The New Infinity Pool at JFK’s TWA Hotel Is Making Us Consider a Vacation at the Airport
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The New Infinity Pool at JFK’s TWA Hotel Is Making Us Consider a Vacation at the Airport

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By Duncan Nielsen
Take some time off to watch the take-offs at the TWA Hotel.

Don’t ink all your summer plans until you consider this: the TWA Hotel at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York has just announced the May 15 grand opening of its rooftop infinity pool and observation deck—and it checks a ton of destination-worthy boxes.

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This is not the pool (or the rivers and lakes) that you’re used to. The 10,000-square-foot observation deck offers an action-packed, 360-degree vantage to watch the hum of take-offs and landings from a bustling runway, and just beyond lies Jamaica Bay, which is basically the Mediterranean if you squint. The 63-foot pool takes design inspiration from the one at the French Riviera’s Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, rated one of the best in the world, and features a beach entry and steps that double as underwater seating.

This 1962 Eero Saarinen-designed landmark now holds the TWA Hotel.

This 1962 Eero Saarinen-designed landmark now holds the TWA Hotel.

It all sits high above the tarmac on the 7th floor of the TWA Hotel, which curbs concerns of jet fumes and poor air quality. It’s close enough for a thrilling display of massive airliners, yet far enough to drift in quietude after a long day of cross-country travel or, you know, a car ride from Manhattan. The pool water is purified every 30 minutes—12 times faster than average—and, if you can’t make it this outdoor season, can be heated to 100 degrees for a winter plunge. 

Air travel is thirsty work: to accompany the showy setting, cocktail-lounge innovators Gerber Group, known for the likes of Mr. Purple and The Campbell at Grand Central Terminal, will curate a breadth of on-the-nose poolside refreshments like the Mile High Spritz (vodka, St. Germain, lime juice and prosecco). Food will also be available from a full rooftop kitchen. 

Guests of the hotel will be able to access the whole kaboodle as part of their stay, and non-hotel guests can sidle up to the runway by making reservations.

Even if you don’t make JFK your final destination this summer, odds are you’ll be rescheduling a flight (or two) on your way through.

Related Reading: The TWA Hotel Turns an Abandoned Airport Terminal Into a Midcentury Dream