Etihad Airways has today officially opened its new flagship First Class Lounge & Spa at Abu Dhabi International Airport’s Terminal 3. The spectacular new space showcases the airline’s commitment to providing unparalleled and aspirational hospitality experiences.
Inspired by the world’s most prestigious hotels, private members’ clubs and fine dining establishments, the lounge is an ultra-exclusive lifestyle environment which tells the airline’s acclaimed guest experience and hospitality story with unrivalled design, style and comfort, world class dining, and bespoke beauty and relaxation services.
The lounge features 16 unique zones designed to ensure that guests can relax, re-energise and be entertained in total luxury before boarding their flight. An à la carte restaurant, showcase bar, fitness room, cigar lounge, Six Senses Spa, Style & Shave barbers, nail bar, TV room, secluded relaxation room, prayer room and children’s play room ensure that all guests receive a highly personalised experience and intuitive service.
Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways’ Chief Executive Officer, said: “Our new First Class Lounge & Spa is the jewel in the crown of our new lounge offerings worldwide and represents the best of our home city of Abu Dhabi. It is a showcase of intelligent product design, innovation, and superlative hospitality and service. This is not just a lounge but the ultimate airline hospitality experience and one which perfectly mirrors Etihad Airways’ evolution into the best airline in the world.
“Continuing our journey of innovation, this new dedicated First Class environment demonstrates our on-going commitment to developing world-class products as we continue to reimagine travel.”
Measuring just under 1,700 m², and boasting expansive views of the airport, the new facility is open round-the-clock for the exclusive use of guests of The Residence, Etihad First Class, Etihad Guest Exclusive, Etihad Guest Platinum members (plus one guest), Etihad Airways Partner (EAP) airline First Class guests, EAP ‘Invitation only’ members (plus two guests) and EAP equivalent Platinum members (plus one guest).
Shane O’Hare, Etihad Airways’ Senior Vice President Marketing, said: “We are reimagining service and hospitality. Whilst this physical environment is truly remarkable, we have placed special emphasis on creating an aspirational luxury lifestyle space in line with our legendary inflight service offering. The result is the finest airline lounge and spa experience in the world.”
Guests of The Residence enjoy the exclusivity of their own private space discreetly located adjacent to the main lounge entrance. The secluded area boasts a dedicated Savoy-trained Butler, custom-made Poltrona Frau Italian leather armchairs and sofas, its own shower room stocked with a range of Acqua di Parma products, a prayer room, and private dining.
Guests of the First Class Lounge & Spa will be attended to by a number of expertly trained staff – all of whom have undergone a rigorous selection process. The lounge features a General Manager, Concierge, Maître d’Hotel, Savoy-trained Butlers, chefs and mixologists among its highly trained lounge team.
The Executive Chef brings with him immense experience from a long career with leading hotel brands including Ritz Carlton, Shangri-La, and Intercontinental. His team of skilled Sous Chefs, Demi Chefs, and Chef de Partie create superior haute cuisine dining served at an à la carte dining area. Menus are changed frequently and feature a choice of Arabian, Indian and international cuisine made to order at any time of day. The kitchen prepares all dining in-house using the freshest, locally sourced, seasonal produce. Guests will also be able to experience a unique five-course Emirati tasting menu, developed by chefs from Mezlai at the prestigious Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi. A casual dining and bar snack menu is also provided.
The sculptural showcase bar, which is now a striking feature of Etihad Airways’ new collection of global lounges including the recently opened New York and Melbourne facilities, is stocked with 75 premium spirits, champagne and aperitifs.
A bespoke cocktail menu has been specially developed in partnership with leading London-based beverage consultancy Fluid Movement. The signature mocktail drink is the Abu Dhabi, which uses Middle-Eastern flavours such as aromatic cold brew coffee infused with cardamom and sprayed with delicate rose water. All mocktails and cocktails featured on the menu are one-of-a-kind and have been named after Etihad’s leading destinations including New York, Melbourne, Shanghai, Paris, Mumbai, Sydney and London. Using ingredients inspired by these cities, cocktails and mocktails are all hand-created by specially trained mixologists, using syrups and garnishes such as candy floss and dehydrated rhubarb. The bar also offers a selection of ‘modern classics’, such as the Mach 10 Mojito. Negroni lovers will be delighted to know their favourite aperitif is mixed, barrelled and aged behind the bar.
The cigar lounge provides a choice of nine carefully selected brands including Hoyo de Monterray, Cohiba, Bolivar, Montecristo, Arturo Fuente and Romeo Y Julieta from its own humidor. Each has been expertly matched with a number of whiskies and cognacs.
The Six Senses Spa comprises three treatment rooms with shower facilities. First Class guests can enjoy a complimentary treatment, while guests in The Residence are offered two complimentary treatments.
In keeping with a focus on health and wellbeing, the Relax & Recline area features a large video wall made up of 27 individual screens, soothing sound and lighting, and is furnished with six Poltona Frau leather recliners. The fitness room is equipped with state-of-the-art Technogym treadmills and cross trainers, and male and female washrooms and showers.
The Style & Shave area is staffed by talented barbers offering a series of hair and shave services, including one complimentary express treatment and a shoe shine service. The nail bar provides hair and nail services, including nail art, and one complimentary express treatment.
H.E. Eng. Mohamed Mubarak Al Mazrouei, Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi Airports, said: “We are delighted to support Etihad Airways with the launch of their First Class Lounge at Abu Dhabi International Airport. This new facility will offer guests a truly exclusive and premium experience, and is a reflection of the continued commitment by the airline and the airport to offer the best possible services to passengers flying through the UAE capital.”
From an interior design perspective, the principles of style, space and serenity are complemented by Etihad Airways’ distinctive ‘Facets of Abu Dhabi’ branding. With its geometric patterns and colour palette inspired by the UAE landscape, it is the ultimate expression of 21st century Arabian modernism.
The new facility adds to the airline’s expanding collection of 14 Premium Lounges including those recently launched in New York and Melbourne in addition to Premium Lounges in Abu Dhabi (Terminals 1 and 3), Frankfurt, London, Manchester, Dublin, Paris, Washington DC., and Sydney. At Abu Dhabi Airport, Etihad Airways also operates a dedicated Premium Lounge within the unique US Preclearance facility, and a Premium Arrivals Lounge. A new First and Business Class Lounge at Los Angeles LAX airport will follow in the coming months.