My review of the Sala Lounge Cap Des Falco at Ibiza airport

This is my review of the Sala Lounge Cap Des Falco at Ibiza Airport.  It followed my review trip to the Gran Hotel Montesol in Ibiza (Hilton’s Curio Collection) which you can read here.  My next stop was to be Madrid.

If you find yourself at the airport in Ibiza in Winter, there is one sign you will see a lot:

sala lounge cap des falco aena vip ibiza airport closed for season

Unfortunately the F*** Me I’m Famous Lounge (officially the “airport lounge club in conjunction with DJs Cathy and David Guetta, which includes a cocktail bar, dance floor and chill out area“) was also shut.  I made my way to the only other lounge at Ibiza airport – only to be turned away.

I entered the Sala Lounge Cap Des Falco, showed my boarding pass (business class) and asked if I could use this lounge. The lady said no as I didn’t have an Iberia Gold card and started to explain that this lounge was only for Iberia Gold card holders as the lounge was so new.  Not even BA Gold would be accepted. Ehm, ok…

After checking the website where I was reassured that a Business Class tickets WAS going to get me in, I went back to ask why she turned me away. Her explanation was that she thought I didn’t have a Gold Card and she didn’t know I was flying Business Class – telling her AND showing her my boarding pass had not convinced her?

If you don’t have the right credentials, the airport website says that you can buy a lounge pass via the Aena app for €20.10 or pay €28.70 at the counter.  Not that I would have paid this, but it would have been nice to at least be informed about this option.  You cannot get in with a Priority Pass or Lounge Club card either. (EDIT: the lounge joined Priority Pass in February 2017).

Anyway, I did get in in the end and here is what I found:

sala lounge cap des falco aena vip ibiza airport lounge entrance

First of all the lounge was empty.  There were two people in the lounge and only two more came a bit later during my visit.

To be fair the design is quite nice and simple (and screams for red wine stains – probably the reason why there was no red wine to be found in the lounge).

sala lounge cap des falco aena vip ibiza airport lounge seats

Considering the size of the airport there were enough seats, however I assume that the lounge will get pretty busy once the summer party season starts.

sala lounge cap des falco aena vip ibiza airport lounge middle of room

The food selection was rather disappointing. There were two lonely bread rolls on a shelf on the counter

sala lounge cap des falco aena vip ibiza airport lounge food

and a couple of sandwiches and salads in the fridge.

sala lounge cap des falco aena vip ibiza airport lounge fridge

The salad was ok-ish. The coffee was good.

sala lounge cap des falco aena vip ibiza airport lounge food reception

This was the magazine and newspaper selection with Spanish and English titles.

sala lounge cap des falco aena vip ibiza airport lounge magazines

Conclusion

What can I say? Last time I was at Ibiza airport in winter I had three hours to kill and no lounge access.  As there was only one cafe airside open, it was a painful experience.  At least this time I didn’t have to pay for water and coffee.

Having an ‘Iberia Gold Card Only’ policy sounds almost understandable when the airport gets busy during summer.  The failure to accept any sort of British Airways card, even when flying on BA, is more likely down to BA’s refusal to pay – or I just wasn’t lucky with the person working in the lounge that day.

From the outside you get the impression of a classy lounge with decent drinks and food (hey, it’s a ‘VIP lounge’ after all).  Once you get inside the only decent things are the armchairs.

Don’t get me wrong – any lounge is probably better than no lounge at all.  However if you don’t get lounge access with your boarding pass or status, I wouldn’t recommend paying for it.

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Comments

  1. Well at least the salads and sandwiches are “BOB-ready”, just like in the MAD lounges

  2. The_real_a says:

    Try getting into the IOM lounge with an airberlin card 😉

  3. “Conclusion
    What can I say?”

    Well, quite a lot more actually.

    Restrooms?
    Showers?
    WIFI?
    Selection of alcoholic drinks?
    Kids play area? (holiday destination)

    A little info on any of the above would have been a starter.

  4. This review bears no relation to my multiple experiences of the lounge.

    Of course you would not have found the (summer) clubbing lounge F— Me I’m Famous closed as it is mid-winter and more importantly it closed two seasons ago and was replaced by a Cafe Del Mar Lounge (story here https://thewhiteisle.co.uk/cafe-del-mar-lounge-ibiza-airport/)

    The lounge staff are normally super-savvy about who can get in (I have seen a pribnted grid of cards for who can get in) – not least because they spend their entire day turning away British Airways customers as BA won’t pay for the lounge.

    I posted on Flyertalk that

    The lounge accepts the appropriate customers from:
    Iberia
    Air Europa
    Lufthansa
    Brussels Airways
    KLM

    The lounge accepts Dragonpass but not Priority Pass or any other lounge card scheme.

    When I was last there on 14 Jan the very nice lounge agent said the people from Pririty Pass were coming “with the machine” soon and they were signing the contract in a few days. So fingers crossed it gets sorted soon.

    As you will see from the Flyertalk photos, the fridge is a treasure trove of goodies in summer – the sandwiches are very good and the brioche rolls with cheese or chorizo are awesome and indiwrapped to take away. When I was there on 14 Jan there was understandably a lot less as they only get a few customers per day given the range of flights available

    My experience is that this lounge is a really welcome well-stocked oasis away from the Burger-King hordes at Ibiza airport.

    Maybe you should review a lounge at a holiday island airport at a more appropriate time rather than when convenient. And it might be useful if you did some basic research and got your facts right. You also appear to have an attitude in this article for some reason – driven by your embarrassingly inaccurate first paragraph which sets the tone for the rest of the article. How come you managed to dig out a quote for a lounge that closed two years ago ? It is almost as if you wrote the story without being at the airport…

    • Do you work there? “A well stocked oasis” “a treasure trove of goodies”
      You sound like you’re copying and pasting from a brochure.

    • “You also appear to have an attitude in this article for some reason”

      And you appear to have an attitude with your response.

  5. The Flyertalk Thread is at:
    https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/british-airways-executive-club/1777083-ibiza-lounge.html

    The photos there are representative of what you would expect in season.

    There are all the normal softs drinks in mid-sized cans (like 330ml is width but shorter)

    From memory there is red wine, white wine. a range of about 5 spirits plus Hierbas

    In the fridge in summer there are sandwiches, salads, brioche rolls with jamon or chirizo or cheese. There are also little tubs of cut jamon serrano with picos and chorizo with picos which I have not seen anywhere else

    There are normally chocolate desserts, arroz con leche (creamed rice) and yogurts

    There is a large accessible male toilet and a large accessible female toilet

    The views are awesome over the airport to the salinas

    The whole ambience is stylish (the chairs are very beautiful and the setting is very beautiful). I am not quite clear why Rob chose to make the point “(and screams for red wine stains – probably the reason why there was no red wine to be found in the lounge).” rather than to make factual observations about the lounge decor

    The posted review is sarcastic in tone and opened by a totally false premise

    The food is better even in mid-winter than you see at most UK airport lounges

    If your reviews are going to be opened by totally inaccuracies to crack a joke and make an opening and then continuing in the same tone, maybe you would be better off not reviewing things at all ?

    The issue with not accepting BA cards is to do with BA not being willing to pay on a Gold and CE heavy route – which is the real story here – which somehow you have missed.

    • A) I didn’t write it

      B) I don’t think anyone would expect them to offer the same level of food in summer but that is irrelevant to the review

      C) Last paragraph mentions BA presumed implicit refusal to pay but we have not been told that as a fact and we are obliged to run to higher standards of verification than FT

      D) It does NOT accept ‘appropriate’ customers from Iberia because if it did then a BA Silver or Gold card would get you in, which it doesn’t. It accepts ticketed business class Iberia passengers only and then only if reception is in the right frame of mind as we saw.

      E) Had the lounge actually let Anika in, instead of making her wait half an hour during which she had to get hold of me in London to dig out the access guidelines after being refused entry with a J ticket, she would actually have had more time there to see what was available and she may even have been better disposed towards it.

      F) Most HfP readers would need to pay to get in here if it doesn’t take Priority Pass or BA status cards. The question is not ‘is it better than sitting in the terminal?’, the question is ‘should you pay €28?’. We applied higher standards here.

      Good news if it is coming to Priority Pass.

    • If you want to bring up attitude mate I’d take a look at yourself first. Anika is entitled to her opinion and she can only review what she sees. She wasn’t there in the summer and her photos of the fridge in winter are just as valid any taken by you in summer. I have no idea who you are and as such I think I’ll stick with Anika and Rob’s reviews rather than yours.

      • I didn’t post the photos on Flyertalk btw

        I agree with you that Anika reviews what she sees

        How then did she not see that the F— me I’m Famous lounge no longer existed (it rebranded two years ago), lifted a quote about it and used that to setup her article around her bad experience ?

        FWIW I really value Anika’s articles as they are very detailed and feel very personal. It is a shame she had such a poor experience this time.

        • Why does your counter-review sound like a commercial?

          “The whole ambiance is stylish”

          “The chairs are very beautiful” ?!

        • I added the quote during editing, because I didn’t think that the over-30’s on here would know what she meant (I didn’t).

          Note that there are plenty of other websites which don’t know that lounge has closed, because I wouldn’t have been able to get the quote otherwise.

    • Clearly Davis spend too much time their life in this shabby lounge. Anika is entitled to her opinion. As most flyers cant access this lounge based on BA status, the overall conclusion is that it is not worth paying to access it. Which I agree with. Spend more time at the beach/pool than get to the airport in time to board rather than look forward to the lounge.

  6. :-)
    I shouldn’t get too defensive Rob as:
    A) You have editorial control
    B) If Davis comments about the FMIF lounge closing two seasons ago are accurate, it seems reasonable for us to consider that no particular high standards of verification have been applied.

    Coupled with the recent advice of the IHG Points break likely starting at 2pm UK time, when all other blogs suggesting the equivalent of 5PM, maybe some sloppy standards are creeping in?

    But other than that – keep up the good work!

    • There is no official PB start time. They go live in the morning, US EST, which means 2pm onwards. They were historically 2pm-ish – I admit that if the last couple had been nearer 5pm it may not have registered with me as I am so used to 2pm.

      For eg, the May 2015 list went live at 2pm. October 2015 was 5pm (these were the first 2 I could find in the archive.)

      However, if I’d said 5pm and they had gone back to 2pm then the best options would have gone before you checked.

  7. As a Spanish speaker of Spanish descent, I can say that Anika’s experience sounds absolutely typical of the bureaucracy one can expect when trying to carry out the simplest of tasks in Spain!

  8. the real harry1 says:

    a few more images here https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/british-airways-executive-club/1777083-ibiza-lounge.html

    I was trying to find a photo of the booze selection – my point here is that whilst I don’t usually go to lounges returning to the UK as I have to drive home (= no drinking alcohol other than maybe a beer!) – for those going home in the UK with somebody else driving, you can very easily justify EUR20-28 to get in. That’s cheaper than a couple of alcoholic drinks & a sandwich on the other side plus it does look very calm & relaxing!

  9. Radiata says:

    Source of ire in comments mystifying.

    The good news perhaps that complaints about a German with a sense of humour help bury the stereotype.

    • Haha love it :)

      I though Anika’s points were entirely sensible – Davis added useful info too, just a shame it was with a lot of attitude thrown in too (I’m not entirely sure why!)

  10. Kinkell says:

    Perhaps Davis would like to write the review,as he has such a lot to say. Surprised he didn’t jump on the chance to do this when Rob was looking for folk to write lounge reviews.
    Granted there may be aspects missing,but usually the helpful and obliging commentators on HFP will add them in graciously. My interpretation of your tone, Davis, was majorly critical and I didn’t like it.

    • At least he cares! I doubt I could get that passionate if someone dissed my favourite lounge :-)

      You need to remember that as most HFP readers will have to pay to enter this lounge (no BA status cards, no Priority Pass) the question is whether it is worth €28. Looking at the food and drink selection in those photos I can imagine better ways to spend close to £100 for a family of four.

      • the real harry1 says:

        rather better value once your kids are old enough to dump outside with a Burger King & can of Coke

        • If that’s how you feel about your kids’ enjoyment of the last day of their family holiday, why not leave them at home and save even more?!

          • the real harry1 says:

            you got that in the wrong order! I dump them outside @ LHR on the way there, I’m not driving at destination as we get picked up – so I can get my money’s worth/ value from the lounge pass – I do normally bring one of my sons in for safe-keeping but the other 2 get to slum it haha!

            On the way back it’s a truly excellent terminal IMV, clean, comfortable & spacious – so I just get us BK or KFC etc and we all stick together outside, not much point in using a lounge there anyway as mentioned above, we’re only 45 mins from the airport so can time it nicely not to be there too long

          • You’ll soon be able to get chauffeur-driven by the oldest one and enjoy the lounges even more 😀

          • Genghis says:

            I thought it would be some pan rustico and quesos from the local shop? :)

          • the real harry1 says:

            @Alan – good thought – the second eldest in our case as the first son won’t ever make it driving, good happy lad that he is, though – so that’ll be in 2020, I think I will expedite his driving lessons/ pay through the nose in time for Easter hols :)

          • Excellent, you can enjoy the payback after being his chauffeur for many years! Even more value out of all your lounge pass skills 😀

          • the real harry1 says:

            I might even get him into the lounge on the way out on the strength of it!

            My daughter, otoh… :)

            Horrible early teens lol rather rude – I guess we all went through it/ anticipate it with horror (and you’re right about the horror)

  11. Triple Pinch says:

    As a frequent traveller to Ibiza out of season I thought this post was useful. However it’s the comments that have amused me the most and I feel compelled to add my two cents….

    – firstly, I wouldn’t usually qualify for comp access to the lounge there unless travelling last minute and club tickets are cheaper than economy, which sometimes happens, so it’s well worth knowing it’s not worth the cover price. It also seems that it’s not even worth turning up a little early to enjoy a free glass of wine even if I did qualify, as I’m a red drinker and therefore wouldn’t be catered for :-)
    – Although not a fluent Spanish speaker and am not from Spanish decent I’ve spent enough time trying to get things done in Spain to know that Anika’s experience is indeed typical of the rigmarole one often encounters in Spain. In fact, that part of the review made me chuckle.
    – Although entertaining, David’s response seems a little fishy to me. Why on earth would someone be compelled to defend a faceless corporation so aggressively. I mean if you really want to right the wrongs of inaccurate journalism just take your pick of the national press in any country- and scarily those titles have real influence. And don’t get me started on social media…..

    Finally, Ibiza is increasingly a year round destination and does not solely attract holiday makers. The Island can be at it’s most beautiful at this time of year with tons of diverse culture happening! So the report is appropriate to an audience who are a little more savvy, which I assume anyone following head for points would consider themselves to be?

    For full the pedants among you, and there seem to be a few, I have a property on the island so perhaps my out of season comments are biased, but in fact it’s very easy to verify for yourself by looking at the press or even better raw evidence such as airlines increasing their year round services from multiple countries.

    The airport is so small and turnaround times are so quick out of season that I probably wouldn’t bother with the lounge even if I qualified.

    Finally, I had also thought the F**** Me I’m Famous Lounge was still there and as I mentioned I;m a frequent traveller to the island! But as I also mentioned there’s no need at all to hang around in this airport to consider the banal nuances of who has secured the lease to which spaces because it’s very small and very quick to manoeuvre through, even in August!

    Peace & Love.