This is part 2 of our review of The American Express Centurion Lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 3, which opened today.
Part 1 of our Centurion Lounge review is here and you should read it first.
Every afternoon in the Centurion Lounge, afternoon tea will be served via a dedicated tea trolley:
This rather funky wall decoration is in a seating area behind the dining room:
Here is another eye-catching piece of artwork at the rear of the dining area:
All of the artworks have a QR code on them if you want to learn more about the artist.
The seating area
The third room – and the 2nd large one, after the dining and bar area – is this seating area:
See the blue rollers? They contain USB charging sockets!
Here are some of the booths around the edge of this area:
…. and here is a view of the seating area from the back, with the bathroom and showers behind me:
Furniture has been sourced from UK-based producers Konk, Naughtone and Deadgood. Lighting is by Lee Broom and Tom Dixon. No expense has been spared here.
The art is curated by Art Story, and includes Norman Parkinson fashion photography.
Bathrooms and showers
Finally, at the back of the lounge, are the loos and the showers. Here is a shower cubicle – it wasn’t clear, on our press tour, exactly how these will be manned:
There is also this impressive nappy changing room:
The bathrooms feature bespoke scented bath and body care products from London-based Soapsmith. The scents will rotate, starting with “Hackney”.
The American Express Centurion Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3 is a hugely accomplished facility.
Whilst the lack of natural light and aircraft views will put some off, it has forced the team to invest in interior design and the result is stunning. The quality of everything, from the soft furnishings to the lighting and artwork, is second to none.
With the lounge not properly functioning, I can’t give a true view of the food and drink on offer. The bar is gorgeous, however, and the food prepared for us – which I believe will be available as part of a broader menu – was very high quality. I have some concerns over how they will feed 110 people but let’s see how it works out.
Should I come here or should I visit another lounge?
If you don’t have lounge access via your flight ticket, you will – by virtue of having The Platinum Card – also have a Priority Pass card which can access the No1 Lounge. The No1 Lounge is larger but The Centurion Lounge is far classier. You can also access the Club Aspire lounge, which I would also rate below The Centurion Lounge.
If you have oneworld status or a oneworld Business Class ticket, the Qantas and Cathay Pacific lounges are equal to The Centurion Lounge. The British Airways and American Airlines lounges are poorer. At present, only the British Airways lounge is open.
If you have Emirates status, you will find The Centurion Lounge better than the Emirates lounge. However, the Emirates lounge offers direct boarding and it is a bit of a walk from The Centurion Lounge.
If you can access the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse, stay there. It is one of world’s most impressive lounges.
The Centurion Lounge has better guesting rules than many lounges, of course. If you are a family of three with only one BA status card between you, you won’t be getting into the BA lounge unless you are flying in Business. Amex will let you bring in two guests.
The Centurion Lounge also has the best bar of any of the Terminal 3 lounges, with its great cocktail menu.
The last word
Amex has done good. I look forward to going back and seeing it in action soon.
The Centurion Lounge is open daily from 6am to 6pm.
How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (October 2022)
As a reminder, here are the four options to get FREE airport lounge access via a credit 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.
EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.
If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.
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 you get 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.