LaGuardia used to be a traveler’s nightmare; if you knew you were headed through LGA, you prepared yourself for the worst. Crowded, confusing, and outdated, LaGuardia has been needing an update. This last year, it received exactly that. No more long waiting lines for restrooms, no more damp suitcases from a leaky ceiling, no more teeth-grinding over ridiculous delays due to an aging infrastructure; now, visitors to LGA get all the modern wonders. Last Summer, Terminal B arrivals and departures hall re-opened to acclaim and relief, but the American Express Centurion Lounge was nowhere to be seen. It had been decommissioned. Now, however, a new Centurion Lounge is rising from the ashes, and it’s as modern, comfortable, and aesthetically pleasing as anyone could hope.
World Class Food and Cocktails
The lounge is open from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day except Saturday, when it closes at 5 p.m. Visitors hoping to enjoy the AmEx lounge will need to have either the The Platinum Card from American Express, The Business Platinum Card from American Express or The Centurion Card. Two guests are allowed per card holder, immediate family is allowed for Centurion card holders, and babies don’t count against the two-guest rule. Other AmEx cardholders can have access but the rules are far more stringent.
So once you’ve qualified and you’re in the door, you’re going to want to fill up before hitting the sky, as one does. Each Centurion Lounge partners with a local chef for good eats, and the chef who previously served the LGA location is coming back for the new lounge; Cédric Vongerichten. Vongerichten runs a modern Indonesian restaurant in NYC, and his food is out of this world.
The Points Guy shares from their preview of the menu; “Highlights include crispy french toast with strawberry jam for breakfast and an heirloom tomato salad with pesto and chili-lime vinaigrette for lunch or dinner.
…As for drinks, mixologist Jim Meehan crafted the cocktail menu, which includes some LGA-specific specialties like the vodka-based lower east cider and cognac-based grand central express.”
The wine offerings were hand-picked by an expert, and beer includes local craft Coney Island Brewery. Forbes adds, “In addition to coffee from Brooklyn Roasting and beer locally sourced from Coney Island Brewery and Captain Lawrence Brewing Co, Card Members will be able to enjoy a wide variety of locally sourced beverages. Centurion Lounge wine director Anthony Giglio also selected wines from New York, including Wolffer Estate Cabernet Franc from Long Island and Silver Thread Riesling from The Finger Lakes.”
The bar itself is breathtaking, with clean, modern lines of white painted brick and metal, recessed lighting and ethereal floating shelves.
A Study Space to Elevate Your Experience
Amenities may have been scarce in the original LGA Centurion, but the new one is full to the brim of all the modern conveniences. A study lounge was created in concert with McNally Jackson books, offering a library of NYC-related books for travelers. The space is quiet, comfortable, and convenient.
Other amenities include phone rooms, and a multi-purpose meeting room that is ostensibly for business but offers family-friendly entertaining for the younger set. The lounge also offers modern office conveniences such as a printer, complimentary fast WiFi throughout, and even a shower for guests needing to freshen up on their way to or from a big deal.
The Big Apple in Miniature
The entire space is designed to bring NYC into the terminal in smaller form. Per BusinessWire, “’We’ve collaborated closely with local partners and small businesses to create a space that embodies some of New York City’s most unique experiences,’ said Pablo Rivero, Vice President, Loyalty Travel Experiences & Benefits. ‘With the reopening and expansion of our Centurion Lounge at LaGuardia Airport, we are looking forward to having this lounge join the rest of our Centurion Network and provide eligible Card Members even more places to relax and unwind during their travels.’”
Now that more people are vaccinated and travel levels are returning to pre-pandemic levels, it’s the perfect time for the Centurion Lounge to spring forth from the ashes of the old. With LGA’s update and Centurion’s rebirth, it’s like a whole new experience for travelers. The Centurion is modernized and updated, with custom design touches throughout. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a nervous newcomer, you’ll be able to relax and unwind in the new Centurion and get ready for the next leg of your trip.