Review: The Residence on Etihad A380 Abu Dhabi to Mumbai

The Residence on Etihad A380

Complete Review

Abu Dhabi to Mumbai

Video (Highly Recommended)



  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, 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!

 

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 Limo pick up at Abu Dhabi
Etihad Limo pick up at Abu Dhabi
Me inside the Audi A8 Limousine.
Me inside the Audi A8 Limousine.
 

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.



Etihad Airways The Residence Lounge
Etihad Airways The Residence Lounge


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.

Etihad Airways The Residence Lounge
Etihad Airways The Residence Lounge
 
Etihad Airways The Residence Lounge
Etihad Airways The Residence Lounge
 
Etihad Airways The Residence Lounge - Dining area
Etihad Airways The Residence Lounge - Dining 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.

Bollinger La Grande Année 2005

My butler Mr Salah is French-Algerian, he is incredibly friendly and humble. We have a good connection from the beginning!
Etihad Airways The Residence Lounge butler service.
Etihad Airways The Residence Lounge butler service.

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!

Etihad Airways The Residence Lounge Caviar
Etihad Airways The Residence Lounge Caviar

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.  
Etihad Airways The Residence Lounge butler service
Etihad Airways The Residence Lounge butler service

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 passenger 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.
Etihad First Class Cigar Lounge
Etihad First Class Cigar Lounge
 

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.

My Savoy hotel trained butler, impeccable dressed butler Leanne greet me warmly at Gate 61 and walk me onto the A380 with my entourage. (my dispatcher friend, gate agent, escort, bell boy)

Etihad Airways The Residence Butler
Etihad Airways The Residence Butler
 

Welcome to The Residence

This is the moment I've been waiting for. Finally, I've set my foot in the Residence and settle in comfortably. The seats was so wide that I think it can fits four person easily.

Leanne asked me to feel comfortable and my choice of beverage. She closed the door and leave me alone for a little while preparing my drink. Straight away I felt the privacy and why this is worth all the money, it is luxury and exclusive! I am in my own oasis on an A380 that carries 500 passengers!

Etihad Airways The Residence Living Room
Etihad Airways The Residence Living Room

Prior to departure, Leanne offers traditional date and Arabic coffee.

Etihad Airways Arabic Coffee welcome
Etihad Airways Arabic Coffee welcome

I received a welcome letter with my name printed in Gold!

Etihad Airways The Residence Personalized Welcome Letter, arabic date
Etihad Airways The Residence Personalized Welcome Letter, arabic date
 
Etihad Airways The Residence Personalized Welcome Letter
Etihad Airways The Residence Personalized Welcome Letter



I do settle in well and already felt like it was my 2nd home. I recorded the whole flight in my GoPro.


Another Etihad A380 parked next to us.

 

I picked up the menu and was shocked to see my name on the cover!

The Residence really delivers a personalized travel experience!

Let's have a look what does the menu offer on this short flight to Mumbai.

Etihad Airways The Residence Personalized Menu
Etihad Airways The Residence Personalized Menu

Lining up on Runway 31R, view from the tail camera of the A380.



The Flight

Our flight time was 2 hours 39 minutes tracking direct Easterly over Oman and across Arabian sea.

Our cuising level was 41,000 feet. Registration A6-APD.

Every seat in First and Business Class seat was taken. We have a load of 490/498 passengers onboard!

I enjoy sitting up in my own sanctuary on such a flight but I can imagine it is a pressure test for all the crew. The chef have to deliver mine and 9 other First Class passengers meals and many courses within 2 hours. Every crew goes straight to work after seat belt sign got turned off......

I decided to relax in the bedroom first and then eat later before landing....

Etihad Airways A380 A6-APD
Etihad Airways A380 A6-APD

Back to the Residence, the hallway leads to a bedroom with a 6-foot 10-inch double bed, with designer Italian bed linen.

Etihad Airways The Residence Bedroom
Etihad Airways The Residence Bedroom

My butler Leanne showed me the bedroom, she highlighted i will have completely privacy with the full bedroom door closed.

There is the usual service call bell and a panic button in case I need assistance.

Etihad Airways The Residence Bedroom
Etihad Airways The Residence Bedroom

I was given Chrisitan Lacroix designed sleepwear. They're the most comfortable one I've tried out of all other First Class pyjamas.

Etihad Airways The Residence Sleepwear
Etihad Airways The Residence Sleepwear

With the bedroom door closed, I enjoy total privacy.

The bed has proper firm mattress with very soft and comfortable pillow.

Don't be deceived by the look, I believe it can fits two person (as a double size bed) as there are more room to my right (wall).

I really enjoyed the total privacy and feel totally relaxed at 41,000 feet in the sky!
Etihad Airways The Residence Bedroom
Etihad Airways The Residence Bedroom

Leanne returned later with my starter, Abu Dhabi farmed Caviar! I can dine in my own comfort on my bed.

She admitted to me I was the first passenger she have used the wooden tray to set up dining in bed as she was a bit nervous if things go wrong...

 

Dining on my bed


Could this get better? Caviar and watching the A380 chasing the setting sun...

Etihad Airways The Residence Dining in-bed
Etihad Airways The Residence Dining in-bed
 
Abu Dhabi farmed Caviar
Abu Dhabi farmed Caviar
 
Etihad Airways The Residence Dining in-bed
Etihad Airways The Residence Dining in-bed
 
Etihad Airways The Residence Dining in-bed
Etihad Airways The Residence Dining in-bed
 

After having my starter, I decided is time to head out to the lounge area to have my main course.

The table has been set. Again, it is Vera Wang designed tableware.

Etihad The Residence Dining table setting
Etihad The Residence Dining table setting

Multiple hot bread selection.



Main Course: Lobster Tail with garlic butter sauce.

This has to be the LARGEST lobster tail I ever have. It was huge and I could not finish it.

Etihad The Residence Dining Main Course
Etihad The Residence Dining Main Course
 

Dessert: Texture (ice cream, halva and jelly)

Etihad The Residence Dining Dessert
Etihad The Residence Dining Dessert

Across the 3 rooms Residence as the night arrive.

 

After dinner, Leanne came back and show me the bathroom and the shower.

She also brought a bathrobe which was a nice thought and my first bathrobe onboard an airplane.

Etihad The Residence Bathrobe
Etihad The Residence Bathrobe

The toiletries are provided by Acqua di Parma from Italy.

I found even the toilet paper has Residence logo!

 

Before arrival into Mumbai, I was served with a glass of sencha Green tea for more Zennn and relaxation!

 

An Awesome Finish


After 2 hours 39 minutes of flying, our A380 landed at Mumbai safely.

I have a winning feeling from my heart. I was nervous and wasn't sure before the flight but everything fell right and I felt accomplished.

Although a short flight, I have utilized the Residence in full and grasp a good experience about it.

My butler Leanne could finally relax and I've invited her to sit down together while waiting to deplane.

My butler, purser, chef, food and beverage manager, crew came to bid my farewell.

Of course we need to seize the moment with a few photograph together!

I was greeted by the Mumbai ground team and they've assisted me transit onto my onward flight.



Conclusion

A truly unique and bespoke travel experience, delivered with complete discretion and limitless hospitality.

Etihad The Residence is the truly unique and bespoke travel experience. There's nothing quite like it! It has to be the BEST commercial airline travel I've done up to this day. Etihad team delivered a faultless travel experience. Every step of the travel is being taken care of. I think my photo and video have described the product well.

I am now already planning a longer 2nd flight in the Residence.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all the Etihad staff who assisted me during my travel.



Is it really worth the money?

I think yes! The extraordinary experience you receive is worth a lot more!

How is it different to Etihad First Class on the A380?

The Residence offer a much larger area, with own ensuite bedroom, bathroom with fully privacy. You have your own butler to take care of every need. You do not share anything with other passenger. It is all about being exclusive! The attention you receive is second to none. Not to mention the very private Residence Lounge and its offering!



360 Photo

Inside the Etihad Airways A380 Residence after an unforgettable and bespoke flight experience!!! - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA


Video (Highly Recommended)







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17 Comments on Review: The Residence on Etihad A380 Abu Dhabi to Mumbai

  1. awesome awesome awesome I enjoyed all videos and photos …… very beautiful, thank you for sharing..and this woman is so cute ^_^

  2. What is the soundtrack you have to this video? I am completely taken with the music. Fantastic choice, and video review.

  3. Hello Sam, I was wondering, after so little time in this plane you ate so much, were you feeling full after?
    You had a lot of choice, looked very nice, but I wondered how you could eat all of these magnificent plates after 2h40 loll

  4. I found your A380 Residence review from reddit and I had to subscribe to your newsletter! You did a great job making me feel almost as if I had the pleasure of experiencing the flight myself. I don’t travel often enough, but because I live in Hawaii, when I do it’s always a long journey. Having an experience like this is something I could only dream of, so watching your videos is really exciting. Thank you for doing such a great job. How long did you stick around before taking the return flight?

  5. I know there can up to two passengers in the residence, was wondering if you think it would feel crowded for a couple or are 2 first class seats more spacious?

    • It is a tricky one. If you only value sleep and rest I would go for 2 separate apartment. If you value privacy, exclusive service and the Residence lounge And extraordinary experience go for the Residence. The price of 2 apartments isn’t too far from the Residence.

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