Denver International Airport Lounges: Capital One Vs Centurion

American Express opened its Centurion Lounge at the Denver International Airport in 2021, and it was a hit. With upgraded dining services including a station serving made-to-order pasta, and table games in the bar area, this lounge reviewed well from the beginning.

Soon, Capital One got into the premium credit card lounge game. They opened their first lounge in Dallas (DFW) in 2021 and their second at Washington DC’s Dulles International Airport (IAD) in early 2023.

Capital One opened its third lounge at Denver International Airport (DEN) in November of 2023 and is Centurion’s top competitor.

Snapshot Verdict

Both the Capital One and the Centurion Lounge at the Denver International Airport offer solid choices for escaping the fray before your flight or during your layover. You can relax, get some work done, or hang out with your traveling companions while having a good meal and great drinks.

Depending on how much you travel, lounge access alone may be enough to offset your rather hefty annual fees ($395 for Capital One Venture X and $695 for Amex Platinum at the time of writing). Airport food and drinks are expensive, and you can eat and drink all you want in the lounges!

If you have a long layover and have access to both, I’d choose the Centurion at Denver Airport. It is more spacious, offers higher protein meals, and has better and more plentiful seating options. 

Capital One Lounge

Concourse B Near Gate B34

I’ve just visited the new Capital One Lounge in April of 2024, and let me tell you – the word is out. This lounge is crowded, loud, and very difficult to find a place to sit. The lighting is bright, and it feels… not at all exclusive. 

Capital One Lounge Denver crowded

Capital One Venture X, both business and personal versions, have unlimited access to the Capital One Lounges. If you have the Capital One Venture Rewards or Spark Business cards, you get two free visits per year.

This perk is going away as of January 2025 (after that, visits will cost these cardholders $45). 

With access, you can bring two guests free of charge, and beyond that, guests must pay $45. Anyone can purchase access for $65, and it is still probably cheaper than having a full meal with drinks at the airport.

Where To Find It

The Capital One Lounge at Denver airport is located near Gate B34 on the mezzanine level, and is open from 5 am to 9 pm. Look for the escalator in the center of the walkway and head up one level. The lounge is U-shaped and surrounds an area that is open to the concourse below.Â

At the top of the escalator, there was no line, and we were greeted by a very friendly agent who admitted us quickly. Behind the front desk, you’ll find grab-and-go snacks, and to the right of it a coffee station with hot and cold options.

Capital One Lounge Denver snacks

When you enter the lounge and turn right, progressing clockwise, you first see the buffet and bar area to your left. The buffet has similar offerings to what we found in Dallas – small, locally sourced dishes in individual ramekin bowls or little pans. It is organized like a typical buffet, so you still deal with lines.

Capital One Lounge Denver salad bar

The lounge in Dallas, by contrast, has a central kiosk with separate stations for each dish – this really eliminated the serving line you often find at buffets. 

Small plates include Colorado bison sloppy joe sliders, broccolini with garlic, teriyaki stir fry, mac and cheese, and mac and cheese with bacon. There is a second buffet line with small individual salads, and tapas such as tomato confit crostini and buffalo deviled eggs.

At the end of the buffet, a drink station offers regular water, regular soda, craft soda, tea, fruit-infused iced water, and coffee.

Capital One Lounge Denver Drinks Station
Capital One Lounge Denver tea and coffee station

The bar is massive and packed with people. They offer a variety of beer, wine, and craft cocktails. Drink offerings vary from lounge to lounge and have local flavor. This lounge’s choices include local microbrews, the tequila-based cocktail cleverly called the Juan Denver, and Colorado Cool-Aid. 

Continuing toward the back of the lounge, the six restrooms and two shower suites (all ADA compliant) are down a hallway to your left. There is something called a Parents’ room as well, which I’m guessing you will need to reserve up front. 

Capital One Lounge Denver toilets

The restrooms are individual unisex rooms with toilets and sinks, which have spa music piped in. They are quite nice, and seem to be kept very clean. 

Past the hallway with the restrooms, you’ll find a dessert bar with cookies and brownies. The back area is very open, with bar tops on each side and lounge type seating with tables in the center.

Capital One Lounge Denver seating

A few comfy two-top tables line the windows, where you can watch people scurrying about on the concourse to your heart’s content. Opposite the dessert bar, you’ll find a tea station. 

Walking back toward the entryway, there are some more private seating pods and grouped chairs. There are work rooms and relaxation rooms that you can reserve at the front desks.

Capital One LOunge Denver Work Room

I could hear serene music coming from the relaxation rooms, and I swear I could smell the lavender. Unfortunately, I was not able to experience the relaxation rooms this time. 

Monitors scattered around the lounge keep you updated on your flight status. 

The staff at this lounge was the best part – very kind and helpful. They tried to help us find a place to sit, and finally found two barstools in the very back by the kitchen, and that is where I sit as I write this review. First impressions of this ‘new’ lounge – I am not overly impressed. 

I am comparing this lounge to the Capital One Lounge in Dallas (DFW), and it misses the mark. It seems like an older lounge that has been remodeled. The decor is somewhat chic and modern, but the lighting is too bright.

I love the fact that they have art by local artists and use locally sourced ingredients to craft locally inspired dishes and drinks, but I don’t love the arrangement of the lounge. I think they could have partitioned areas better and created spaces to minimize the crowded feel. 

But it is better than sitting at the gate! 

We had a little extra time, so we hoofed it on over to the Centurion Lounge on Concourse C. 

American Express Centurion Lounge

Concourse C Near Gate C46

To access the Amex Lounge, you will need to either have the American Express Platinum Card (business or personal), the exclusive, invite-only Centurion Card, or the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Card (which gives access if you are flying Delta).

Approach to Centurion Lounge Denver

Authorized users on your platinum card also have access, each of whom are now charged a $175 annual fee (you used to be able to have up to 3 authorized users for one $175 fee).

Guests must pay $50 unless you hit the $75K annual spend, in which case you can bring two guests free of charge. 

Where To Find It

The Centurion Lounge is located by Gate C46. The entry from the main concourse is similar to that of the Capital One Lounge – look for the escalators in the center. For the mobility-impaired, there is an elevator to the right with a small sign.

We just beat a mad rush and walked right in, but we have waited up to an hour to get into this lounge in the past.

If you take the escalator up, the entry desks are directly in front of you. It is quite a grand entryway, complete with the vertical greening typical of Centurion Lounges.

Centurion Lounge Denver entrance

After gaining access with your ID and boarding pass (and card, if you don’t have a QR code), take a right.

It is even more crowded than the Capital One Lounge, and is configured pretty much the same way – U-shaped and open in the center, with views down to the concourse. It is larger and better laid-out than Capital One.

You walk down a long corridor with seating to your right lining the windows, overlooking the concourse. To your left, there are several open areas with a variety of seating options – personal pods, dining tables, and co-working tables. 

One bar is just off of the first room, and serves a variety of wines, beers, and craft cocktails. This is a good place to grab some snacks – brownies, pretzels, etc. – for the flight.

Centurion Lounge Bar Denver

There used to be a pool table and a few other table games in this area, but they have been removed in favor of additional dining tables. There’s a drink stand in the first seating area providing coffee, tea, and water. 

Centurion LOunge Denver drinks station

Continuing to the back of the lounge, you’ll find binary gendered restrooms and two shower suites, complete with L’Occitane toiletries. You can reserve your shower suite at the front desk. 

At the bottom of the U is a second bar, and more seats lining the windows. To the left of the bar are additional dining tables and a bar top overlooking the concourse. Heading back toward the entryway, you’ll find the buffet, additional seating, and another drink station. 

Centurion Lounge Denver back bar

While this is not the nicest Centurion Lounge in the network, it is a known quantity and a solid choice. You can expect good food with a decent amount of protein, high-quality ingredients, and excellent drink selections with top-shelf choices.

Centurion Lounge Denver Buffet

If you can get in and find a place to sit, despite being busy the lounge does not feel as crowded, loud, and bright as the Capital One Lounge.

Insider Tip

If you have access, the United Club West on concourse B near Gate B30 receives better reviews than either of the above lounges! We did not have access on this trip, but we will be back in July, and I’ll let you know if it lives up to the hype!

On our visit, the buffet included grilled rosemary chicken which was moist and flavorful, rice, roasted brussel sprouts, and a decent salad bar. There was a nice selection of desserts, but the best part was the made-to-order pasta station. 


These lounges are both solid choices for a decent meal and drinks. During my visits, both were crowded, but so was every square inch of Denver Airport.

The Centurion wins in a head-to-head battle, mainly due to the space. It is larger, at 14,000 square feet, compared to the Capital One Lounge at 10,800 square feet.

I think the Centurion Lounge has a better layout, with multiple partitioned areas, so that it feels less crowded. But I can understand why the Capital One Lounge is so open, being two-thirds the size.

Moreover, the food choices at the Centurion Lounge are slightly superior, in my opinion. Both lounges boast stylish decor and have nice amenities, like shower suites and private work rooms. If you have time and access, check them both out and see what you think!

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