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First look at the much-anticipated Amex Centurion Lounge in Denver

Jan. 29, 2021
11 min read
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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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Access

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.

Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

For starters, you need to have The Platinum Card® from American Express ($695 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.

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Related: Which card is right for you? Amex Platinum vs. Amex Business Platinum

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.

Related: How to get a family of 4 or more into an Amex Centurion Lounge

Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

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.

RELATED: Maximizing benefits with the Amex Platinum Card

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

Location

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.

Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

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.

Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

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.

Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

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.

Layout

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.

Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

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.

Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

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.

Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

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.

Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

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.

In Denver, you’ll enjoy Italian-inspired fare by Executive Chef Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson, of Boulder's Frasca Food & Wine and Pizzeria Locale.

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.

Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

The lounge’s main bar is stocked with top-shelf liquor.

Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

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.

Amenities

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.

Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

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.

Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

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.

Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

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.

Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

Seats will be marked for social distancing, and all food and beverages will be served in individual portions by lounge representatives.

Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

Additionally, showers are closed, and hand sanitizer stations are located at nearly every corner.

More: Amex details the pandemic-related changes coming to Centurion Lounges

Bottom line

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.

Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

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

Featured image by The American Express Centurion Lounge at Denver International Airport (DEN). (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG featured card

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
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Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023