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We had our Etihad chaffeur scheduled to pick us up from the Bonnington Jumeirah at 9pm, and it was about a 45 minute drive to Abu Dhabi airport. We were dropped off directly in front of the Etihad Business Class check in area at Terminal 3. The entire check-in area was dedicated exclusively for business class passengers. Wow!
We arrived pretty early for our 2:15am departure, so we were the only ones at the check in area. A check-in agent assisted us at one of the many empty counters, and very quickly we were checked in. What’s great about Etihad’s business check-in is that it has its own security and immigration channel, so within a few minutes of checking in our bags, we were already in the sterile terminal area!
After clearing security, we headed for the Etihad Airways Premium Lounge, which I was pretty excited to visit. We had a few hours to spend here before boarding our flight to Paris.
We followed the airport signage towards the lounge, which is located by gate 35. The lounge is open 24hrs a day. Admittance to the lounge is open to any Etihad Airways passengers in business class or higher, as well as business class passengers on Etihad Airways partner airlines.
There wasn’t any queue at the reception when we arrived. In fact we were one of the few passengers in the entire lounge at the time. Eventually the lounge got pretty busy closer to our scheduled departure time.
The lounge was large and felt very comfortable, with elegant decor that really reflected the Etihad brand. There are a variety of different seating options, from personal lounge chairs, sofa bench seating, as well as lounge sofas. The lighting was bright and warm, with lots of ambient lighting.
The bar looked amazing, although it was a bit early for a drink.
There are three large buffet areas spread across the lounge. There were tons of variety and choices available, including local Middle Eastern cuisines, as well as Asian and Western.
There are plenty of two-seater dining tables for enjoying your meal.
Further back in the lounge was the business center. The area had higher wall partitions for more privacy, and several iMac workstations were available for use. There were also personal TV pods with comfortable looking lounge chairs, which I thought were pretty amazing.
At the very end of the lounge was a hair salon, should you feel the need to get a haircut or shave before the flight. I thought this was a very unique and creative service to provide in an airport lounge!
After settling down in the lounge a bit and having a few drinks, I went to take a shower. The shower rooms are located in the Five Senses Spa, located beside the hair salon. An attendant from the spa guided me towards one of the rooms available.
The shower room was pleasant, but a bit small, and lacked some space for me to place personal items. The walk-in shower was great, featuring a rainfall shower head. With that said, the shower suite wasn’t quite to the level of the shower at The Wing or The Pier lounges in Hong Kong.
The sliding door was controlled by a nifty door control panel, which I thought looked pretty cool. I do admit though, I was a bit scared it would somehow malfunction and the door would slide wide open while I was still in the shower.
The washrooms in the lounge were beautiful as well, with a dedicated attendant wiping down the sink area and keeping the facility spotless.
The Etihad Premium Lounge in Abu Dhabi Terminal 3 is fantastic. The lounge is modern, elegant and spacious, with tons of seating, although it can get busy during rush hour times. The food selection and quality is one of the best I’ve seen in terms of lounges. Unfortunately I didn’t try out the hair salon or the spa services, but I thought they are very unique offerings in an airport lounge. The showers were good, but not in the same league as the ones in lounges such as The Wing in Hong Kong. Overall, I’d highly recommend spending some time here next time you’re in T3 at Abu Dhabi airport.
Check out the Etihad Premium Lounge at the beginning of this video trip report on our YouTube channel:
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Alvin is an aviation geek, enthusiast photographer, and software developer with a goal of exploring the world. He uses mileage programs to redeem premium flight travel, and shares his experiences here on OneMoreWeekToGo.