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Transport : Airport Lounges

Related: Iberia

Iberia VIP Velazquez Business Lounge is the 24 hour lounge at Madrid-Barajas airport. The airport has 5 huge terminals that handle around 50 million passengers a year. Getting from one terminal to another can take up to 30 minutes, and involves a train and lots of walking.

Iberia uses terminal 4 as its main hub for intercontinental flights. Spain’s national carrier has three Business Class lounges in this terminal, but only one of them is open 24 hours a day: the Velazquez lounge. Since my flight to Johannesburg departed around midnight, the two other lounges were closed already and I was directed towards to the Velazquez lounge.

The entrance is hidden away in the duty-free shopping area, but once inside, it’s a large, airy, rectangular, and modern space, with floor-to-ceiling windows along its entire length offering nice views of the runways and airport activities.

The reception is located at the very centre of the lounge, with plenty of seating areas spreading out from there towards both ends. The layout of the lounge is mirrored and both sides feature a food station, where a decent buffet is on display with a mix of cold and hot items (e.g. smoked salmon, salads, pastas, chicken curry, etc). In addition, there are also some self-service cafés nearby, where one can grab lighter items such as sandwiches, cereals, and fresh fruits.

The lounge also has an à la carte restaurant (that seats around 20 people) and a wine bar, but I had a very short connection time, so I was not able to spend some time here. The usual lounge facilities – such as showers, business centre and free Wifi – are also available and offered for free.

From the lounge, it was 10 minute walk to the gate for my flight on Iberia in Business Class, Madrid to Johannesburg.