The Residence by Etihad is a product I’ve wanted to try since the day I saw it online. I’ve flown first many times now and decided I would finally do it as it would be incredibly awesome to review. Last night I landed from Abu Dhabi, and I wanted to get the posts out as quickly as I could. So this will be the first post of the Residence introduction.
When booking, the concierge will ask how many bags you have, I had two checked bags and one carry-on. You’ll see in the picture there are two cars, 1 for luggage and the other for the guest. I organized to be picked up 10 hours early from the St. Regis, and the concierge was more than happy to arrange that, (I had tons of work to get through). That morning I got a call from the chauffeur to alert me that they were outside and to take my time if I needed.
The passenger car was an Audi A4, and the car for luggage was a Mercedes Van.
The drive from the St.Regis took about 25 minutes. The chauffeur dropped me right outside the first class check in section at Terminal 3 where Etihad staff were awaiting my arrival.
The staff guided me to the bag drop area where I gave them my bags. If you have carry-on luggage only there is no need to check in as the staff print your boarding pass for you before you arrive.
The staff also guided me through security and even handled the passport check.
I’ve reviewed the first class lounge before but this time was going to be different. Etihad has separate Residence areas in their Abu Dhabi, Melbourne, New York and London lounge. The residence lounge is exclusively for Residence passengers, and they can bring guests. The lounge has a dedicated butler, and Greg was my butler for the majority of the afternoon.
The residence lounge has two doors, one in the main area of the lounge and one in the back corridor which is pictured above.
The lounge isn’t massive, but there’s no need to be. It’s very private, quiet and luxurious.
The ceiling features the same hanging pendants which are found in many of Etihad’s lounges around the world.
The lounge has enough seating for ten people, but I’d imagine it wouldn’t usually have ten people in there.
The leather is the same Poltrona Frau leather that’s found in the first class seats and the Residence.
Post from RICOH THETA. – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA
You’ll also notice the plates, cutlery, and glasses are quite different to what’s in first class. The plates are 18 carat gold designed by French company Bernardaud, The cutlery is 18 carat gold (on one side) which is designed by UK company Studio William, and the Glass is by Vera Wang.
Post from RICOH THETA. – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA
The lounge has a small bar/table area opposite the dining table which is where you can have light snacks and where the plates, menus, and cutlery is stored.
You also have a coffee machine and water available, but I recommend having a coffee prepared by the chef in the kitchen instead of the machine.
Etihad also has a second room which is either used for high-level VIP’s, Residence guests if the other lounge is occupied or large groups for meetings.
The lounge has very similar decor but is a little smaller and features different plates, cutlery, and glass. I’d assume if a Residence guest were using the area the cutlery, plates, and glass would be swapped out.
As I sat down, Greg brought some water and nuts to me on the sofa.
As it was nearing lunch time, I decided to start dining at the table.
Etihad knew my age beforehand, so they got me a non-alcoholic sparkling date drink which was actually very nice, I ended up having three bottles of it in the lounge.
The attention to detail is incredible, everything was plated beautifully and looked amazing.
Etihad has Yas Caviar in the lounges and onboard which is farmed in Abu Dhabi. Some have said it’s a little salty, but I found it perfectly fine.
The caviar also came with various condiments.
After having the caviar, I decided just to relax and get some work done. Greg provided me with some amenities for the lounge which are the same as the ones found onboard
I was also given a Residence luggage tag; you’ll see a lot of Residence branded things in this post.
After working for a few hours, I decided to have some more food. I choose to have a Palak Chicken Curry.
And for dessert, I decided to have the Apple meets Cinnamon.
The lounge also has it’s own private bathroom complete with a shower, it also has a prayer room.
Yes, bathrobes in the lounge!
I’d love to get a set of Residence branded robes one day 😉
The bathroom was spotless, everytime it would get used it would be cleaned. That’s impressive service.
The bathroom house Acqua Di Parma amenities which are also the same ones found onboard the aircraft.
While I had a shower the butler offered to shine my shoes which was pretty great; I also got my shirt pressed.
After the shower I decided to have more food, it was about 7:00 in the evening so I went for a dinner service. At 6:00 butler Greg’s shift had ended so I was greeted by Salim.
And here is the a La Carte menus:
And lastly the bar and lounge menu:
For dinner, I went with my favourite meals in the lounge, the Emirates Palace dining. It’s the same menu available for first class but is presented a little differently for Residence guests. The lounge will be getting an updated new version of the menu from February.
You’ll also notice the menus have the branding on them; it’s the small details that make it feel exclusive.
After having my dinner, I was offered some Arabic Coffee and Dates, of course, I couldn’t say no!
Warm coffee and sweet dates, a perfect mix.
I was also shown the menu’s for Style and Shave & Six Senses Spa, all of the options are free of charge for Residence guests.
I went with a 15-minute shoulder massage which was very soothing and was a perfect way to prepare for the long flight.
When I got back to the lounge, Salim had written down the names of the plates and cutlery for me. I mentioned to him that I love the design and he went out of his way to do write them down. Etihad, you never fail to impress me. It’s the small things like that which make the experience personal.
I also decided to take some photo’s of the plates and cutlery for show as it’s just beautiful.
Sadly my time in the lounge was over, and it was time to board. As a Residence passenger you’re picked up from the lounge by a staff member and transported to the gate by buggy, it felt kind of awesome and kind of awkward at the same time.