This is our review of the American Express lounge at Universal Studios Hollywood.
Yes, you learn something new every day. It turns that American Express has its own lounge inside the Universal Studios theme park in Hollywood.
There is a similar lounge at the Universal Orlando Resort in Florida, according to this page of their website. This appears to be open to holders of ANY Amex card, unlike the Hollywood lounge.
Reader Richard recently went to Universal Studios Hollywood and had a look at the American Express Lounge. He kindly sent us a few pictures and a short review of the lounge. Over to Richard:
“The American Express Lounge at Universal Studios Hollywood is only accessible with the American Express Platinum or Centurion card. Most importantly an Amex card must be used when purchasing the tickets for Universal studio’s park in order to gain complementary access.
(Anika’s note: this page of the Universal Hollywood website implies that you can also get in if you bought a VIP Experience or Universal Express ticket on ANY American Express card.)
The lounge is located between the Revenge of the Mummy ride and Starbucks on the lower lot.
The entrance is via a very plain blue door. The lounge is on the first floor and accessed via a lift.
The Lounge is open seven days a week from midday until 5pm and entrance is on a first-come first-served basis.
Signing in is very easy and the lounge host is very helpful and has information on any special events that are taking place at the park on your day of visit.
Up to six family members are admitted and the lounge holds a total of 30 people. It was very quiet when we arrived at 1pm but I believe it would be very full when at capacity as its only a small lounge.
There are several phone charging stations which charge all modern phones both wired and wireless.
The décor is bright and modern and several shelf units contain memorabilia from the studios which is a nice touch.
There are a mix of sofas and chairs and coffee tables throughout the lounge.
There are complimentary chilled bottles of both still and sparking water in a handy pocket size which can be taken back into the park. Other snacks on offer are plain crisps and muesli type bars. There are also nicely finished unisex toilets for guests use.
Unlike most airport lounges where guests stay for around an hour, the Amex Universal Studios Hollywood lounge is aimed at guests who want a brief respite from the hustle and bustle of a busy hot theme park. This was confirmed by the host who explained that he has a high throughput of visitors who usually stay for around 20 minutes.
Anyone visiting who is expecting a fully functioning airport lounge will be very disappointed. We wouldn’t have missed anything at the park to spend time here but that isn’t its purpose. If you find yourself in the bottom lot of the park in need of cooling, refreshments or a few minutes peace then this lounge is perfect.
You wouldn’t want (or need) to spend too long here as, although comfortable, it is fairly basic in terms of amenities. All in all it performs its function as a cooling down rest spot very well and on that basis I would recommend it.”
Thanks Richard. If anyone is visiting the Universal Orlando Resort and wants to write a quick review of that lounge, we’re happy to publish it.
How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (June 2021)
As a reminder, here are the three options to get FREE airport lounge access via a credit or charge card:
The Platinum Card from American Express comes with two free Priority Pass cards, one for you and one for a supplementary cardholder. Each card admits two so a family of four gets in free. You get access to all 1,300 lounges in the Priority Pass network – search it here.
Additional lounge visits are charged at £20. You get two more free visits for every year you keep the card.
There is no annual fee for Amex Gold in Year 1 and a 20,000 points sign-up bonus. Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.
HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free LoungeKey card, allowing you access to the LoungeKey network. Guests are charged at £20 although it may be cheaper to pay £60 for a supplementary credit card for your partner.
The card has a fee of £195 and there are strict financial requirements to become a HSBC Premier customer. Full details are in my HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard review.
PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.