Plane Spotting From the Pool

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Photos courtesy TWA Hotel

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A hidden gem at New York’s JFK Airport is the perfect spot to sit back, relax and watch the planes take off — while swimming.

Nestled on the roof of the TWA Hotel, The Pool Bar features an observation deck and a beach-entry infinity pool inspired by the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in France. With plenty of underwater seating, swimmers can soak in a view of JFK’s bustling Runway 4L/22R, stretching over 2 miles.

The 63-foot pool is open year-round — even in the winter months. When the air gets cold, the space gets a cozy “apres-ski” makeover and becomes The Runway Chalet. Heated tenting offers space to enjoy food, drink and games, and the pool water is kept at a toasty 95 degrees.

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The hotel itself opened in 2019 as part of a project to reinvigorate architect Eero Saarinen’s original TWA Flight Center, which ceased functioning as an air terminal in 2001. It maintains 512 rooms as well as conference space, restaurants and an aviation history museum.

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The rooftop infinity pool is open daily to non-hotel guests from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., although there is a fee for admission. Pool reservations are available for one hour and 45 minutes, after which the pool area will be completely cleaned for the next guests.

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