A visit to the TWA Hotel at JFK Airport is a step back in time to 1962, the year that architect Eero Saarinen’s famed TWA Flight Center opened. The hotel embodies the mod style of the decade, with details such as mid-century modern penny tile floors, vintage rotary phones and a split-flap departures board. Hotel staffers help set the retro mood by wearing classic TWA uniforms (originally designed by fashion legends such as Valentino, Ralph Lauren and Stan Herman) and chatting up guests using ’60s slang. For a literal taste of the era, guests can visit a cocktail lounge housed in a restored 1958 Lockheed Constellation “Connie” airplane. For even more flashback fun, on-site museum exhibitions feature TWA memorabilia, much of which has been contributed by the airline’s former employees.
In Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, The High Line Hotel evokes the bygone era of a graciously decorated guesthouse and blends eclectic Americana with European style. The building was erected in 1895 as student housing for the General Theological Seminary, using land donated by Clement Clarke Moore, author of the Christmas poem A Visit From St. Nicholas — more commonly known as ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. The hotel’s other patron saint (and namesake of the tropical garden bar) is Ingo Swann, the world’s foremost psychic and a visionary, artist and writer. His mystical paintings — said to be inspired by his remote viewing of Jupiter — and books decorate the public spaces. Other noteworthy flourishes include vintage rotary dial phones and typewriters in the guestrooms, heirloom rugs and English wallpaper patterns from the 19th century.