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Aviation-Inspired Travel Experiences on the East and West Coast

TravelPulse logo TravelPulse 11/13/2019 Allison Ramirez
a bedroom with a bed and desk in a room: A cabin at YOTELAir, an airport pod hotel © YOTEL A cabin at YOTELAir, an airport pod hotel

November is National Aviation History Month and it’s no wonder we’re born obsessed with planes, trains and all things that beep, whistle and fly. Even as adults, there’s still something so awe-inspiring about the fantasy of taking flight. Now you can do it all while staying grounded with some of the country’s coolest and newest aviation-inspired experiences on both coasts. Are you an AV geek in New York or California? We have four hotels that just might be perfect for you.

YOTEL San Francisco

Inspired by the luxury of First Class travel and smart design, YOTEL San Francisco, which opened its doors this past February, has landed in S.F.’s fast-growing Mid-Market neighborhood. It’s the West Coast’s first-ever aviation-inspired hotel, situated in the historic Grant Building that miraculously survived the 1906 and 1989 earthquakes.

YOTEL San Francisco has kept some historic features, but also provides an elevated experience with its future-forward design. This property features the brand’s first-ever Sky Cabin room category, which allows you to choose from various cabin types including everything from single occupancy rooms to the VIP Queen View Suite, which offers a futuristic take on luxury and a little more space for the traveler that needs it. All the Sky Cabin rooms offer rainfall showers, adjustable SmartBeds, heated towel racks in the bathrooms and more. The Sky and City Sky are two levels with the mezzanine designed perfectly for sleeping.

What we love about this tech-savvy property is that it is redefining modern hospitality with amenities such as airline-style self-check-in kiosks, a one-stop-shop concierge service and even a co-working space on the property. Rooms are smaller here but still manage to provide that sumptuous feel of a ritzier and pricier hotel.

Hotel Figueroa in Los Angeles

Not only is Hotel Figueroa in DTLA absolutely beautiful, but it also offers another perspective on aviation history and how one hotel is preserving this really well. The iconic feminist hotel, open for almost a century, recently underwent a multi-million dollar renovation and, man, did this kick it up a notch (and by a notch, we mean lots of notches!).

The property combines some of its older elements with new design, lots of plants and cozy common areas and pays homage to its first female managing director, Maude Bouldin. A pioneering aviatrix in the 1920s, Maude flew her plane from New York to LA and then went right on to make Hotel Figueroa a safe place (and the first) for women to check-in alone, without a man. The hotel showcases lots of female-created and inspired works of art, too, and the current Featured Artist is Sophie Kipner, whose ‘blind contour’ painting of Amelia Earhart is hanging in the lobby and available for purchase.

The Pan Am Experience in Los Angeles

Also in LA, a retro-airline themed fine-dining event known as The Pan Am Experience pays homage to the iconic airline by bringing passengers onboard a luxurious Pan Am 747 replica from the 1970s.

The nostalgic experience includes cocktails, a four-course meal and Pan Am style stewardess service, complete with Frank Sinatra tunes floating softly from the speakers. No take-off or landing required here. The Pan Am 747 features red and blue plush seats as well as a premium economy section. The four-hour dinner experience has been active for over five years and its purpose is to connect modern-day passengers to air travel’s enchanting past.

The TWA Hotel in New York

Just a few months ago in May of this year, the iconic Trans World Flight Center reopened at JFK Airport as the TWA Hotel. The airport’s first hotel and one of the first of its kind, the retro-style TWA Hotel allows you to step back in time and feels very Jetsons-esque with its walnut martini bars and sodas from the 1960s, like Tab.

The hotel boasts views of JFK’s runway and offers food truck-style cuisine in the Departure Hall wing to the right while to the left, front desk kiosks are available to help you get checked in. The Sunken Lounge is the perfect place to grab a drink pre or post-flight and there’s a 200,000-square-foot lobby area that also includes various bars, shops, a reading room and a 10,000-square-foot fitness center for those on a strict workout schedule.

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