Capital One’s New Denver Airport Lounge Serves Cocktails From One of North America’s 50 Best Bars

AFAR got a sneak peek inside the new airport lounge in Concourse A.

The bar at the Capital One Lounge at Denver International Airport, with empty seats

The bar area inside the Capital One Lounge at Denver International Airport, which opened on November 3

Photo by Bailey Berg

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A new 10,800-square-foot airport lounge might give travelers an enticing reason to transit through Denver—or to check in early if they’re from the Mile High City. On November 3, Capital One opened its latest airport lounge at Denver International Airport.

Found in Concourse A near Gate 34 on the mezzanine level via escalator or elevator, the brand-new Denver lounge is the third location in Capital One’s growing network of proprietary airport lounges. Outposts opened at Dallas–Fort Worth International Airport in November 2021 and Washington Dulles International Airport in September 2023. Lounges at Las Vegas’s Harry Reid International Airport, New York’s LaGuardia Airport, and Washington D.C.’s Ronald Reagan Airport are next on the agenda.

Available to all travelers, the new Capital One Lounge features locally sourced food, shower suites, artwork from dozens of Colorado artists, and a craft cocktail bar that borrows recipes from a Denver spot on North America’s 50 Best Bars list.

AFAR got a sneak peek of the new lounge the day before it opened. Here’s everything you need to know about the new Capital One Lounge in Denver, including where to find it and how to get in.

A couch and other empty seating in the living room area of the Denver Capital One Airport Lounge

The living room area of the Denver Capital One lounge has plenty of comfy seats and views over the concourse below.

Courtesy of Capital One

Layout and design

The sprawling layout of the lounge allows for distinct areas for eating, relaxing, and working. For instance, the corridor to the left of the welcome lobby offers travelers quiet, private spaces to work, with two phone booths (available on a first-come, first-served basis for up to 20 minutes) and three office spaces (bookable for 30 minutes at a time). In that same hallway are two Relaxation Rooms, lit by pinhole-size lights in the ceiling meant to mimic the night sky. One room also features an EnergyPod, a type of zero-gravity chair specifically designed for napping.

At the back of the lounge is a midcentury-modern–inspired living room area, with booths and café-style tables and chairs (each with a dedicated outlet), a coffee and snack bar, and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the concourse. Continuing counterclockwise is a passageway with six individual unisex, ADA-compliant bathrooms, with changing tables and luggage racks. The two shower suites include towels, Dyson hair dryers, and dissolvable shampoo and conditioner pods. In that same area is a dedicated Parents Room, featuring adult- and child-size furniture, a changing station with wet wipes, a bottle warmer, and loaner bibs that read “Little Pilot.”

The last space before returning to the lobby is the dining and bar area, which has two- to four-person tables and booths, as well as a row of wingback lounge chairs overlooking the runway.

Throughout the lounge are more than 50 original pieces of artwork from Denver-area creatives. One of the largest is Front Range Hitching Post by Windy Chien, an artist who uses knotted rope and wood in many of her pieces. (This particular creation is meant to look like a mountain range.) There’s also a mural by Gary Gomez made with soil of different colors from Red Rocks Amphitheater.

Hot (L) and cold (R) food options at the Denver Capital One Lounge

Sit and stay awhile with hot food in the main dining area, or grab something to go from the welcome lobby.

Photos by Bailey Berg

The food

For travelers with tight connections, the lounge’s welcome lobby doubles as a grab-and-go area offering packaged food options, like breakfast sandwiches, beet and pear salads, vegetable hummus cups, and mini churro bites with vanilla pudding.

For those who have more time, there are hot and cold food bars in the dining and bar area. Unlike other airport lounges, where buffets are the norm, Capital One’s lounges focus on individually portioned small plates. In Denver, that includes made-in-house options like corned beef hash, Colorado bison sloppy joes, lemon garlic broccolini, soba noodle salad, and a decadent mac and cheese with bacon. Desserts are sourced from local bakery Good Bread—the lavender chocolate-chip cookies and mini carrot cake loaves are standouts. The culinary team plans on rotating in four to six new dishes each month to keep options exciting for frequent travelers.

A row of different cocktails at the Capital One Lounge at Denver

Choose from a variety of cocktails, including ones made with recipes from local bars.

Photo by Bailey Berg

The drinks

For nonalcoholic beverages, guests can choose among a collection of artisanal sodas (such as pineapple cream soda and black cherry with tarragon), flavored waters, and drip coffee from Denver’s Unravel Coffee Merchants, all of which are self-serve.

As in all of its lounges, Capital One tapped a local brewery to develop its own take on what it considers to be the perfect airport draft beer, which is only available there. In Dallas, that’s a pilsner, and in D.C., it’s a helles lager. At Denver, a city with a reputation for craft beer, it’s an IPA with notes of bright citrus, pine, and resin called the Sky High P.A. crafted by Cerveceria Colorado.

Unfiltered Hospitality, the group that developed the bar program, also made an aperitif that is unique to the Denver Capital One lounge. The Spirit of Denver Proprietary Aperitif contains Colorado botanicals, like sour cherries and spruce tips, and tastes similar to Campari or Aperol. Guests can try it in original cocktails like the Colorado Cool-Aid, a twist on a classic Negroni.

Another must-order cocktail is the Werewolf in London, a riff on a bourbon mule topped with the Sky High P.A. It’s served in a custom ceramic mug from Fenway Clayworks. (The bottom is stamped with “On permanent loan from Capital One Lounge” in anticipation of sticky-fingered guests.) Two cocktails are borrowed from Yacht Club, a downtown Denver cocktail and natural wine bar that consistently lands on the list of North America’s 50 Best Bars. One of those is the Espresso-Tini and Tonic, which features Marble Distilling Vodka, La Colombe cold brew, Oloroso sherry, and tonic.

In addition to the complimentary house cocktails, beers, and wines, there is a short list of hard-to-find spirits, such as Uncle Nearest 1884 Tennessee Whiskey and Real Minero Ensamble Mezcal, that are available at an extra cost, ranging from $10 to $20. The five premium champagne upgrade options, all served in a 375 ml bottle, range from $15 to $160.

The beige reception area at Capital One Lounge, with no people

The Capital One Lounge’s reception area also includes a grab-and-go food and drink section for travelers in a rush.

Photo by Bailey Berg

How to access the Denver Capital One Lounge

Anyone who has a boarding pass for a departing or connecting same-day flight up to three hours before departure time can access the new Capital One Lounge in Denver—the price just depends on whether you (or a traveling companion) have an affiliated credit card or not.

Travelers with a Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card (plus authorized users) or Capital One Venture X Business card have unlimited complimentary access to all Capital One Lounges, plus complimentary entry for their first two guests per visit ($45 for any additional guest after that).

Capital One Venture and Capital One Spark Miles cardholders receive two complimentary visits to Capital One Lounges annually, which may be used for themselves, their authorized users, or guests who are traveling with them. Additional visits are available for a discounted rate of $45 per person.

Everyone else, regardless of whether they have a Capital One card or not, can enter the lounge for $65 per visit.

The lounge’s regular opening hours will be 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. However, during the soft opening, which runs through November 12, 2023, the hours will be 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

>> Read AFAR’s full review of the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

Other recent Denver airport lounge openings

The past year has been big for Denver in terms of new and expanded lounges throughout the airport, which welcomed a record-setting 69.3 million plus passengers in 2022. Most recently, American Airlines debuted a new 6,000-square-foot Admirals Club in Denver’s Concourse C on October 18. Not to be outdone, United has launched three new lounges in Denver since this time last year, including a 35,000-square-foot, three-story lounge near gate B44, another near gate A25 to serve passengers on international flights, and a new lounge concept called Club Fly near B61. The latter is meant to be a grab-and-go solution for travelers short on time—all the food and beverages are packaged, not unlike the grab-and-go area of Capital One’s lobby.

While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they are subject to change at any time, and may have changed or may no longer be available.

Bailey Berg is a freelance travel writer and editor, who covers breaking news, trends, tips, transportation, sustainability, the outdoors, and more. She was formerly the associate travel news editor at Afar. Her work can also be found in the New York Times, the Washington Post, National Geographic, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, the Points Guy, Atlas Obscura, Vice, Thrillist, Men’s Journal, Architectural Digest, Forbes, Lonely Planet, and beyond.
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