The Ramada Plaza JFK Hotel (at JFK Airport) was called “Heartbreak Hotel” (also the title of a 1956 Elvis Presley song) in July 1996, when it housed grieving family members of those who had died in the TWA Flight 800 air crash. The “Heartbreak Hotel” nickname stuck when the hotel performed a similar role in other air disasters.
The Ramada Plaza hotel closed in 2009, but any new hotel that takes over the building will have the legacy of the “Heartbreak Hotel” nickname.
Wikipedia: Ramada Plaza JFK Hotel
The Ramada Plaza JFK Hotel was a Ramada-branded hotel at John F. Kennedy International Airport, located in the Queens borough of New York City, New York, United States.
Description and history
The airport’s only on-site hotel, it was located in Airport Building 144, a six-story, a white-brick building with 478 rooms.
Use as temporary housing
A series of nearby airplane-crash incidents, the flights of which originated at the airport  in the 1990s and 2000s, caused the hotel to be casually referred to as the “heartbreak hotel” when the facilities would be used as the temporary central housing and gathering place for family members of passengers and crew, as well as the media.
Wikipedia: Heartbreak Hotel
“Heartbreak Hotel” is a song recorded by American singer Elvis Presley. It was released as a single on January 27, 1956, Presley’s first on his new record label RCA Victor. It was written by Tommy Durden and Mae Boren Axton.
Daily News (New York, NY)
A HEARTBREAK HOTEL FOR KIN THEY WAIT, WEEP AT JFK RAMADA
BY YING CHAN,, JOSE LAMBIET, JERE HESTER Saturday, July 20, 1996, 12:00 AM
There have been few answers for the grieving families of Flight 800 victims. They wait, amid their tears, as the agonizing process of medical and criminal investigation moves ahead. Relatives, some clutching photos of loved ones, continued yesterday to pour into the Ramada Plaza Hotel at Kennedy Airport, which has become a makeshift grief counseling center. Yesterday, medical examiners began interviewing the 110 gathered families, asking questions ranging from the size of their loved ones to scars, tattoos and dental histories aimed at helping to identify bodies.
Philadelphia (PA) Daily News
229 Victims Knew Jet Was In Trouble Airport Inn Becomes Heartbreak Hotel Again
by April Adamson, Daily News Staff Writer
POSTED: September 04, 1998
QUEENS, N.Y. — There is a routine now, a strange, somber method to the madness.
Prepare the food, build the barricades, erect the podiums, mobilize the cops and the medics.
It is a chapel, a place in which to sob, to hold hands, to pray.
For the second time in as many years, this is Heartbreak Hotel.
At the Ramada Inn Hotel at the JFK Airport, the process of comforting the grief-stricken families who lost loved ones in the crash off Nova Scotia of a Swissair jumbo jet, in which all 229 passengers died, began yesterday.
CNN SATURDAY MORNING NEWS
Hotel Near JFK Airport is Familiar With Airline Tragedy
Aired November 17, 2001 - 09:55 ET
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Well, when flight 587 went down, the red carpet rolled out for grief-stricken families at a facility that has lots of experience with airline tragedies.
CNN’s Beth Nissen gives us an inside look at Heartbreak Hotel.
BETH NISSEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They call it the Heartbreak Hotel: the Ramada Plaza at JFK Airport in New York.
After the crash of American Airlines flight 587, the hotel became the gathering place for families of those lost. The families of plane crash victims have come here before. In 1996, after TWA flight 800 exploded off Long Island, two years later, after SwissAir flight 111 crashed in Nova Scotia, and in 1999, after EgyptAir flight 990 plunged into the Atlantic.
What Happened To The Heartbreak Hote?
Posted Thu Jan 9 2014 18:34:15
I was connecting through JFK the other day and noticed an old haunt of mine, the Ramada Plaza JFK (aka the “Heartbreak” Hotel due it’s housing victims’ families from PA103, TW800, Swissair 11, and so on), shut down. What happened? I havebnt stayed here since 2005 or so, and yeah, it was a bit worn by then, but, havent they made repairs/renovations? Does anyone have a clue?