Madrid Airport is officially known as Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport (IATA: MAD, ICAO: LEMD). It actually has some fairly decent airport lounges and some of the best Priority Pass lounges in the world, with terraces, very decent food, and a great array of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
The airport is located in the district of Barajas, within Madrid’s city limits, 9 km from the financial district. Along with Barcelona-El Prat Airport, it is the main international and busiest airport serving Spain.
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. Around the airport, we have outlined some of the best airport hotels in Madrid.
Once you arrive into Madrid, we have reviewed the best hotel executive club lounges in Madrid and the best luxury hotels in Madrid. If you want to book a hotel, wherever you decide to stay, in Madrid or elsewhere, book via our luxury travel concierge. We offer free upgrades, free breakfasts, and free perks at hotels, including the Four Seasons, Hyatt, Ritz-Carlton, InterContinental, and many more.
Typically, our free benefits at luxury hotels include:
- Room upgrade to next category
- Complimentary breakfast for two per bedroom
- Complimentary Welcome Gift
- $100 USD equivalent Hotel experiential credit per room per stay
- Early check-in / late check-out (subject to availability)
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
Free Airport Lounge Access
If you have not paid for Business Class or First Class, you can still access a number of brilliant lounges at Madrid Airport for a fee or for free if you have a Priority Pass. There are four different Priority Pass MAD airport lounges:
- Neptuno Lounge, Terminal 4, Satellite, Airside, Non-Schegen area, 2nd Floor
- Plaza Mayor, Terminal 4, Airside, 1st Floor
- Premium Traveller Arrivals Lounge, Terminal 4, Landside, Arrivals Hall, Level 1
- Sala Puerta de Alcala, Terminal 2, Airside, near Gate D62
- Sala VIP Cibeles, Terminal 1, Airside, P2, non-Schengen flights, between Gates B26 and 29
- Sala VIP Puerta Del Sol, Terminal 3, Airside, P2, domestic & Schengen flights, near Gate E69
The American Express Platinum and Centurion cards come with an unlimited Priority Pass (contact our concierge for a referral for extra free bonus points), or you can apply for a free Amex Gold Card. You will get two free Lounge Club passes, which can be immediately used to get into these Priority Pass lounges to enjoy free drinks (including alcohol) and food.
Below I outline the very best Priority Pass and non-Priority Pass airline lounges at Madrid Airport (MAD). The IBERIA VIP Lounges are the best at Madrid Airport. Iberia Airlines actually offers three VIP Lounges. Two are located in terminal T4 in the boarding area, and one is located in the arrivals area.
1. Iberia Terminal 4: VIP Velazquez Business Lounge
Iberia VIP Velazquez Business Lounge is the 24 hour lounge at Madrid-Barajas airport. 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, pictured above, and in our photos.
Since my flight to Johannesburg departed around midnight, the two other lounges were closed already, and I was directed towards 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 lounge’s very center, with plenty of seating areas spreading out from there towards both ends. The lounge layout is mirrored, and both sides feature a food station, where a decent buffet is on display with a mix of cold and hot items, including smoked salmon, salads, pasta, chicken curry, and premade sandwiches. Check out the photos. The food here is great! 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, a business center, and free Wifi – are also available and offered for free.
From the lounge, it was a 10-minute walk to the gate for my flight on Iberia in Business Class, Madrid to Johannesburg.
2. Sala VIP Dalí Lounge
Iberia Sala VIP Dalí Lounge is open 5:45 am – 11:00 pm for Business Class passengers. This is one of the best VIP lounges in Madrid airport and is located in Terminal 4 on floor 2. Characterized by its functional and modern spaces, this lounge also offers good food and drink, including alcohol, as well as bathrooms and showers.
The lounge is pleasant, airy, and shares the same ceiling as the rest of the terminal. The lounge doesn’t feel massive, but there is plenty of space between the seats.
The buffet offers self-serve alcohol, soft drinks, juice, beer, wine, and an espresso machine, as well as sandwiches, pastries, bread, pretzels, nuts, and Haagen-Dazs.
3. VIP lounge at T4 Arrivals Hall
You can also use the VIP lounge in the Arrivals Hall of T4, where you have all that you need to rest after a long flight. Take a breather and start your day energized after a long trip.
If your final destination is Madrid and you are in Business Class on a flight of more than four hours operated by Iberia Group, you will get access to this lounge. Iberia Plus Platinum customers (on flights operated and/or marketed by Iberia Group, Vueling and Oneworld flights), Iberia Plus Gold, and Iberia Singular customers (on flights operated and/or marketed by Iberia Group) will also have access when traveling with final destination Madrid on flights of more than 4 hours, regardless of the class they fly in.
To access the lounge, go to Level -1 at the Arrivals Hall. This lounge is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Note: None of these benefits applies to flights operated by Iberia for LEVEL IB26XX.
4. Sala VIP Cibeles, Terminal 1
Sala VIP Cibeles, Terminal 1 Priority Pass lounge, can be found Airside, P2, and is available for passengers of non-Schengen flights between Gates B26 and 29. This is probably the best Priority Pass lounge at Madrid airport.
The T1 Sala Cibeles lounge in Madrid is the only lounge in the area, so it is also used by all airlines flying out of this Terminal. This lounge is therefore reserved for Non-Schengen flight passengers. Cibeles lounge offers food and drinks, press and books, free Wi-Fi, computers, a relaxation area, showers, a left luggage office, a terrace (a nice addition), and information about scheduled flights.
The look is stark and a little IKEA with little red pod seats and floor-to-ceiling windows with views over the runway. Further towards the lounge’s interior are high seats (wooden with no padding) and high tables, not awfully comfortable. The feeling is of plenty of space, and the windows are on three sides of the lounge. There is also a TV room and a relaxation area with half-bed-half-seat seats.
Best of all is the wooden decked terrace (also a smoking area) with sitting areas and loungers. The food is fairly good, with sealed packets of sandwiches, yogurt, soft drinks, cheeses, crackers, pastries, pasta, lettuce salad bowls, crisps, and nuts snacks. There are plenty of wines, spirits, and beers to choose from, too, if you fancy a snifter!
5. The Neptuno Lounge, Plaza Mayor, Terminal 4
It is a modern lounge with free food and drinks, Wi-Fi, and showers. You can access this 24-hour lounge with your Priority Pass. It can be found in Terminal 4, Satellite, Airside, Non-Schegen area, on the 2nd Floor. The lounge is a reserved lounge for Non-Schengen flight passengers.
This lounge can be quieter than the Iberia lounges, which is advantageous, but it is adequate rather than outstanding. The food options at Neptuno are decent. Expect pre-made sandwiches, fruit, pastries, bread, yogurt, cold cuts, cheeses, and desserts. The food at the Priority Pass lounges across Madrid airport is fairly good when compared to the airport lounge food at Priority Pass lounges in the rest of the world. The Priority Pass lounge at Nice airport is particularly poor,
6. Plaza Mayor, Terminal 4
Plaza Mayor Priority Pass lounge can be found in Terminal 4, Airside, 1st Floor. This lounge is reserved for Schengen flight passengers. The Plaza Mayor lounge offers catering, internet, fax- and photocopy services, and information about scheduled flights.
7. Sala Puerta de Alcala, Terminal 2
Sala Puerta de Alcala Priority Pass lounge can be found in Terminal 2, Airside, near Gate D62. This lounge is a reserved lounge for domestic and Schengen flights. Puerta de Alcalá lounge offers food and drinks, newspapers, free Wi-Fi, computers including a fax and printer, a relaxation area, showers, and a left-luggage office.
8. Plaza Mayor, Terminal 4
This is a Premium Traveller Arrivals Lounge, Terminal 4, Landside, Arrivals Hall, Level 1. It is just past Starbucks and McDonald’s and is one big room. The advantage of this lounge is that it has nice showers at no extra cost.
9. Sala VIP Puerta Del Sol, Terminal 3
Sala VIP Puerta Del Sol, Terminal 3 Priority Pass lounge, can be found Airside, P2, and is available for domestic & Schengen flights, located near Gate E69.
This lounge is therefore reserved for domestic flights and Schengen passengers, with access for disabled people. Puerta de Sol lounge offers food and drink, press and books, information about scheduled flights, television, and computers.
10. Sala VIP PREMIUM Lounge, TERMINAL 4 floor 0, arrivals hall
Sala VIP PREMIUM Lounge, open 7:00 am – 11:00 pm, offers VIP services including check-in and fast track, Premium parking, baggage check-in, escorting to the plane on the runway, private security checkpoint, and baggage reclaim. It also has catering, press, books, meeting rooms, a relaxation lounge, and showers. This lounge must be booked in advance and paid for with a credit card or bank transfer.
Image courtesy of The Luxury Travel Expert.
Note: Benefits offered correct at the time of writing but may be amended at discretion of the vendor. Posts may be sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own & are in no way influenced.