My next stop during my layover at AUH was the Etihad Airways First Class Lounge and Spa. This visit happened just a couple of weeks after this lounge opened.
The lounge isn’t enormous like the Qatar Airways Al Safwa lounge or the Emirates First Class lounge in Dubai, but it’s tastefully appointed and has plenty of awesome amenities.
They’ll serve you food just about anywhere, and they specifically have a bar/lounge food menu. There’s also a limited self-service food station, but there are people roaming around the lounge who are ready to take your order and bring you food wherever you are.
There’s also a cigar room, a workout area, and a spa. During my layover, I had a shave at the spa.
The most impressive part of my visit was the dining room. Mostly because the service was impeccable. I was told that during the first couple of months that the lounge was open, they actually had flight crew serve as staff in the lounge to ensure a high level of service.
First, I had a snack before I sat in the dining room proper. I asked for the spring rolls vegetarian and some sweet potato fries. Both were pretty good.
I then had a proper meal in the dining room. I didn’t see much on the main food menu that appealed to me, and the server essentially asked me what I wanted to eat and she’d tell the chef to whip me up something catered to my liking.
First, I was served a confit of asparagus and roasted baby beets. It could have used some salt and acid, but I was impressed by the effort.
Prior to the next course, I was served an intermezzo of a mango sorbet palate cleanser. Not really necessary after my first course, but that’s the level of formality of the lounge dining room.
My entree was a vegetable curry with rice and bread. It was pretty tasty! Probably the best savory thing I ate all day.
For dessert, I had the chocolate sponge cake with salted caramel ice cream and a fruit plate. Both were presented beautifully.
And since I’m gluttonous, I also helped myself to a number of the self-serve dessert options. These were all fine and considerably better than the self-serve dessert options at the Qatar Airways Al Safwa lounge.
Overall, it’s not the most outwardly fancy lounge, but the dining options are terrific, the service was incredible, and there are cool amenities like a spa, workout room, and cigar room.