Superb room hardware and the game viewing was as private and wild as you could possibly hope for. For the majority of our time on the game drives, it felt like we were at one with nature, totally disconnected from other human beings and the outside world.
For a First Class passenger this lounge doesn't necessarily feel like a huge compromise. I'd much rather spend time here than the dilapidated old Concorde Room in Terminal 5. Nevertheless, the a la carte food could do with some serious improvement and the spa seems like a bit of an afterthought.
From the moment we stepped on board this was a truly magical experience. I truly doubt I will ever top the wow factor of first setting foot in the First Class cabin and seeing the Apartments in the flesh.
The service throughout was pro-active, pre-emptive, warm and humorous. Perfectly balanced.
The lounge is ok to pass a couple of hours. The decor is bright the staff are helpful, the coffee is decent and the wifi works well even when it's full. It sure as hell isn't worth paying $100 for though unless you have 4+ hours to kill.
In stark contrast to Etihad's regional competitor Qatar, there was no separate priority bus for Business Class passengers, we were crammed in like weekday commuters on the Yamanote circle line, with temperatures outside north of 35 degrees. Thankfully, the aircon was working!
Still I cant deny it it, I do love bus gates when it's sunny and humid outside. There's an undeniable holiday feeling about the whole process when the weather cooperates.