My visit to the TWA Hotel at New York JFK reminded me of how many times I have chosen to stay at an airport hotel. While the awesome architectural appeal of Eero Saarnen’s Mid-Century TWA terminal-to-hotel transformation is unique, it has become common sense to stay at a multitude of lovely airport lodgings.
Here are four favorite airport hotels and three motivations for staying at them:
- My flight was scheduled for so early in the morning, staying anywhere more than a five-minute walk away was simply too anxiety provoking.
- It was more economical to stay at the airport than pay for transportation to/from city center.
- It was easier to check luggage — or leave it in an airport hotel room — than schlep it all on mass transit or pay for an expensive taxi to sightsee.
Park Inn by Radisson, Nice-Cote d’Azur
I always find Radisson hotels comfortable, welcoming and well-managed. Those I’ve visited in Madrid, Bordeaux, Marseille and Paris were wonderfully located. So, when my friend’s plane was scheduled to depart NCE at 6 a.m., Park Inn by Radisson was a no brainer. Dinner at the outdoor café adjacent to the pool was friendly and delicious. As for accessibility, I could walk across a couple of parking lots — or streets — to the terminal. As I had an extra day, I boarded the new trolley into the city. When it came time to depart with all my luggage, the woman at the reception desk drove me in the hotel van; then, when I realized I forgot my hat in the room, I called the hotel and she unexpectedly delivered it within minutes.
Sheraton Paris Airport Hotel & Conference Centre, Charles de Gaulle, Paris
I’ve stayed at the Sheraton Paris Airport Hotel & Conference Centre three times because I can walk out the hotel’s front door into Terminal 2 of Paris-Charles de Gaulle (Roissy Airport), an invaluable feature. Amenities include soundproof windows, marble bathrooms, high-speed WiFi and the Sheraton Signature Sleep Experience bed. Plus, the rooms are well-designed — each time, mine boasted runway views. I’ve eaten well at the bar, too. If you upgrade to the Club level, complimentary breakfast is available.
Hyatt Regency Los Angeles International Airport
I always rent a car in Los Angeles, so I’m experienced in the slow traffic between terminals and rental agencies. The Hyatt Regency Los Angeles International Airport is the closest to the terminals and, though it offers top-notch shuttle service, it’s actually faster to walk to terminals. The 580-room hotel — the most upscale airport hotel at LAX — opened in 2017 after a total $75 million refurbishment. Cleverly outfitted rooms have dining hubs, with a coffeemaker and refrigerator, a 55-inch HDTV, an abundance of electric plugs, free WiFi and Bluetooth access. Sound sleep is assured with black-out shades, soundproofing and a Do Not Disturb sign for day sleepers. There’s a grab-and-go market and even the child-friendly menus at unity LA restaurant, market and bar reflect the city’s diversity, though I recall ordering a really good steak! There’s a terrace pool, too; kids will enjoy this as a home base while traveling around L.A.
TWA Hotel at JFK Airport in New York
The dramatic, iconic, light-filled, winged space of the original TWA Flight terminal at JFK was meticulously — down to the penny tiles — restored by a public (Port Authority of NY) and private (JetBlue, Morse and MCR, a NY-based hotel investment firm) partnership. The tarmac separates the revamped terminal which fronts the current JetBlue terminal; between the two, there are two newly built eight-story hotel towers with 512 rooms and 50,000 square feet of underground conference space. It’s the perfect place to meet people at Connie, in a 1958 Lockheed Constellation, or dine well at Paris Café. I loved the contemporary décor, small sleek rooms and period poster art, the bathroom sink’s counter, large windows, well-designed bar and safe. There’s limited storage (I am a fan of drawers!), and only hooks for hanging clothes. The AirTrain stops at the JetBlue terminal, so, it’s an easy way to take the kids into the Big Apple.
LEGOLAND New York Resort debuted its first Brick-or-Treat, a not-so-scary Halloween party built for kids! The event runs Saturdays and Sundays in October, 3–6 p.m., transforming each of the park’s seven LEGO-themed lands into family-friendly Halloween havens.
The Peninsula Beverly Hills makes staying in a suite even sweeter! Guests who book one of the hotel’s elegant suites are offered complimentary use of a luxury BMW for the length of their stay. While Beverly Hills has so much to offer, having a car gives you the freedom to see even more of Southern California, whether it is driving up the Pacific Coast Highway to Malibu, or continuing on, past Santa Barbara, to Santa Ynez wine country.
Kick-off the Christmas festivities Nov. 21 at Grand Geneva Resort and Spa. Welcoming guests of all ages, the entire family can participate in the resort’s annual Illumination Ceremony. This magical event celebrates the flipping of a switch for the spectacular light displays around the resort.
Located in Yardley Pennsylvania, Shady Brook Farm offers fun activities for families all year long, but really thrives in autumn. During fall, Shady Brook hosts plenty of activities for all ages.
Movies on the Potomac are back at National Harbor, in Maryland, offering a variety of Halloween classics during the entire month of October. Every Sunday, 4–6 p.m., National Harbor will show a free movie on the Waterfront Plaza big screen, located at 150 National Plaza.