Editor’s note: During the COVID-19 crisis, our team has temporarily ceased taking review trips. Instead, we have been publishing a selection previously unpublished flight, hotel and lounge reviews, from trips taken before the lockdown. We hope this will help you choose once we’re all ready to start booking trips again.
Note that all Amex Centurion Lounges remain closed, and the issuer has yet to set a date for reopening them. This review reflects the experience of a visit before the outbreak of the pandemic in the United States. When the lounges eventually reopen, you can expect changes to the experience outlined below.
Since it opened seven years ago as the first American Express Centurion Lounge, the Las Vegas location has proved to be a harbinger of good things to come for Amex. It led to 11 more locations, including the latest Centurion Lounge in Los Angeles.
Over the years, Centurion Lounges have only gotten nicer and more refined, leading to overcrowding at times. On a recent visit through San Francisco and Seattle, I had to wait on standby queues to enter them both. (The pandemic will likely eliminate overcrowding for months to come.)
After seven years, we figured that it was a good time to check back in on the LAS outpost. Read on for a full review of how the space is holding up. And note that the Las Vegas outpost is getting a major overhaul. Next year, the lounge’s footprint will increase by 50%.
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The Amex Centurion Lounge in Las Vegas is centrally located in Concourse D, opposite Gate D1. The lounge itself is hard to miss with its Centurion-branded, plant-filled walls.
With a few train rides, you can visit the lounge if you’re flying from the main concourse of Terminal 1 (A, B or C gates) or 3 (E gates), but it’s a trek and may not be worth it if you’re short on time.
The Centurion Lounge in Las Vegas is typically open daily from 5 a.m. until 11 p.m. Customers can enter a Centurion Lounge by presenting The Platinum Card® from American Express, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express or The Centurion® Card. 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 versions of the Platinum card (i.e., Schwab, Ameriprise or international cards) also have access. Authorized users with Centurion or Platinum cards can also enter — you may 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 Platinum’s complimentary additional Gold card don’t have access. This is the best strategy if you need to get a family larger than three into the Centurion Lounge.
Platinum cardmembers only have access to Centurion lounges up to three hours before a departing flight. When connecting through the airport, Platinum cardmembers must have an onward boarding pass to enter the lounge.
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express 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. Thankfully, Delta flies from the D Gates, so visiting the Centurion Lounge before your Delta-operated flight is convenient.
At roughly 8,000 square feet, the location in Las Vegas is average in size for the Centurion network.
As you enter the lounge, you’ll find seating laid out around a media wall and along the perimeter of the space.
The first arrangement of chairs and recliners is reserved for Centurion cardmembers, but the rest of the lounge is fair game for everyone else.
If you keep right along the perimeter, you’ll continue walking around the edge of the lounge where most of the seating’s located.
There are plenty of signature Amex green built-in wall chairs, as well as an assortment of solo recliners, couches and tables spread along the windows.
At the end of the lounge is an eight-seat co-working table, as well as more built-in wall seats and relaxation areas.
Since this area of the lounge faces the windows, the space has copious natural light pouring in during the day and great AvGeek views.
The lounge was uncharacteristically quiet throughout my three visits, probably because of travel cutbacks caused by the coronavirus pandemic. But when it got full, the best place to sit was right by the reception desk, where there’s a small nook with four seats.
In the center of the lounge is the large dining room. There are plenty of two- and four-top tables here, as well as some built-in tables along the wall.
This is also where you’ll find the buffet and signature bar with five barstools.
All in all, I thought the lounge was well-designed, and I especially appreciated the oversized dining area. I would’ve preferred that Amex add more solo seating options, but there were plenty of private nooks and spacial separation features that made it easy to relax.
The Las Vegas Centurion Lounge has an average selection of amenities.
There’s one meeting room near the entrance with six seats around a conference table. You can reserve it on a first-come, first-served basis with the front desk.
If you’re traveling with children, you can make use of the well-stocked family room.
There’s also a small business center area all the way at the back with two computers and a printer.
The lounge has private restrooms that are on the smaller side, as well as one shower suite with L’Occitane products.
You’ll find power ports at most seats in the relaxation areas.
Password-protected Wi-Fi was also available through the lounge. I measured speeds of 50 Mbps download and upload when I visited.
Food and beverage
One of the things I like most about the Centurion Lounge network is the consistently delicious food and beverages.
This lounge is no exception. The food menu is designed by Kim Canteenwalla, a local James Beard Award-nominated chef.
Breakfast is served from lounge opening until 11:30 a.m. The assortment was impressive, a combination of both hot and cold foods.
On offer were oatmeal, vanilla pancakes, scrambled eggs, frittata, warm biscuits with gravy, citrus mascarpone toast and chocolate banana smoothies, as well as a yogurt bar with freshly cut fruits.
The buffet transitioned to all-day dining at 11:30 a.m. It offered vegetarian tomato soup, barbecue glazed chicken, chimichurri salmon, kale bow tie pasta, vegetable hash and smashed fingerling potatoes, as well as a salad bar with prepared vegetables.
I visited over the course of a few days, so I sampled quite of the buffet. Almost everything I tried was great, except for some dishes that were lukewarm after clearly sitting out for too long.
There’s a hydration station near the buffet with three towers of water, tea and orange juice.
Next to the hydration station is a Versys coffee machine, which I actually preferred to the Franke machines found in most other Centurion Lounges.
And if you’re looking for the real stuff, there’s the bar. I got to know Eric, one of the bartenders, over the course of my multiple visits, and he was hands down the nicest bartender I’ve interacted with in any Centurion Lounge. It doesn’t hurt that he’s an AvGeek like me!
He is ready to whip up your favorite drink or serve any of the ones on the cocktail menu curated by Jim Meehan from Please Don’t Tell, a New York City speakeasy.
The wine list is curated by Anthony Giglio and featured a good assortment of reds and whites.
Though the American Express Centurion Lounge in Las Vegas was the company’s first location, it still packs a punch. There’s plenty of seating, as well as a large dining room. The extensive food and drinks are top-notch, making it worth a visit even if you’re short on time.
Although I wish that this location had a spa or other special amenities, it’s got all the necessities — and some of the friendliest staff across the network.
If you need somewhere to relax in LAS that’s not the slot machines, the Centurion Lounge is waiting for you.
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, click here.
All photos by the author.