It’s not beer and wine, it’s an experience…
Iberia opened their “newest” Madrid Barajas “Sala Velasquez T4S lounge at the end of 2017 to much praise. With accommodation for up to 500 guests, it’s a vast space with excellent views overlooking the runway, and that information means absolutely nothing to anyone reading this.
What matters in a lounge is creating a space that responds to customer wants and needs, without effort, putting them in the perfect mood for a flight. We gave “Sala Velasquez” a spin on a ride out of Madrid, and it couldn’t have been much better.
The Iberia Sala Velasquez Lounge
You’ll be excused if you walk right past the lounge on your first attempt. The lounge entrance almost feels like a secret door, set in the middle of the duty free. If you’re following the signs, stay left upon arrival to the land of Toblerone, alcohol and perfume, otherwise you’ll likely walk right past the shiny red entrance.
It’s about halfway through duty free, just FYI. Upon entering the lounge the size is impressive, mostly because even during peak times, you’ve got options. The lounge is essentially mirrored, so whether you “turn left” or “turn right” you’ll find virtually identical offerings.
The Interior & Features
High ceilings and abundant natural light set the mood right from the outset, and clean, modern furniture give things a further lift. Lots of cream, lots of red gloss and some nice wood make the lounge feel very contemporary and sleek, almost like a lovely museum cafe.
The varied seating options in the lounge are a hit, offering everything from comfortable reclining chairs to functional desk space and dining tables – and for anyone with kids, there’s a very private play area as well.
We parked ourselves at what can best be described as “one foot” tables. One foot towards the buffet and bar, the other foot focused on power ports, work and a swift exit. These seats just before the dedicated dining seats, and just after cozy lounge chairs offered ample table space and great power connectivity. Sadly, the one thing which no spot seemed to offer was strong wifi signal. In 2018, there’s just no excuse.
Call me crazy, but after enduring a hot cab ride, stripping for security and riding the tram to the terminal, a shower always feels like the right thing to do. The new lounge features exceptionally good showers. To enjoy one yourself, you’ll need to visit the front desk with your boarding pass.
You’ll then be given a code which allows you to unlock one of the five shower rooms, with sink, toilet and separate shower. Nice shower products are available inside, and towels are generously supplied. There are even orchids, which are a genuine delight in what would usually be a very stale space.
Food & Beverage
We put the word entertaining in the review title, and in case you’ve been hanging on the edge of your seat waiting for the entertainment, the wait is over. Rather than have a boring, run of the mill “house red”, “house white” each far wing of the lounge offers a beverage experience station.
I was thrilled to find over 6 local varietals of white wine, and the same, and perhaps even more for the reds. Taking a free wine tasting (and pouring it yourself) was a great way to interact further with the local juice and expand the ole’ palate. In addition, you’ll find a refined G&T station, choice of beers and other thirst quenching favorites.
While many business class lounges seem resigned and begrudged to serve decent food, that’s absolutely not the case here. Beautifully pan fried fish was on offer, in addition to paella, tea sandwiches, salads, tapas, a variety of cakes and other delights. If you’re not much for plane food (who is?), you really can load up pre flight and rest up in flight. If you’re hungry, it’s a great place to be.
Still not entertained? Though we didn’t manage to partake, we ran into some new friends who couldn’t say enough positives about the Iberia Sala Velasquez T4S entertainment selection, including multiple video game consoles. It’s absolutely ok to down a few great glasses of wine, and then go play FIFA with your colleagues, friends, loved ones.
This is a business class lounge, and by business class lounge standards it offers everything you could possibly ask for. The experience is made fun by native touches celebrating the Madrid experience and the functionality of ample power ports, hot food and video games makes it a real winner. If only they could get the wifi on point, it’d be way up there.
Have you been to the Iberia Sala Velasquez in Madrid?
Have they updated the sleeping / relax area?
I was just there in July on an AA biz class flight. I thought it was nice, but it looks like the PM food options were much better than the AM offerings (which were also good!).
I have to say, Iberia have done a great job with this lounge. I try to spend as much time here as possible when passing through MAD, and I have spent many productive hours here working, eating and drinking. Food is decent and you won’t go hungry. PM options are better than AM. Don’t forget that it is open 24 hours a day and it has a rest area with ‘chaise longues’ to relax! Also for biz class passengers on a night time flight you can have a sit down meal in the restaurant area (turn left all the way to the end and left again) before getting on the plane. One thing, the toilets are a bit small, and when the lounge is busy and the cleaners block off the loos for a few minutes it can get a bit chaotic! They also have little tubs of Haagen Dazs 🙂
Great article! I’m pretty sure that the s in Terminal 4s stands for “satelite” (satellite in English) and not south
Been have several times. It really is a great lounge with great amenities. Easy place to spend a few hours watching the planes go by.
I couldn’t disagree more with your comments. Perhaps you have been quite lucky. I use this lounge at least once per month when i travel to Europe, and for me its unbelievable how Iberia keeps on going down and down in the level of their services. They clearly spent large money in their new lounge, they even buillt a new restaurant ( the old one was not working for a long time). The new restaurant ( only if you travel in business in iberia regardless your ow category) serves you the same than they have in the buffet!!!! And even colder!!! Very funny. The food is quite bad the same than the wine and when they ran out they ran out!!! We all know what the gastronomy in spain is and it is embarrassing that their flagship aurline gives such a low image when they could do so much better with very little. If you are there at lunch time they wont have anything untill 1 or 2 pm.( it has happened to me twice) they use to put good magazines and others but not anymore. They dont even have their own internet conection as you must connect to the public one of the airport. In summary a decadent lounge for a decadent airline, pretentious, very far from the quantas lounges in sydney or lax or the BA heathrow
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