Amex Centurion Lounge LAS (Las Vegas) Review
American Express made waves when they opened up their first two Centurion Lounges in the United States last year. Since I recently acquired an American Express Platinum card for free, I had the opportunity to visit both of them on a recent trip. This review will cover the lounge in Las Vegas.
As a Las Vegas local, I wouldn’t normally get to the airport early in order to enjoy the lounge (being at home is slightly better in my opinion), but on a recent trip to Dallas, my wife dropped me off on her way to work, so I had a few hours to kill.
The Las Vegas location of the Centurion Lounge is in the “D” gates section of McCarran’s Terminal 1. This area is home to most of the non-Southwest Airlines departures since all four of the legacy carriers are located here. (United has ticketing in Terminal 3, but their flights depart from the “D” gates in terminal 1.)
When entering the lounge, the attendants will ask to see your ID, boarding pass & American Express card. (Centurion & Platinum members are free, other Amex cardholders pay $50 per person.) I never noticed a wait to enter, since they seemingly always had two people greeting people as they entered.
I was immediately impressed with the size of this lounge after entering. Unlike the Centurion lounge in Dallas, it is basically one big space. I actually prefer this setup as it feels less crowded and more spacious to me.
The seating is what most impressed me about the lounge. Not only is every seat comfortable, but they provide a number of different seating types depending on the purpose of your visit.
Want to lounge around and watch planes take off? They have a place for that. Need a semi-private work area to get things done? Yup there are plenty of those too. They also have a number of great areas for those traveling with a group. Like I said before, each and every seat is functional and comfortable.
One of the main selling points of the Centurion lounges is that much like international business class lounges, they have full buffets. When I first arrived at the lounge it was still breakfast time, so I had to opportunity to see both breakfast and lunch offerings.
Each of the Centurion lounges features a different chef inspired menu. The Las Vegas lounge’s menu was designed by Scott Conant who is the chef & owner of Scarpetta restaurants in a number of cities. Breakfast is served from 6am-11am & Lunch/Dinner from 11:30am-10pm.
While I didn’t eat any of the breakfast, it looked delicious with the typical selection of cereals and fresh fruits accompanied by scrambled eggs, potatoes, blueberry pancakes and a specialty dish of poached eggs with tomato and basil.
For lunch they had a nice looking selection of food. The buffet featured a number of salads and sandwiches along with the specialty items. The Orecchiette with Eggplant, Tomato & Ricotta Salata & Lamb & Beef Borek were just ok. In the end, everything was alright, but nothing stood out to me.
In addition to soft drinks, various coffees & teas and an espresso machine, the Centurion Lounge has a fully stocked bar with a number of top shelf liquors available. They also have a specialty drink menu designed by mixologist Jim Meehan.
After eating lunch I decided to try a specialty cocktail. I ordered the Blue Door off of the menu and the bartender had to look up how to make it. When I took my first sip, I could taste that something had gone horribly wrong. It was disgusting. I then decided to stick to Diet Coke!
If you are transiting and are in need of a shower, the lounge only has one available. It wasn’t very busy when I arrived, so I decided to try it out. They call it a suite and I could see why since it is incredibly spacious with a toilet & vanity area in addition to the large shower.
Inside, L’Occitane products are available for use and the shower features an amazing shower head. You do have to reserve the suite at the front desk, so it may be something you want to do when arriving, in case there is a wait.
The Centurion lounge in Las Vegas has a number of facilities for travelers. For those who need to conduct business, the lounge has semi-private workspaces, very fast wifi, iMac computers & a printer. They also have a private conference room for those last minute business meetings!
For everyone else, the lounge has a number of televisions along with a typical selection of reading materials. Families will enjoy the separate children’s area which is fairly well equipped. Several children were enjoying the space when I was there.
Finally the lounge has a Member Services desk just inside of the entrance. This desk acts much like a concierge and can arrange travel and arrange dinner reservations or book show tickets. I didn’t see anyone using the service once during my entire visit.
Is It Worth It
I probably would never pay $50 to enter any lounge unless I was on an incredibly long layover. If you plan to drink or eat a lot, then I could see the money being worth it. With that said, for anyone who has either the Platinum or Centurion cards, this is a no-brainer.
The American Express Centurion Lounge at LAS is so much better than the domestic lounges of any of the legacy carriers. In fact the contrast is so noticeable that the other lounges almost seem like a joke in comparison.
Additionally, the decor, seating and staff at the Centurion Lounge are all well above what you find in other lounges in the United States. While I wouldn’t go as far to say it is as nice as a premium lounge experience in Asia, it comes close.
As American Express opens more of these lounges in other airports (lounges in SFO & LGA are supposed to open by the end of the year), I can’t wait to see what tweaks and changes they make to improve the overall experience. With that said, the way things are now, they don’t need to do much, because there simply isn’t anything else in the United States that comes close.