Updated on October 27, 2015
After a great stay at the Park Hyatt Washington DC it was time to head on the real adventure and start our trek to Abu Dhabi! For this trip we were taking Etihad Airways to Abu Dhabi and then later to the Maldives. One nice feature of flying with this airline is that if you are a First or Business class passenger, they will bring you to the airport in a private car and then drive you to anywhere in the UAE upon landing in Abu Dhabi, even on award flights! You can read more about it and book the ride online HERE.
The contracted car service contacted me the day before to make sure the time and location of the pickup was correct and gave me the name and phone number of our driver. On the day of our flight he was 10 min early and was a really great guy who seemed to like his job and talked to us the whole way. We arrived at the airport in plenty of time to take our time checking in and then enjoy the First and Business Class lounge; what this post is all about!
Upon arriving at IAD, we proceeded to the Etihad check-in area which is located at the back of the main hall, so the opposite side from the front doors you walk into.
Our check in was uneventful and we proceeded through customs and took the terminal train out to the mid-field terminal and concourse A where our flight and the Etihad Lounge is located!
Park Hyatt Honeymoon Trip Report:
The Lounge is located immediately to your left when entering concourse A and can be accessed by the First and Business Class passengers on the Etihad flight to Abu Dhabi. Our flight to Abu Dhabi is the only flight Etihad operates out of IAD so this lounge is solely for the passengers of one flight!
As you enter, you immediately see that this is a very moderately-sized lounge which is appropriate. We entered about 3 hours before our flight and there were only a couple people inside at that time. However as our departure time got closer it became very full.
When we first entered we were greeted by the women at the front desk who were very nice and told us about the layout of the lounge. They also taught us a few Arabic words, as we told them this was our first trip to Abu Dhabi for our honeymoon and we wanted to know how to thank people.
As you enter, there is a children’s room immediately to you right as well as a small business center with some Mac computers and a printer.
Once you pass this area there is a small seating area to your right with a large TV. This area is set up almost like a living room. I didn’t take any pictures of it because there was a large family lounging there the entire time we were in the lounge.
To your left is another small lounging area and the rest of the lounge with a stairwell right in the middle which was blocked off. Right in front of the stairwell are some desserts to eat as well.
To the right is some seating along the window and to the left is a dining area with table as well as the rest of the buffet.
On the other side of the stairs is the bar area with a couple lounge chairs and some more dinner tables. To the left of the bar are the bathrooms, showers and a prayer room.
Since Katie and I were there early we were able to snag the 4 comfy seats next to the bar and had our own little private area. Once we sat down we were immediately greeted and given dates, Arabic coffee and menus.
Although this lounge has a pretty good buffet, it also has a menu for regular dining. Since we knew we were basically getting a four course meal and then some on the plane, we didn’t want to eat too much. However I still tried the Thai red shrimp curry and Katie had the “Spreads” with plenty of champagne of course!
In general I like reading flight reviews, hotel reviews, lounge reviews, and any other reviews I see prior to a trip, so I had of course read a few reviews on this lounge. The one thing I noticed in all of them was that the upstairs was always closed off. It was again closed off on our visit and I asked one of the women at the front desk if they ever open it. She told me that they only open it if there is a full flight, which I thought ours was, so who knows.
My next question for her was, “Can I see it?” To my delight she indulged me and took me up the stairs. It is not very big upstairs but there is a large lounge (living room like) area to the left with a big screen tv and another smaller seating area to the right as well as a bathroom. It wasn’t much but I was glad to see it. It also allowed me to get a bird’s eye view of the rest of the lounge!
We had a great stay in the lounge and the people who work there were really fantastic. After discussing our curiosity with the front desk about different Arabic words they actually brought us a list of common words AND they made us a special “congratulations” dessert for us to celebrate our recent wedding!
With the private car service that can get you to the airport pretty early, I think this is a great place to spend a few hours. When it is time to go, the attendants come around to tell you and you can board right from the lounge which is a really nice touch.
Next up, our ETIHAD FIRST CLASS FLIGHT TO ABU DHABI!!