- American Express debuted its 14th Centurion Lounge at Denver International Airport in February.
- The more than 14,000 square foot lounge is the second-largest in the Centurion Lounge network.
- Eligible patrons can use the lounge’s two bars, dining area, and game room and not have to spend a dime.
- Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.
American Express opened a new Centurion Lounge at Denver International Airport in February, the latest in the financial services company’s growing network of 14 airport lounges that will soon include locations in London and Washington, DC.
The Denver location covers more than 14,000 square feet above the airport’s Concourse C and is Amex’s second-largest lounge behind the newly-opened John F. Kennedy International Airport outpost. Its opening comes as increased spring and summer travel appears more likely thanks to a faster than anticipated vaccine rollout.
American Express now boasts the only true non-airline premium lounge in Denver, which until February only featured airline clubs and a USO location. Airline lounges have lagged behind private lounges in bringing back popular amenities, as Insider found during visits to the airport lounges of the top three US airlines, with this new location offering travelers a better alternative.
Amex Platinum and Centurion cardholders, as well as Delta Air Lines flyers with the Delta American Express Reserve card, can access the lounge and use it when departing from or connecting through Denver. Travelers whose final destination is the Mile High City, however, cannot use it upon their arrival.
Lounge patrons are also limited to a three-hour stay per American Express policy. Prior to the pandemic, these lounges were often filled from wall to wall, and they may soon be again.
Take a look inside the Denver Centurion Lounge.
It’s quite literally at the furthest reach of the airport, located at the far end of the concourse that’s the furthest from the main security checkpoint. Real estate at Denver airport, however, isn’t easy to come by for lounges so Amex had to take what it could get.
Guests can check-in at the main desk with their boarding pass, credit card, and identification, or use the American Express mobile application for contactless check-in.
Frequent Centurion Lounge patrons might notice something different about this lounge upon entry, and that’s because the Denver location doesn’t have the iconic blue door.
Here’s the blue door at the newly-opened lounge at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, for example.
But the similarly iconic living wall is still in place, filled with live plants.
The seating area is arranged in a horseshoe pattern above the concourse, with floor-to-ceiling windows on each side to give an open feeling.
A total of 587 patrons can be accommodated in normal times but COVID-19 restrictions in Denver only permit a maximum of 150 people at any time.
More patrons will be allowed in as Denver’s guidelines loosen, however.
Lounge chairs and couches line the interior windows, with seats blocked for distancing.
Larger tables are reserved for groups of three or more, to be seated by the lounge hosts.
The lounge does include a family room but it’s largely off-limits during the pandemic.
One of the staples of the Centurion Lounge is complimentary alcoholic beverages and the Denver lounge doesn’t disappoint.
This craft beer bar, one of two bars in the lounge, only serves up local brews.
Even if patrons are just passing through Denver, they’ll still get a taste of the local flavor. American Express’ mixologist, Jim Meehan, crafts a menu that’s specific to each destination.
The craft beer bar is located in the lounge’s game room featuring billiards, shuffleboard, and other tabletop games. like chess and checkers.
The games can be played during the pandemic but accessories are strictly controlled by staff, who also ensure they’re sanitized after each use.
Amex opted for the game room instead of a spa or fitness center.
Classic cocktails can also be ordered but the one drink that isn’t on the menu, however, is the “blue door” since this lounge doesn’t have the blue door.
Construction wasn’t drastically altered due to the pandemic as lounges are already built with privacy in mind.
Some of the solo seats were either spaced already or came with high, pandemic-friendly dividers.
But there are changes in the service. Literature in the lounge, for example, has gone digital.
Plexiglass partitions can also be found at check-in and at the bars.
And any food has to be served from lounge staff.
For business travelers, amenities include a small business center with a printer…
And a conference table.
For private phone calls, the lounge also offers one phone room.
The second bar is located at the bottom of the horseshoe, opposite the check-in area.
This is where most of the cocktails will be crafted, also at no cost to patrons.
Centurion cardholders, AmEx’s “black card,” also receive special perks like Veuve Clicquot champagne.
Digital flight information signage can be found throughout the space so passengers can keep an eye on their flights without leaving the lounge.
The dining area then features classic tables, chairs, and benches for when it’s time to enjoy a meal.
Those wanting to plane spot from the lounge would be ideally seated by the window.
The dining area windows face south and overlook the Southwest gates below. Just across the ramp is the sprawling United Airlines concourse.
On the menu for lunch on the day of our visit was chestnut soup, grilled chicken with salsa verde, Pomodoro di pasta, tiramisu, and berries and cream.
Plates are served on trays and given to patrons.
My tour was after hours but I did manage to sample some of the food, including the Tiramisu. True to reputation, the meal didn’t disappoint.
The lounge also offers a pasta bar during the afternoon and a Nutella crepe bar for breakfast.
Coffee and tea can be found at one of these stations, spread across the lounge. An attendant will also serve the drinks as well.
Overall, this lounge is a great reason to get to the airport early.
The pandemic hasn’t impacted the iconic Centurion Lounge service too much and nothing beats free food and drink while at the airport.
And of course, it wouldn’t be a Centurion Lounge without this iconic scene. This chair and art pair can be found at Amex lounges across the network.