Review: Etihad First Class Lounge Abu Dhabi

Introduction: A Trip to the Conrad Maldives
Star Alliance First Class Lounge at LAX
Star Alliance Business Class Lounge at LAX
Asiana A380 First Class Los Angeles to Seoul
Asiana Business Class Lounge in Seoul
Thai Airways 777-300 Business Class Seoul to Hong Kong
Conrad Hong Kong
Qantas Business Class Lounge Hong Kong
Sri Lankan A321 Business Class Hong Kong to Colombo
Serendiva Colombo Airside Transit Hotel
Serendib Lounge
SriLankan Airways A330-300 Business Class Colombo to Male
Conrad Maldives:
– Seaplane Ride, Male Airport Lounge, and Arrival
– Beach Villa
– Deluxe Beach Villa
– Superior Water Villa
– Ithaa Undersea Restaurant: Cocktails
– Hilton Gold and Diamond Benefits: Mandhoo Tea, Free Breakfast at Vilu and Atoll Market
– Conrad Maldives Final Thoughts: The good, the bad, and the expensive
Leeli Lounge Maldives Airport
Etihad A320 Business Class Male to Abu Dhabi
First Class Etihad Lounge Abu Dhabi
Etihad A380 First Class Apartments


After landing from our Male flight we boarded the business class bus to the main terminal and made our way slowly through security. Immediately heading through the bustling terminal to the Etihad First Class Lounge we found it rather quickly for our three hour layover.

We ended up with about two hours to kill (or so we thought) before the grand finale of the Etihad A380 First Class Apartments! It being midnight in Abu Dhabi we were getting to be a bit tired after a full day at the Conrad Maldives, seaplane ride, etc. but I felt confident we could power through for what was supposedly one of the best lounges in the world!

Etihad First Class Lounge Abu Dhabi Review

We were greeted on the ground level of the terminal with an Etihad employee at a small kiosk and showed our boarding passes to be admitted upstairs. The entrance was classy with dark woods, fresh flowers, and elegant touches of gold.

Etihad First Class Lounge Abu Dhabi Entrance
Etihad First Class Lounge Abu Dhabi Entrance

As we entered we were faced with a long hallway with the main areas of the lounge to the left. The bathrooms, spa, and exercise room along the hallway to the right. I immediately requested a shower, knowing my shower on the A380 would be limited to five minutes. Quickly I was shown to a shower room, of which were divided up into men and women’s sections.

The bathrooms were beautifully finished but small and basic in size.

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Etihad First Class Lounge: A la carte dining and drinks

After my shower I went to explore the main parts of the lounge which started with two large areas of tables for a la carte dining with full table service:

Etihad First Class Lounge Abu Dhabi Entrance a la carte dining

Etihad First Class Lounge Abu Dhabi Dining Room
Etihad First Class Lounge Abu Dhabi Dining Room (Cigar Room is behind double doors in back of room)

There were additional seating options that curved around the large room including a “Relax and Recline” room as well as a media room.

Etihad First Class Lounge Abu Dhabi Seating Etihad First Class Lounge Abu Dhabi Seating 2

Etihad First Class Lounge Abu Dhabi Relaxation Room Entrance
Relax and Recline Room Entrance
Etihad First Class Lounge Abu Dhabi Relax and Recline Room
Relax and Recline Room

Other than some self-serve sodas and a cappuccino machine everything was done via the bartenders or table service so we decided to settle into a seat at one of the dining room tables and check out the menu:

Etihad First Class Lounge a la carte dining menu
Etihad First Class Lounge a la carte dining menu

The menu looked absolutely delicious and I immediately selected the scallops while my husband selected the sous vide beef loin. My scallops and his beef loin were both very average however:

Etihad First Class Lounge Abu Dhabi a la carte dining - scallops
Scallop Entree

The scallops were cooked to the right temperature but had no sear on them making the texture unappetizing as if they were steamed. It reminded me more of what I would expect to get up in the air versus on the ground where the chefs have a full kitchen setup to sear appropriately. After all the name of the dish was “Seared Scallops”!

My husbands beef loin was similar – cooked to a perfect temperature but almost as if it had been reheated vs made there on a hot grill or flat top to impart a nice sear.

In the good news, the drinks were excellent. Here are a few pages of the options including tons of specialty cocktail options!

Etihad First Class Lounge White and Sparkling Wine
White wine and Champagne options
Etihad First Class Lounge Red Wine
Red Wine options
Etihad First Class Lounge Signature Cocktails
Signature Cocktails
Etihad First Class Lounge Mocktails
Extensive Mocktail options
Etihad First Class Lounge Cocktails
Additional Cocktails
Etihad First Class Lounge Whiskey and Scotch
Whiskey and Scotch

The bartenders were excellent and able to whip up just about any other cocktail we could throw at them as well!

Etihad First Class Lounge: Spa, Cigar Room, and more

A few interesting items of note. One, I knew we were entitled to a spa treatment as first class passengers but it, or any other features, were never mentioned to us. This is a trend I’ve seen at multiple first class lounges where you would expect the service to be more personalized. In my tiredness I forgot to ask about spa treatments when we arrived and by the time I did was told there were no slots available.

The Cigar Room is another feature of the first class lounge featuring a few complimentary options as well as options to pay up. I have no pictures of the room because I got a bit of a stink eye from the men in the room (that definitively reeked of “what is a woman doing in here”). But do have the list of options and the cigars:

Etihad First Class Lounge Cigar Selection
Etihad First Class Lounge Cigar Selection

Etihad First Class Lounge Cigar Choices

Etihad First Class Lounge Cigar Selections

In addition there was also a general smoking room outside of the Cigar room.

Etihad First Class Lounge: Final Thoughts

I just…didn’t get it. To be fair we were tired after a long day. But, nothing about this lounge struck me as especially amazing. Especially since we didn’t get to take advantage of a complimentary spa treatment. Sure the decor was classy, the drinks were good, and there was sit-down dining.  However, I think it takes much more than that to make a “best” lounge in the world.

Anyone else not amazed by hyped up “best lounges in the world”?

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