A Day Trip to the TWA Hotel @ JFK Airport

July 26, 2019

Travel, specifically air travel, has always induced anxiety for me.  There is the packing, setting up a ride to get to the airport on time, self check-ins, passport/boarding pass/buggage claim slips, getting through the humiliating process of TSA pat down, then finding the gate and then waiting to board. For all of those reasons, I never imagined heading to JFK airport for reasons of leisure and team building would ever be possible.  That was until the TWA Hotel opened this summer!  For the past two years or so I have made a very conscious effort to create experiences for my team that we can share together.  I understand how important it is for employees to feel valued and invested in.  It has become paramount in my management approach.  We have been in a state of flux and there is a lot of tension and dissatisfaction so it can be hard to remain motivated.  I myself have fallen victim to this cycle and in an effort to remove myself from that never ending cycle I decided to focus on other's experiences.  It was new to my division and me so I started small, at a staff meeting I asked everyone to share their birthdays with me and kept record of it.  When someone's birthday rolled around I went out and purchased a cake, I tried making the first one and that didn't go so well.  😓   Making a cake means more and if you can swing it after work go for it! I opted to buy my cakes after that first failed attempt.  It was an opportunity to get all of us in a space to celebrate someone we worked alongside everyday.  It was a huge hit!  That summer I floated the idea of a staff field trip after attending a lecture given by the owner of the Brooklyn Grange (it is an urban farm located on the roof of an old industrial building in the Brooklyn Navy Yard).  I thought this would be a great way to get out of the office and experience something together.  That was a hit and before the trip was over they were already thinking about our next trip.  The following winter I initiated a staff game day!  Everyone was asked to bring in their favorite board or card game, we would order lunch and play a few games before we broke for the weekend.  I can't begin to tell you how this has helped with our morale, our communication, our understanding of one another and our overall experience.  At the end of the spring, staff were already talking about where we might go this summer and after an email poll with two options (this got the buzz going and smiles on everyone's faces excited for results)the new TWA Hotel was hands down their top choice.  My amazing coworker and friend, arranged transportation to and from, a private tour of the facilities and lunch by the infinity pool located on the roof of the hotel!  It was an epic experience and I thought sharing this might give you a few ideas.  You don't have to be a manager to pitch the idea of a team building experience, you can float the idea at your next staff meeting with your boss, or get some buy in from a few coworkers and share this post and my reasons if necessary.  Trust me when I tell you it is worth the investment, we have never been a more cohesive and productive team!  Here are a few pics from our visit.

Did you know some of their uniforms were designed by Valentino and Ralph Lauren??  Ahh back to a time when flying was glamorous. 

The Connie was an actual TWA plane with a long history including some drug smuggling..it is now a bar! Oh say hi to the Team!

Every detail was tended to, these light fixtures are complementary to the bar stools used throughout the lounge area.

The hotel is located across from the JetBlue Terminal.  The hotel offers overnight accommodations, but also day passes so guests can visit and use their amenities.  They have two restaurants, a coffee bar, a martini room (sunken red room pictured above), they have shops, a gym, event space and conference rooms and of course their infinity pool overlooking the tarmac.  Vallet parking is available, I spent about 4 hours there and parking with tip came up to about $50, that is steep for a day visit but I felt it was money well spent.  The vallet takes your cellphone number and sends you a text with a link, when you are ready to leave follow the link pay for your parking and when you head downstairs your car will be sitting out front.  Done.  It was seamless which I like.  The pool is heated in the winter so is open 365 days a year.  Rates are very reasonable and I just think it is worth experiencing just once or more but at least once!  I am definitely going to book a room for hubby and I in the next few weeks.  Here is a link to their website https://www.twahotel.com to book a room, or a day pass.  

Thanks for reading!  

Do you like these kind of "be a tourist in your own city" posts?  Do you like the work advise I shared?  Please let me know in the comments below.  

Until next time.  XOXO

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