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Sala VIP Cibeles Lounge, Madrid

Joanna Hall

If you’re flying from Madrid Barajas Airport with Etihad, and you're travelling in business class, you’ll find yourself using this bright and spacious airline lounge - and enjoying respite from the crowded terminal.

The Airline: Etihad Airways. 

The Lounge: Sala VIP Cibeles Lounge, Madrid Barajas Airport. 

Location: Terminal 1 (inside security) on the second floor close to Gates B26-B29. 

Other Airlines: The lounge is open to Etihad Airways guests, other airways, also Priority Pass card holders, and paying walk-ins on a space available basis.


Madrid Airport was super busy early on the Monday morning I was flying back home to Australia, and as I was travelling in business class with the premium airline, Etihad, I discovered the lounge you get to use until boarding time is the Sala VIP Cibeles Lounge. I was initially surprised that an airline with the might of Etihad didn’t have its own facility, but arriving into this bright, huge space I could immediately see why it would make sense to partner with Cibeles. The lounge is only accessible for Non-Schengen departures from Terminal 1 Zones A, B, and C, and it has an impressive lineup of facilities including an outside smoking terrace if you need it. Once I’d passed reception, I could see large areas dedicated to sitting and enjoying the tarmac view, working if you need to, and eating and drinking if you are really killing time. The decor was contemporary modern, with plenty of natural light thanks to tall windows making up three walls, and using a palette of natural colours including creams, white and gold, plush furnishings, and a few splashes of colour.

Food & Drink

Having transferred from an airport hotel without breakfast as it was super early, by the time I was settled in the lounge I was ready to eat and drink something before my long journey. There were two long, open buffet stations with plenty of food options for breakfast, including fruit, yogurt, sandwiches, pastries, Nespresso-style coffee, juices, soft drinks and water. It’s all self-serve and not entirely what you’d describe as "premium", but you can take your pick of what you want, and then relax at a nearby table until your flight is called. It didn’t bother me especially but a few people were grumbling at the lack of hot food. Perhaps it’s reserved for lunch and dinner only?


Showers are available at this lounge, and it also has the usual lineup of quality facilities including newspapers and magazines, free Wi-Fi, plenty of TVs, power sockets if you need to charge your phone or tablet before your flight, monitors for checking your flight status, and for business people, printers and photocopiers for use. Loves 

  • The great tarmac views from comfy seats. 
  • The open space including the use of natural light.
  • There are plenty of beers, wines and spirits if you’re travelling at a more sociable hour.

Insider Tips

  • The lounge isn’t super easy to find, and I wasn’t given any directions on check-in. After you clear Passport Control, head for Gates B26-B29 and you’ll see a flight of stairs and an elevator; go up to the second floor, and follow the signs to 'Sala VIP'.

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