In 2019, the 512-room TWA Resort JFK opened. For us avgeeks, this would possibly simply be probably the most extremely anticipated resort ever. I reviewed the property shortly after it opened, and there have been many issues that impressed me.
Effectively, this weekend I made a decision to return to the resort for a second time. Sadly the keep left me disenchanted, and I gained’t be staying right here once more. Let me clarify.
The TWA Resort JFK is price visiting…
Let me begin on a constructive word, and acknowledge that the general public areas of the TWA Resort JFK are a murals. When you ever end up at JFK, you completely ought to wander right here. The resort is open to the general public, and the house owners put an unimaginable quantity of effort into restoring this constructing (the foyer is the previous TWA Flight Heart terminal, which was designed in 1962), and creating one thing particular.
Heck, actually have a drink at onboard the Connie, or perhaps even pay to make use of the rooftop pool with aircraft views.
Nonetheless, sadly I’d cease in need of really staying right here…
Why I wouldn’t keep on the TWA Resort JFK once more
Strolling across the TWA Resort JFK (at no cost) and really staying on the TWA Resort JFK are two very completely different experiences. When staying on the TWA Resort JFK, it’s fairly obvious that the house owners have forgotten that they’re within the hospitality enterprise, however relatively they’re looking for inspiration from extremely low value airways.
The TWA Resort is owned by MCR Resorts, which has a portfolio of practically 150 motels, making it one of many largest resort house owners in the USA. Whereas a lot of MCR’s properties are operated as Hiltons and Marriotts, this one is run straight by the corporate.
In September 2021, I wrote about how MCR’s CEO shared his imaginative and prescient for a way the resort trade ought to evolve. Listed below are some quotes:
“I preserve type of making an attempt to push the envelope right here and say, as a hospitality enterprise, cease giving issues away at no cost. Being hospitable doesn’t imply giving individuals issues at no cost. Enterprise vacationers by no means use the pool, so why ought to they pay inherently an oblique value to make use of the pool. It permits us to cost a decrease price to everyone, after which individuals should buy up for what they need. So, everyone will get a decrease price.”
“To the extent the resort enterprise strikes in that route, the shopper will get what they need. Everyone will get a lower cost level, and the trade turns into extra worthwhile.”
“[The major hotel company CEOs] all pay lip service to it however bear in mind: They’re within the enterprise of giving issues away at no cost. That provides model worth. We house owners are within the enterprise of not giving issues away at no cost as a result of it’s our backside line. It doesn’t damage [Marriott CEO] Tony [Capuano] or [Hilton CEO] Chris [Nassetta] to offer issues away at no cost. It hurts our P&L.”
MCR has full management over how the TWA Resort is run, and I believe this attitude completely displays what the visitor expertise is like… and it’s not fairly. The place do we start?
Let me state upfront that I simply had a brief in a single day on the resort, and my intent wasn’t initially to overview my keep, so I didn’t take many footage. For extra footage of the property in all its glory, take a look at my 2019 overview.
There’s no worth for cash
After all I don’t fault any resort for making an attempt to maximise its income, although I’m a bit confused by the TWA Resort’s pricing. The usual pricing right here over weekends appears to be $359+. That doesn’t embrace the power payment, so ultimately you’ll pay $438.20 for the privilege of spending an evening right here. In a regular room. With no view.
Admittedly some persons are keen to pay a premium to remain at a resort that’s (kind of) related to the airport, however is the demand actually there to fill a 500+ room resort this fashion? I really feel like there have to be extra to the story right here.
Does anybody know if the TWA Resort tries to publicly keep this pricing, however is then bookable by means of OTAs or by means of distressed traveler charges at a lot decrease prices? As a result of this isn’t only a gentle premium in comparison with what different motels within the space are charging, however relatively it’s someplace round double.
I are likely to assume that in the event you’re charging these sorts of charges, friends ought to count on a sure stage of service and included facilities, and that’s merely not mirrored right here.
Absurd reserving & cancelation insurance policies
Past the excessive value to remain right here, the TWA Resort’s price sorts rub me the improper method. The TWA Resort has each versatile and advance buy charges. When you ebook the versatile price:
- A deposit for your entire value of the keep is charged at reserving
- You’ll be able to solely cancel till seven days earlier than arrival
- If it is advisable cancel earlier than that point, there’s a payment of $10 plus taxes and charges
Actually, can anybody title a single airport resort anyplace on the earth with such outrageous versatile price insurance policies? This isn’t some resort on a distant island that may’t resell a room in the event you cancel 5 days out. Heck, I’d guess that a big share of rooms are booked inside a number of days of journey.
That’s only a small instance of the nickel-and-diming at this resort. Wish to use the pool after 10:45AM in summer time? When you’re a resort visitor, that can value you $25 per grownup.
Small, primary, and poorly designed rooms
Final time I stayed on the resort I booked a collection, because the premium was cheap (I paid much less for a collection final time than I paid for the standard room this time). This time round I booked a base room, and I wasn’t impressed in any respect. The room was tiny and primary, with restricted seating, and a usually poor design. Actually, who designed this room? Take a look at how shut the mattress is to the wall…
The room had a powerful bleach odor, and simply usually didn’t really feel effectively maintained or recent.
There was solely a small waste basket within the rest room, after which the desk had a placemat the place you have been allegedly supposed to put the trash. There was one space to put the recyclables, and one space to put rubbish. Yep, only a few inches behind the place you relaxation your head.
The resort markets this as serving to to make the resort the greenest constructing in New York, although it’s fairly clear that it is a value slicing measure, each to keep away from having to purchase trash cans, and to hurry up housekeeping (in order that trash cans don’t must be cleaned, however relatively this placemat can simply be wiped down).
The rooms on the resort used to have fairly snazzy minibars that kind of added to the mid-century vibe. Now the rooms have an empty mini-fridge and a single martini glass hanging from the minibar space, for no obvious cause. And don’t even count on you’ll have a drink in your room — the resort has no room service.
These are simply a few examples of the fee slicing. I imply, the rooms don’t even have espresso machines, which looks as if a primary amenity. The shortage of service isn’t simply restricted to the rooms — the resort doesn’t even have any bellmen who open doorways for you while you enter with baggage, or who supply to assist.
The property is exhibiting put on & tear
I used to be already predicting this when the resort opened, and sadly it has confirmed to be true. The resort was so beautiful on the time that I figured it wouldn’t look nice a number of years down the highway, given the eye to element with design.
For instance, the brilliant pink carpet within the hallways sounds nice in idea, besides when you think about simply how many individuals will likely be passing over it with baggage. At this level the carpet seems fairly disgusting.
I didn’t take footage, however the property simply wasn’t feeling recent. For instance, after we walked to our room, there was only a massive blob of puke on the carpet, with an indication to keep away from it. Ewww. Admittedly the resort can’t management individuals puking, however that was hardly the one factor that didn’t really feel very clear.
I didn’t take many footage throughout my keep, however the beneath image of an elevator button provides you a normal sense of how most issues really feel fairly poorly maintained and never notably clear.
The worst pizza I’ve had in years
Whereas Paris Cafe is the TWA Resort’s primary restaurant, typically you’re simply in search of one thing extra informal. The TWA Resort doesn’t supply room service. As a substitute it presents a meals corridor. Sadly the meals corridor is lower than half occupied by distributors, and the distributors which might be there are fairly not-great.
I made a decision to order a pizza, which was in regards to the freshest factor on the menu (in comparison with sizzling canine, pre-made sandwiches, pre-made salads, and so forth.). The pizza was terrible, and it ought to be unlawful to promote one thing like this inside miles of New York Metropolis.
There’s additionally simply no thought put into the visitor expertise. You’ll be able to’t do room expenses within the meals corridor, and also you’re given the most cost effective plastic cutlery possible with which to eat meals.
I don’t perceive why the TWA Resort can’t have an honest meals corridor? Not solely are there doubtlessly over 500 rooms price of people that might wish to eat there, however perhaps if the meals was higher, individuals would come right here from the terminal. Sadly the choices within the meals corridor made me wish to wander into the terminal and eat there, which is saying loads.
As an aviation geek, there’s nothing I’d love greater than to be the largest advocate for the TWA Resort, as a result of it’s a murals. It’s price a go to in the event you’re passing by means of JFK, since that is such a tremendous constructing. Sadly the resort isn’t price staying at, although.
The TWA Resort presents lemonade high quality on a champagne finances. The corporate that owns the resort appears to wish to channel Spirit Airways with its product providing, although I’ve to say that I discover Spirit Airways presents higher hospitality.
From very excessive pricing, to an absurd cancelation coverage, to poorly designed rooms, to an absence of maintenance, I simply wouldn’t keep right here once more. It appears I’m not alone, as this property will get fairly unhealthy evaluations on TripAdvisor.
Any further the Hyatt Regency JFK is 100% my go-to property close to the airport. Whereas the placement isn’t handy, it’s really a really good resort, and nobody can argue that the resort doesn’t strive.
What do you make of the present state of the TWA Resort JFK?