Sneak peek: The Residence by Etihad private A380 VIP suite

By Chris C., December 19 2014
Sneak peek: The Residence by Etihad private A380 VIP suite

The Residence by Etihad gives well-heeled travellers the ultimate in space, luxury and comfort aboard the airline's brand new Airbus A380 aircraft.

Comprised of a lounge room with an adjoining bedroom, bathroom and shower for the exclusive use of one or two VIP travellers, there's really no need to leave your 'flying palace' until you've arrived at your destination.

Join Australian Business Traveller as we take a sneak peek inside The Residence before it takes to the skies of London from December 27 and Sydney on June 1 2015.

The Residence by Etihad: the living room

With a return journey from Sydney to London charged at $87,000 for a wealthy couple – yes, eighty-seven thousand – travellers would rightly expect something that blows even the best first class suites out of the water.

The Residence doesn't disappoint, with a spacious living area as you enter the suite that also comfortably doubles as the dining room.

There are two separate meal tables, which enables each guest to dine at their leisure...

Of course, you won't need to retrieve that tray table or toy with the seat controls – there's a Savoy-trained butler to tend to your every need...

... who can also assist with connecting your laptop, portable DVD player or iPad to the 32" LCD TV using HDMI cables and adaptors.

You'll find a remote control for the entertainment system aside the lounge chair, along with a selection of reading material and amenities, including a personally-addressed welcome letter.

The Residence by Etihad: the bedroom

HDMI connections in the bedroom are linked to a separate 27" panel, with AC and USB power outlets available regardless of where you're sitting.

That faces the double bed, which is 208cm long and dressed in linen for what we imagine is the best sleep you'll ever have in the air:

The bedroom resides behind a closing door, with the five pillows making it an incredibly comfortable place to unwind and watch a movie.

As there's just one television in the living room, the bedroom can double as a second viewing room should your partner not approve of your taste in movies.

Despite being six feet tall, there was ample space to stand upright before climbing into bed – although do be mindful of the curved ceiling if you normally sleep on the right:

Outlets for the supplied noise-cancelling headphones are thoughtfully located on each side of the bed at ear-level, with the butler just a chime away:

Storage space is available underneath the bed for your cabin bags and valuables, which makes overhead lockers unnecessary and fortunately absent.

The Residence by Etihad: the bathroom and shower

In between the bedroom and the living space is a wardrobe and the private bathroom – again exclusively for guests in The Residence:

Adjoining that is the en suite shower, enclosed in its own space and with a locking door:

The shower head is tucked away in the ceiling, while the water runs for a brisk four minutes.

Acqua di Parma amenities are close at hand, while a countdown clock keeps you abreast of the time remaining.

As in any reputable luxury hotel, there are fluffy white bathrobes to wear in place of the supplied loungewear.

To tour The Residence yourself, here's a short 45-second video:

The Residence makes its debut on December 27 when Etihad begins flying the Airbus A380 from Abu Dhabi to London Heathrow, with Sydney added to the superjumbo map from June 1 2015.

Also read:

Chris Chamberlin is visiting Abu Dhabi as a guest of Etihad Airways.

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter – we're @AusBT

Chris C.

Chris is a a former contributor to Executive Traveller.

You know, its amazing how one airline can be so tasteful and refined, while the other up the road is tacky central.

It just blows my mind. 

What accounts for this difference? It's chalk and cheese!

12 Jun 2013

Total posts 735

Both airlines exist in a state of tension between the Arabs who own them and the Brits/Australians who run them. Depending which side is winning the arm-wrestle you'll find understated elegance versus QUICK WHAT ELSE CAN WE MAKE GOLD? PEOPLE WON'T KNOW IT'S EXPENSIVE UNLESS IT'S GOLD!

Etihad - Etihad Guest

24 Feb 2015

Total posts 10

Thank you for your lovely comments. 

Will we be welcoming you on board soon? *JS

30 Aug 2013

Total posts 442

The first Trip Report of the Residence is going to be the most read TR of all time.

12 Jun 2013

Total posts 735

When it comes down to it, you're paying about $40,000 for a night in a really small, really noisy hotel room.

I'm sure it's nicer than sitting at the back, but I can't get all that excited about the idea to the point where I'm champing at the bit to experience it vicariously.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jan 2013

Total posts 698

I do wonder how often it may go empty, if they strictly exclude all but those willing to pay the sticker price. From what I understand, there will be no upgrading using points, but they might give the odd operational upgrade to VIP flyers to increase Residence use (or they may not).

Interesting to note you get no more running shower time per shower than those in the First Apartments (although you do get your own shower, exclusive for the duration of your flight), so you don't have to feel too robbed if you are "slumming it" in the Apartments lol. Personally I'd be happy for a few more Apartment flights and still get change from $80K.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Jun 2014

Total posts 37

Anyone prepared to donate a spare $100,000 for my next trip?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 May 2013

Total posts 33

$87K from Sydney to London.....seriously? 


05 Mar 2012

Total posts 26

Any indication if the bed is really wide enough for two to sleep comfortably? It looks very narrow.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

17 Jan 2014

Total posts 7

87 grand for a flight, I think I'd rather spend that on a Audi TT. However, looking at those suite, l think you could join the mile high club and you cant do that in the TT haha

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Dec 2014

Total posts 284

Why would someone pay 80 grand for a return flight? I mean if someone really had that sort of money wouldn't they own their own private jet or at least rent one out. 


09 Nov 2011

Total posts 31

That was what they said was the reasoning behind the residence, to replace the need for a private jet. And judging by searches I have done it seems to have a good uptake already. James Hogan (CEO) has indicated that they are very happy with forward bookings on the residence and only need it to have 50% occupancy to be making money.

They did also say previously that the residence is not factored into the operating yield of the aircraft, so they aren't relying on it to be occupied for the flight to be profitable.

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