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Review: the American Express Centurion Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3 (Part 2)

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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:

American Express Centurion Lounge Heathrow Airport afternoon tea

This rather funky wall decoration is in a seating area behind the dining room:

American Express London Heathrow Airport Centurion Lounge

Here is another eye-catching piece of artwork at the rear of the dining area:

American Express Centurion Lounge Heathrow airport

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:

American Express Centurion Lounge seating Heathrow

See the blue rollers? They contain USB charging sockets!

American Express Centurion Lounge

Here are some of the booths around the edge of this area:

American Express Centurion Lounge Heathrow

…. and here is a view of the seating area from the back, with the bathroom and showers behind me:

American Express Centurion Lounge Heathrow Airport London

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:

American Express Centurion Lounge Heathrow

There is also this impressive nappy changing room:

American Express Centurion Lounge London Heathrow Airport

The bathrooms feature bespoke scented bath and body care products from London-based Soapsmith. The scents will rotate, starting with “Hackney”.

Conclusion

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.

American Express Centurion Lounge Heathrow Airport Terminal 3

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.


Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

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

60,000 points (SPECIAL OFFER), £200 travel credit and unbeatable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

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.

You also get access to Plaza Premium, Delta Air Lines and Eurostar lounges.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply 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.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for the first year. It comes with a Priority Pass card loaded with two free visits to any Priority Pass lounge – see the list 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 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

A huge bonus, but only available to HSBC Premier clients Read our full review

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.

Comments (90)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Clarence says:

    We were in the Amex lounge in Sydney in 2017 and found it excellent. Even in the late afternoon it wasn’t overcrowded and had no problem getting 2 seats at the window with a nice view towards the city centre. The food and drink selection was very good so we were able to decline the usual economy menu on our flight with BA to Singapore. We had to fly economy as there were no avios seats available but we got the back row with only 2 seats so we were able to get an uninterrupted snooze

    • Track says:

      Sydney International has a relatively low amount of flights, put sparingly on the afternoon timetable.

      The major airlines, such as Qantas and SQ have impressive own facilities there, particularly the dining experience at Qantas First Class lounge was tastier than Changi Private Room!

      Plus, AMEX Sydney lounge is large and spacious.

    • Track says:

      To add, Sydney International also has Emirates Lounge and even Air New Zealand Lounge — basically all operating airlines were covered with own lounges there.

      Others like LATAM would have 1-2 departing flights a day, not a problem.

      Plus their Plaza Premium. In Heathrow equivalent, Sydney International has the lounges of T5 and T3 combined… (Qantas lounges also two levels, First on upper — same as BA Galleries/BA First) but nowhere near the amount of traffic.

      All pre-Covid comparisons of course.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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