Departures is published by Meredith Corp. and owned by American Express. While American Express Card Member benefits are highlighted in this publication, including through the links indicated below, the content of this article was independently written by the editorial staff at Meredith. Other Departures content paid for by American Express is explicitly marked as such.
The latest Centurion Lounge opens in the coming days at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. At 15,000 square feet, it’s the largest of the 13 Centurion Lounges and the fourth to open this year. Coming to JFK’s Terminal 4, it will be the first Centurion Lounge with two floors.
It wouldn’t be a Centurion Lounge without upscale touches—like a menu curated by chef Ignacio Mattos—nor would it be a NYC lounge without a dose of quintessential city culture—like the speakeasy bar serving Prohibition-style cocktails. Mattos, a four-time James Beard Award nominee is curating a menu with global flair, emulating NYC’s diverse dining scene. And in the Centurion Lounge dining room, food will be served only by American Express representatives, rather than buffet-style. As for the bar, the 1850 Speakeasy—named for the year American Express was founded—is tucked behind a copper-paneled wall and features an elevated cocktail menu by Centurion Lounge mixologist Jim Meehan. The rotating drink list is actually going to be a true homage to the city, drawing inspiration from the best NYC cocktail bars.
In the vein of signature NYC offerings, the Centurion Lounge at JFK will also feature an Equinox Body Lab. A hybrid spa and wellness center, the Equinox Body Lab will be outfitted with amenities like a vibro-acoustic chair to enhance relaxation (or quell pre-flight jitters if the Prohibition-style cocktails don’t), and a space for self-led meditation and stretching powered by Variis, the Equinox fitness app.
Beyond the culinary, wellness, and libation-related amenities, design is at the forefront of the new Centurion Lounge at JFK. Across both floors, the design marries modern influence with New York’s past. With a handmade custom mosaic art mural—reminiscent of an NYC subway mural—and six rooms each inspired by a different landmark or era of New York design, the space feels remarkably high-concept and luxurious.
American Express has been committed to completing the Centurion Lounges in the airports most frequented by their Card Members. The credit card company works to continuously expands their benefits to all walks of Card Members lives, whether that’s offering access to exclusive culinary events or rewards for shopping at small businesses. Most recently, Card Members can sign up for a complimentary year of mindfulness app Calm’s premium membership. In the travel realm, Platinum Card Members booking before the end of the year can access low fares on select domestic routes through March 31, 2021. And Platinum Card Members booking qualifying hotels through American Express Travel can enjoy a property credit or complimentary night through December 20, 2021—provided they book before December 18 of this year.
As domestic travel starts to become feasible once again, American Express travel benefits have been further tailored to accommodate this resurgence. Safety precautions and the changing needs of Card Members are top of mind across the board, when establishing partnerships and amidst the openings of new Centurion Lounges. The Centurion Lounge at JFK has seating arrangements that are specifically configured to comply with social distancing. And in addition to enjoying meal service, Card Members are guided to distanced available seating in the lounge by Membership Service Professionals. American Express is continuously morphing the Centurion Lounge experience to not only be safe and comfortable for guests, but to offer Card Members the highest level of luxury at the airport—and the JFK lounge looks to be the confluence of those goals.