It has been almost 2 years since Etihad Airways released their top notch and phenomenal “The Residence” on their A380 which feature a living room, separate bedroom and ensuite shower room, it is the only three-room suite on a commercial airline, designed for two people travelling together. The fare was beyond most people’s budget reach, Abu Dhabi to London was priced at nearly $20,000 one way! Recently,

The fare was beyond most people’s budget reach, Abu Dhabi to London was priced at nearly $20,000 one way! Recently, Etihad have re-priced the Residence fare and made it a little more affordable. Not many people that I know have flown it, and there are very few complete review of what you will get for that outrageous price you paid. With that curiosity, I jumped on the bandwagon and bought the cheapest fare available, a one way from Abu Dhabi to Mumbai to see what this top product offers!

Watch the full video review:

 

VIP Concierge Assistance

After 2 hours of my booking, the VIP Concierge of Etihad called and greeted me. My preference of butler, (male or female), dietary preference and arrival details have all been noted. There was a small delay on the day of departure, the VIP Concierge kept me informed and updated throughout the whole planning process.

 

Limo to pick up

My day start with not only one, but TWO car showed up to collect me. A white upgraded Audi A8 limousine and a Toyota Previa to carry my luggage which I have none.

etihad residence

Etihad Limo pick up at Abu Dhabi

No Check-in required, straight to the Residence Lounge

I was warmly greeted by 2 Etihad host on arrival at airport. They were already waiting at the doorstep before my Limo arrive. I was surprised that no check-in was required, they have already issued my boarding pass and escorted me through the immigration and security screening. We headed straight to the Residence Lounge which is hidden inside First Class Lounge. The only admission to the lounge is to fly the Residence. No other ways, period. When I arrive at the lounge, my lounge butler; Mr Salah is already waiting me at the door to welcome me.

For a Full Review of the Residence Lounge, please click here.

Lounge Entrance

Upon entering the lounge, it really took my breath away….. It is luxury, private, spacious and please to the eye. The lounge has the right size, not too large or small. The lounge design is in the same contemporary luxury style that underpins Etihad lounge design. Apart from a generous lounging area, it offers private dining up to 4 passengers at the sametime. It also has a own bar setup on the side table with coffee machine. My personal lounge butler gave me a tour of the Residence Lounge, it has its own private bathroom include shower. It also feature a private prayer room with cleaning area.

After the tour, before I ask anything. My personal butler Mr Salah already have the champagne open and ready to pour….The hospitality was so wonderful. My butler Mr Salah is French-Algerian, he is incredibly friendly and humble. We have a good connection from the beginning!

A video posted by Sam Chui (@samchuiphotos) on


After some lounging, it is time for lunch in the private setting of the Residence Lounge. The dining ware is designed by Vera Wang specially for The Residence.

The canapes is Abu Dhabi farmed Caviar. I have my share of doubt about this before trying, but it was surprisingly good and creamy. I love how the Caviar is presented, with 3 set of silver spoon and a pearl spoon!

I enjoyed talking with my butler, Salah a lot, he has incredible knowledge about all the lounge offering. We found out we have a few common friends at Etihad and we shared our love of France, of course.

The Executive Sous Chef of Etihad, Steve personally came to deliver me the first course and every course after. What an honour to dine like this!

Starter: Chicken Liver Pate, beautifully plated.


Main Course: Grill Duck Breast I think Etihad probably have the best plating I’ve seen in any airline fine dining.


Dessert: Mille Feuille

The food taste fine despite the ongoing challenge to get the fresh produce and ingredients in the Middle East. I love the presentation even more than the taste! On a personal level, I still think Air France Salon La Premiere offer the best food but Etihad have certainly tried very hard here and deserve good recognition. After a full lunch, Salah suggest we walk over to the Cigar Lounge to try some of the fine cigar it has on offer.

Residence passengers are entitled to try any cigar free of charge. Salah has incredible knowledge on Cigar, he patiently explained every Cigar on offer. I eventually settled on Hoyo de Monte.

Well, I have too much fun and time is my enemy. I ran out of time quickly while I was enjoying everything it has on offer… In case you have more time, there are many more facilities (Spa, Shave, Styling Salon, Gym, Relaxation area and full bar) you can enjoy in the First Class Lounge. The Residence Lounge is almost like a 2nd home but in a great luxury way. I feel totally relaxed with unmatched attention, care, privacy and luxury. The butler is at my service anytime.

I strongly recommend to arrive the airport at least 4 hours or more prior to your flight departure time to enjoy the excellent facilities and benefit associated with your Residence Flight. Residence guest are entitled for complimentary Spa and shave/style. Also not to mention the fine cigar and a glass of cognac!

For a Full Review of the Residence Lounge, please click here.

 

Boarding

Etihad printed me 3 set of boarding pass so I can keep two of them as souvenirs. Nice thoughts.
I was transported to Gate 61 by this golf buggy below, among my escort, driver and a bell boy.

Want to continue reading? Click below to read the full review at Sam’s website!