I visited the newly renovated AmEx Centurion Lounge at Las Vegas airport and it was the best way to spend a layover in Sin City

LAS Centurion Lounge
  • American Express just completed renovations on its Las Vegas Centurion Lounge, adding more than 4,000 square feet.
  • The lounge is only accessible to select cardholders, including Platinums and Centurions.
  • Complimentary food and alcohol are just some of the perks that the Las Vegas-themed lounge offers.3
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Las Vegas is home to one of American Express’ 14 Centurion Lounges, widely considered to be the gold standard of airport lounges because of their high-end offerings including complimentary and meticulous crafted food items and alcoholic beverages.

McCarran Airport
McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas NV

The lounge is located in the airport’s D gate concourse, home to United Airlines, Frontier Airlines, and JetBlue Airways, among others.

American Express Centurion Lounge Las Vegas Airport
Inside the American Express Centurion Lounge at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport

Passenger on any airline can access the lounge, however, if they have the American Express Platinum or Centurion card. American Express Delta Skymiles Reserve cardholders can also use the lounge when flying Delta or a Delta-marketed flight.

Platinum Card from American Express

I had a six-hour layover in the airport so I headed straight to the lounge. Departing passengers are normally only allowed to enter within three hours of their flight but connecting passengers are exempt from that rule.

American Express Centurion Lounge Las Vegas Airport
Inside the American Express Centurion Lounge at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport

Here’s what it was like inside the Las Vegas Centurion Lounge.

American Express Centurion Lounge Las Vegas Airport
Inside the American Express Centurion Lounge at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport

I checked into the lounge using digital check-in via the American Express mobile application and was given a QR code to show the agent. I only had to show my boarding pass and identification as the agent saw my check-in on her end.

American Express Centurion Lounge Las Vegas Airport
Inside the American Express Centurion Lounge at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport

Within seconds, I was inside one of the most exclusive clubs in Las Vegas. Greeting me was this portrait of a dog resting on an American Express trunk accompanying two black armchairs, a staple of the Centurion Lounge that can be found in every location.

American Express Centurion Lounge Las Vegas Airport
Inside the American Express Centurion Lounge at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport

The lounge was moderately crowded and employees, as a result, were escorting guests to particular seats to help ensure distancing.

American Express Centurion Lounge Las Vegas Airport
Inside the American Express Centurion Lounge at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport

I was asked if I wanted to sit in one of the main seating areas….

American Express Centurion Lounge Las Vegas Airport
Inside the American Express Centurion Lounge at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport

Or the dining area. I chose the former to take advantage of the more comfortable seating.

American Express Centurion Lounge Las Vegas Airport
Inside the American Express Centurion Lounge at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport

I was traveling alone so I was given one of these cushioned cubbies, complete with my own table.

American Express Centurion Lounge Las Vegas Airport
Inside the American Express Centurion Lounge at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport

Capacity in the lounge is limited due to the pandemic so certain seating areas are blocked.

American Express Centurion Lounge Las Vegas Airport
Inside the American Express Centurion Lounge at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport

Along the wall where I was sitting, for example, every other cubby was blocked.

American Express Centurion Lounge Las Vegas Airport
Inside the American Express Centurion Lounge at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport

It created an extra degree of privacy and meant I had more room to store my bags, and another table to hold my laptop while I ate lunch.

American Express Centurion Lounge Las Vegas Airport
Inside the American Express Centurion Lounge at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport

Once I got settled, I headed over to the buffet to get something to eat. These lounges are known for having good eats with menus crafted from local chefs. Chef Kim Canteenwalla had designed this menu.

American Express Centurion Lounge Las Vegas Airport
Inside the American Express Centurion Lounge at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport

The offering was quite extensive and better than what I’d seen in competing airline lounges even before the pandemic. Light options included a chopped bacon, lettuce, and tomato salad…

American Express Centurion Lounge Las Vegas Airport
Inside the American Express Centurion Lounge at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport

Butternut squash soup…

American Express Centurion Lounge Las Vegas Airport
Inside the American Express Centurion Lounge at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport

And mango cranberry couscous.

American Express Centurion Lounge Las Vegas Airport
Inside the American Express Centurion Lounge at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport

Hot items included kale pesto pasta…

American Express Centurion Lounge Las Vegas Airport
Inside the American Express Centurion Lounge at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport

Brussel sprouts…

American Express Centurion Lounge Las Vegas Airport
Inside the American Express Centurion Lounge at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport

Meatloaf…

American Express Centurion Lounge Las Vegas Airport
Inside the American Express Centurion Lounge at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport

And chimichurri fingerling potatoes.

American Express Centurion Lounge Las Vegas Airport
Inside the American Express Centurion Lounge at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport

And for desert, peach cobbler was on offer.

American Express Centurion Lounge Las Vegas Airport
Inside the American Express Centurion Lounge at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport

Healthier options included fruits like apples, pears, and bananas. Cookies and honey mustard pretzels were also on offer but not many snacks were available other than that.

American Express Centurion Lounge Las Vegas Airport
Inside the American Express Centurion Lounge at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport

All in all, it was some of the best airport food I’ve ever had. Every item was bursting with flavor and made for a great meal.

American Express Centurion Lounge Las Vegas Airport
Inside the American Express Centurion Lounge at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport

And of course, the full bar is another big selling feature of the lounge as drinks are complimentary.

American Express Centurion Lounge Las Vegas Airport
Inside the American Express Centurion Lounge at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport

The main bar was closed but this makeshift bar still did the trick. Most common cocktails can be ordered at the bar but American Express’ in-house mixologist, Jim Meehan, also crafts specialty drinks for each location.

American Express Centurion Lounge Las Vegas Airport
Inside the American Express Centurion Lounge at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport

One such drink was the “air mail,” a sparkling wine drink with rum, honey syrup, and lime juice.

American Express Centurion Lounge Las Vegas Airport
Inside the American Express Centurion Lounge at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport

Plexiglass partitions were also erected at the bar for social distancing.

American Express Centurion Lounge Las Vegas Airport
Inside the American Express Centurion Lounge at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport

After having lunch, I walked around the more than 13,000 square foot space. American Express just recently renovated the lounge and it showed.

American Express Centurion Lounge Las Vegas Airport
Inside the American Express Centurion Lounge at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport

The decor was very modern and very Las Vegas. It made me feel like I was in the heart of the Strip despite only being at the airport.

American Express Centurion Lounge Las Vegas Airport
Inside the American Express Centurion Lounge at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport

Large sections of the lounge were blocked off but other sections included a sprawling conference table and more private seating.

American Express Centurion Lounge Las Vegas Airport
Inside the American Express Centurion Lounge at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport

These lounges often lend themselves well to social distancing with high-walled chairs since privacy is a huge draw for discerning travelers.

American Express Centurion Lounge Las Vegas Airport
Inside the American Express Centurion Lounge at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport

There are even private phone rooms that are enclosed for maximum privacy.

American Express Centurion Lounge Las Vegas Airport
Inside the American Express Centurion Lounge at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport

I also discovered somewhat of a hidden room in the back of the lounge.

American Express Centurion Lounge Las Vegas Airport
Inside the American Express Centurion Lounge at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport

It didn’t have any windows but was well-lit and has its own television.

American Express Centurion Lounge Las Vegas Airport
Inside the American Express Centurion Lounge at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport

The lounge’s family room was, however, off-limits due to the pandemic.

American Express Centurion Lounge Las Vegas Airport
Inside the American Express Centurion Lounge at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport

Roped-off areas were opened once the lounge was sufficiently crowded. It wasn’t uncommon before the pandemic to see these lounges filled to the brim.

American Express Centurion Lounge Las Vegas Airport
Inside the American Express Centurion Lounge at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport

Departure information screens could also be found throughout the lounge so passengers could stay up to date on the status of their next flight.

American Express Centurion Lounge Las Vegas Airport
Inside the American Express Centurion Lounge at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport

Aviation enthusiasts will enjoy one of the seating areas near the window as a variety of aircraft can be spotted.

American Express Centurion Lounge Las Vegas Airport
Inside the American Express Centurion Lounge at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport

Hot beverages were also available with multi-beverage coffee machines capable of making anything from a standard cup of coffee to espresso, cappuccino, hot chocolate, and anything in between.

American Express Centurion Lounge Las Vegas Airport
Inside the American Express Centurion Lounge at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport

A selection of teas was also available with hot water.

American Express Centurion Lounge Las Vegas Airport
Inside the American Express Centurion Lounge at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport

Visiting this lounge made my six-hour layover go by in what felt like an instant.

American Express Centurion Lounge Las Vegas Airport
Inside the American Express Centurion Lounge at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport

The only downside is that it closes at 3 p.m., at which point the only other lounge available to passengers in the terminal is The Club LAS.

American Express Centurion Lounge Las Vegas Airport
Inside the American Express Centurion Lounge at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport

But for the few hours I got to spend in the lounge, I can say that it will become a staple on my future visits to Las Vegas.

American Express Centurion Lounge Las Vegas Airport
Inside the American Express Centurion Lounge at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport

The renovations and superior offering make it a jewel in the Centurion Lounge network.

American Express Centurion Lounge Las Vegas Airport
Inside the American Express Centurion Lounge at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport

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Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway scores $17 billion gain across 5 stocks as value stages a comeback

warren buffett
Warren Buffett.

  • Warren Buffett has racked up $17 billion in gains across just five stocks this year.
  • Berkshire Hathaway’s Bank of America stake has soared in value by $9 billion.
  • Buffett is up more than $1 billion on Kraft Heinz, GM, and US Bancorp in 2021.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Warren Buffett is winning big from the flight to value stocks ahead of the global economy reopening this summer. The famed investor’s Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate has notched an astounding $17 billion in gains across only five stocks this year.

Buffett’s company is up $9 billion on Bank of America alone. The banking group’s stock price has surged 30% since the start of January, boosting the value of Berkshire’s enlarged stake from $30 billion to $39 billion.

Moreover, Berkshire has scored a $3.7 billion gain on American Express, as the financial-services group’s stock has jumped 30% this year. It has also made $1.5 billion on Kraft Heinz, $1.4 billion on General Motors, and $1.3 billion on US Bancorp in under three months.

Buffett’s bets on five Japanese trading houses last fall are delivering too. Itochu, Mitsui, Marubeni, Mitsubishi, and Sumitomo shares have gained an average of 26% this year, lifting the combined value of Berkshire’s holdings by $1.6 billion.

Other Berkshire investments are outperforming as well. Chevron, Suncor Energy, and Synchrony Financial have all climbed more than 20% this year, while Wells Fargo – previously one of Berkshire’s biggest holdings – has rallied 37%. Meanwhile, the benchmark S&P 500 index is up 5.8% this year.

However, Berkshire’s gains have been partly offset by the recent exodus from tech stocks. Apple – which makes up more than 40% of Buffett’s US stock portfolio – has slumped 7% this year. The decline has wiped close to $8 billion off the value of Berkshire’s stake.

Berkshire has also taken a hit from Coca-Cola, leaving its shares worth about $900 million less today than at the start of January. The company’s also down about $400 million on both Snowflake and Verizon.

Buffett’s signature approach of sniffing out high-quality, undervalued businesses and investing for the long term is finally paying off. Yet if growth stocks do take off again, his Apple wager will likely flourish. It appears Buffett’s found a way to have his cake and eat it too.

Read the original article on Business Insider

AmEx just opened the second largest of its famously luxirous Centurion Lounges – see inside

American Express Centurion Lounge Denver
American Express’s Denver Centurion Lounge.

  • 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. 

Walk to the western edge of Concourse C at Denver airport and you’ll find the Centurion Lounge. You can’t miss it as the American Express name is displayed for all in the terminal below to see.

American Express Centurion Lounge Denver
American Express’s 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.

American Express Centurion Lounge Denver
American Express’s Denver Centurion Lounge.

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.

American Express Centurion Lounge Denver
American Express’s Denver Centurion Lounge.

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.

American Express Centurion Lounge Denver
American Express’s Denver Centurion Lounge.

Here’s the blue door at the newly-opened lounge at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, for example.

Amex Centurion Lounge JFK Airport
Inside the Amex Centurion Lounge at JFK Airport.

But the similarly iconic living wall is still in place, filled with live plants.

American Express Centurion Lounge Denver
American Express’s Denver Centurion Lounge.

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.

American Express Centurion Lounge Denver
American Express’s Denver Centurion Lounge.

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.

American Express Centurion Lounge Denver
American Express’s Denver Centurion Lounge.

More patrons will be allowed in as Denver’s guidelines loosen, however.

American Express Centurion Lounge Denver
American Express’s Denver Centurion Lounge.

Lounge chairs and couches line the interior windows, with seats blocked for distancing.

American Express Centurion Lounge Denver
American Express’s Denver Centurion Lounge.

Larger tables are reserved for groups of three or more, to be seated by the lounge hosts.

American Express Centurion Lounge Denver
American Express’s Denver Centurion Lounge.

The lounge does include a family room but it’s largely off-limits during the pandemic.

American Express Centurion Lounge Denver
American Express’s Denver Centurion Lounge.

One of the staples of the Centurion Lounge is complimentary alcoholic beverages and the Denver lounge doesn’t disappoint.

American Express Centurion Lounge Denver
American Express’s Denver Centurion Lounge.

This craft beer bar, one of two bars in the lounge, only serves up local brews.

American Express Centurion Lounge Denver
American Express’s Denver Centurion Lounge.

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.

American Express Centurion Lounge Denver
American Express’s Denver Centurion Lounge.

The craft beer bar is located in the lounge’s game room featuring billiards, shuffleboard, and other tabletop games. like chess and checkers.

American Express Centurion Lounge Denver
American Express’s Denver Centurion Lounge.

The games can be played during the pandemic but accessories are strictly controlled by staff, who also ensure they’re sanitized after each use.

American Express Centurion Lounge Denver
American Express’s Denver Centurion Lounge.

Amex opted for the game room instead of a spa or fitness center.

American Express Centurion Lounge Denver
American Express’s Denver Centurion Lounge.

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.

American Express Centurion Lounge Denver
American Express’s Denver Centurion Lounge.

Construction wasn’t drastically altered due to the pandemic as lounges are already built with privacy in mind.

American Express Centurion Lounge Denver
American Express’s Denver Centurion Lounge.

Some of the solo seats were either spaced already or came with high, pandemic-friendly dividers.

American Express Centurion Lounge Denver
American Express’s Denver Centurion Lounge.

But there are changes in the service. Literature in the lounge, for example, has gone digital.

American Express Centurion Lounge Denver
American Express’s Denver Centurion Lounge.

Plexiglass partitions can also be found at check-in and at the bars.

American Express Centurion Lounge Denver
American Express’s Denver Centurion Lounge.

And any food has to be served from lounge staff.

American Express Centurion Lounge Denver
American Express’s Denver Centurion Lounge.

For business travelers, amenities include a small business center with a printer…

American Express Centurion Lounge Denver
American Express’s Denver Centurion Lounge.

And a conference table.

American Express Centurion Lounge Denver
American Express’s Denver Centurion Lounge.

For private phone calls, the lounge also offers one phone room.

American Express Centurion Lounge Denver
American Express’s Denver Centurion Lounge.

The second bar is located at the bottom of the horseshoe, opposite the check-in area.

American Express Centurion Lounge Denver
American Express’s Denver Centurion Lounge.

This is where most of the cocktails will be crafted, also at no cost to patrons.

American Express Centurion Lounge Denver
American Express’s Denver Centurion Lounge.

Centurion cardholders, AmEx’s “black card,” also receive special perks like Veuve Clicquot champagne.

American Express Centurion Lounge Denver
American Express’s Denver Centurion Lounge.

Digital flight information signage can be found throughout the space so passengers can keep an eye on their flights without leaving the lounge.

American Express Centurion Lounge Denver
American Express’s Denver Centurion Lounge.

The dining area then features classic tables, chairs, and benches for when it’s time to enjoy a meal.

American Express Centurion Lounge Denver
American Express’s Denver Centurion Lounge.

Those wanting to plane spot from the lounge would be ideally seated by the window.

American Express Centurion Lounge Denver
American Express’s Denver Centurion Lounge.

The dining area windows face south and overlook the Southwest gates below. Just across the ramp is the sprawling United Airlines concourse.

American Express Centurion Lounge Denver
American Express’s Denver Centurion Lounge.

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.

American Express Centurion Lounge Denver
American Express’s Denver Centurion Lounge.

Plates are served on trays and given to patrons.

American Express Centurion Lounge Denver
American Express’s Denver Centurion Lounge.

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.

American Express Centurion Lounge Denver
American Express’s Denver Centurion Lounge.

The lounge also offers a pasta bar during the afternoon and a Nutella crepe bar for breakfast.

American Express Centurion Lounge Denver
American Express’s Denver Centurion Lounge.

Coffee and tea can be found at one of these stations, spread across the lounge. An attendant will also serve the drinks as well.

American Express Centurion Lounge Denver
American Express’s Denver Centurion Lounge.

Overall, this lounge is a great reason to get to the airport early.

American Express Centurion Lounge Denver
American Express’s Denver Centurion Lounge.

The pandemic hasn’t impacted the iconic Centurion Lounge service too much and nothing beats free food and drink while at the airport.

American Express Centurion Lounge Denver
American Express’s Denver Centurion Lounge.

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.

American Express Centurion Lounge Denver
American Express’s Denver Centurion Lounge.

Read the original article on Business Insider