You have to pay very close attention after you’ve cleared security in Concourse D at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas — but it’s there. Look to your left (across from gate D1) and you’ll spot a set of royal blue double doors, which leads to the American Express Centurion Lounge. Once inside, you’ll see the check-in desk and will be greeted by a customer service representative who will explain the ultra-exclusive VIP lounge’s offerings. And since Sin City has a reputation for setting the standards for over-the-top everything, it comes as no surprise that this is the first Centurion Lounge in the United States — international locations include Mexico City, Buenos Aires, São Paulo and Delhi — providing guests with just about anything they’ll need during a layover, flight delay and more.
The American Express members-only club has splashes of color throughout — lime green chairs and hot pink and orange pillows — and features several individual textured and padded workstations with outlets, circular white tables, and a business center with two computer stations and a printer. On the walls, you’ll notice a variety of limited-edition celebrity portraits — all for sale and signed by the respective photographer — of Sammy Davis Jr. performing, The Supremes sipping tea and B.B. King holding five cards in his hands (of course, one is the king of hearts).
The cushy environment sets the stage for chef Scott Conant’s menu, which serves as a major upgrade from the usual airport food court fare. And since the cuisinier’s restaurants include the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Scarpetta in Beverly Hills, and both Scarpetta and D.O.C.G. Enoteca at Four-Star The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, you can expect to find a breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet filled with top-notch cuisine. For breakfast, try the polenta waffles with pumpkin compote. And for lunch or dinner, sample the arugula, radicchio and endive salad with pine nut vinaigrette, chicken sausage roasted with potatoes and shallots, baked cavatelli with fontina, roast beef sandwiches and much more.
Pair Conant’s dessert selections — truffle brownies, chocolate chip cookies or linzer raspberry bars — with a glass of rosé or a craft cocktail from the beverage menu created by famed bartender, author and educator Jim Meehan. Try the Gold Rush (bourbon, lemon and honey syrup), the Blackjack (Hennessy Cognac, coffee, cherry liqueur and simple syrup) or the Airmail (10 Cane Rum, lime juice, honey syrup and Domaine Chandon Brut).
Should you become distracted by the buffet or by socializing at the seven-seat bar, don’t worry — you won’t miss your flight. There are a few screens scattered about displaying flight arrivals and departures, so you’ll always be in the know. Other perks at your disposal include a shower with plush towels and L’Occitane shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and lotion. And there’s even a conference room (with four chairs and colorful artwork on the walls) outfitted with a TV should you need to video chat with your colleagues before catching a flight.
This luxe lounge has it all — from a concierge to a range of chic amenities. So don’t leave Las Vegas without experiencing a bit of the good life.
$50 entry fee for all American Express card members; Free for Centurion cardholders.
Photos courtesy of Denise Truscello