Located in T1 International on the way to gates 50-63, the Etihad First and Business Class Lounge may be pushing its third year of existence at Sydney Airport, but without knowing this fact, the lounge easily looks and feels brand new.
The moment the automatic sliding doors shut close, it felt like I just entered a portal that has taken me far away from the rush of Sydney Airport.
The actual lounge is located in the lower level, and there were two Etihad Airways staff manning the desk, welcoming people. One of them personally escorted us to the level below and offered to provide a quick tour.
There are personal lockers available to store big bags before you head downstairs, which was a nice thought.
The size of the lounge itself is just right – not too big or small to cater for its passengers on the twice daily Sydney to Abu Dhabi flights.
If you wish to see the lounge in detail, this video shows the Etihad Airways First and Business Class Lounge at the Sydney Airport between 6 – 42 seconds:
Consistent with its aircraft interiors’ theme, the lounge is fitted with white leather armchairs and dark oak furnishings. And in true Arabian hospitality, we were offered dates and Arabian Coffee as soon as we settled in.
At the centre of the lounge is a self-serve buffet that has quite a great selection of cold cuts, salads, cheese, bread and pastries.
A la Carte menu is also available, serving Western and Arabic dishes. When I was offered the menu, I worried that I may not have enough time to finish both a meal consisting of an entree and mains. But I was assured by the lounge waiter that the servings are much smaller than usual, so I ordered both.
I’m so glad to see that all entrees and mains are kind of like a big sample size so there’s no food wastage, and you still have room in your stomach for food in the flight.
Even with the dark oak and cream combination, the lounge still has a slightly bright ambiance.
Other amenities of the lounge include kids’ playroom, male & female prayer rooms, WIFI connectivity, office for desktop work and printing.
The staff also provide discreet boarding announcements as they go around the lounge (no annoying PA announcements)
With its strong focus on brand consistency and unparalleled luxury, Etihad Airways certainly has achieved their goal of creating a #reimagined flying experience, starting very well from the ground.
The lounge is open to guests in The Residence, First Apartments and Business Studios, as well as Platinum, Gold and Silver members of Etihad Guest and eligible members of Etihad Airways Partners.