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My original plan was to head straight to the Hilton Madrid Airport for the day upon landing, though on the breakfast menu from my Iberia flight I noticed something surprising:
If you prefer to rest, we offer the possibility of having breakfast in the Arrivals Lounge of Terminal 4 at Madrid-Barajas Airport from 06:00 to 11:00 AM (local time).
I wasn’t aware that Iberia had an arrivals lounge at Madrid Airport, and upon Googling, it seems like it’s actually something they only added last year.
Here’s how the arrivals lounge is described on Iberia’s website:
As you can see, Iberia’s arrivals lounge is open to passengers arriving on flights of more than four hours, who are traveling in business class, as well as Iberia’s elite members (however, oneworld passengers don’t seem to be eligible for access).
Upon landing at Madrid Airport I walked down the beautiful hallway to the arrivals area. Madrid Airport is stunning, though has to be one of the most fitness-minded airports in the world. Walking at a German pace, it took me 20 minutes to get into the arrivals hall.
Upon entering the arrivals hall, I turned right and took the moving walkway down a floor, to Level -1. This is also where the airport’s train departs from. There’s not any signage for the arrivals lounge, and the Iberia menu wasn’t specific about the lounge’s location, so it took me a while to realize that was the correct direction.
Upon taking the moving walkway down a level I found myself at the entrance to the train station, so I turned in the opposite direction, where I noticed a nicely lit and stylish facility, which I assumed might be the arrivals lounge.
The exterior indicated these were “Premium Air Rooms,” and that this was a “Premium Traveller” lounge. But then I also noticed the other side of the window indicated this was the Iberia arrivals lounge.
This facility actually has a few uses — this seems to be a contract facility for Iberia, which also offers hotel rooms, shower facilities, or just an area to rest. The Premium Traveller Lounge has 22 hotel rooms, which can be rented in blocks of at least three hours.
Upon entering the lounge I was greeted by a nice guy at the reception desk on the left (on the right was a small business center). He made a photocopy of my boarding pass, and asked whether I wanted breakfast, a shower, or both. I really wanted neither, but rather to just look at the lounge. 😉
He brought me into one of the shower rooms, and I snapped a few quick pictures.
The shower room was quite large and in great condition, with a walk-in shower, toilet, and sink.
The shower room also had individual toiletries, rather than those wall-mounted dispensers, which I hate.
It’s worth noting that there’s a door to enter the shower room, and then in the back of the shower room there’s another door which leads into the bedroom. Of course that part is locked off unless you’re renting a room, so it’s a rather efficient concept they have — they can rent you just the shower room, or the combination of the bedroom and shower room.
In the back left of the lounge was the dining area, which consisted of a total of nine tables, each of which seats two people.
Then separated from the dining area by a glass shield was a small area for lounging, with a couple of couches and chairs facing a TV.
The breakfast spread was quite good. There was a fridge with juice, water, soft drinks, yogurt, and several types of microwavable dishes.
Then there was cereal, all kinds of delicious looking pastries, cake, fresh fruit, etc.
There was also a Nespresso machine with some cookies on top of it, along with a good variety of Nespresso pods.
I wasn’t hungry and was going to wait until after my nap at the Hilton Madrid Airport to shower, so I just snapped some pictures in the lounge, and then sat in the dining area for about 15 minutes getting caught up on email while enjoying a coffee.
From there I headed outside to the shuttle center to go to the Hilton Madrid Airport.
Iberia arrivals lounge bottom line
I was really impressed by the innovative lounge Iberia uses at Madrid Airport. The reality is that Iberia probably doesn’t have the need for a purpose-built arrivals lounge, given that they don’t have that many longhaul flights arriving in the morning, and presumably a good number of passengers are connecting. This isn’t like British Airways at Heathrow, where they have dozens of flights landing in the early hours of the morning.
This facility was quiet, had great shower rooms, and also a very nice continental breakfast spread. Kudos to Iberia for this facility. The only real feedback I have is that I think they should provide more details about the arrivals lounge to passengers, since it can be tough to figure out where it is, and it’s not really Iberia branded.
What do you make of this sort of concept for an arrivals lounge?