Review: American Express Centurion Lounge San Francisco Airport
Asiana a380 Seoul to Los Angeles
Visiting Thailand and the island of Koh Samui
American Express had done it again! They have recently opened a new Centurion Lounge at the San Francisco International Airport in terminal 3 by Gate 75. This Lounge is just amazing, let me start out by saying that much. If you haven’t been here yet make sure you trek over to the United Terminal to check it out. You won’t be disappointed.
This lounge like all the others (Las Vegas, Dallas, LaGuardia and a few others in South America plus coming soon to Seattle and Miami) have simple access criteria. Have an American Express Centurion Card, Amex Platinum or better like the Amex Black. I’m not a shill for Amex, nor do I make any money for promoting their card/services but I do have the American Express Platinum, with it’s hefty $400/year membership. That’s a long story, but it does come with a $200/year airline service credit and of course free access to their lounges worldwide, which are $50/per person entry otherwise. Besides that, the fact that you earn Membership Rewards that can transfer to many programs and also get access to really good hotel rates via the Amercian Express Fine Hotel and Resorts Program. It’s become one of my goto cards. Google it if you’re interested and you’ll find a dearth of information, but for me that’s all I’m going to say.
The Centurion Lounge Entrance
In any event my wife and I were quickly checked in (you can being immediate family when one of you has the card FYI) and given a run down of the services and amenities. Of which they offer and amazing buffet created by Christopher Kostow chef at The Restaurant Meadowwood in St. Helena, Ca and an open bar with regional signature cocktails created by mixologist/author Jim Meehan. What’s great about them is that the ingredients and tastes are catered to the local area which makes for a fun time sampling the menu. In my case though at 9 am a glass of Champagne was in order. I would have opted for a cocktail, but they were not serving the full drink menu yet. As for the food, I was not that hungry, I think I was just giddy for the pending flight in Seattle on Lufthansa. So I just opted for bulger wheat oatmeal and dates. It was delicious.
The lounge itself is located on the mezzanine level of the terminal with only access form the secured side, so you must clear security first. But regardless of what carrier you’re flying as long as you have a same day ticket from SFO to anywhere you can clear security to get to this lounge. In fact I would probably find myself trekking over here if I was flying Alaska which now leaves out of the International Terminal since they no longer have a lounge. But if I was on American I’d probably not deal with the hassle, unless I had lots of extra time.
As for space it’s not that bad, it feels smaller then it maybe, based on the fact that there are many smaller to medium sized rooms to lounge in. There’s also dedicated seating at the bar and also in the food area. But if you’re looking for quitter space you can find that too.
Since we were there at breakfast, they had a slew of meats, cheeses, fruits, yogurt, eggs, rice and such. There was plenty of things to choose from. And for sure if you were hungry you would not go away starving. I will say this though the one thing I was missing, was the amazing French toast they serve in Dallas, but hey I’m sure they have something similar here, I just didn’t see it or was more focused on eating and flying later.
The statement piece of the lounge was the wine wall. They had an incredibly impressive wine cellar with about 20 varieties on tap for you to taste and enjoy. Since the bottles were stored in a temperature and enclosed environment they should be perfect for serving anytime. This wall was impressive, granted I’m not a winofile, so I have no idea how great the products were but they are sourced by wine director Anthony Giglio whose resume looks legit. Again I know zip about wine. I was bummed they didn’t offer complimentary facials and massages like Dallas, but the receptionist said this was the reason why. Again taking a page out of the Bay Area, and our penchant for good wines from Napa, and giving us a taste here.
Drinks more to my speed for sure
Overall I loved this lounge, I’m still hoping to find time to visit the others across the US, and in time I know I will. But now having one in my home airport is a plus. It beats the socks of the United Red Carpet Club or whatever they call it these days, and gives the likes of Singapore’s Krissflyer, Cathay’s Lounge and American’s Admirals a run for their money. Each has their own merits, but frankly this one, is modern, new, well designed and offers an impressive drink and food menu, that’s hard to beat.
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