First look at the newly expanded Amex Centurion Lounge in Las Vegas
Leading up to the pandemic, one of the biggest complaints with Amex Centurion Lounges was overcrowding at times. The issuer built lounges that premium cardholders actually want to visit and they were often full to capacity.
Thankfully, Amex has doubled down on expanding its existing spaces to accommodate more travelers, in addition to steadily growing the network's footprint with new outposts. Upcoming renovations are planned for New York LaGuardia (LGA), San Francisco (SFO) and Seattle (SEA).
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This month, the issuer completed the (much-needed) expansion of its first-ever Centurion Lounge in Las Vegas. The space has increased by 50%, going from nearly 9,000 square feet to more than 13,400 square feet, making it one of Amex's largest lounges to date.
The outpost hasn't moved locations — it's still right across from Gate D1, a short walk from the boarding areas dedicated to Alaska, American, Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Sun Country, United and others.
Armed with The Platinum Card® from American Express, I visited the newly renovated lounge on Wednesday morning. Though it might look familiar from the outside, there's a lot to love about the new layout. Let's take a look inside.
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The first thing you'll notice when you enter the Las Vegas outpost is the brand-new reception area, decked out with Amex's signature green living wall, wood accents and bright lights.
Turning left from the welcome desk brings you into the main area of the lounge, which is where you'll find the bulk of the expansion.
There's a new rectangular hallway that connects the expanded area with the lounge's original footprint. Here you'll find three new seating areas.
The first has just a few recliners and tables and could get quite noisy with all the foot traffic entering and leaving. This is also where you'll find a poster of the company's watchdog logo, with two chairs just below it.
The second area features seven individual relaxing nooks on one wall and some couches on the other.
The center of the room is decked out with a zig-zag couch, as well as an assortment of freestanding chairs, recliners and tables.
All of the furniture has been updated to reflect the issuer's latest design motifs that you'll find in some of its newest outposts in New York-JFK and Los Angeles.
The third room at the end of the hallway has a six-person co-working table and six individual freestanding sofa seats, as well as a shared printer and library (that's since been digitalized due to the pandemic).
Opposite this room is a new self-serve beverage station with an Eversys coffee machine, a pitcher of orange juice and Vivreau water tap.
There's also a very small private lounge at the back of the new expansion, which is off-limits to most travelers. It's reserved for VIPs and select Centurion cardmembers — I couldn't even grab pictures of it.
In total, the expanded lounge can accommodate 464 visitors per local city ordinances, compared to 391 in the original space. Though this is just a roughly 20% increase, there's definitely more room to move around.
Amex built two new phone booths in the expanded space. They're both located on opposite sides of a supporting pillar in the central artery of the lounge.
During the expansion, Amex repurposed the dedicated family room as a new multipurpose room — it's no longer reserved for families, nor does it have any children's toys inside.
The dining room also received a notable upgrade. It's much larger, with a mix of high-top and freestanding tables, as well as plenty of booth seating.
The bar itself has also been renovated and modernized, though it still offers the Centurion Lounge classics, such as the signature Blue Door cocktail curated by renowned mixologist Jim Meehan.
The buffet used to be adjacent to the bar, often leading to overcrowding as cardmembers grabbed food and drinks.
Now, it's been relocated to a freestanding station in the corner of the lounge. Once the COVID-19 restrictions relax, the buffet will be self-service from two directions, helping to reduce congestion.
For now, however, all food is plated and served by an Amex representative. During my morning visit, breakfast was on offer, featuring chocolate banana pancakes, biscuits and gravy, chicken apple sausage hash and more.
Next to the buffet is another new unique seating installation — this one has multiple four-person dining tables arranged in a zig-zag configuration.
In addition to the lounge's existing restrooms, the issuer built a second set of facilities just a few steps up from the buffet.
The single shower room is still intact, though it's not currently operational due to pandemic restrictions.
The remainder of the lounge is located along the exterior perimeter of the space, with the large glass windows overlooking the ramp providing plenty of natural light.
This area was largely left untouched during the renovation. There were a few new pieces of furniture here, and aside from what appeared to be new upholstery, this part of the lounge will likely be the most familiar to returning travelers.
One thing that hasn't changed during the expansion is the access policy. You need to have The Platinum Card® from American Express, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express or The Centurion® Card to access the Centurion Lounge.
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.
Just note that bringing guests into the Centurion Lounge will soon cost $50 each starting on Feb. 1, 2023.
All in all, the new lounge is a massive improvement compared to the original.
In addition to the nearly 50% larger footprint, the look and feel of the space have been upgraded as well. There are two new phone booths, plenty of new workstations, an expanded bar and dining area, and a second set of restrooms. The furniture has also been modernized to align with Amex's latest brand standard.
Only time will tell how crowded the expanded Las Vegas Centurion Lounge will get, but one thing's for sure: Returning visitors will notice the changes.
All photos by Zach Griff/The Points Guy