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One of my favorite lounges to visit on any trip are the American Express Centurion Lounges. You can find them all over the world at locations like:
* Review Dallas DFW Centurion Club (OLD CLUB NOW CLOSED)
* The NEW Dallas DFW American Express Centurion Lounge 2018
* Review Miami MIA DFW Centurion Club
* Review San Francisco SFO Centurion Club
* Review Las Vegas LAS Centurion Club
* Review LaGuardia LGA Centurion Club
* Review Seattle SEA Centurion “Studio” Club
The only downside about these breaks from the madness of the gate area in an airport is the draconian rules implemented recently that you can only visit a Centurion a few hours before your flight. However, this rule does not apply “to Platinum Card Members with a connecting flight” even if you have a long layover.
The lounge is two floors up when you exit security (that is one floor up from customs).
You have two choices to get to the entrance. Either take this massive staircase, or
Walk past the stairs and turn right and you will find an elevator that takes you up to the proper level to enter the lounge.
While the sign says they are open from 5AM to midnight I believe they have adjusted the closing time to 11PM.
The Platinum Card® from American Express (learn more)
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN (learn more)
You can get in with either of the above cards. That or a Centurion card. There are also a number of flavors of the above (co-branded with Schwab etc.) and all of them will work just fine for you and two guests. But there is something strange with this club and it depends on if you have the personal or the business cards.
If you have the personal card you are given a tiny voucher that gets you some free food (more on that later). Also, if you have the personal card, you can get a longer massage at a discount vs. the higher fee if you have the business card. Again, more in a bit.
You will enter to the left if you are a Platinum card holder. Centurion cardholders enter to the right of the check-in desk.
There are two main seating / dining areas in the club. One on the ground floor, if you will, of the club and another upstairs. But there is another somewhat hidden area most bloggers will not show you.
The ZEN room you can access via a narrow-ish staircase at the end of the main floor area. If you have a long layover this can be a nice place to catch 20 winks (just be sure to set your phone alarm to wake you up)!
Back to the main hallway you entered the club from. There are a set of stairs or elevator to take you up to the top level of the club.
At the top are a bar and dining area. I like this area as service is quick in here (not that it is bad in the rest of the club).
There is more seating on the other side of the upstairs (note: there was a refresh a few months ago and some of my photos are from before the refresh – some after).
You can get, for a small fee, a haircut and other services on the left side of the spa.
On the other side are two massage rooms. You can get a free 15-minute table massage. Here is where it gets a bit strange. If you have the personal Amex Platinum card it is just 400 Pesos (about $20-$21 USD) to get a 40-minute massage. If you have The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN (learn more) card then the 40-minute massage will run you twice that. Also know most of the therapists do not speak one word of English. Bring Google Translate if you have areas of concern you want them to focus on. Also, plan to tip them as that is not included either.
There is a shower just past the massage rooms. You must book the time at check-in and I found it very refreshing to go from a massage right into the shower next. They do provide a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, and a shaving kit at no cost. Now on to the limited free food choice.
First, breakfast. Unlike just about every other Centurion, there is no buffet at this club. Again, if you have the personal The Platinum Card® from American Express (learn more), you (and up to 2 guests) can get fresh fruit and an egg scrambled with toast. That is it. If you have the business card you get NO free food at all. Or you can order off a menu and pay (not that cheap either). What about the rest of the day?
You have the choice for chicken soup and a salad or chicken soup and a cheese personal pizza. Again, that is it unless you want to pay and order off the menu. I find this limited selection quite odd as well the charge vs. no charge for personal and business cards. At least drinks are free. Now for the last stop in our lounge tour.
As I mentioned when you enter, if you have the Centurion card you get a bunch of additional perks.
In addition to a much more private and secluded area, you get much more free including a 40-minute massage that Platinum cardholders have to pay for.
Count me still a huge fan of the Amex Centurion concept (as long as they let you in). I really don’t mind paying ~$20 for a 40-minute table massage vs. the now 1x 15-minute chair massages the Dallas and Miami clubs offer for free. The service in the club really is outstanding. If you tip them a decent amount the service is over the top.
I know many have mixed feelings about this somewhat unique Centurion club. Do you like it? Have you had a chance to visit since the refresh? Do you like the (now) heavy curtains that have been added to the central lower area (I hate them, btw). I would love your feedback below! – René
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