First look at the much-anticipated Amex Centurion Lounge in Denver
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Well, it’s finally here.
The American Express Centurion Lounge in Denver was first announced in 2018 with an opening slated for 2019, but it faced multiple construction-related delays.
Yet, as they say, better late than never.
And that’s especially true in the case of Amex’s 14th Centurion Lounge — the Denver outpost is perhaps the most impressive to date.
Let’s take a detailed look inside the space. And best of all, it opens on Monday, Feb. 1, so get your Platinum Card® from American Express ready.
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For now, the lounge will be open daily from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. Amex hopes to expand the hours to 5 a.m. until 10 p.m. once flight schedules recover from the pandemic-related drop in demand.
For starters, you need to have The Platinum Card® from American Express ($550 annual fee. See rates & fees), The Business Platinum Card® from American Express or The Centurion® Card to access the Centurion Lounge. Visitors are entitled to bring two guests (or immediate family, if you carry a Centurion card), and lap infants don’t count against the two-guest allotment.
The information for the Centurion Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Cardmembers with other flavors of the Platinum Card, such as the Schwab, Ameriprise or international versions, also have access. Authorized users with a Centurion or Platinum Card can also enter — you can add up to three authorized users to the personal Platinum Card for a total of $175 per year (see rates and fees) — but those who have the Platinum’s complimentary additional Gold Card don’t have access. Adding authorized users is the best strategy if you need to get a family larger than three in the Centurion Lounge.
Note that Platinum cardmembers can only access Centurion lounges up to three hours before a departing flight. Platinum members also get access when connecting through the airport but won’t get access without an onward boarding pass.
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card cardholders receive complimentary access to the Centurion Lounge when flying Delta with a ticket purchased on any American Express card issued in the U.S. You’ll be able to bring up to two guests for a fee of $50 each.
RELATED: Why you should get the Amex Platinum
The lounge is located in Denver’s Concourse C, the primary home for Alaska, Southwest and Spirit.
It’s nearly impossible to miss the lounge. As you walk toward Gate C47, you’ll find a massive “living wall” emblazoned with signature American Express branding.
Keep walking toward the sign, and you’ll find a set of escalators that take you up to the lounge’s expansive entrance.
Denver’s reception area is easily the most dramatic in the entire network.
The C Concourse will receive a much-needed extension in the coming months, but the lounge’s upper-level location will remain when the new gates open.
Denver Airport is entirely connected post-security, so the Centurion Lounge is just a short train ride away if you’re departing from an A or B gate.
At 14,650 square feet, the Denver Centurion Lounge is Amex’s second-largest to date, just slightly smaller than the JFK location that opened late last year. It fits well over 300 people, so you shouldn’t have a problem snagging your preferred seat.
The lounge itself is arranged in a horseshoe, spanning the entire upper level between Gates C47 and C49. After being admitted to the lounge, you’ll need to turn left or right.
Whichever way you choose, you’ll find yourself in a long, narrow hallway lined with a variety of comfortable seating areas, including couches and freestanding recliners.
Continue walking toward the back of the lounge, and you’ll enter another seating area, seemingly designed as an auxiliary dining space, decked out with two-top tables and couches.
The ornate bar, finished with blue marble and wood paneling, serves as the bridge between the two hallways.
There’s plenty of counter seating around the bar and the room’s perimeter, facing the lounge entrance and overlooking the terminal itself.
Had Amex stopped there, it would’ve already won the title for the best lounge in Denver. But there’s still so much more.
Each hallway has multiple offshoots with a variety of additional seating options. The north side of the lounge has three additional rooms.
The first is decked out with an eight-seat communal working table, a long counter that serves as the makeshift business center and plenty of freestanding solo chairs that first debuted last year in the Los Angeles outpost.
The second features Amex’s new zig-zag couch seating, which maximizes privacy and the sense of personal space. You’ll also find a coffee station in this area.
The third sports a variety of life-sized games, including Connect 4, checkers and backgammon, as well as pool and shuffleboard tables. A mural of the Rocky Mountains adorns the game room’s wall as a nod to the Mile High City.
This is also where you’ll find the lounge’s second bar, dubbed the Craft Beer Bar, which I’ll discuss in the next section.
The large dining room is on the south side of the lounge. There are plenty of individual tables, some with bench seating, and an additional hallway with even more tables.
Aside from the luxurious design and thoughtful layout, Amex maximized the lounge’s natural light. With floor-to-ceiling windows on both the exterior and interior, there’s plenty of space for both plane spotting and people watching.
Food and beverage
Every Centurion Lounge partners with a local celebrity chef to curate the food offerings.
Some of the highlights include gubana French toast for breakfast and rigatoni al portonat for dinner.
You’ll find the full menus below.
The Denver lounge is also the first in the network with a live-action cooking station. This means that pasta dishes will be prepared a la carte, allowing you to customize your ingredients and cooking preferences — a welcome addition I hope gets installed in other new Centurion outposts.
The lounge’s main bar is stocked with top-shelf liquor.
You can order from the cocktail menu and wine list curated by Jim Meehan and Anthony Giglio, respectively.
The Craft Beer Bar is a nod to the city’s bustling brewery scene. For now, the bar will feature brews from Denver Beer Co, ODD13 Brewery, Breckenridge Brewery and Left Hand Brewing Company, and Amex promises to rotate the selections seasonally.
There are two thirst-quenching stations throughout the space, each with Eversys coffee machines and Vivreau water spouts.
I didn’t have the opportunity to try any of the drinks, but the food I tasted — a selection of salads and pasta — was delicious and well above-average for an airport lounge.
The Denver outpost isn’t the amenity king (that’s Dallas), but the lounge does offer a handful of thoughtful amenities.
For one, there’s a large family room with some seating for adults and toys for the kids.
There’s just one single phone room, so you’re likely better off finding a quiet corner for that private conversation.
Some, like me, might consider the Denver-exclusive game room as an amenity. Others might lament the fact that the lounge doesn’t have a spa.
The restrooms are near the central bar area. There are three stalls and three urinals in the men’s room.
You’ll find two shower suites featuring L’Occitane amenities near the restrooms.
This location nails the basics better than any other Centurion Lounge to date. There’s a power outlet, as well as USB-A and USB-C ports at almost every seat, including freestanding chairs and tables lined against the wall.
Additionally, the password-protected Wi-Fi was blazing fast during my visit, with download and upload speeds hovering around 300 Mbps.
The Centurion Lounge Commitment
While the Centurion Lounge is an incredible addition to the Denver Airport, some services will be modified due to the pandemic.
Seats will be marked for social distancing, and all food and beverages will be served in individual portions by lounge representatives.
Additionally, showers are closed, and hand sanitizer stations are located at nearly every corner.
The minute you step inside the Amex Centurion Lounge in Denver, you’ll immediately forget that it took the issuer nearly three years to open the space.
With a thoughtful layout, tasteful design and top-notch food and beverage offerings, you may not want to leave.
The Denver outpost also shines with the basics and features some unique amenities, making it one of the nicest in the network — and certainly the best lounge in the Mile High City.
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, click here.
All images by Zach Griff/The Points Guy
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