Iberia recently refurbished their lounge in Madrid T4s – I was curious to see what it’d be like, as the Velázquez VIP Lounge lounge had been one of my favourite in Europe. The verdict? The refurbished version has transformed the lounge from very, very good to excellent – so much so, I’d have happily spent many hours here – a rare verdict for an airport lounge.
Iberia’s T4s lounge is available for use by passengers flying with oneworld airlines in business or first, as well as oneworld Emerald and Sapphire members, to destinations outside of the Schengen zone, with the exception of Iberia operated flights to the UK (with one exclusion, Iberia’s daily A330 flight to LHR).
I’d always been very impressed with this lounge due to its panoramic views of the airfield, and great plane-spotting opportunities, and indeed, whilst some of the furniture was worn, I never had any reason to moan prior to its refurbishment. As it is, the refurbishment has only enhanced the space, and made it an even more enjoyable place to wait for a flight – It’s certainly superior to the British Airways Galleries First Lounge at LHR – the difference being this lounge is accessible to both oneworld Sapphire and Emerald members.
The lounge is open and airy, with plenty of seating space – due to its size there are plenty of different areas and zones – including two dining areas, a bar area and a relaxation zone, if you fancy getting some sleep between flights.
As has always been the case with Iberia, the available wines of a very high standard, and are the same wines as those served to business class passengers in the air. On this occasion, there was a choice of 3 white wines, one rosé and 6 red wines. I sampled a couple of the white wines, and a couple of the red wines, and all were of a very high standard. The bar area continues to be self-serve, and there are also a selection of spirits, as well as beers.
Iberia have three meal times – breakfast until 11am, lunch from 2pm until 4pm, and dinner from 9pm. Outwith these times there is a selection of sandwiches, as well as a salad area (it’s fairly expansive, with options such as sushi and smoked salmon). Ice cream is also available throughout the day.
Whilst the mealtimes can be a little restrictive, the quality of the hot food is excellent – the cold buffet available during other times of the day is also very good and the ingredient quality is high. From 9pm there is an à la carte dining area with full waiter service, although we weren’t able to try this as our flight departed at 15.45.
The main highlight of the lounge is the superb views – it’s a plane-spotter’s paradise. Whilst flying from Madrid’s other terminals is nothing to write home about, Terminal 4 provides an excellent travel experience, and Iberia have done a very good job of utilising the space.
The only downside, which I can see being a big disadvantage, is the poor internet. Prior to the refurbishment Iberia used their own internet service (although it was often sluggish), now they use the free airport wifi. Whilst at times this proved to be fairly speedy, when the lounge became was busy it proved to be very slow, to the point of almost being unusable.
This aside, I was very impressed – I’d go as far to say this is one of the best lounges available to oneworld business passengers and Sapphire members – indeed, even as a oneworld Emerald, I couldn’t help but wish the British Airways Galleries First lounges at Heathrow offered such a pleasant experience.