DUB: Dublin Etihad Business Class Lounge
NEWS: The Etihad Business Class Lounge at Dublin will now only be open three hours a day, before the once a day flight, following the cutback of Etihad services to Ireland to just one a day, until the new Boeing 777 services start in the morning.
Even better it has a la carte dining, a full hot table service and a large well stocked bar. It's small though, at only 300 square yards. The size of the lounge is obvious set around the number of premium passengers for an A330, plus a few with gold cards, and with the increase to a Boeing 777 on the Etihad Dublin run, it can get a bit squashy. In particular, the three premium spots (the library, and the two dining tables in the window) go with the first three passengers.
To find the Dublin Etihad Lounge, once through security and passport checks, go through the vast duty free area and then take the escalators downstairs. At the bottom turn left, and there is a sign to all the airline lounges. The lounges are actually in the corridor that links Terminal 1 to Terminal 2, so you can access it airside from either terminal.
The Dublin Etihad Airways lounge is done up in the usual Etihad style, with curing room dividers with art objects (OK, three small vases) and large beige armchairs, which five years after the lounge has opened still seem fresh - that is how underused this lounge is.
The floor is slippery white marble, which looks stylish. Instead of being one large room, the lounge had dividers at odd angles and even a false 'slopey' ceiling that emphasise the space and make it seem like there are separate rooms here. In context, it works well.
There is a luggage room for bag storage, and a comfortable main lounge area. Inland from the main part of the lounge there is a small children's room.
At the far end are three seats around a library of books, magazines and newspapers from around the world, furnished with Italian leather chairs and soft sofas. This is by far the best place to sit in the lounge.
At the far end is the sit-at bar. Indeed, that is one of the major problem of the lounge: to get a drink, you have to ask for it. There are five seats here, and opposite there are the usual four high orange seats at a bench top, and a small canteen servery area, along with two dining tables (2+2 seats) overlooking the window, which has a great view of the runway.
Inside for here there is a bench with the main dining area, and another five seats: even so, for the late evening flight, seats in the dining area can come at a premium.
At the far end of the lounge is a long corridor which goes even further back, to the bathrooms and prayer room.
One other thing not to miss - the GAA museum. The Gaelic Athletic Association have donated quite a few items to the museum, as Etihad are their main sponsor in Ireland.
FoodThe absolute top number one reason to visit the Etihad airways lounge in Dublin is for the food: you can get a full five course menu, and then some. To get everything, arrive a full three hours before the flight.
The menu is cooked to order, and there is a menu which the staff will show you as you sit down. In the morning there is a great full English breakfast, but come the evening and it is something pretty special, with steaks and pasta dishes, good entrees, and deserts plus a cheese plate in the evening.
Of course, you don't have to have everything - there is a fridge with plenty of small snacks and deserts, but for something hot you have to order it off the menu.
BarThere is a full staffed bar in the lounge, with five high red chairs at the bar: the staff will make up drinks on request, although the bar seems rather like overkill for the few passengers who make it in here.
Ask the bar staff for the cocktail menu - there is just one, on a laminated piece of card.
The wine list is good, but again no on display. You have to ask the staff for what wine is available, and quite often they may just say 'New Zealand' with no real idea of what it is or even the type of grape.
BathroomsThere are showers in the lounge. Really good ones - in each bathroom. There are amenities in the lounge, and come to that amazing well folded towels, and even the tiling work in the showers is a work of art.
Business FacilitiesThere is a small computer room with three Apple iMacs, which white swivel chairs.
There are power sockets in the lounge (square pin, UK style).
There is a very comprehensive newspaper rack in the lounge, with all of the Irish papers, and some from the UK.
There is just one TV in the lounge, in the 'library' snug.
AccessAccess for Etihad First & Business Class, Platinum and Gold frequent flyers.
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