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 the city limits of Madrid, 9 km from the financial district. Along with Barcelona-El Prat Airport, 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.
While Madrid Airport isn’t the best airport in the world. You don’t have Singapore Changi airport lounges, rooftop pool or its butterfly garden, with orchids and a koi pond, it will be your main start and endpoint (if you are flying) in and out of this 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 me via our concierge for a referral for extra free bonus points) or you can apply for a free Amex Gold Card and you will get two free Lounge Club passes 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 entire AENA lounge network is accessible with your Priority Pass so wherever you are flying to, you should be able to access any of the Priority pass lounges that we have outlined below. Some are better than others, but overall, Madrid airport has very good Priority Pass lounges which includes a very decent selection of food and drinks.
The T1 Sala Cibeles lounge is the only airport lounge in Madrid Terminal 1, and it is very good and is used as a Business Class lounge by all airlines flying out of this terminal. The stylish smoking terrace is a highlight for aviation geeks.
If you are flying Business Class with Iberia lounge you can head to the Iberia lounge but you may prefer the Priority Pass Sala Neptuno which is in the same terminal as it is less frenetic and quieter with a bright airy atmosphere.
1. 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 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, relaxation area, showers, left luggage office, 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 interior of the lounge 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 too with sealed packets of sandwiches, yoghurt, soft drinks, cheeses, crackers, pastries, pasta and lettuce salad bowls and crisps and nut snacks. There are plenty of wines, spirits and beers to choose from too if you fancy a snifter!
2. The Neptuno Lounge, Plaza Mayor, Terminal 4
Is a modern lounge with free food and drinks, WiFi 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 reserved lounge for Non-Schengen flight passengers.
This lounge can be quieter than the Iberia lounges which is an advantage, but it is adequate rather than outstanding. The food options at Neptuno are decent. Expect pre-made sandwiches, fruit, pastries, breads, yoghurt, 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,
3. 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.
4. 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 reserved lounge for domestic and Schengen flights. Puerta de Alcalá lounge offers food and drink, newspapers, free Wi-Fi, computers including a fax and printer, relaxation area, showers and a left-luggage office.
5. 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 shoers at no extra cost.
6. 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.
7. Sala VIP PREMIUM Lounge, TERMINAL 4 floor 0, arrivals hall
Sala VIP PREMIUM Lounge, open 7 am to 23.00 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 and books, meeting rooms, relaxation lounge and showers. This lounge must be booked in advance and paid for with a credit card or by bank transfer.
Photo Courtesy of The Luxury Travel Expert
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