When it comes to uber luxury commercial travel, nothing can compare commercially to the Residence by Etihad. The ”suite” consists of 3 rooms, a living room, bathroom, and bedroom. The Residence is featured only onboard the A380 which operates to Sydney, Melbourne, Mumbai, New York, and London. The Residence also has a butler who can service your any need and an in-flight chef who can prepare almost anything you desire. I’m extremely lucky to be able to review The Etihad Residence from Abu Dhabi To Sydney, and I hope you enjoy the review of the most luxurious suite commercially in the sky.
The whole experience doesn’t start in the air when booking you’re able to contact a VIP concierge 24/7 about any queries you have. The chauffeur is different to what you’ll find in first class, you get your own private lounge, and you have assistance before and after the flight from Etihad. (More about all of this in a different post later on)
As you arrive at the airport, there’s a whole team waiting and eager to look after you, they’ll handle your bags, passport, check-in and anything in between, the process is seamless. You’ll then be guided to your very own private Residence lounge to use before your flight.
The lounge has its own butler, an extensive range of meal and beverage options and even a menu for complimentary spa and shave treatments.
For an extensive look inside the lounge, please click here to see more.
After spending some time in the lounge, it’s time for boarding and no; you don’t walk yourself there, a buggy will pick you up and take you to the gate.
You can choose to board either first or last, for my flight I decided to board first. As you arrive at the gate, you’ll be escorted all the way to the front where you’ll meet your butler. For my flight, I had requested that Butler Johan and Chef Imke be onboard my flight. I requested them as I know them personally and cannot speak highly enough of them; they made the experience just incredible.
Johan met me at the gate, and we boarded before anyone else. He showed me my seat and gave me a tour of the whole suite. The first area of the suite is called the living room. This is where you either yourself and guest sit for take-off and landing, sit or dine or even just sit and relax.
The living room features a very clear 32-inch flat screen TV, and you’re given Bose QC20’s to use during the flight.
The living room’s ottoman features two storage compartments which can fit quite a lot.
The living room is very spacious and a great place to eat, watch a movie and just relax.
Down the hallway, you’ll find your second area, the ensuite shower bathroom. The bathroom features a vanity mirror, toilet, full shower and Acqua Di Parma amenities, different to what’s found in First Class.
The bathroom is very similar to the one in First Class, but there are some small details that differentiate the two.
The shower in the Residence usually runs for 5 minutes but can be ten if you wish.
The bed is probably the most popular and well-known aspect of the Residence; it’s a 6 foot 10 inches double bed in the sky.
Back to the living room for departure…
As you arrive back at your seat, you’ll find a welcome tray with dates, Arabic coffee, a hot towel and a personal welcome note.
Around this time Chef Imke came to say hello and welcomed me onboard. She also provided me with the menus for the flight.
Shortly after we departed Abu Dhabi just behind schedule due to Oman air traffic control, but I wasn’t complaining 😉
As the seat belt signs went off, Johan brought me some wifi vouchers to use, each is valid for 24 hours and one for each device.
Johan returned a few minutes later to presented me with the pre-meal service snack tray and to offer a beverage. As Etihad knew my age they had loaded non-alcoholic champagne on the flight and I decided to try it, it was well, very sweet…
Not long after I decided to start dining. As you’ll notice those beautiful Bernarduad gold plates are onboard.
I just love the design!
Vera Wang glasses are also used onboard.
Another thing I love about the Residence is the branding, the attention to detail is very well done.
To start, I had some type of Arabic bread which was really nice.
For the appetiser, I had the Abu Dhabi caviar, and it came with a few types of condiments.
The caviar is served with a mother of pearl spoon instead of a metal spoon which can alter the taste; the caviar tasted fantastic in the air.
After the appetiser, I had the mango and ginger sorbet to cleanse the palette.
As I had quite a bit of food in the lounge, I was feeling like a light meal, and I choose the chicken breast.
And for dessert Imke surprised me with two dishes, both tasted brilliant and looked fantastic.
The food was immaculate, and I have blown away AGAIN!. Keep in mind the flight was full, and Imke was able to create these dishes and food for nine other passengers in first, the crew work extremely hard and do an incredible job.
After dinner, I had a cappuccino and decided I would go and have some sleep, by this time I was half sleep as I didn’t sleep the night before due to being so excited. Johan had turned the bed down for me, similar to a hotel and I was ready for some solid rest.
The amenity kit, slippers and Christian Lacroix pyjamas were waiting on my bed for me.
I’ve tried various types of airline pyjamas, but these were next level, extremely soft and almost like silk.
On the left-hand side of the bed, you’ll find the TV remote control and a panel for light controls.
The side table also has two draws for personal items.
On the right-hand side of the bed, you find the headphone port and a panic button which alerts the crew, very similar to a call button.
The bed is very comfortable, the mattress is firm but comfortable, and the pillows are well cushioned, not thin which I loved.
Post from RICOH THETA. – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA
The bed has a storage compartment underneath which is where I stored my main carry-on bag. There’s a heap of space so you could have 2 or maybe even three bags.
The bedroom does air vents; the crew control the temperature so you can tell them if it’s too hot or cold and they’ll happily adjust it for you.
The bedroom also features a full-size mirror.
I didn’t notice at first but was told this is a viewing hole for the the crew. They won’t use it when a guest is in the room, but they often use it when it’s empty as some passengers occasionally just enter the residence and lay in the bed.
The bed also has a seatbelt which has to be used when sleeping.
I had a fantastic 8-9 hours of sleep and woke up feeling relaxed and still full of food. I got up, and Johan prepared the dining table for breakfast. At this point were about 3 hours out of Sydney.
The flight was going so quickly, but I wanted it to be longer!
To start off, I decided to have the fruit plate, pastries and some juice.
And for the main, I had fresh cooked poached eggs, veal rasher bacon, and hollandaise sauce.
Post from RICOH THETA. – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA
The living room has a chilled beverage draw with water, soft drinks and two Vera Wang glasses.
Each side of the seat has identical power, USB and headphone outlets.
Something that surprised me was the bathrobe, I thought it was pretty cool to have on the plane, and it’s got the Residence logo embroidered into it.
After breakfast, I decided to freshen up and have a shower before arrival into Sydney. I elected to have 10 minutes, and it was perfect. There’s something amazing about showering at 38’000 feet.
The shower also housed more Acqua Di Parma amenities.
Residence embroidered towels, just awesome.
And shortly after my shower we sadly commenced descent into Sydney.
And we’ve arrived into Sydney.
Of course, I had to get a picture with my two favourite Etihad crew!
It was almost upsetting to leave such an incredible flight.
As I disembarked, there was Etihad staff waiting to pick me and drive me to immigration on the buggy.
As I said in my lounge review the feeling of the buggy transport is a little awkward but you kind of feel like a King.
We passed immigration within 2 minutes in a whole separate line, we then arrived at the baggage carousel and there my bags were, already waiting for me. The baggage carousel hadn’t even started yet; my bags were in a separate area on the plane. This happens for Residence guests and members belonging to ‘Etihad Exclusive’.
The Etihad staff handled my bags and escorted me to my awaiting chauffeur. I kid you not, I got from the aircraft door to the car in just 5 minutes, Insane!
I’m not sure of the car models so if you know what they are let me know; I stuffed them up in the previous post 😉
Without a doubt, the Residence is the best thing I’ve and probably will ever fly. The experience is flawless, and I would definitely recommend it. It can fit two people, but for one it’s much more spacious. Considering the prices have lowered I would look at it instead of 2 first class tickets as it’s pretty close in pricing.