Etihad Airways this week opened its Premium Lounge at Melbourne International Airport for passengers travelling in first and business class, as well as guests of its luxurious The Residence private suite.
The 800-square-metre lounge was more than two years in the making and has capacity for 133 guests – making it the airline’s largest Premium Lounge outside of Abu Dhabi.
Shane O’Hare, Etihad Airways’ Senior Vice President Marketing, commented that the new Melbourne lounge “is the best in the Etihad network today”.
Despite grey and rainy weather in Melbourne when Luxury Travel magazine visited the lounge for its official opening this week, we noted the lounge’s floor-to-ceiling windows allowed for a well-lit space with an airy and spacious feel.
A sculptural bar is the centrepiece of the lounge, with a drinks list developed alongside London-based beverage consultancy Fluid Movement. A cocktail and mocktail list features a menu of bespoke cocktails created specifically for the airline with destination and aviation-inspired names like Melbourne, Sydney, Paris and Los Angeles. The drinks are all made by trained mixologists using garnishes and syrups made in-house.
A Los Angeles cocktail, available on the menu at Etihad’s new Melbourne Premium Lounge
The lounge’s kitchen stocks local produce from Victoria and the chefs make everything onsite – including freshly baked bread, dips, cookies and ice cream. Food can be selected from the buffet or restaurant-style, à la carte in the lounge’s 26-seat dining area.
Starting 1 June, Etihad’s A380 service featuring The Residence will commence between Melbourne and Abu Dhabi. The Premium Lounge has a private lounge room that is reserved for guests in The Residence, with its own restroom and separate entry.
Other facilities in the lounge include men’s and women’s shower facilities, separate prayer rooms, a children’s playroom and a luggage room.
The lounge is open to guests flying in Etihad’s The Residence suite, First Apartments, Business Studios, as well as Platinum, Gold and Silver members of its Etihad Guest frequent flyer program and eligible members on partner airlines.
Seating area at the new Etihad Melbourne Premium Lounge | Belinda Craigie