Now Arriving, the Golden Age of Travel at Amtrak’s Metropolitan Lounge

Image of the various seating styles offered in the main seating area of Amtrak's Metropolitan Lounge.

Amtrak provided us with complimentary access to view their space. However, our reviews are fully independent and are our own thoughts. Learn more about our review process on our Ethics, Standards, & Corrections page.

After stepping out of my Uber in Midtown Manhattan, I was quickly brought back to the golden era of American train travel; the one of sophistication and luxury accommodations.

  • Image of Amtrak's backlit logo at Moynihan Train Hall
  • Image of waiting area inside Amtrak's Metropolitan Lounge
  • Image of Free articles guests can use at Amtrak's Metropolitan Lounge

The Space

At New York City’s beautiful Moynihan Train Hall, you are reminded of what it was like to travel in an era were train travel was the standard and not just for occasional commuting. Just below this train hall’s glass arched ceiling sits Amtrak’s Metropolitan Lounge. This lounge can easily be called the flagship of Amtrak’s lounge network. Inside this new lounge, you will find all of the essentials you need to ease into your next train trip.

  • Image of the various seating styles in the mains seating area of Amtrak's Metropolitan Lounge
  • Image of the various seating styles in the mains seating area of Amtrak's Metropolitan Lounge

As you ascend up the escalators from the main floor, you will be greeted to a lovely waiting area complete with couches and tables that you could easily find at your local 5-star hotel. After checking-in with the host, you will walk down a beautiful shining hallway to the main seating area. In this area, Amtrak was smart to cater to the business-heavy Northeast Corridor guests with varying seating arrangements. Here you will easily find a space to take some early-morning calls, relax with your colleagues, or just take a break between your trips.

Outside of the indoor seating area, you will also find a nice balcony looking over the train hall below. From this view, you will be reminded of the luxury you have of staying in the lounge and away from the hustle and bustle below.

Image of Moynihan Train Hall concourse below the Amtrak Metropolitan Lounge balcony. The image includes 4 large screens overlooking the terminal displaying Moynihan Train Hall and the train gates below
Moynihan Train Hall from Amtrak’s Metropolitan Lounge (Courtesy of Kyle Andrews / Time to See the World)

Towards the rear of the lounge, you will find a self-serve bar of chips, coffee and flavored water, as well as a full-service bar. At the bar, you can treat yourself to a wide-ranging list of drinks. However, keep in mind that these drinks are not included with the lounge and you will have to pay out of pocket for them.

  • Image of Self-Service Bar Area at Amtrak's Metropolitan Lounge with flavored water and chip bags available to customers
  • Image of the Wine and Beer Bar with a marble countertop and the beer and wine offerings in the background
  • Image of the fresh food offering at Moynihan Train Hall within a refrigerated display case. These include fresh fruits, sandwiches, and salads

To the left of the self-service bar and the staffed bar is the fridge case showing a small selection of fresh food. On the day I visited, Amtrak provided an offering of salads, sandwiches, and fresh fruit. Unlike the drinks, these are included with lounge access.

Ticket to the party

To be able to experience this space, you will need to be either traveling in Acela First Class, be a sleeping car passenger on one of Amtrak’s long-distance trains leaving from NYC, have Amtrak Status, or buy a day pass with your Amtrak Business Class fare.

Kyle’s Thoughts

Overall, I really liked my stay in Amtrak’s lounge. However, I don’t know if I would pay extra for the access by purchasing a day pass. While this lounge was in an impeccable location, and very quiet, I was disappointed with the lack of food and drink offerings. While it was nice that Amtrak provided some fresh food, I would have appreciated a larger buffet area found at other travel lounges. Additionally, I was disappointed Amtrak didn’t provide free beer and wine, as this is common feature at travel lounges. However, I did appreciate how quiet and relaxing this space was. It definitely provided a nice oasis from the bustle below and the sometimes cramped general waiting area at Moynihan. For a business travel, which this seems to be heavily marketed towards, the lounge would definitely serve as a nice retreat for your calls.

Image of a model of Amtrak's new Acela trains at Moynihan Train Hall
Model of New Acela Trains (Courtesy of Kyle Andrews / Time to See the World)

However, I think for most people, I would only recommend going to the lounge if your access is provided to you with your fare. This is mainly due to the lack of food and beverage offerings at the lounge. For those looking to spend money on a day pass, I would recommend taking that money instead and buying a meal from one of the local NYC restaurants located in the train hall. For those with access, you will really enjoy this space as Amtrak did a beautiful job of bringing back the golden era of travel into this new space.

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