My wife and I are currently located in Denver; on a recent trip back north of the border at the end of January, I had enough time to visit my first American Express Centurion lounge. I was excited to try it as the product was unavailable in the cities we lived in prior. It is important to note that there are no Priority Pass lounges available at Denver International Airport, so this would be the only lounge most economy flyers can access.
Let’s take a look at the American Express Centurion Lounge in the Denver International Airport and if it is worth a visit on your next trip to or through Denver.
Accessing the Amex Centurion Lounge in Denver International Airport
The Denver Centurion lounge is in the “C Gates” terminal near Gate 46 on the mezzanine level. The C Gates mainly serve Southwest, Spirit, and Frontier Airlines. I was flying on Air Canada, which operates from the “A Gates” so it was a bit of a trek to arrive at the lounge.
Thankfully, I could breeze through security thanks to my Nexus/TSA PreCheck benefit. Once through security, the Denver airport has a train system that is quite efficient in transporting passengers between A-B-C Gates.
After exiting the train system, it’s a short walk down the terminal to the entrance, and the Centurion lounge is almost impossible to miss, thanks to this giant American Express Logo.
All told, it took me about 10 minutes of transit to arrive at the entrance to the Centurion lounge, and thankfully there was no queue to enter.
I could access this lounge with complimentary access through my American Express Platinum card. However, an Amex Business Platinum card or Centurion card would also grant access. The entry rules currently allow two guests for Canadian and American Platinum cardholders.
The American Express Platinum card earns Membership Rewards and offers cardholders a variety of benefits including an annual $200 travel credit, complimentary airport lounge access, and instant elite status with many hotel loyalty programs.
80,000 Membership Rewards
However, as of February 1st, 2023, those who hold a US Amex Business Platinum card or US Amex Platinum card will have to pay for additional guests ($50 for adult guests and $30 for child guests).
Related: Definitive Guide: American Express Centurion Lounges
After a quick check of my boarding pass and Amex card, I was in and ready to explore the lounge’s offerings.
There are a few different areas in the lounge with seating options, mainly focused on the center of the rectangle layout and windows to the terminal below.
There are also views of the tarmac from the Centurion lounge, but they are quite limited.
When I arrived at the lounge around 9 am, it was already challenging to find seating. The lounge layout is a large rectangle which you walk the perimeter of. The center of the rectangle is open and allows views of the terminal below.
It’s a strange design as the corridors are relatively narrow, making it difficult to traverse when crossing paths with another traveler with a coffee or plate full of food.
It also creates congestion issues around the bar as there’s little room to stand in line for a drink while still giving other patrons enough room to walk to the business center and other amenities.
One area I immensely enjoyed was near the secondary bar, which was unfortunately closed during my visit my early morning visit.
However, this area featured a small game room with a few classic pub-style games such as billiards and shuffleboard. Strangely, there was no equipment provided in the game area, and as I was traveling solo, I didn’t feel the need to ask about playing a round of billiards or shuffleboard.
They do have a section of pod-type seating to address business travelers. This is accompanied by a singular printer that can be connected through WiFi.
Also available was a Phone room and a family room, both of which were occupied for the entire duration of my 60-minute visit.
For my seating, I found a small table adjacent to the main bar to enjoy breakfast, perfect for a solo traveler.
On the whole, there is a significant amount of seating in the lounge, but the reality is that it can be tough to find seating at many lounges during peak times. Be prepared to find a table and hunker down for your whole lounge visit, lest you end up without any place to sit.
Food & Beverage
The food and beverage came highly touted from other Centurion lounges, and this one is no exception. A vast selection of breakfast food was available, including:
Overnight oats, yogurt parfait, pork sausage, hashbrowns, scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy, assorted pastries, pork and veggie frittata, Belgian waffles, fresh fruit, and immunity shots.
I feel silly listing out all the food available, but it was truly impressive for an airport lounge. This could rival some Marriott Platinum Elite breakfast benefits.
As for beverages, the main bar had a comprehensive cocktail menu for breakfast including Mimosas, Baileys and Coffee, Bloody Marys, and the like. I enjoyed a classic mimosa which was generously poured. It almost took me back to the days of sharing a house with two roommates and what we considered a “House Pour.”
Aside from the full-service bar, patrons can help themselves to assorted beverages at two self-serve stations which include juices, cold brew chai, and water.
A self-serve coffee machine with a touchscreen was also in high demand, offering espresso, lattes, cappuccino, and other usual coffee offerings. Oat milk was available as well, which was a thoughtful touch on Amex’s part.
Unfortunately, this is where the overcrowding problem started to rear its ugly head again, as there was consistently a wait to access these stations. This was a significant drawback, especially since the last thing you want to do is wait when you are looking to kick off your travel with a hot cup of coffee.
As I was traveling solo, I could only check out the men’s bathroom, but it was equal, if not superior, to most lounge bathrooms.
An intelligent interior design like the rest of the lounge. It was kept tidy and had warm water running from the automatic sinks.
I attempted to have a peek at the shower at this location as well, but by the time I had eaten and toured the lounge, the line for front desk assistance was nearly down the escalator. Needless to say, showers are often in high demand at many lounges around the world so ensure you plan accordingly if you are expecting to clean up during your lounge visit.
This lounge is smartly designed from an aesthetic perspective and has excellent food and drink options, but it desperately needs an expansion to deal with crowding. Construction was in the works behind the bar, and the new access rules for Centurion lounges and US American Express Platinum cardholders came into effect on February 1st so this might alleviate some of the overcrowding.
I will visit again once these new rules are in effect to see if it makes any difference. I will be sure to update this article if there are any changes! The way it stands currently, I would visit the lounge if I had a long layover or delay, but I wouldn’t arrive early to the airport to visit unless the crowding is fixed.
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