Review – The Etihad Residence, Abu Dhabi To Sydney

by Zac George
a bed with white pillows and a bag on it

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.

Etihad Residence Lounge, Abu Dhabi

For an extensive look inside the lounge, please click here to see more.

Pouring of the sparkling date

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.

Buggy 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, My Inflight Butler

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.

Etihad Residence Livingroom

The living room features a very clear 32-inch flat screen TV, and you’re given Bose QC20’s to use during the flight.

Etihad Residence Livingroom

The living room’s ottoman features two storage compartments which can fit quite a lot.

Etihad Residence Livingroom

The living room is very spacious and a great place to eat, watch a movie and just relax.

Etihad Residence Livingroom

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.


Etihad Residence Hallway

The bathroom is very similar to the one in First Class, but there are some small details that differentiate the two.

Etihad Residence Bathroom


Etihad Residence Bathroom


Etihad Residence Acqua Di Parma Amenities


Residence Toilet Paper

The shower in the Residence usually runs for 5 minutes but can be ten if you wish.

Etihad Residence Shower

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.

Etihad Residence Bedroom

Back to the living room for departure…

Etihad Residence Living Room

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.

Residence Welcome Note


Residence Welcome Note


Residence Welcome Note


Residence Welcome Note


Residence Egyptian Cotton Blankets


Residence Bose QC25’s

Around this time Chef Imke came to say hello and welcomed me onboard. She also provided me with the menus for the flight.

Custom Named Menu

Residence Menu

Residence Menu A LA Carte

Residence Breakfast Menu

Residence Lounge And Grill Menu

Champagne and White Wine Menu

Red And Dessert Wine List

Residence Alcohol Menu

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.

Residence Wifi Vouchers

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…

Snack Tray

Not long after I decided to start dining. As you’ll notice those beautiful Bernarduad gold plates are onboard.

Residence Dining

I just love the design!

Residence Gold Bernardaud Plates

Vera Wang glasses are also used onboard.

Residence Vera Wang Glass

Another thing I love about the Residence is the branding, the attention to detail is very well done.

Residence Butter

To start, I had some type of Arabic bread which was really nice.

Bread Plate


Amuse Bouche

For the appetiser, I had the Abu Dhabi caviar, and it came with a few types of condiments.

Abu Dhabi Caviar

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.

Abu Dhabi Caviar


Caviar Condiments


Abu Dhabi Caviar

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.

Chicken Breast

And for dessert Imke surprised me with two dishes, both tasted brilliant and looked fantastic.

Surprise Desserts

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.

Turned Down Bed

The amenity kit, slippers and Christian Lacroix pyjamas were waiting on my bed for me.

Residence Amenity Kit


Residence Amenity Kit


Acqua Di Parma Amenities

I’ve tried various types of airline pyjamas, but these were next level, extremely soft and almost like silk.

Residence Exclusive Christian Lacroix Pyjamas


Residence Slippers

On the left-hand side of the bed, you’ll find the TV remote control and a panel for light controls.

Residence Bed Side Table

The side table also has two draws for personal items.

Residence Bed Side Table


Residence Light Controls And Ports


Residence Bed Entertainment Remote


Side Table Top Draw


Side Table Bottom Draw

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.

Panic Button And Headphone Port

The bed is very comfortable, the mattress is firm but comfortable, and the pillows are well cushioned, not thin which I loved.

Residence Bedroom TV Screen


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.

Residence Bed Storage

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.

Residence Bedroom Air Vents

The bedroom also features a full-size mirror.

Residence Bedroom 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.

Crew Viewing Hole

The bed also has a seatbelt which has to be used when sleeping.

Residence Bed Seatbelt

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.

Residence Living Room

The flight was going so quickly, but I wanted it to be longer!

Residence Living Room

To start off, I decided to have the fruit plate, pastries and some juice.

Residence Breakfast

And for the main, I had fresh cooked poached eggs, veal rasher bacon, and hollandaise sauce.

Residence Breakfast

Post from RICOH THETA. – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

Residence Living Room

The living room has a chilled beverage draw with water, soft drinks and two Vera Wang glasses.

Chilled Drink Compartment

Each side of the seat has identical power, USB and headphone outlets.

In-seat Power


Seat Controls


Seat Controls


Entertainment Remote Control


Reading Materials


Seat Controls


Seat Controls

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.

Residence Living Room


Residence Bathrobe

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.

Etihad Residence Shower

The shower also housed more Acqua Di Parma amenities.

Acqua Di Parma Shower Products

Residence embroidered towels, just awesome.

Residence Branded Towels

And shortly after my shower we sadly commenced descent into Sydney.

Sydney CBD


Sydney CBD

And we’ve arrived into Sydney.

Sydney Airport

Of course, I had to get a picture with my two favourite Etihad crew!

Myself, Imke and Johan In the Residence

It was almost upsetting to leave such an incredible flight.

Etihad Residence Living Room

As I disembarked, there was Etihad staff waiting to pick me and drive me to immigration on the buggy.

Buggy to Immigration

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.

Buggy to Immigration

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’.

Bags awaiting my arrival

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!

Audi Chauffeur waiting for me at arrivals

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 😉

Mercedes Van for bags

Bottom Line

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.

I would like to give a huge shoutout to both Imke and Johan for making the experience truly unforgettable. Be sure to follow their Instagram accounts.

You may also like


Ben January 31, 2017 - 8:17 am

How did you pay for this and what did it cost?

tan February 2, 2017 - 9:02 pm



Keith Smith January 31, 2017 - 9:39 am

Great report. The pictures are fabulous. And loved your suit … great job 🙂

Zac George February 1, 2017 - 2:24 pm

Thanks Keith 🙂

Teja January 31, 2017 - 4:30 pm

Great work Zac! Nice picture in the end with the suit and all. I wish I lived somewhere close to where Etihad flew an A380. Looks like a once in a lifetime experience.

Zac George February 1, 2017 - 2:24 pm

Thanks Teja 🙂

Susan February 1, 2017 - 2:19 pm

Great review, Zac!

Zac George February 1, 2017 - 2:22 pm

Thank you Susan 🙂

Dominik Zmuda February 1, 2017 - 3:44 pm

Amazing review and great pictures!

Zac George February 1, 2017 - 8:19 pm

Thank you very much Dominik 🙂

Ruddiger February 1, 2017 - 7:04 pm

…….. It all looks amazing, but it has got to be said – for such a premium prodict, the Champagne selection is…. well….. pedestrian!
Billecart Salmon?? Qantas serve that in Business class
Bilecart NV Rose?? BA serve that in Club
Blanc de Blanc Grand Cru2004 ????? £95 a bottle from Tesco…..

Whilst I realize this is a petty first world complaint – for a product that is supposed to be the ‘worlds most luxurious’ – it is a pretty significant drop of the ball.

Zac George February 1, 2017 - 8:19 pm

This is just the standard menu, as a Residence passenger you can request any beverage you would like to have onboard. Obviously I couldn’t due to my age. The list also changes every 3 months and they do have some wines/champagne that isn’t on the menu.

Isaac February 4, 2017 - 6:23 pm

Great review – just slightly jealous seeing someone younger than me at 18 flying in an airline ‘seat’ that cost about half of what it is costing me to get my commercial pilots licence here in Australia!

MattJ February 7, 2017 - 1:00 am

On one note – I can understand using a DSLR for reviews and as I have two 1DX’s and a 5DIII for my work, in ten years being a photographer I wouldn’t bother using one for in-flight snaps.

I recently received an Ōlloclip lens set for my iPhone 7. I even shot my recent EY J flight with it. Can bloggers not start using them?

Would have had killer Residence captures Zac!!

QueenoftheSkyPesos March 7, 2017 - 4:13 am

Hey, it’s Imke! Was she already scheduled on your flight?

Zac George March 7, 2017 - 9:15 am

Hi there, I’m not sure if she was scheduled on the flight but I requested her to be the operating chef on the flight. The flight was absolutely full and she did an amazing job. Thank you for reading 🙂

John March 27, 2017 - 8:09 pm

Looks amazing! How many points did you have to burn?

Zac George March 27, 2017 - 8:11 pm

This flight I paid for, if you were to use points it’s upwards of 2,000,000 points one-way.

Brad March 30, 2017 - 3:54 pm

your parents paid for…

Zac George March 30, 2017 - 3:59 pm

As I posted after the review and In my CNN interview, I saved for 2 years to do it. Worth every cent. Just because I’m 17 doesn’t mean I don’t work.

Michael April 25, 2017 - 2:57 am

Your reviews lose context if you don’t mention the price of travel and how you booked.

Otherwise you should just write for a luxury travel site.

MEOW April 26, 2017 - 2:55 am

Z$, great report, you are sure giving lucky a run for his money!

Chris P. Bacon May 13, 2017 - 8:50 am

Bank of mum & dad at work.

“Kind of feel like a king”. Oh dear.

DS WP May 15, 2017 - 2:27 pm

Hi zac.
I admire your perseveration saving for two years to take this flight. It makes it all the more special knowing you earnt it rather than it being just handed to you.
What strikes me as being odd is why do all these high end flights eg first class and the residence have such mainstream beer. Surely they could find some artisan brewer who brews a stunning ipa or a lovely stout. It cant be that hard.

Alvin | Young Travelers of Hong Kong May 16, 2017 - 12:47 am

Looks like Ben also got Johan on his flight.

@ Chris P. Bacon – Go fry yourself.

Fritz L. May 24, 2017 - 1:55 pm

Trust funder.

Points From the Pacific | Million Mile Secrets August 4, 2017 - 6:30 pm

[…] was definitely flying Etihad’s Residence onboard the A380 from Abu Dhabi to Sydney at the start of the year.  I saved for 2 years to do […]

J August 4, 2017 - 11:31 pm

All these people who didnt read that he saved for 2 years for this trip..

Add Child as An Authorized User | Million Mile Secrets June 1, 2018 - 12:59 am

[…] Your kid might end up like Zac who writes Points From the Pacific.  He started collecting miles and points at the age of 14.  And at age 17 earlier this year, he used miles to fly Etihad’s Residence! […]

Crazy Rich Asians: Does the Airline in the Movie Actually Exists? - Travel Gadget Reviews August 22, 2018 - 4:37 pm

[…] Review – The Etihad Residence, Abu Dhabi To Sydney […]

Points From the Pacific August 14, 2020 - 12:05 am

[…] was definitely flying Etihad’s Residence onboard the A380 from Abu Dhabi to Sydney at the start of the year.  I saved for 2 years to do […]

Comments are closed.