This is my review of the Iberia Velazquez lounge in Madrid Terminal 4S, which is Iberia’s flagship facility at its home airport. I was passing through on my return from my trip to Bogota to review Iberia’s new A350 Next business class seat – this review will follow tomorrow.
Iberia refurbished its two main lounges in Madrid about six years ago. The Velazquez lounge is located in 4S which is where you will end up if flying to the UK.
Iberia is – justifiably – pleased with what it has achieved with the Valazquez lounge and has created a special page on its website which you will find here.
Albeit not perfect, I really like this lounge and it is a fitting flagship for Iberia at its home airport. I have issues over the food offering but overall I always enjoy my time here.
Iberia Velazquez lounge access requirements
The Velazquez lounge in Madrid T4S is open to anyone flying business class with Iberia or its oneworld partners (British Airways, American Airlines, Qatar Airways etc).
You can also get into the lounge on the back of your oneworld status. As this is a business class (not first class) lounge, all you need is oneworld Sapphire or Emerald, which is the equivalent of BA Silver and Gold or Iberia Plus Gold or Platinum.
Some airlines also use the Velazquez lounge under contract with Iberia. LATAM has an agreement with Iberia, so if you are flying on LATAM from Madrid and are travelling in Premium Business or have LATAM Black, Black Signature and Platinum status then you’ll be able to get in. The same is true vice-versa, and I was able to use the LATAM lounge in Bogota as part of my Iberia booking.
Iberia Velazquez lounge location
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 (the late 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.
That said, I do love it and it is much more interesting than, say, Terminal 5, which is practical but not particularly inspiring! The transit experience is also remarkably simple, as I found out on my recent trip. I think I made it from gate to lounge in less than ten minutes – not bad given I had to pass through security again.
It takes a little bit longer if you are starting your trip in Madrid, as the lounge is in the satellite of Terminal 4.
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 – the transit connecting the two takes markedly longer than the transit at Heathrow Terminal 5.
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. It is easy to miss, which is saying something given that the entrance looks like this:
There is a funky luggage storage area as you enter (with clear plastic shelving) which sets the scene for the post-refurbishment new look.
Inside Iberia’s Velazquez Lounge
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 shelving in the image below – 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. For some reason, I always like to turn left an perch myself in the far corner, with views across the parked aircraft.
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:
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. Various wines were available from this funky dispensing machine:
An eclectic selection of spirits could be enjoyed from this mobile trolley:
There was also a tall fridge fully stocked with around eight different types of beer.
If you were to turn left at the entrance and head to the other end of the lounge, you would find a formal restaurant around the corner. It is VERY hidden away. When you reach the end, turn left again down this row of seating:
The restaurant is at the very far end:
It is in a windowless room and was closed when I was there late afternoon. It wasn’t clear when it did open or indeed if there was any particular requirement for entry. The lounge website isn’t much help but it may be opening in the evenings for pre-flight dinners.
You’re more likely to find something at the two identical food stations at each end of the lounge. These serves snacks all day as well as a full buffet between 10am and 1pm and 4pm and 8pm.
I arrived around 11am but wasn’t hugely impressed with the spread. The best part (in my opinion) were the salads:
Sandwiches and fruit were also available. When it came to hot food, it was mostly a selection of beige items:
I’ve definitely seen better, more fresh / less beige food on offer at different times so perhaps it was just breakfast.
There’s also a a station dedicated to bar snacks and sweet treats:
This is the drinks station:
It had an excellent choice of teas, coffee and many familiar soft drinks. Wine and beer was also available, although with far less selection than you’d find at the main bar.
Overall, the lounge features a variety of seating options such as this:
There are power sockets built into almost every table in sight:
I’m a big fan of these table areas, which are perfect for working on a laptop from but don’t feel as segregated as other business areas.
The magazine and newspaper area was situated directly behind the entrance desk. It is actually just an empty shelf which I suspect used to house various publications. Instead there is signage containing a QR code. Scanning this connects your phone or tablet to the Press Reader website and gives you access to a plethora of reading material. I was able to download a magazine and continue reading it on the plane.
There is a business centre with meeting table:
As well as what looks like an area repurposed as a hot desking space:
Showers in the Iberia Velazquez lounge
There are also rest/sleep rooms and shower facilities. I decided, for the first time in my 5+ visits to the lounge, to try out the showers.
You need to get a shower number from reception which comes with a unique pin code to unlock the door. I struggled a bit but luckily the shower attendants were very helpful!
A selection of amenities are available to pick and choose from, although there is no conditioner.
The water pressure was good and it was nice to freshen up after a 10 hour flight.
I always enjoy my visits to the Iberia Velazquez lounge, in part because it has fantastic views across the airport and runyways. I love how light it is – perfect when trying to re-adjust to European timezones!
There are a few quirks to the space, however, including the scheduled meal times. You can also go to the lounge and end up completely missing areas, such as the dedicated bar, because of the size and length of it.
There is a lot of casual seating which is perfect for some, but I prefer the mini-sofa and table combo, which can often be quite popular.
f you are heading home from 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 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.
How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (February 2024)
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.
If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.
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.
HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free Priority Pass card, allowing you access to the Priority Pass 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.
PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.