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After much anticipation, the Capital One Lounge at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) has finally opened.
This is the second Capitol One Lounge — Capital One opened its first lounge at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) in 2021, and it’s quickly risen to the top of many lists of best domestic airport lounges.
As a fan of the Capital One Lounge at DFW, I was excited to visit the IAD lounge in its first week and see how it compared.
This new lounge is smaller than the one in Dallas and kind of hard to get to. On the plus side, it offers many of the same well-loved amenities, like excellent grab-and-go foods and locally inspired food and beverages. But did I find it still worth going to?
I’ll explain everything you need to know about the new Capital One Lounge, including how to find it, how to get complimentary access, and what to expect inside the lounge.
Unless you’re coming straight from TSA PreCheck, the Capital One Lounge can be hard to find.
If you’re arriving from a connecting flight in the C or D gates, take the train to the main terminal (it’s the train marked “terminal”). Go up 2 sets of escalators and then look for the elevators with the Capital One Lounge logo.
Take the elevator up to level C. The lounge is right in front of the elevator bank on level C.
If you find stairs marked “Do Not Enter,” turn around. The elevator should be in front of you.
Guests arriving from A or B gates can walk to the main terminal or take the train. Guests arriving from the Z or H gates should look for the elevator with the Capital One logo in the main terminal. Go up to level C, and you’ll see the lounge as soon as you exit the elevator.
The Capital One Lounge at IAD can be hard to find unless you enter the airport at TSA PreCheck. If you’re coming from anywhere else, look for signs for the main terminal and then take the elevators marked with the Capital One Lounge to level C.
The Capital One Lounge at IAD is open daily from 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The first Capital One Lounge at DFW was such a success that the Capitol One Lounge brand has become a favorite in the points-and-miles community. So my expectations were high when I visited the Dulles lounge less than a week after it opened.
The lounge was decorated in a mid-century modern style that felt more contemporary than kitschy. Maroon, blue, and grey tones exuded a calmness that was a stark contrast to the busy airport terminal. The vertical planks of natural teak wood that lined the back wall added a warmth and architectural element to a view that would otherwise have been stark and uninviting.
Nothing was boring in this lounge. The club chairs looked like they were straight from the West Elm catalog, the angled wood accents behind the bar were striking, and the purple glass lights were modern, high-end, and just plain fantastic. I would love to get my hands on one of these lights for my house.
Even the ceiling was cool — it was covered in rounded diamond panels that made each recessed light appear as if it were a star.
I found the food and beverages at the IAD Capital One Lounge to be excellent — and I’d had high expectations from the top-notch offerings at the DFW location.
One of the best aspects of a Capital One Lounge is the great grab-and-go selection: think fresh salads, sandwiches, açaí bowls, and overnight oats.
Because of where the Capital One Lounge is inside the airport, the grab-and-go options are even more important. Lots of passengers may just be stopping in to grab a snack for their flights. When I stopped in, I found that the lounge did a good job of catering to those pop-in guests — for one thing, the grab-and-go items were just to the left of the check-in desk.
There were premade sandwiches, salads, snacks, desserts, Bubly sparkling water, and Aquafina still water in aluminum cans.
Even the lounge’s coffee bar was at the entrance, making it easy to order a coffee to go without having to actually enter the lounge.
For added convenience, the lounge provided branded bags for your on-the-go snacks.
Though the grab-and-go food section at the Capital One Lounge at IAD is better than most airport lounges, it’s still smaller than the grab-and-go section at DFW. However, the IAD lounge surpasses DFW with its to-go coffees and teas, which you don’t get at DFW.
The full-service coffee bar was one of the most unique features of the Capital One Lounge at IAD. Located just to the left of the front desk, the coffee bar could serve your beverage in a to-go cup if you were in a hurry.
The baristas during my visit, Dalila and Terry, were delightful. Not only did they make excellent lattes, but they were a total pleasure to speak to, and I got a sense that they took great pride in their jobs. That positivity, along with amazing pastries and delicious beverages, made this coffee bar the best part of the entire lounge.
One of the coolest features of the coffee bar was the latte art machine, which the baristas used to make a foam Capitol One logo in my coffee. They could also add text or even use a photo from your phone to create latte art! This fun touch elevated this lounge from above-average to exceptional.
On my visit, the coffee bar pastries were croissants, cinnamon buns, and homemade strawberry Pop-Tarts. The homemade Pop-Tart was so divine I had 2 and took 2 more home in a to-go bag.
One of the best features of the Capital One Lounge at IAD was the full-service coffee bar staffed with trained baristas. You could quickly grab your favorite coffee drink and a pastry to go or bring them into the lounge with you.
The Capital One Lounge offered small plates and individually plated snacks instead of the standard buffet. The food was in the back of the lounge, across from the bar.
Food items were individually portioned.
Some of the breakfast options included a delicious breakfast sandwich with egg, cheese, and bacon on brioche, chia pudding with fresh fruit, grits, and pastries.
Lunch options included asparagus guacamole, goat cheese toasts, cheese tots, and charcuterie skewers.
I grabbed a cherry-blossom-flavored dark chocolate from the front desk on my way out. These sweet treats were from local chocolatier River-Sea Chocolates.
Beverages on Tap
There were tons of beverages at the Capital One Lounge at IAD. I found La Colombe draft latte and cold brew on tap by the coffee bar.
The back of the lounge had even more drink options. There were 4 sodas on tap: cola, zero-sugar cola, pineapple cream soda, and agave vanilla cream soda.
Also on tap were water, lemonade, and unsweetened iced tea.
The Capital One Lounge bar offered a curated drinks menu, including cocktails, local craft beer, mocktails, and wines. Sparkling wine, bourbon, and tequila cost extra.
The lounge’s beverage director, Will Patton, also designed the beverage programs for Jônt DC and Bresca. Bresca is a Washington, D.C., Michelin-starred restaurant that’s won awards for its drinks.
I ordered Bresca’s signature cocktail, the Bee’s Knees, which came in perhaps the most unique glass I’ve seen in an airport lounge. This citrusy cocktail featured Bombay Sapphire gin, Suze liqueur, lemon, and kombucha honey cordial, and I’m pretty sure it’s going to become a big hit at the airport.
There was a selection of cocktails, wines, and beers available on tap at the bar:
Cherry Blossom Margarita
Directions to J Street cocktail
Face Plant IPA
One of the things that really made the Capital One Lounge stand out was its selection of alcohol-free cocktails. With more and more people decreasing their alcohol consumption in recent years, zero-proof cocktails have become a welcome trend.
There were 3 nonalcoholic beverages offered on the cocktail menu during my visit:
Pretty Rickey: Cherry blossom syrup, fresh lime, sparkling water
Rock Creek Park: Jasmine green tea, cucumber, Fever Tree lime and yuzu soda
DC Is Tropical: Coconut water, pineapple juice, honey kombucha
The Capital One Lounge at IAD didn’t have the bells and whistles I’ve found in many other airport lounges. There were no workout rooms, showers, or sleeping pods. However, this lounge offered some nice amenities to enjoy while waiting for your flight.
There were 2 semi-private work areas, all the way to the left side of the lounge (when looking from the front desk), facing the windows.
These spaces each had a long desk and 3 chairs. Though open to the walkway, they offered more privacy than any other public spaces in the lounge.
There were 4 individual restrooms. Each was large and stocked with hand soap, lotion, and tissues.
The private nursing room had a comfortable chair and a changing area.
The nursing room also had complimentary Capital One-branded bibs.
The bibs also work well for fur babies!
I found the lockers to the right of the front entrance of the lounge.
Travelers will find unique contemporary artworks by Washington, D.C.-area artists displayed throughout the lounge.
One of the highlights of the Capital One Lounge at IAD was the staff. Every staff member I talked to was friendly, helpful, and eager to show off the lounge and its amenities. A few even told me how happy they were that the location was finally open and what a great place it was to work.
The Capital One Lounge at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) is finally open in the main terminal just past TSA PreCheck. It’s especially convenient for travelers who want to pop in to pick up a coffee or some snacks to take on their flight.
For travelers with a long layover, the Capital One Lounge offers plenty of comfortable seating, delicious small plates, a full bar, and a coffee bar. Semiprivate workspaces and a nursing room make this lounge great for business travelers and families.
Select Capital One cardholders can access this lounge for free, while anyone else can pay a $65 per visit per person fee to enter.
The information regarding the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer. The information regarding the Capital One Venture X Business Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer. The information regarding the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
Information regarding the Capital One Spark Miles for Business was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
Yes, the Capital One Lounge at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) opened in September 2023.
Where is the Capital One Lounge in IAD?
The Capital One Lounge at Washington Dulles (IAD) can be tricky to find. It’s located on the ticketing level of the main terminal right past TSA PreCheck. If you’re coming from a connecting flight, head to the main terminal and look for the elevators marked with the Capital One Lounge logo.
Is the Capital One Lounge open at IAD?
Yes, the Capital One Lounge at IAD opened on September 7, 2023. It’s open daily from 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
How can I get into the Capital One Lounge at Washington Dulles?
Cardholders of the Capital One Venture X card or the Capital One Venture X Business card get unlimited complimentary access to all Capital One Lounges for themselves and up to 2 guests. Cardholders of the Capital One Venture card and the Capital One Spark Miles card can get 2 complimentary lounge passes each year. Anyone else can pay a $65 per person per visit fee to access the lounge.
What are the Capital One Lounge Dulles hours?
The Capital One Lounge at Washington Dulles International Airport was open daily from 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Katie has been in the points and miles game since 2015 and started her own blog in 2016. She’s been freelance writing since then and her work has been featured in publications like Travel + Leisure, Forbes Advisor, and Fortune Recommends.