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Malaga Airport Lounge. Sala VIP Review

We all love airport lounges. A place to relax, with complimentary food and drink. Malaga Airport has only one lounge, the Sala VIP. This was my 2nd time in the lounge – I previously visited in 2017. My previous visit was very enjoyable. Sadly, the lounge has gone downhill since then. The food wasn’t as good and the lounge was very busy.

The lounge itself is large and bright. The food options are somewhat limited however. The tea and coffee were pretty bad too.


The Malaga Airport Lounge can be accessed with a Priority Pass card. Business Class passengers will also be sent to this lounge.

In this article, I explain how to sign up to Priority Pass. At a 30% discount. I also explain how you can visit a Marriott Resort in Marbella, at a 70% discount.

If you’re new to my blog, then hello. Great to have you here! You can signup to my email list here. Get notified of my latest content. Find out about the best travel deals.

What I liked

  • Large lounge
  • Floor to ceiling windows. Bright space
  • Full bar

What could be Improved

  • Limited food options
  • No veggie food
  • Awful tea and coffee

The Access Requirements

The Sala VIP is the only lounge in Malaga Airport. You can get in with a Priority Pass Card or a business class ticket. I got in with my Priority Pass.

Priority Pass is a membership program. You can access over 1,500 airport lounges worldwide. Sign up here and get discounts of up to 30%. You won’t get these discounts if you go direct to the Priority Pass website. So don’t buy from the Priority Pass website!

Standard Plus Membership costs £183. It comes with 10 free lounge visits per year. Each visit costs £18.30. Great value for unlimited food, unlimited alcohol, free wi-fi and your own private space.

Prestige membership costs £377. It comes with unlimited lounge visits.

I’ve been to some amazing Priority Pass Lounges. The Plaza Premium Lounge in Heathrow Terminal 2 is a stunning lounge. With high quality food and drinks.

The Virgin Clubhouse in New York, JFK can be accessed with a Priority Pass. It has restaurant quality food, champagne on tap, lots of natural light and a pool table! The Primeclass Lounge Muscat has three buffets, premium alcohol, juice bar, massage chairs and computer games consoles.

I had good memories of the Sala VIP lounge. I previously visited in 2017, before I was the Soulful Travel Guy! The lounge was mostly empty. Fresh pizza was being served every 20 minutes. This occasion didn’t live up to my memories. The lounge was super busy and there was no hot food.

There was a massive queue at the entrance. We waited for 20 minutes to get in.

Malaga is a popular tourist destination for Brits. In summer, I think half the flights are from the UK! Most of the people in the lounge were Brits. The UK is becoming like the US. So many people have credit cards with lounge access. As such, airport lounges get very busy.

Book a Marriot resort in Spain at a 70% discount


Marriott Timeshare currently have an offer. Book 3 nights at one of their resorts in Spain. It costs €269 for 3 nights. It comes with free car hire. You also get 20,000 free Marriott Bonvoy Points. This is a 70% discount.

You need to sit through a 1 hour timeshare presentation. Where you’ll learn about the program. There’s no obligation to buy anything.

These packages are popular and sell out fast. If you want to book, then email me. Give me your name, email address, phone number (with country code) and the city you live in.

I have many reviews of Marriott Timeshare resorts. Playa Andaluza is a stunning resort in Marbella. It's right on the beach. They have four swimming pools, a water slide, 24 hour supermarket, miniature golf, basketball, football, volleyball, giant chess and much more!

Crystal Shores is a stunning resort in Marco Island, Florida. I stayed in a 2 bed apartment, with an epic view of the sea. They had three swimming pools, a shuffle board, table tennis and much more. There was a packed daily activity schedule. Including coffee tasting, bingo and beach yoga.

The Lounge

The Malaga Airport Lounge is large and bright. There’s floor to ceiling windows. I didn't see any facilities like kids play area or business centre. I was only there for 30 minutes, however. I was also with my family, so I didn’t walk around much.

There were lots of different types of seating. There were lounge style armchairs with tables. There was a rectangular high table. This was good for solo passengers. There were also larger sofas, which are good for families and groups. The furniture was in good condition and the décor was modern.

The lounge was absolutely rammed. We sat on a tiny table in one corner. Overcrowding of airport lounges is a massive problem. I’m getting to the point where I might give the lounge a miss. Lounges should provide a private space to relax. Away from the hustle of the terminal. On this occasion, I queued for 20 minutes and was packed in like a sardine!

I was travelling with my family. One benefit of family travel, is that we get special treatment. E.g. we get the biggest sofa in the lounge or skip the queue. This is especially true at bigger airports like Heathrow or Frankfurt. These airports are full of business passengers, and there’s less kids. Malaga is a leisure destination and full of kids. So there was no special treatment at this time!

The best activities in Malaga


Malaga is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Located on the southern tip of Spain. The place has amazing weather and stunning beaches. Below are my favourite activities when you visit.

Book a panoramic city tour in an electric Tuk Tuk for €32! The tour is rated at 5* from 254 reviews. Stop at the most popular landmarks with a local guide. Then climb up to an amazing viewpoint. With spectacular views of the Costa del Sol.

You can book a Malaga wine and tapas tour for €72. The tour lasts for 3.5 hours and is rated 5* from 903 reviews. Explore the local streets with an expert guide. You’ll try the best food of Malaga. Iberian ham, tapas, wine and much more! 5 wines are included in your tour. Don’t drive home!

Are you a baller?! The most popular private boat tour in Marbella can be booked here. Rated at 5* from 45 reviews. It costs €680 to hire a boat, which can hold 9 people. All alcoholic drinks are included. The tour lasts for 3 hours. Enjoy good music, cold drinks and great views.

Book a 1 day tour from Malaga to Gibraltar. The tour is private and is rated at 5* from 39 reviews. It costs €325. You’ll get picked up from your hotel in a luxury car, by your professional guide. You’ll ascend to the pinnacle of the rock of Gibraltar. You’ll also unveil hidden treasures and iconic sites, with your guide.
 

The Food

There was a buffet counter near the entrance. Only cold food was available. The selection was pretty sad!

  • Hummus
  • Cous cous
  • Rice
  • Sandwiches. Chicken and ham
  • Olives
  • Fruit
  • Donuts


As a vegetarian, there’s basically nothing for me to eat. I had some cous cous, olives and rice. It wasn't very good. For meat eaters, there’s only sandwiches available. The sandwiches were mainly ham and cheese. There may have been some chicken ones. In the end, we chose to leave the lounge and eat in the terminal.

Europe is a wonderful place for cuisine. Sadly, the airport lounges haven’t caught up! They love to serve cold and soggy sandwiches. I reckon that 80% of Lounges in Europe serve crappy sandwiches. Examples include the ANA Lounge in Lisbon and The Lounge in Dublin Airport.

Don’t expect the lounge to improve their food any time soon. The lounge was busy, and I’m sure it’s very profitable. It’s also the only lounge in Malaga Airport. Why would they want to spend more money on the food?

The Drinks

The Malaga Airport Lounge has a full compliment of alcohol. Beer, wine and spirits were all available. The spirits were branded, including Bacardi rum and Ballentine’s Whisky.

Tea and coffee were available from a machine. I had an English Breakfast tea. It was Lipton branded, and didn't taste good. The cups were too small. The coffee didn't look good either. In virtually every lounge review, I say that the coffee doesn’t look good. Don’t blame me! Blame the lounges that have cheap coffee machines!

Conclusion

The Malaga Airport Lounge is what I've come to expect in Continental Europe. Lots of alcohol and not a lot of food! Also, the lounge was very busy during my stay. On the plus side, it’s large and was beautifully bright. If you visit the lounge, I suggest to make alternative plans for food. You won’t get a proper meal.

While I didn’t enjoy the Malaga Airport Lounge, I love Malaga itself. I reviewed Marriot’s Playa Andaluza. It’s a beautiful resort, aimed at families. There are apartments to stay in and a 24 hour supermarket on site. The resort has more activities than any place I’ve been to! There’s miniature golf, giant chess, tennis and so much more!

 

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