LaGuardia’s New Chase Sapphire Lounge is a Rare Gem

LaGuardia’s New Chase Sapphire Lounge is a Rare Gem
Nicole Nelson
Published in: 

Designers and planners who created the luxe Chase Sapphire Lounge at LaGuardia Airport (LGA) in New York “went for gold” regarding aesthetics, amenities and overall building standards. And they seem to have succeeded on all accounts. The new facility, which opened early this year, is impressing customers and travel industry insiders alike. 

Located in LGA’s recently redeveloped Terminal B, the 21,850-square-foot lounge is the largest to date for both the terminal and the credit card company. The lavish two-story retreat features a variety of spaces, including a productivity zone, meditation rooms, rest pods, a room specifically for families and a private suite for nursing mothers.

Dana Pouwels, head of Airport Lounge Benefits and Strategic Partnerships for Chase, notes that the Chase Sapphire Lounge by The Club has something for every traveler—best-in-class food and beverages; a retro-inspired game room; wellness rooms with complimentary treatments by estheticians from New York’s own Face Haus; the upper-level “Perch” that is filled with plants and two large tree trunk columns that poke through the floor from the lower level; and more.


Project: New Members-Only Lounge

Name: Chase Sapphire Lounge by The Club

Location: LaGuardia Airport (in NY)

Terminal: B

Size: 2 floors; 21,850 sq. ft.

Capacity: 269 guests

Grand Opening: Jan. 2024

Daily Hours: 4:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. for main lounge;
5 a.m.-9 p.m. for Reserve Suites

Lounge Partner: Airport Dimensions

Lead Design Architect/Architect
of Record:

Conceptual Designer & Brand Architect: ICRAVE

Mechanical, Electric & Plumbing, Fire/Life Safety & Special Systems Engineer: Arora Engineers

General Contractor: Turner Construction

Lounge Features: Artwork from JPMorgan Chase Art Collection; wellness rooms with complimentary treatments from Face Haus facial bar; retro game room; drinks designed by Apotheke cocktail bar; food from Joseph Leonard & Jeffrey’s Grocery; Reserve Suites with private attendants, caviar service, upgraded menu & beverage options, etc.

Guests desiring an even more exclusive option can book three-hour blocks in The Reserve Suites for $2,200 to $3,000. These ultra-deluxe, ultra-private spaces include personal attendants, caviar service, private bathrooms/showers stocked with high-end toiletries, televisions with video game consoles and other extra perks.

“I have to tip my hat off to our Brand and Design Team,” Pouwels marvels. “Not only did they build a space that can accommodate almost 300 people, but they have created a space with numerous discoverable corners that evoke different experiences for every kind of traveler.”

Elevated Experience

Pouwels worked closely with Suzette Noble, chief executive officer of LaGuardia Gateway Partners, to bring the ambitious project to fruition on Jan. 16. Noble notes that philosophical alignment between the two organizations and good timing created the perfect window of opportunity. 

As the private developer and manager of Terminal B, LaGuardia Gateway Partners is dedicated to pursuing innovative ideas and partnerships that elevate the airport experience for guests, she explains. “We felt that Chase, and their operating partner Airport Dimensions, shared a similar objective in regard to elevating the experience of their cardholders.”

Pouwels agrees wholeheartedly. “We are always looking to meet our card members where they are, particularly during travel moments, to give them the best possible experience,” she remarks. “With New York continuously topping the lists of top booked destinations for Chase Sapphire card members, having an airport lounge in LGA was a natural choice.”

Moreover, the comprehensive Terminal B redevelopment was completed in 2022, shortly before Chase began launching lounges at U.S airports. “We shared publicly our commitments to invest in travel at Chase in early 2022 and opened our first Chase Sapphire by The Club in Hong Kong that October,” Pouwels relates. “Since then, we’ve been on a continuous journey to enhance the overall customer travel journey, including at airports.” 

From the very beginning of the LGA project, the Chase Sapphire Team intended to make it the flagship location for the emerging network.

Despite having multiple lounges in development, the team is mindfully avoiding a cookie cutter approach. “We’re continuously looking to bring new and exciting amenities to each of our airport lounge locations,” advises Pouwels. 

This emphasis on inventiveness and sense of place is on full display at the new LGA facility. The design, artwork, services and food/beverage menus all feature ties to New York notables. 

Jewels and Gold

Chase partnered on the project with Airport Dimensions, a global firm that specializes in delivering airport lounge and traveler experiences. The new facility at LGA was in development for nearly four years, and Chris Gwilliam, vice president of Global Business Development at Airport Dimensions, has been on the case from initial discussions through design, construction and the final lease.

Proud of the lounge’s many unique elements, Gwilliam highlights the expansive rotunda bar with bespoke brass taps, plush stools and stone countertop as a key feature. “It is very centrally positioned and features wines, beer, spirits and mixologist-crafted cocktails that have been uniquely created for this space,” he comments.

Lounge guests can sit at the round bar or have Apotheke drinks delivered to their tables. Naturally, plenty of nibbles and noshes are also available.

“We partnered with both Joseph Leonard and Jeffrey’s Grocery, two amazing restaurants in New York’s iconic West Village, to curate the New York-inspired menu for the lounge,” says Gwilliam.

Guests particularly enjoy the Sapphire Signature Cocktail, made with Brooklyn Gin or Crop artisanal vodka, alongside a made-to-order Sapphire burger, which is served on a brioche bun with mustard aioli, tomato confit, arugula and pickles. Morning favorites include matcha oats, chickpea eggs and Brussels sprouts hash. Pesto burrata, pumpkin muhammara and Korean fried chicken are among the ready-to-eat options that are available all day. 

Gwilliam is quick to credit the design team for creating a premium hospitality environment—Corgan as lead design architect/architect of record, and ICRAVE as the conceptual designer and brand architect. “There really is a jewel at every turn, in every corner,” he remarks.

“Not only do the custom millwork, finishes and furnishings create an elegant and sophisticated New York City vibe, but all elements of the lounge were sustainably designed and appointed with LEED certification in mind,” adds Gwilliam.

The project team expects to hear from the U.S. Green Building Council soon regarding its application for Gold level certification. “Sustainability and LEED certification were always central pillars in the design, from early on in the design process,” says Corgan Senior Project Manager Farhad Mody.

Architects specified sustainable materials, maximized water efficiency and optimized systems for energy and indoor air quality to meet environmental goals.

Working as a subcontractor to Corgan, Arora Engineers kept sustainability top of mind when designing the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems. In order to meet the exacting standards and sustainability requirements, its team began working on the project in July 2021.

“We completed a very detailed energy model to show the energy savings, and then we also did a re-commissioning,” says Arora Engineers Vice President Steve Giordano. “This was an exciting project for us. Because it was with Chase, it wasn’t your typical lounge. They were going all in.”

That’s an apt description of Chase’s strategy. 

“We believe we are truly raising the bar and redefining the airport lounge experience,” says Pouwels. “The Reserve Suites are clearly a standout in terms of a new, first-of-its-kind offering from Chase. However, the entire lounge is surrounded by thoughtful designs and unique amenities to create an elevated guest experience. We are very intentional with our partners—food, beverage, and wellness—to ensure we’re creating a space with unique amenities to redefine the look and feel of an airport lounge—a very commonly used space—to truly wow travelers.”

She acknowledges the company’s Brand and Design Team, Airport Dimensions, and architects Corgan and ICRAVE for making it all happen. “[Together] we have created a space that we believe will really redefine the luxury airport lounge experience throughout the industry,” says Pouwels.

As terminal operator, LaGuardia Gateway Partners is excited to have another attractive dwell time option for travelers. Noble reports that her team is “elated to have this amazing addition to Terminal B. We anticipate Chase guests will love the brand-new lounge and everything it has to offer during their visits to our terminal.”

The two-story retreat at LGA is an encore presentation to Chase’s first U.S. lounge at Boston Logan International (BOS), which opened in May 2023. The company quickly followed its early 2024 opening at LGA with another key New York location: Terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).

Chase Sapphire Lounges are open to travelers with a Chase Sapphire Reserve® card, the Ritz-Carlton Credit Card and/or the JP Morgan Reserve Card. Priority Pass members receive one visit at each U.S. location; additional entries can be arranged for $75 per person.


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