June 20, 2016

Review: Al Dhabi Lounge, T1 Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH)

Trip to Kathmandu flying on Etihad A380 First Apartment and Qatar Airways A380 First Class

Last month, Mike and I traveled to Kathmandu, Nepal for the first time to meet our travel partner Helena, owner of Helena India Travels. We are sending our first group to Nepal in autumn and it was a great opportunity to meet her as well as the owners of the hotels where our group would be staying at. We were offered complimentary five nights stay by Mingma, the Nepalese owner of Chhahari Retreat and needless to say, we enjoyed every single day of our stay not only because of the nice room and excellent food in the restaurant but moreso because each one of them treated us like their own family. As for our flight, Mike and I used our remaining American Airlines Advantage miles to fly in first class from Europe to the Indian Sub continent, just before the devaluation in March, which is 80K miles return per person. Here's the full trip report of our trip to Nepal and I hope that thru this, more people would consider traveling to this wonderful country in the future!



Review: British Airways Business Class, Stockholm-London
Review: Etihad A380 First Apartment, London-Abu Dhabi
Review: Al Dhabi Lounge, T1 Abu Dhabi Airport (AUH)
Review: Qatar Airways Business Class, Abu Dhabi-Doha
Review: Qatar Airways Business Class, Doha-Kathmandu
Review: Chhahari Resort, Kathmandu
Review: Yeti Airlines to the Himalayas
Top Attractions in Nepal
Review: Executive Lounge, Kathmandu International Airport (KTM)
Review: Qatar Airways Business Class, Kathmandu-Doha
Review: Qatar Airways A380 First Class, Doha-Paris
Review: Hilton Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport
Review: Cathay Pacific First & Business Class Lounge, T2 (CDG)
Review: British Airways Business Class, Paris-London
Review: Hilton London Heathrow Airport
Review: British Airways Business Class, London-Stockholm

Al Dhabi Lounge reception

Date of visit: May 26, 2016

Location: Terminal 1, after immigration turn right and take the lift to the first floor
Access: First and Business Class passengers on any airline other than Etihad Airways; Priority Pass members; guests can pay for a fee starting from AED 180
Opening hours: Daily, open 24 hours

Entrance

Al Dhabi Lounge entrance

Some Arabic coffee and dates

Seating

Al Dhabi Lounge, Abu Dhabi Airport

Al Dhabi Lounge seating

Al Dhabi Lounge seating

Al Dhabi Lounge seating

Al Dhabi Lounge seating

Smoking Lounge

Small seating area

Bar inside the small seating area

Entertainment

International newspapers and magazines

Magazines

Flight information screens

Personal TV stations

Dining

Warm buffet

Thai Grilled Fish

Chicken with Pepper Sauce

Vegetarian Biryani

Soups: Cream of Chicken Soup and Minestrone Soup

Salad and dessert buffet

Salad buffet

Desserts and fruits

Coffee, tea, softdrinks and juices

Bar

Toilet and Shower Room

Gentlemen's toilet

One of four shower rooms

Shower room

CONCLUSION

I have previously visited the Al Reem Lounge last year and I really loved it even if it is only for the use of economy class passengers with status on different airlines. I was expecting a much nicer lounge prior to my visit to Al Dhabi Lounge since it's for first and business class passengers. Unfortunately, the lounge looks old and needs some refresh. Of course, the Al Reem Lounge just had its renovation during my visit so it was really very nice. Apart from Al Dhabi Lounge being sort of "dated", the staff were very friendly and helpful and that the food spread from the buffet was really impressive. When we arrived in the lounge, we were greeted by a young Filipina receptionist who informed us that the dinner service would close at 3:45am and breakfast would begin at 4:45am. Arriving around 2am, there were not so many guests inside the lounge and most were "sleeping". The lack of a rest area means guest were sleeping in the seating area. There were also no windows so it felt a bit claustrophobic. I'm not sure if there are any plans to renovate this lounge in the near future but I'd probably use the Al Reem Lounge if I were a Priority Pass member. Overall, this is a nice lounge with very good food offering and friendly staff but the design and the lack of natural light should definitely be considered in case they intend to do a refresh of the lounge.


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Dubai International First Class Lounge, Dubai Airport T1 (DXB)

Plaza Premium Lounge, Muscat International Airport (MCT)