Review: Capital One Lounge Dulles International, Washington D.C. (2023)

by Mohammad
a wooden door with a logo on it

Points Miles and Bling (blog) contains referral or affiliate links. The blog receives a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your continued support. Credit Card issuers are not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details, current product information, and Terms and Conditions, click the link included.

Capital One launched their first flagship lounge at Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) back in 2021, shortly following the launch of the Venture X credit card. The lounge was supposed to usher in a new era of dedicated Capital One Lounges across the US to rival that of the increasingly popular -and  crowded – Amex Centurion Lounges. Despite overwhelmingly positive coverage and by all accounts a very successful model (albeit with the some cut backs apparently from the early days), the subsequent rollout of new lounges has unfortunately been quite slow. Almost two years on from the launch of the inaugural lounge, the second Capital One lounge at Washington Dulles International Airport finally opened its doors as of September 2023.

After a couple of thwarted attempts to visit the DFW lounge, the stars finally aligned in my favor as we were scheduled to fly out to Doha from Dulles following a short stay in Washington DC.

Lounge Access & Hours

Capital One recently re-did lounge access eligibility on their suite of cards meaning that as of the time of writing, only two Capital One credit cards come with unlimited free access – the Capital One Venture X Rewards card and the Capital One Venture X Business card. Both allow for unlimited access for the card holder and two guests. Authorized users for both cards are also allowed complimentary entry for themselves and two guests. For all cardholders, there is a $45 fee for additional guests, while children under 2 are free. Capital One Venture Rewards and Spark Business card holders receive two free passes each year. If you’re not a cardholder at all, then worry not – you can still access the lounge by paying $65 per person – a not totally unreasonable charge depending on the duration of your stay.

At the time of writing, the lounge operates 5:30am to 9pm and is open daily. For what it’s worth, we happened to visit in the evening and it was very pleasant with not too many people in the lounge at the time.


Finding the lounge wasn’t the most straight forward exercise for someone not familiar with IAD. For one, it is located past TSA precheck and before the trains that take you to the gates. As such, it’s not going to be the most convenient lounge to get to if you’re a true transit passenger. Its much more conducive for those beginning their journey at Dulles and I can’t imagine that’s a bad thing giving it not the largest lounge at ~8500 sq ft.

The lounge is located in the main terminal. After passing through TSA/security, you’ll need to follow signs to the middle bank elevator which will have signage for the lounge. As mentioned above, this is all before you get to the trains transporting you to the other concourses.

a diagram of a flight

Lounge & Amenities

The check-in desk is located dead ahead as you enter the lounge foyer. The agents manning the desk during our visit were extremely cheerful and friendly and were quick to give our four month old infant a Capital One branded Passport sticker book. Following a quick sign-in courtesy of my Venture X supplementary card, and seeing that we were travelling with an infant, they walked us through all the amenities in the lounge and pointed us to the accessibility ramp which we could use with our stroller in order to navigate steps.

Seating Layout & Food

The seating areas of the lounge are laid out in a U-shape. Walking down to the right of the reception area you walk past a couple of comfortable looking seating arrangements before getting the the back of the lounge which is where most of the seating is situated along with the main bar area and food stations.

a room with tables and chairs

Initial seating configurations on the way to the back of the lounge

a room with tables and chairs

Initial seating configurations on the way to the back of the lounge

The lounge is lined with top to bottom glass windows and whilst we were there in the night, I can imagine the lounge gets an abundant amount of natural light during the day time. The bar was a little high traffic during my stay so I’ve included the below image courtesy of Upgraded Points of the main bar.

a room with tables and chairs

a room with chairs and a flag on the wall

a bar with chairs and a window

Main Bar, photo source:

Though I don’t consume alcohol myself, both the Capital One lounges get rave reviews on the drinks and cocktail selection across both lounges.  Drinks menu consisted of a variety of cocktails, local beers and a signature beer created specifically for each lounge location. For the Dulles lounge, as you can see from the menu below, the custom brew was called ‘Pre-Flight Lager’ by a local brewer Lost Rhino. Of most interest to me was the mocktail menu of which we sampled the “Rock Creek Park” and “DC is Tropical”.

a menu on a glass case

a two glasses of liquid with a flower on top

Mocktails “Rock Creek Park” and “DC is Tropical”

Right across the bar and over a foliage lined divider is where the various food stations were located.

people walking in a building

As with the flagship lounge in Dallas, food is a real highlight at the Dulles lounge. All the food stations are spaced out linearly along the one side of the main seating area. All food items are individually portioned and there was impressive variety on offer including chicken sausage & mashed potatoes, deviled eggs, thai shrimp curry bao, mini charcuterie plates,  goat cheese and spicy peach crostini, an amazing corn pudding and some tater tots. Some cold bao aside, everything else was a treat as was the dessert table which had a selection of sweet treats like brownies, mini pumpkin pies, corn muffins and an interest tahini coconut parfait.

shelves with shelves and lights

a group of silver bowls of food

Chicken Sausages and Mashed Potatoes

a group of white plates with food on them

Thai Shrimp Curry Bao

a wooden plate with spoons on it

Deviled Eggs

a group of plates of food on a table

Mini Charcuterie Plates

a group of bowls of food

Corn Pudding

a group of pans with food in them

Tater Tots

shelves with plates and plates on it

Dessert Station

a row of taps on a counter

Craft Soda’s on tap

Grab & Go

In the same foyer and to the left of the check-in desk is the “REFUEL” section which is a refrigerated grab and go selection of sandwiches, fruits, snacks and drinks along with to-go bags for those who want to take some goodies along with them on the plane.

a refreshment display in a store

Grab & Go section with a selection of pre-packed sandwiches, drinks and snakcks.

Coffee Bar

Further down in the same foyer was the coffee bar with an impressive selection of barista made drinks along with some bakery items. Prior to visiting the lounge, I had heard rave reviews about the pop tarts at the lounge and can confirm they were indeed a treat! On this occasion the pop tarts were cranberry apple and were in addition to other snacks like cinnamon rolls, apple turnovers, and more fresh fruits. Coffee selections including the usual espresso based options along with a cold brew on tap and all could be made with whole, oat or almond milks. I had a couple of coffees during our visit and they all tasted great. Easily the most impressive ‘coffee corner’ of any lounge that I’ve ever visited.

a counter with food on it

a table with food on it

a coffee cup on a table

Latte from the Coffee Bar. By the time I took this photo the beautiful stenciled snow flake had almost disappeared


A series of combination code lockers were located right at the front reception. Usage is free and the sizes could easily accommodate 1-2 carry-ons.

a lockers in a hallway

Nursing Room

A particularly useful amenity to us as newly minted parents was the private nursing room. Aside from it being oddly warm during our visit (I assume someone had forgotten to turn down the heat during some unseasonably warm temperatures in DC that week), the room is a great place to nurse in peace along with carrying out the usual baby duties. Complimentary diapers and bibs were available and there was a bottle warmer as well.

a room with a mirror and a table

Work Station

At one end of the lounge were some small nooks that can be used as semi-private work stations.

a room with a table and chairs

Final Word

The Capital One lounge in Dulles certainly lived up to the hype and I had a thoroughly relaxing stay. Given the modest size of the lounge, its probably for the best that it’s not the most easily accessible for transit passengers – but if afforded the time I would certainly make the effort – especially in the evening once early morning banks of flights have departed. Gosh – what I wouldn’t do to have such a nice relaxing lounge at my home airport in Ottawa. There are dreams… and then there are dreams. Bottom line though – this was an excellent lounge where an impressive selection of food and beverages and leaves me excited at the prospect of more Capital One lounges in the not so distant future hopefully. With the Denver lounge having opened up in November 2023 and a Las Vegas location in the works – the future looks rosy!


Pat March 8, 2024 - 10:29 am

I can’t put my finger on it, but the Capital One Lounges comes off as “normie”, and it’s probably because of the brand. Amex has bling, Chase is sexy, Capital One is…

That being said, I just got the Venture X card because its value proposition is too good to resist.

Mohammad March 8, 2024 - 9:26 pm

Based on my sole visit so far – I have to disagree. I think Centurion lounges have regressed to a degree where I can’t be bothered to visit one if even remotely inconvenient. For me the main issue with Centurion lounges is the crowding issue. On top of the that, food offerings at their lounges have also dropped in quality a bit over the past few years amounting to a mildly above average buffet offering in my view. Now – granted I might change my tune if Cap One also suffers from the crowding issues in due course (or maybe even now during certain periods?) – but for the time being I’d pick cap one lounge for my airport on the coffee bar offering alone!

Haven’t been to Chase yet…


Leave a Comment

You may also like