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Review: the impressive Neptuno VIP Lounge in Madrid Terminal 4S (Priority Pass)

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This is our review of the Neptuno VIP Lounge in Terminal 4S at Madrid Barajas Airport.

It is one of the just two lounges in the terminal, the other one being the Iberia flagship Velásquez lounge (review here).

Neptuno is the official AENA airport-operated lounge for all non-Schengen departures at Terminal 4S. It is the lounge you would use if flying back to the UK on BA or Iberia if you did not have access to Iberia’s official lounge.

Review: Neptuno VIP Lounge in Madrid Terminal 4S

Historically, I’ve always gone straight to the Iberia lounge in the terminal when flying back to London, as it is a pleasant space with expansive runway views. To change things up, I thought I’d check out the Neptuno VIP Lounge to see how it compares.

Note that this lounge was previously called the Sala VIP Amnios Lounge. It’s probably sensible that the lounge was renamed because Amnios sounds a little too medical in the anglophone world!

Who can use the Neptuno VIP Lounge?

Before I start, I want to take a quick look at the access rules for the Neptuno VIP lounge in Madrid.

As Iberia’s home terminal, Terminal 4 mostly serves Iberia and other oneworld partners, with all non-Schengen departures from T4S, the satellite terminal. That means the vast majority of flights operating from this terminal are long-haul, with London one of the few exceptions.

Iberia operates its scheduled departures to the Americas. Other airlines to operate flights from T4S include American Airlines, Avianca, Cathay Pacific, British Airways, El Al, Emirates, Etihad, LATAM, Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc, and Royal Jordanian.

Whilst the oneworld airlines will send you to the Iberia lounge, anyone flying in business class with another carrier is likely to be sent to the Neptuno Lounge. That includes Emirates, Etihad, and El Al. LATAM sends its premium passengers to Iberia.

Anyone without lounge access courtesy of their ticket can also access the Neptuno lounge with Priority Pass, DragonPass or LoungeKey. If you don’t have any of those, you can also pay €44.

Where is the Neptuno VIP Lounge?

As mentioned above, the Neptuno Lounge is only accessible for passengers flying to non-Schengen destinations from Terminal 4S, as you need to pass through exit immigration controls.

You’ll need to take the 3-minute shuttle from the main T4 building to T4S. To save time, I recommend you take the elevators to the basement level, as the train is underground and you need to take multiple escalators down and up at the other end.

Once in T4S, follow the signs for immigration control. Once through, do NOT head through the duty free maze but instead turn left immediately in front of it:

Review: Neptuno VIP Lounge in Madrid Terminal 4S

You’ll then need to go up a level and follow the signs to the lounge:

Review: Neptuno VIP Lounge in Madrid Terminal 4S

…. and voila! You’re there:

Review: Neptuno VIP Lounge in Madrid Terminal 4S

Inside the Neptuno VIP Lounge in Madrid

There is a check-in desk immediately inside the lounge, with a rack of (mostly Spanish language) newspapers and magazines in front of you:

Review: Neptuno VIP Lounge in Madrid Terminal 4S

Turn right and you’ll see the full extent of the lounge unfurl in front of you. Note that it is bigger than it looks. It is corner-shaped and extends 90 degrees at the very rear.

Review: Neptuno VIP Lounge in Madrid Terminal 4S

Unlike the Iberia Velasquez lounge, the Neptuno Lounge is fully exposed to the Richard Rogers-designed terminal building which adds a lot of character and space. Madrid T4/4S is one of my favourite airport terminals in the world when it comes to design and I was more than happy to look at the meandering rainbow ceiling!

Review: Neptuno VIP Lounge in Madrid Terminal 4S

Thanks to its shape the lounge also benefits from plenty of natural light, with over half of the seating along the windows:

Review: Neptuno VIP Lounge in Madrid Terminal 4S

I thought the architectural lamps were a stylish and unique feature. The armchairs were comfortable and each featured a EU mains socket, although sadly USB ports were not integrated.

Review: Neptuno VIP Lounge in Madrid Terminal 4S

In the centre of the lounge you’ll find a larger seating area including a dining area:

Review: Neptuno VIP Lounge in Madrid Terminal 4S

There are also a number of separated office-style suites with board room tables and chairs:

Review: Neptuno VIP Lounge in Madrid Terminal 4S

In the far corner there is a small children’s area:

Review: Neptuno VIP Lounge in Madrid Terminal 4S

Food and drink at the Neptuno VIP Lounge

The Neptuno VIP Lounge is operated by AENA, the Spanish airport operator. As such, the food and drinks selection is remarkably consistent with other AENA operated lounges such as the Sala VIP Miro in Barcelona or even the lounge in Alicante I was in the other week.

Review: Neptuno VIP Lounge in Madrid Terminal 4S

That includes a wide range of portioned hot and cold food, which is far more impressive than the vats of slop you get at some airport lounges. In fact, the selection here at the Neptuno Lounge in Madrid was really impressive with 4-5 hot dishes:

Review: Neptuno VIP Lounge in Madrid Terminal 4S

…. 4-5 salads:

Review: Neptuno VIP Lounge in Madrid Terminal 4S

…. an entire fridge full of sandwiches, yoghurts and other cold desserts:

Review: Neptuno VIP Lounge in Madrid Terminal 4S

…. a selection of breakfast pastries and cereals:

Review: Neptuno VIP Lounge in Madrid Terminal 4S

I was impressed to see a list of all the gluten-free options for guests as well.

The range of drinks is equally good, with juices ranging from apple, orange, peach and pineapple to chocolate milk, coke, sprite, fanta and iced tea:

Review: Neptuno VIP Lounge in Madrid Terminal 4S

In terms of alcohol a wide range of bottled beer was available as was a selection of self-pour wines including cava. A handful of spirits were also on offer:

Review: Neptuno VIP Lounge in Madrid Terminal 4S


I had zero expectations heading into the Neptuno VIP Lounge in Madrid but I’m pleased to say I was pleasantly surprised by the experience. I would argue it is just as good as Iberia’s excellent Velásquez lounge.

The space is well designed and there is plenty of seating along the windows. I particularly enjoyed that it wasn’t boxed in and was open to the beautiful terminal building, which is one thing you don’t get at the Velásquez lounge.

The food and drink selection is impressive – nobody should be going hungry here with an offering as extensive as this.

Best of all, the lounge was the picture of peacefulness and never felt overcrowded, with everyone quietly getting on with their own business. It was all very relaxing, and exactly what an airport lounge should be.

Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (September 2023)

Here are the four options to get FREE airport lounge access via a UK credit card.

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with two free Priority Pass cards, one for you and one for a supplementary cardholder. Each card admits two so a family of four gets in free. You get access to all 1,300 lounges in the Priority Pass network – search it here.

You also get access to Plaza Premium, Delta Air Lines and Eurostar lounges.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for the first year. It comes with a Priority Pass card loaded with four free visits to any Priority Pass lounge – see the list here.

Additional lounge visits are charged at £24.  You get four more free visits for every year you keep the card.  

There is no annual fee for Amex Gold in Year 1 and you get a 20,000 points sign-up bonus.  Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free LoungeKey card, allowing you access to the LoungeKey network.  Guests are charged at £24 although it may be cheaper to pay £60 for a supplementary credit card for your partner.

The card has a fee of £195 and there are strict financial requirements to become a HSBC Premier customer.  Full details are in my HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard review.

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

A huge bonus, but only available to HSBC Premier clients Read our full review

PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.

Comments (39)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • tw33ty says:

    The cibeles lounge at t1 Madrid is very good too, very similar to the pictures you have.

  • Joe G says:

    I have to agree, we were in Madrid in February and got to use both this and the Iberia lounge. This is one of the nicest priority pass lounges I have visited, it may have been the time of day but it was a lot more quiet and tranquil than the Iberia lounge with better food options. In future even if I was flying Business class and had access to the Iberia lounge I think I would be considering this as my first port of call.

    • Track says:

      Rob and public here asserted that Barajas airport is ‘bigger than Madrid needs in our lifetime.’

      But this is what you get when you have a proper airport. A proper lounge.

      Not some hodge-podge of lounges in Gatwick or back-door, overcrowded room in an Italian airport as a lounge.

      • Rob says:

        I think I’d trade off a decent lounge if I could avoid a 35 minute walk to my gate (as some of the signs at Barajas state).

        • Stu_N says:

          …and unlike many airports the times on the Madrid T4 signs are fairly realistic for people who walk at average speed.

          • Chrisasaurus says:

            Yes which rather catches you by surprise having grown accustomed to halving the estimated time by power walking!

        • Track says:

          The true quarrel is that Barajas travellators are moving at tortoise speeds. That can be fixed.

          As for the airport itself, common — walking in MUC is long, and no one complains in this sense about the Dubai and new Istanbul airports. All US hub airports means long walks too, they allow more space between the gates (LHR T3 is a long walk, not like T5 main).

      • yonasl says:

        Not only a proper airport but connected by metro and train (€6-7 to central Madrid) and a fixed €30 cab ride (half if you Uber it). You can be from the city centre in the airport in maybe 15min. So then walking for a few more minutes is not an issue. Compare that to LHR/LGW/LTN where going to the airport take longer than the flight.

        • Londonsteve says:

          Is it really only 15 Euros to the centre of Madrid with Uber? I’m stunned… All those times I was lugging luggage onto the Cercanias or the airport bus to Atocha….

  • JR says:

    Were there showers or relaxation/sleep areas? That’s a big plus for the Iberia lounge imho.

  • Mike says:

    Velázquez, with two zeds. Not Velasquez.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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