Review: Sala VIP Amnios Lounge Madrid

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After our gin fun-filled weekend in Madrid, Ben headed back to Los Angeles, while Heather and I were scheduled to route via Dubai.

As one does.

Our flight left in the afternoon, so we had a leisurely breakfast at the Westin Palace, a nice stroll in the park, then headed to the airport.

Had we realized how flipping far the Emirates gates are in Madrid we would probably have skipped the morning walk.

After clearing security through the same priority lanes Ben had used earlier in the day, we started walking to the “S” pier of Terminal 4.

18 minutes from security to the Satellite Terminal

And walking…

Or maybe 19

And taking a train…

MadridBarajas Airport train system

And walking…

Seven minutes after disembarking from the train

Upon finally reaching the satellite terminal we cleared passport control, then headed up two sets of escalators to the Sala VIP Amnios Lounge, which is the contract lounge Emirates uses in Madrid.

Madrid Sala VIP Amnios Lounge entrance

This lounge has an incredibly generous access policy: in addition to premium cabin passengers of Emirates and several other airlines, the Amnios Lounge can also be accessed via Priority Pass, Lounge Club, or by buying a day pass for €26. Usually, holding a credit card with lounge access will represent a much better deal than purchasing access outright.

Spoiler: that’s a bad deal.

Madrid Sala VIP Amnios Lounge access options

The lounge itself is, well…

Let’s put it this way: I’ve transited Cairo several times, and the lounge there is actively unpleasantIn comparison, this was just fine.

There was a large table in the center, with PCs:

Madrid Sala VIP Amnios Lounge

And plenty of seating, along with an abundance of outlets.

Madrid Sala VIP Amnios Lounge

Madrid Sala VIP Amnios Lounge

There were also two rooms in the back that didn’t seem to be designated for anything in particular, but also didn’t seem like a very nice place to spend time:

Madrid Sala VIP Amnios Lounge

Madrid Sala VIP Amnios Lounge

So plenty of seating, given the lounge wasn’t particularly crowded, but almost zero privacy. I can’t see this lounge being at all pleasant if it were even approaching capacity.

The food selection was broad, though not particularly appetizing (though we’d basically been eating since we’d landed in Madrid four days prior, which might have had something to do with it).

There were packaged salads and sandwiches, along with some “entree” items that could be heated upon request:

Madrid Sala VIP Amnios Lounge snacks

Madrid Sala VIP Amnios Lounge

And an assortment of yogurt, fruit, and juices:

Madrid Sala VIP Amnios Lounge snacks

Madrid Sala VIP Amnios Lounge

And then a center table with a selection of breads and crackers:

Madrid Sala VIP Amnios Lounge buffet

Saddest croissants ever?

The Amnios lounge offered a full bar (not pictured, because the staff wasn’t keen on my picture taking to begin with), along with an assortment of tea and coffee options:

Madrid Sala VIP Amnios Lounge coffee

In terms of the other amenities, there were shower rooms, a small nap/relaxation room, and a few tiny bathroom closets:

Madrid Sala VIP Amnios Lounge bathroom

Madrid Sala VIP Amnios Lounge bathroom

Madrid Sala VIP Amnios Lounge bathroom

Hands down, the best feature of the lounge was the views of the tarmac:

Madrid Sala VIP Amnios Lounge views

Madrid Sala VIP Amnios Lounge views

We spent an hour working and catching up on the internet, then made our way to the gate area, which was a madhouse:

MadridBarajas Airport Satellite terminal gates

Boarding was slightly delayed (about 15 minutes), but the airport monitors weren’t reflecting the updated time, so everyone was just milling about near the gates.

As we were to be flying an A380, the upper and lower deck were eventually boarded through separate gates:

MadridBarajas Airport Satellite terminal boarding

Separate gate for upper deck passengers

Which meant we got to use the longest jet-bridge I’ve ever seen to access the upper deck:

MadridBarajas Airport jet-bridge

Seriously, look how far away our plane was!

Emirates A380 here we come!

While I generally feel like some lounge is better than no lounge, the Amnios lounge in Madrid might be an exception. It was fine, but the retail options in the Satellite Terminal were also fine, and I would have been just as happy at Starbucks.

So I wouldn’t necessarily plan on arriving early to the airport to enjoy the lounge, but you should give yourself plenty of time just to navigate the Madrid airport.

  1. Ok, you didn’t feel comfortable taking a picture of the bar. But since this is a lounge report, a verbal description would at least be nice. Especially since considering the low appeal of this lounge, one might very well be in need of a few stiff drinks. 🙂

  2. I don’t think the lounge was that bad, based on the pictures. OK. The lack of privacy was clearly an issue. But the food wasn’t too bad. I know it’s prepackaged and all, but, frankly, I would rather know what I’m eating — if I could read the label — and also be assured of higher food safety standards than something sitting exposed to the lounge for hours on a buffet.

  3. IMHO, whole T4 looks sterile, and apart from being huge there is nothing interesting about it (except maybe the roof). With Spanish architecture being so nice I was a bit disappointed that the T4 does not reflect it at all.

  4. Hey Tiffany!

    I live in Madrid and travel through Barajas frequently, so I was sad to hear about the lounge. I’ve actually never visited it, but the one that Iberia uses in T4S is actually quite good, you might want to check it out sometime 🙂

  5. I have a 3-hour layover in MAD after a long haul flight. So I planned on doing a lot of walking after a quick shower. Based on your comments about the distance between terminals and that there was a separate passport check at Terminal 4S, would you recommend I stay put in 4S or would I be OK walking around the larger area in Terminal 4? Thanks for your help.

  6. Hi Tiffany

    I loved the review! 🙂 I also stayed at the Westin and flew Emirates when we recently visited Madrid. We tried to access the Iberia lounge (OW Emerald but not travelling a OW airline) so we were refused entry. It did however look much nicer than the Neptuno lounge. We literally got the last 2 empty seats in the Neptuno lounge. And there was a queue to get in. I agree with your sentiments – I’m sure I would have been just as happy outside! 🙂

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