Given the current situation with Covid-19 and the reports I’d heard that BA had not renewed lounge contracts at certain outstation airports, I was not really expecting to be able to access a lounge at Palma airport and, in fact, did absolutely no research in advance so I had no idea which lounge I was even looking for. Apparently there are three in Palma airport so, if, like me, you’re flying blind, hopefully this guide will help you.
Luckily, after taking a punt and following signs to the VIP lounge, I stumbled upon the Sala Valldemossa and was pleasantly surprised to discover that British Airways was listed on the sign at the door as being one of the airlines that allows their passengers to use the lounge.
In this review…
Palma Airport is split into 4 ‘modules’; A,B,C and D. The Sala Valldemossa lounge is located on level 1, airside, near the entrances to modules A and B. The lounge serves customers flying out of these modules so it’s worth checking to see which module your flight is leaving from as different lounges serve modules C and D. British Airways flights leave out of module A, which is the EU (non-Schengen) terminal so this was definitely the lounge for me.
To get to the lounge after checking in, you must first of all pass through security, which you can find by following signs to the boarding gates.
Security was quiet when I arrived and, as a Oneworld Emerald member, I was able to use the Fast Track entrance, which made things even quicker. It didn’t go entirely smoothly, however, as I was pulled aside twice and swabbed for explosives. Perhaps I looked particularly rough after two days of partying in Palma! Nevertheless, I was still through quickly.
The security exit, like so many airports these days, deposits you into the duty free area. There were some good deals to be had, but I wasn’t buying today so headed Straight out and into the terminal.
As I had no idea at this stage what the lounge was called or where to find it, I simply followed signs for ‘VIP’ and kept my fingers crossed! This took me through the food court, to an intersection, with module A to my left.
Looking to my left as I left the food court area, I saw a lift with a VIP sign on it, so headed over there. Although the signs were unclear, I took the lift down one level, to level 1, and saw the lounge entrance across the corridor as I stepped out.
Bear in mind that the lounge is before passport control, if you are travelling outside the Schengen area, so you will need to allow yourself extra time to get to your gate. For reference, my flight left from gate A18. With no queue at passport control, it took me less than 10 minutes to get from the lounge to the gate.
As a shared lounge, customers of various airlines have access, depending on their ticket type and status. A sign on the outside of the lounge advises which airlines provide access for their customers.
Passengers flying with British Airways can access the lounge by belonging to at least one of the following groups –
– British Airways Club Europe passengers
– British Airways Executive Club Gold members
– British Airways Executive Club Silver members
– Oneworld Emerald members
– Oneworld Saphire members
It’s worth noting that Priority Pass holders can access this lounge and that it also accepts walk-ins, subject to capacity, for an entry fee of €34 per traveler, payable at the reception desk.
The lounge is open Monday to Sunday, from 5am – midnight
Design and Layout
The entrance to the lounge feels inviting, with a spacious walk-in area, a light wooden floor and an open reception desk, albeit with a perspex panel in front of it to reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission. At reception, I showed my boarding pass on my phone, which was scanned, and I was granted access. Once inside, I was met by a lounge host who offered to show me to a free seat.
The lounge is spread over one large room, covering an area of 400sqm, and was recently refurbished, in 2019. With high ceilings and lots of glass letting in light from outside, it feels very bright and airy. The liberal use of white on the walls and construction materials really magnifies the feeling of space. To provide more privacy, glass walls, partitions and columns have been used to separate the main section into smaller, more intimate areas.
There are also a couple of Semi-private rooms, should you wish to sit as a group, although, with glass walls, they look a bit like human goldfish bowls. I’m sure they must have been designed originally as working spaces, otherwise I really can’t see the point of them.
A couple of the glass walls have trees painted on them, using nature to separate the spaces. It’s a little odd, but it does kind of work.
Seating within the lounge is fairly simple, with lots of individual armchairs and plastic seats. The armchairs are covered in faux leather, with different colours used to add a touch of life to the lounge. There are no sofas in the lounge.
There is no shortage of power sockets in the lounge, with one to every fixed chair. All of the sockets are standard European.
There are a couple of information screens within the lounge so you have no excuse for missing your flight.
As lounges go, the space is nothing new and ground breaking, but it is a nice, bright and spacious place to sit and wait for your flight.
Food and Beverage
Given the current situation with Covid-19 and the restrictions on buffets to reduce the spread of infection, all food and drink has been moved behind glass shields and must be ordered from one of the lounge hosts or at the counter. It is then delivered to your table.
Unfortunately the restrictions made it difficult to get good photos of the selection on offer, but the pictures below should give you a reasonable idea of what there was.
The drinks’ selection during my visit was reasonable, with red, white and rose wines, premium spirits, sparkling wine, water, tea, coffee, fruit juice and soft drinks all available.
As mentioned above, everything is behind a counter for now, so there is no self service. You select your drink, request it from a lounge host and it will be brought to your table.
The mid-afternoon food selection was simple and, as with the drinks, had to be ordered at the counter or from a lounge host. There was a choice of sandwiches with locally sourced meat and cheese fillings, pre-packaged salads, tapas bowls, fruits and some sweet treats. Hot soup and a chicken and rice dish were also available, although the terrines were only just being filled as I left.
I tried a couple of sandwiches and snacks and they were okay. Nothing spectacular, but certainly better than paying a small fortune for average food in the terminal.
For a third party lounge in an outstation, I thought the food and drink selection on offer was reasonable. It’s difficult to make a judgement in the current circumstances, but even assuming this is what is on offer at normal times, I wouldn’t be too disappointed. It is ideal for a quick snack before your flight.
There are a couple of private areas within the lounge where you can work, as well as a larger room at one end with a conference table in it. There were no public computers available, so you would have to bring your own, and I couldn’t see any printers in the lounge.
WiFi in the lounge was pretty good, with a strong signal and reasonable le download speeds. However, it did require you to login again if you didn’t use your connection for a short while.
Toilets and Showers
Toilets are situated in the middle of the lounge and have the same, bright, minimalist design as the rest of the lounge. The mens’ toilet has a large sink with two taps, two cubicles and two urinals.
There are two showers in the lounge, but they are currently closed due to Covid-19 restrictions.
I was surprised to find a small relaxation area at the far end of the lounge, with four comfortable chairs that you could just about sleep in. However, the room was very bright and noise carried through from the main lounge, so I wouldn’t really see it as somewhere to relax.
This is not the best lounge in the world, nor does it have the best facilities, but it is a nice, bright area to sit for an hour or so while you wait for your flight. With a reasonable range of food and drinks, you should be able to find something to tide yourself over for the short flight home.