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My review of Iberia’s refurbished Velazquez lounge at Madrid Terminal 4S

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This is my review of the refurbished Iberia Velazquez lounge in Madrid Terminal 4S.

Iberia is in the process of refurbishing its two main lounges in Madrid.  The Velazquez lounge in 4S, which is where you will often end up if flying British Airways, has now been completed as you will see below.  The second lounge, Dali, closed on 30th July and is due to re-open in late October.

Iberia is – justifiably – pleased with what it has achieved with the new Valazquez lounge and has created a special page on its website which you will find here.  The photos are far better than mine.

This is now one of the best oneworld lounges in Europe, and is a fitting flagship for Iberia at its home airport.  I have issues over the use of space but overall I was impressed.  I often think that IAG does not get enough credit for its turnaround of Iberia.

Review Iberia Velazquez lounge Madrid Airport Terminal 4S

Anyone who has been to the modern Terminal 4 at Madrid knows that it is, basically, a monument to the folly of giving a famous architect (Richard Rogers in this case) all the space in the world to play with.  The distances you need to cover are huge.  In places there are signs indicating a 30 minute walk to your gate.

If you don’t know Madrid, there is a train stop at the town of Barajas between the stops for Terminals 1/2/3 and Terminal 4. That’s how far apart they are.  The 4S satellite is also a fair trot from T4 itself – maps show it is almost as far away from T4 as it is from T1/2/3.  If I had to travel through here every week it would drive me mad although I would end up 5kg lighter.

Once you’ve made it across to T4S, the entrance to the lounge is weird – it is literally in the middle of the duty free shop.  Not just the duty free area …. the actual walk-through shop itself.  Look at the reflection in the sign.  It is easy to miss, which is saying something given that the entrance looks like this:

Review Iberia Velazquez lounge Madrid Airport Terminal 4S

The new look is immediately apparent via this funky luggage storage area:

Review Iberia Velazquez lounge Madrid Airport Terminal 4S

The Velazquez lounge is VERY long and very narrow.  The upside is that you have a very long glass wall overlooking the tarmac.  The downside is that it is a heck of a long walk from end to end!

Iberia deals with this by putting the reception desk – behind the red magazine and newspaper rack in the first image – in the centre.  You have a choice of whether you go left or right, and in general most of the facilities are duplicated in both halves.

If you turn right, there are two unique areas which are not on the other side.  The first is a kids area.  This is not a separate room and it is not sound proofed:

Review Iberia Velazquez lounge Madrid Airport Terminal 4S

Walk down to the end and the lounge gains a bit of extra width as it wraps around the corner.  Iberia has used this to put in place a rather smart bar.  It was operating as self service when I was there despite the traditional bar counter look.

Review Iberia Velazquez lounge Madrid Airport Terminal 4S

What did impress me was the food, given that it was late afternoon.  There was lots and lots of it, with plenty of options:

Review Iberia Velazquez lounge Madrid Airport Terminal 4S

and

Review Iberia Velazquez lounge T4S Madrid Airport

including this sushi wheel:

Review Iberia Velazquez lounge Madrid Airport Terminal 4S

Here is a typical pair of seats.  You’ll see that everything is new and you have power sockets built into every table in sight:

Review Iberia Velazquez lounge Madrid Airport Terminal 4S

The magazine and newspaper area was a major letdown in terms of English language titles, apart from the FT, but it does look funky!

Review Iberia Velazquez lounge Madrid Airport Terminal 4S

I wasn’t in the Velazquez lounge for long enough to get a proper grasp of, for example, the quality of alcohol available.  The lounge website talks of a la carte table dining which I didn’t see in operation, so it is either not operating yet, is hidden away in a separate area or only operates at certain hours.

My biggest problem with the lounge is the same problem I had before it was refurbished – it has the unfortunate feel of being an airport terminal itself.  If it was broken down into smaller zones with more variance in carpeting and seating then it might feel more intimate.  Because it feels like you’re in the main terminal (albeit with free food and drink and far posher seating!) I didn’t get the same feeling of relaxation.

This is just a personal quirk though.  If you are heading to Madrid and you qualify for lounge access via your British Airways status or having a Club Europe / Business Class ticket, I recommend making enough time in your day to spend an hour at the new Velazquez lounge.  Remember to give yourself at least 30 minutes to get from the entrance to Terminal 4 to the lounge, given that you need to get over to the satellite.

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Comments

  1. Looking forward to it with my LA704 flight to FRA!

  2. LondonFoodie says:

    It is a fantastic lounge with great food. Spent quite a few hours there and really like it

  3. Julian says:

    I notice the fruit though is still only Apples and Oranges, just like all BA lounges worldwide, in spite of being slap, bang in the middle of one of the biggest strawberry producing countries in the world on a near year round basis.

    Presumably Willie and Alex are totally obsessed with the fact that Oranges and Apples have a much longer shelf life than other fruit but in my opinion they are also not a Club class level fruit offering (whereas Mangoes, Papaya, Grapes and Papaya etc are Club level) just like baked potatoes and baked beans at Heathrow T5 club lounges are not acceptable Club class food.

  4. Loved the showers rooms at this lounge. One of my favourite features when I visited before my business class flight on LATAM’s 787 from Madrid to Frankfurt.
    Little bit puzzled that the shower facilities weren’t mentioned ?

  5. OT Looking to book flights for MCO next month and using Google I noticed that they class Premium Economy as Delight and send you to the Delta site and you can then upgrade to PE. A bit naughty.

  6. I have 1hour 35 min connection from T4 to T4s for the long haul aircraft Madrid – London. Would this leave enough time to use the lounge?

  7. I often used this lounge in 2014, obviously before it was refurbished. It is my favourite lounge, not least because of its size, view, drink options and food. I’m pleased to see that it has improved further.

    The food didn’t use to come out until 2pm, which is the usual lunchtime in Spain, but that suited my travel times anyway. I doubt that this has changed.

  8. My girlfriend and I are looking forward to using this lounge before our flights to JFK next Easter – courtesy of Iberia’s 90k Avios promo!

  9. I think this is a great lounge. It’s not changed a great deal from the previous version but the combination of space, good quality food options, alcohol etc. all put it up there for me. They also serve HD ice cream tubs! Major win

  10. Paul Filby says:

    If I fly into Mad from Lhr on Iberia, land 22.45 then have a connection at 07.25 to Agp, can I stay in the lounge I have seen the quiet area there, but is the lounge 24hours?

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