maybe a little better than the view that I had from my room at the Comfort Inn in Salem, VA once.
View of Airport while sitting on couch in TWA hotel Howard Hughes suite
Who cares if the couch isn’t comfortable? $20 says you’ll have a real hard time finding a couch with a better view than this.
Aviation photography from the Howard Hughes suite TWA hotel
RIP to your phone as you fill it up with pictures of airplanes (it’s probably better than taking naked pics of yourself in the mirror though).
Scott Leazenby watching airplanes from the Howard Hughes suite TWA hotel
What suite?

It wasn’t only the view that made this suite so amazing. It was also the sound. Basically, if you don’t like the sounds of a functioning airport (baggage carts, airplane APUs, idling jet engines, etc.), you’re probably not going to enjoy this.

The bathroom

Based on my past experiences at this hotel, the bathroom in the Howard Hughes Suite isn’t any different than it is in other rooms. It’s larger, for sure, but all of the other details are the same.

Twa hotel howard a hughes suite bathroom
Dang it. I was kind of hoping for a 3’x5′ airplane lavatory (the kind with a vacuum toilet that could flush a small car).
TWA hotel Howard Hughes suite bathroom vanity
Dual sinks, eh? Once again, it appears that they assumed that I’d be bringing people with me.
TWA hotel Howard Hughes suite shower
I mean, you could fit 5 people in the shower (at least).
Twa hotel shampoo conditioner and body cleaner
Even the soap bottles are TWA themed! God bless Howard Hughes (or at least the people who assumed this is something he wouldn’t wrinkle his nose at).

Pros and cons of spending more for the Howard Hughes Suite

Warning: the Howard Hughes Suite is not for anybody looking for a 5-star / ultra luxurious hotel experience. The TWA Hotel just isn’t that kind of property. It is, however, perfect for anyone who wants a stylish (and unique) experience with the best views of the airplanes and airport terminals.


  • You won’t find a better view from any other room at the TWA Hotel. 
  • You won’t find a larger room either. It’s the biggest room they have.
  • It’s surprisingly quiet considering how close it is to the airport. All of the runways are very far away, so the only noise you’ll hear is luggage carts and taxiing airplanes.


  • Everything in the suite (furniture, decor, etc) is exactly the same as what you’d find in the cheapest room on the property.
  • There are no extra perks for guests of the Howard Hughes Suite. There’s no dedicated check in, lounge access, etc. You’ll be treated just the same as the guy who paid a cheapo rate for a basement room with no view.

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