May 7, 2017

Review: Etihad Airways First Class Lounge & Spa Abu Dhabi

Planning & Booking
British Airways First Class 747-400 Denver to London
British Airways Concorde Room LHR
British Airways First Class 747-400 London to Dubai
JW Marriott Marquis Dubai
Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa Dubai
Park Hyatt Dubai
Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi
Etihad Airways First Class Lounge & Spa Abu Dhabi
Etihad Airways First Class 777-200LR Abu Dhabi to Los Angeles

We left the Hyatt Capital Gate in a cab around 5:45 AM.  It was still dark out and traffic was very light.  I think we made it to the airport in 15 minutes.

AUH Etihad Airways First Class Check-In
We pulled up to first class check-in and made our way to an open check-in desk.

Check-in seating
Check-in desks
While there is still construction landslide, the space is very modern and certainly dulls the feeling of being in an airport.  We had boarding passes issued in a matter of minutes and were on our way through fast track security and immigration.

Etihad Airways AUH First Class Lounge & Spa
We had visited the old lounge in March of last year and while we had a decent experience, it was late (or early in the morning depending on how you look at it) and we were tired.  We found the lounge just after security and were welcomed inside.

The lounge has a number of features - a large sit down dining room, stunning bar, views of the tarmac and control tower, a kids room, spa, and a gym!

We made our way to an open seating area with views of the tarmac.  I fired up my laptop and started watching the football.

Go Buffs!
It was the last regular season game for the Colorado Buffaloes (my alma mater) and this was important - a win and they were in the Pac 12 Championship.  I ordered a cappuccino and a glass of Champagne to get things going.

Emily made her way around the lounge taking pictures while I watched the game.

Self serve drinks
Our favorite part of the lounge was the date bar.  They must have had a dozen different kinds of dates to try.  Really unique and cool amenity.

Date bar
The Buffs were winning so we decided to celebrate with breakfast and more Champagne.  As you would expect, the food was fantastic.

Etihad Airways AUH lounge breakfast
We didn't get to visit the gym or the spa but maybe next time. You could easily kill hours in this lounge relaxing, working out, eating, and drinking.  There is also a cigar smoking room!

View from the lounge
Around 7:45, we left the lounge for pre-clearance and the pre-clearance lounge.  Global Entry worked flawlessly until I was through and waiting for Emily for what felt like 20 minutes but was probably more like 4 minutes.  Apparently the USCBP agent didn't like that were traveling together but going through immigration separately.  We are married but we have different last names - have never been scolded for that anywhere else in the world.  It ended up being no big deal and we stopped in the pre-clearance lounge for a few minutes for a couple of waters before lining up to board our waiting 777 ride to LAX.

Final Thoughts:
I much prefer the new lounge to the old one.  It is spacious, filled with amenities, and the food/drinks were excellent.  I'm confident we'll be back in the future and look forward to spending more time in the lounge visiting the gym and the spa.  The lounge did get crowded as we approached departure times for the morning bank of flights, especially the sit down dining area.  Service was excellent with our server checking back on us every 10 minutes or so while seated.

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