Flight delays and layovers in the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport just got a lot more bearable—you may even look forward to them—thanks to the new Centurion Lounge, which is setting the standard in the growing independent lounge sector. Entry to the 9,000-square-foot space from American Express (Travel + Leisure's former parent company) is free for Platinum and Centurion members, and $50 for all other American Express cardholders. (This also goes for the original location in Las Vegas, which opened last February.) Here’s what you’ll find inside those signature blue doors:
1. Massages. Facials. Manicures. At the on-site Exhale Spa, 15-minute treatments are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Have a long layover? Sign up for one of each.
2. Local food icon Dean Fearing heads up the lounge’s dining program. His Southwestern touch spreads across every meal: a taco bar at the breakfast buffet (open until noon), and spinach-and-queso enchiladas and smoked barbecue brisket tacos for lunch and dinner.
3. As for the drinks: World-class mixologist Jim Meehan, of New York’s PDT fame, created an exclusive menu of cocktails, many made with regional ingredients. A highlight: the jalapeno cornbread-inspired Tex/Mex (with Tito’s corn-based vodka, Cabeza Blanco tequila, corn, honey, lime, and jalapeno). Enjoy it at the sleek marble bar, which is decorated with antique luggage and other travel artifacts.
4. It’s 9,000 square feet of tech-filled space—USB ports and charging outlets at every turn (every two to three feet, to be precise), plus free high-speed WiFi and a computer bar with top-of-the line PCs and large monitors.
5. The modern aesthetic—wood-paneled walls, pops of color, tufted leather—makes you feel like you’re in the lobby of a hip hotel. Semi-private seating areas have high-back chairs and movable ottomans, while leather loungers designed for sleeping are strategically placed for naptime.
6. Toting your kids along? There’s a colorful room designed for pre-school age to pre-teens, with over-size beanbag chairs, board games, books, DVDs, and an XBox. Plus, floor-to-ceiling glass walls mean you can keep an eye on the little ones while getting work done just a few feet away.
Brooke Porter is an Associate Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @brookeporter1.