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Etihad First Class Lounge Abu Dhabi Review

I’m a massive fan of Etihad Airways Premium Products. I’m lucky enough to have travelled with them a lot. The Etihad First Class Lounge, Abu Dhabi is another excellent example.

This is a First Class lounge that does everything that it’s supposed to, and a little more. Ala carte dining, complimentary spa treatments and premium alcohol are offered here.

I found everything to be high quality. This is a great place to kick back for a few hours before your flight.

I took loads of photos for this review. Each photo can be clicked, to open out the full slideshow. The article is detailed review. So you’ll know exactly what to expect!

I also explain how I used Marriott Bonvoy Points to book Etihad First class for $921 (not a typo). An 85% discount on the retail price. It’s a super easy strategy that you can use.

If you’re new in these parts, then welcome! You can signup to my email list here. Get notified of my new content. Get notified of the best travel deals.

What I Liked

  • Service was attentive without being overbearing
  • Bright Space
  • A la carte menu with fantastic food
  • Complimentary spa treatment
  • Premium alcohol and champagne
  • Simple but classy decor
  • Sleeping pods available
  • Lounge was pretty empty
  • Small Gym

What could be improved

  • The lounge lacks a 'wow' factor

The Lounge

The Etihad First Class Lounge isn’t large, but it packs a lot in! It consists of

  • Two bar areas
  • A la carte dining area
  • Spa
  • Small kids play area
  • Sleeping pods
  • Lounge seating
  • Fitness room


The lounge was bright with clear runway views. There's a great photo of the runway in the above slideshow.

The decor was simple and elegant. Overall I liked it, but it certainly wasn't 'all expenses spared'.

The seating was mostly in white or yellow leather, which added to the feeling of brightness in the lounge. They had 4 types of seating. Dining, lounge seating, bar stools and sleeping pods. All of the seating was perfectly acceptable and nothing looked to be worn out.

The main bar area was classy and elegant. I thought the design was stunning, and loved that you could ‘look through’ the back of the bar and out on to the runway. Check out the photo in the slideshow above.

There’s a small room with some sleeping pods and recliner chairs. There was a screen in front with psychedelic images! It looks like a great place to smoke weed and chill out, less suitable for sleeping however!

I got access to the lounge, as I was flying in First Class with Etihad Airways. I got an amazing deal, when I booked the flight. I booked one way First Class, from Abu Dhabi to London. I used 40,000 Asiana Air Miles, to book the Etihad flight. I used $921 to buy those 40,000 miles. You can do this easily too.

Asiana is a Korean Airline. They partner with Etihad Airways. I converted 120,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points to 50,000 Asiana Air Miles. I did this transfer on the Marriott Website. I then called up Asiana Airlines, and booked the First Class Flight with 40,000 Asiana Air Miles.

I purchased 120,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points from this page. I paid $1,152. So in total, I paid $921 for 40,000 Asiana Air Miles. 40,000 Asiana Air Miles was what I paid to book Etihad First Class.

To summarise the steps:

  • Buy 120,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points from this page
  • Convert the Bonvoy Points to Asiana Air Miles on the Marriott Website
  • Call up Asiana. Use your air miles to book the Etihad flight. The US number is at +1-800-227-4262


There’s another deal that could be of interest. Marriott Timeshare have an offer, where you can earn 50,000 easy Marriott Bonvoy Points. You’ll need to give up 1 hour of your time, and sit through a virtual presentation. This presentation will take place over Zoom. They’ll tell you about the Marriott Timeshare Program.

There’s no obligation to buy anything. You don’t even need to turn your camera on! But you will lose 1 hour of your time. If you want to book up a virtual presentation, then email me. Give me your name, telephone number (with country code), email address and the city that you live in.

These presentations are popular. So I wouldn’t hang around, if you want to book one.

The Food

I spent 4 hours in the Etihad First Class Lounge Abu Dhabi, and was able to sample both the breakfast and the lunch service. Both were fantastic.

The food was mainly served at the ala carte restaurant, although there was also a small buffet table. You can see the menu in the slideshow above. For breakfast, I went for the savoury Kimchi Pancake. The presentation was excellent and the dish itself tasted very good.

I also had the Arabic mezze just before I left the lounge. It was spectacular!

The restaurant was very good. Good enough to take my wife on date night, but not good enough for Valentine’s day!

The drinks

As I arrived at breakfast time, I had an Americano. I found it to be average – I probably should have gone for the Arabic coffee!

The alcohol is served from two manned bars - the main one is really beautiful. Check out the photo in the slideshow above.

The lounge offers premium alcohol as any First Class Lounge should. Sadly the alcohol was not super premium, like Emirates serving a $1,000 cognac!

I had an 18-year Glenlivet whisky, which retails for around $100. I don’t drink a lot of alcohol, so if I do, I want to have good quality stuff!

I’ve uploaded the drinks menu in the above slideshow.

The Spa

The Lounge has a spa, and offers a 15 minute treatment to all first class passengers. They offer a range of facials and massages. I’ve uploaded the spa menu above.

I went for a 15-minute facial, that I enjoyed. Sadly, I’m still not as good looking as the cartoon version of me on the About Me page!

The Bathroom

While not a huge consideration, the bathroom is nicely decorated. 

The Fitness Room

There’s a small fitness room with a cross trainer and treadmill. I enjoy going to the gym, but have never had the desire to visit one in a First Class Lounge! A gym in a lounge is rare, there isn’t one in the massive Air France Business Lounge in CDG, Paris.

I’m in 2 minds about whether a gym in a lounge is a good idea. I don’t think many visitors would bring their kit, and then have enough time to use the gym. Also, they only have cross trainers and treadmills – which is hardly a gym at all! The gym strikes me as more of a gimmick, rather than something that is actually used.

The Kids Play Area

There is a small kids play, which you can view in the slideshow above. 

The wow factor

This lounge is very good, but I felt that it lacked any sort of ‘wow’ factor. For a flagship First Class Lounge, it would have been nice if they had done something special.

For instance, The Gulf Air Lounge in Heathrow Terminal T4 has a really cool model of a 787 as you enter the lounge.

They could have incorporated something from local culture into the lounge, or offered a private car to drive to the plane.

Conclusion

The simple fact is that the Etihad First Class Lounge Abu Dhabi is fantastic.

This is a first class lounge that does everything it should and does it right. High quality food, complimentary spa treatment, premium alcohol and good service are all offered here.

Etihad currently have a sale going on. Full details are in this article. I’ve displayed the best deals. Both in Business Class and Economy.

I’ve flown with Etihad a lot. I’ve written a lot of reviews. I flew in Etihad’s iconic 1st Class Apartment. It was a truly special experience. The apartment was huge! The food and drinks were also terrific.

In my view, the best business class lounge in the world is…Oman Air Muscat! The lounge was absolutely massive. There were private sleep pods, barista made coffee, a massive buffet and much more. My only criticism is that there isn’t a free spa treatment.

I hope you enjoyed my article. You can signup to my email list here. Get notified of my new content and the best travel deals.


Hannah

This lounge looks beautiful! I can't wait to go. I've been to the business lounge a few times I really love your articles. How can I follow you?

April 12, 2020

Vin.G

Hannah. Thanks for the nice comment!! Sign up to my email list http://eepurl.com/gCI13P. Twitter: https://twitter.com/guysoulful. Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/soulfultravelguy/

April 12, 2020

Myles

Does your blog have a contact page? I'm having trouble locating it but, I'd like to send you an e-mail. I've got some creative ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great site and I look forward to seeing it grow over time. I am sure this paragraph has touched all the internet users, its really really pleasant paragraph on building up new blog. I will right away clutch your rss feed as I can’t in finding your email subscription hyperlink or newsletter service. Do you have any? Please allow me recognize in order that I could subscribe. Thanks. http://porsche.com

June 21, 2020

Vin.G

If you go to the menu, there is an option for "Contact Us"

June 27, 2020

RichieM

Hi - i went through AUH in September 2022. It was my first time accessing the first class lounge. I had previously only been into the business lounges at AUH prior to 2019. I was hoping to get a spa treatment as i was on a stop over with a few hours to spare. I was advised that this service was stopped prior to covid and that it is unlikely to return to the first or business lounges. I had a shower and went to the restaurant. The facilities were fantastic. The staff extremely professional and the food and wine excellent! I do hope that Etihad brings back the spa offering. I would have happily paid. I remember it being Six Senses branded if i am correct - and recall the massages being great back when they were available. Does anyone know a date for the new airport opening? I wonder if all of these services will be enhanced when that opens.

April 17, 2023

vin

Etihad have just bought back their A380 suite. So I hope they also bring back spa services

April 20, 2023

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