Hotel Ibis Madrid Airport Barajas
I was arriving late into Madrid from Helsinki, only to depart early the following morning to Morocco. Although I potentially could have used the Iberia Velazquez Lounge overnight to rest, there was a question over whether I have the bags transferred. As such I figured it was easier to find a close hotel for the night. There is one hotel attached to terminal 4 itself, but expensive. Most other ‘airport’ hotels are located in a cluster towards the outer fringes of Madrid, one stop down the metro line. The Ibis hotel offers a generally low, fixed price with a further discount for Accor Club online bookings.
Free shuttle bus
I arrived into Madrid Terminal 4. After last year doing the same about a year ago, this time I was expecting a very long wait time for baggage to be delivered – honestly completely disappointing for such a modern airport. It took just as long this time but worked in my favour. I moved towards the hotel shuttle bus pick-up point outside. Within a few minutes the Ibis shuttle arrived. The driver spoke no English, a little surprising but could communicate sufficiently. We waited a few minutes, a German man came up and, again not being able to communicate to the driver tried to say he wanted to go to the hotel, without a reservation although it was apparently fully booked according to him. I don’t really get it but he did not get on and we drove off. First stop was the old terminals 1 to 3 picking up a lot more people then the hotel. Total time 15 minutes.
Check-in and dining
Check in was painless albeit a short wait. Breakfast is not included in the base rate here. With my morning departure and access to the international/non-Schengen Iberia lounge, I hoped to eat well there. The whole check-in reception and dining (bar?) area is a construction site with major renovations underway. The temporary check-in desk is like a small doctor’s surgery receptionist desk and the main dining area rather restricted. The location of the hotel provides plenty of alternate eating options with in walking distance.
The hotel rooms appear recently refreshed, a bit basic and space is at a premium but I have seen much worse. There was a small television, only mildly more interesting than the non-existent view. The bathroom was definitely small but the showered worked well and was welcome after flying for a couple days.
Check-out and shuttle again
Check out was effortless. The shuttle bus however was not. We were all told, first come, first serve. But the shuttle bus did not arrive for a good 30 minutes after it was scheduled. Having been in Indonesia and Malaysia the past couple months it was a rather chilly morning. At least I could last wear my heavy jacket. I was nearly ready to hail a taxi, order an uber or find the Metro station. They need to sort this out because people were clearly getting concerned about missing their flights. I had plenty of time but still I’d rather not be spending it outside waiting the front door.
Eventually the shuttle bus arrived and the mostly Spanish customers all jumped on, concerned they wouldn’t get a seat. Again it followed a similar path in reverse with terminal 1, 2, 3 before exiting and going around to terminal 4. There are clearly a lot of holiday and low cost operators from the old terminals, however everything non-oneworld does too.
Besides the shuttle bus back to the airport the airport is probably the best pick of a bad situation. It’s clean and relatively cheap if you must stay close. For more something more top end, try the Hilton however it’s even further away, free shuttle aside. With any more time it would have been much better to jump on the Metro and head into the centre of Madrid, Cheaper and better places to stay along with great food.