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In the short 13 years of its existence, Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways has become synonymous with magnificent luxury, never more clearly evidenced than with the launch of the “Etihad Residence” last year. (Etihad Airways)

Etihad Residence turns flying into an extravagant experience

In the short 13 years of its existence, Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways has become synonymous with magnificent luxury, never more clearly evidenced than with the launch of the “Etihad Residence” last year.

Subsuming even their pace-setting first class service, the Etihad Residence is the only three-room suite offered by a commercial airliner. Thus, for those who would prefer not to endure the expense of flying their own private jet, this option by Etihad offers a seamless meld of comfort and luxury – at a lofty price tag of $32,000 one way (New York to Abu Dhabi).

Available only on the A380’s, the extravagant Residence measures 125 square feet in total area and is available for single or double occupancy. Features include a living room complete with a leather sofa, a separate ensuite shower room with piping hot water and a double bedroom. A large 32” LCD monitor in the living room – BOSE noise cancelling headphones included – and a separate 24” version in the bedroom offer a wide-range of entertainment.

The grandeur of being able to indulge in your own private apartment in the sky begins even before arrival. Etihad Airways concierge services contacts you to make sure every desire – from the ideal arrival time to food and drink preferences to experiences you would like to enjoy upon arrival in the city of destination – is met.

Even before arriving at the airport, guests’ leisurely comforts are met. Private chauffeurs are dispatched to pick up guest and entry to the airport is private as well with none of those unruly TSA lines, which may be reason enough to choose the Residence!

Wait in the lounge or, if you time your arrival close to boarding, the impeccable Etihad staff will escort the Residence guests onboard the plane before even the first class guests. Champagne awaits, as does some bits-and-nibbles, during the entry process but be sure to save room for the food.

Etihad Residence offers an onboard private Chef to prepare a bespoke, made-to-order experience. Before the date of flight, food preferences are asked so as to curate the most pristine culinary experience. No lavish desire is beyond-the-scope of what Etihad is willing to offer: from caviar to lobster to sweet delicacies. Or if you prefer simple life pleasures such as French fries and pizza, those can be had as well.

Personally, since you will be on a Middle Eastern airline, I would be sure to ask for some beautiful mezze dishes. Truly a delicacy worth lingering on.

While onboard, a personal Butler is dedicated solely for the comfort of the Residence. Trained at the world-renowned Savoy Butler Academy in London, the posh service is as discreetly comfort as the flight itself.

And if you are fortunate enough to actually have Abu Dhabi be your destination of choice, this summer, Etihad also opened its flagship First Class Lounge & Spa at Abu Dhabi International Airport. The lounge includes an à la carte restaurant, showcase bar, fitness room, cigar lounge, Six Senses Spa, Style & Shave barbers, nail bar, TV room, secluded relaxation room, prayer room and children’s playroom which ensure that all guests receive a personalized experience.

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