American Express has opened its Centurion lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3 this morning. The lounge can be visited by platinum card and centurion card holders, and both card holders may bring in two guests per visit. It is also open to Delta Reserve SkyMiles card members.
The lounge, which is after security in Terminal 3, is 650 sqm and is on level 2, accessed either by stairs or by lift, both of which need to be refurbished. At present not all the signage is in place in the terminal, so once airside turn right and head for the shop Accessorize and signs directing you to ‘Lounge A’. We will post a video later when it is ready.
Once you reach the second floor, the signage and the look becomes more recognisable.
The lounge is open from 0600 to 1800, and has a reception area with a green wall behind it. On the environmental side, the lounge “partially utilises renewable energy through newly installed solar panels” which is important not just because American Express has committed to reduce energy use across its managed facilities and committed to net-zero emissions globally by 2035, but because the lounge has no natural light and so relies on extremely sophisticated and elegant electric lighting to make the space comfortable and atmospheric.
Perhaps most notable is the lounge’s art and design, which includes British designers for the fixtures and fittings and art curated by Art Story on show along the corridor linking the different areas in the lounge and also in the rooms. Art Story is also responsible for the art at the Fellows Hotel in Cambridge, reviewed in our last issue.
Each artwork contains a QR code with information on the piece and artist, with the list including Carne Griffiths, Minty Sainsbury, Norman Parkinson and Stephen Marshall. The lounge also features luxury and modern lighting designs by Lee Broom and Tom Dixon, very welcome since the lounge has no outside light yet is both well lit without any of the harshness you might associate with less fortunate lounges.
The first room has a large British oak table, two phone rooms for calls and booths with table wireless charging for devices as well as high wingback chairs, perhaps for social distancing.
Subsequent rooms vary in size, but all have art works and many have options for those looking to screen themselves or just have privacy. In the main lounge area, for instance, there are spot-lit booths around the walls of the room, while in the centre, the large sofa by Davison Highley has power points incorporated into the dividing circular arm cushions.
The booths around the walls of the main lounge all have charging points and are an effective way of maximising the capacity of the lounge while still giving space to people – the maximum capacity is stated to be 110, which given the many different areas would make it busy but not unreasonably so, since the restaurant has a good size capacity, as does the bar.
The restaurant has a menu by Michelin-starred chef Assaf Granit of Coal Office in King’s Cross, London. Dishes include his staple homemade Kubalah bread, fried pita chips with tahini, shakshukit, a beef and lamb dish with confit tomatoes and tahini, and for dessert, a “Oh My Baklava” olive oil cake with pistachio anglaise and rose water diplomat.
The bar’s cocktail menu has been devised by Jim Meehan and includes the Wayne’s Collins, a mashup of the Tom Collins and White Negroni, and non-alcoholic mixtures like the Hare of the Fog, a Negroni riff featuring England’s own Seedlip spirit and Aecorn aperitifs. The lounge has a wine list including wines from France, Italy, Argentina, and more, selected by Wine Director Anthony Giglio. There is sparkling wine, but not Champagne, on offer, as well as draft beers from Beavertown IPA, Amstel and Moretti.
There is also a tea cart with a selection of local hot and cold teas as well as pastries and, in the mornings, immune booster drinks, mango infused coconut water and peach iced tea .
The lounge has showers, and amenities are Soapsmith products by Samantha Jameson which will be rotated seasonally in the lounge, starting with “Hackney,” a tribute to the borough where Jameson grew up.
NB: Delta SkyMiles Reserve card members may also bring up to two guests at a per-visit rate of $50 per person.