Inside the exclusive Amex Centurion Suite at the US Open
Most TPG readers probably associate American Express Centurion Lounges with airports. But, for two weeks at the end of each summer, the credit card issuer brings its flagship lounge experience to the nation’s premier tennis tournament.
As one of the flagship sponsors of the U.S. Open, Amex offers a slew of perks for tennis fans visiting the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens, New York.
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While most of the Amex-branded fan experiences are open to all cardmembers — including a complimentary bag check and discount offers on concessions — the issuer also offers an exclusive outpost for those with Amex’s top cards.
The Centurion Suite, which has been a staple at the U.S. Open fan experience for the past few years, is open from Aug. 29 through Sept. 7, between 12 p.m. and 8 p.m. each day. Cardholders of the following products can access it:
- The Platinum Card® from American Express.
- The Business Platinum Card® from American Express.
- The Centurion® Card from American Express.
- The Business Centurion® Card from American Express.
The information for the The Centurion Card from American Express and The Business Centurion Card from American Express has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
You’ll find the Centurion Suite located on the second floor of the Louis Armstrong stadium, on the southwest side just under a set of stairs.
As with the airport Centurion Lounges, getting into the Centurion Suite at the U.S. Open can be quite challenging. Last year, Amex transitioned from a first-come, first-serve model to a pre-reserve option via Resy, the restaurant reservation platform it acquired back in 2019.
The issuer opened reservations for the Centurion Suite back on Aug. 8, and they sold out within seconds.
Access is free for Platinum cardmembers and up to two guests, while Centurion cardmembers can bring up to seven guests. Note that your time in the lounge is capped at 60 minutes.
Amex holds back a few reservations for those with the much more exclusive Centurion Card. However, if you carry the Platinum or Business Platinum card, you’ll definitely want to set a Resy Notify and cross your fingers that space becomes available from a cancellation.
If you do manage to get inside, you’ll quickly realize that you’re in for a treat.
The entrance to the lounge is largely reminiscent of an airport Centurion Lounge, with a green living wall and a large blue American Express logo emblazoned behind the welcome desk.
Once inside, there are two main relaxation areas. Turning left brings you to the primary seating area, which is decked out with individual chairs, a sofa and some two- and four-top dining tables.
There are lots of blue and white hues throughout the space, giving it an airier feel than some of Amex’s other lounges.
You’ll even find the Amex watchdog poster hanging in the corner of the lounge — a signature design element that you’ll find in every lounge across the network.
There’s also an outdoor deck with four two-top tables, all with views overlooking the Open’s grounds.
Back inside, the media wall that separates the two main rooms is decked out in a tennis theme, with a couple of racquets and nets carved in wood.
If you look closely, you’ll notice that Amex added a small charging station where you can leave your phone while relaxing in the lounge.
The second room is essentially the dining area. There’s a wraparound, U-shaped bar in the center of the room, with a buffet flanking it on one side and a long high-top table lining the perimeter of the other side.
While the bartenders can whip up a variety of Centurion Lounge-themed drinks, note that access to the space only includes one complimentary drink coupon. Don’t fret, though: You can redeem your ticket for a $22 signature Honey Deuces, too.
After your first drink, expect to pay around $19 for a cocktail. Non-alcoholic drinks, including free-flowing bottled Evian water, are available on a complimentary basis.
In terms of food, there’s a small buffet with a rotating selection of light bites curated by some of the chefs that Amex partners with for its airport lounges. The food selection rotates throughout the day and servers pass around some dishes as hors d’oeuvres.
I especially enjoyed the Mediterranean bites from Chef Michael Solomonov of Laser Wolf and Zahav fame. The hummus with corn and tomato salad and the curry roasted cauliflower were both winners.
While many fans will likely want to get back to the action on the courts, there’s complimentary password-protected Wi-Fi available throughout the space in case you need to catch up on your phone.
There are (small) gender-specific restrooms available, and I even overheard one guest mention they were the nicest ones they’ve seen throughout the U.S. Open grounds.
Last year, there were bottles of Supergoop sunscreen available in the restrooms, but this year, guests will receive a full-size bottle of La Roche-Posay sunscreen when they walk in.
Though much of the lounge experience remains the same from year to year, there’s one room near the entrance that gets an interesting makeover for each season. Back in 2019, this room was a hidden speakeasy that teased the arrival of the larger speakeasy experience at the issuer’s flagship New York lounge at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).
Last year, the room was decked out as a library to resemble the reading room in the LaGuardia Centurion Lounge.
This year, the room features a cool Centurion Lounge-branded activation. There are four keys — one for JFK, Denver International Airport (DEN), Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Heathrow Airport (LHR) — and each “unlocks” a different immersive experience.
After opening the signature blue door with one of the keys, the televisions on the sides of the room play a short video about the city you selected. At the end of the experience, a locally-themed giveaway is displayed in the center of the room.
The goodie is yours to keep. If you’re a fan of scented candles, the key for JFK is a good choice. Waiting at the end of the New York experience is an Equinox-branded eucalyptus-scented candle.
Whether you’re a tennis fan or you just enjoy roaming around the U.S. Open grounds, it’s definitely worth stopping at the American Express Centurion Suite.
Aside from the air conditioning, the space is a great place to relax between matches. You’ll enjoy some complimentary light bites and a cocktail, and you’ll leave with a few goodies, too.
That said, be sure to arrive with a reservation or cross your fingers that you can get in off the waitlist. Just like the airport Centurion Lounges, space in this suite is a hot commodity.
If you missed out on a reservation this year, put a reminder in your calendar for early August 2023 to make a reservation when they open up.