This House Is a Home: A Review of Etihad’s The House Lounge in Heathrow’s Terminal 4
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Ethiad’s The House airport lounge is a partnership between the United Arab Emirates’ airline and the No1 Lounge, which has sites in several UK airports. Not only did I have high expectations of this lounge because the No.1 Lounge in Heathrow’s Terminal 3 is one of my favourite Priority Pass lounges, but also because this was an Etihad lounge.
The easiest way to get free access to the lounge is by flying business class with Etihad or Air Malta, Air Serbia or Alitalia, who share the lounge. The next best option is by using a Priority Pass, which you can get by paying from £69 per year for a membership. Alternatively, you get one free with the Platinum Card by American Express. If neither of those options are available to you, you can book yourself a visit for £40 through the No1 Lounge website.
The lounge is open from 6am to 9pm.
It is quick and easy to get to the The House. Turn right once you have cleared security and walk a minute or two in the direction of Gate 10. The entrance to the lounge is just opposite.
I loved the layout and design of this lounge: It is definitely the best exclusive lounge that doesn’t belong to an airline, at least in terms of decor and design. It’s not a huge space, but I had the place to myself for at least an hour, so it didn’t really matter. All of the seating areas were made up of comfy leather armchairs or sofas dressed with cushions — it was a very homey space indeed.
There was a slightly more formal seating area near the bar along the window side of the main room.
House by name, house by nature — this small TV space really did resemble a cosy living room that you would find in someone’s home, not an airport lounge.
I chose a cosy spot to do some work and sip on a gin and tonic that was delivered to me by one of the barmen. I don’t know whether that is a usual service or if it was just because the lounge was so empty but it was a nice touch all the same.
La pièce de résistance was definitely the restaurant.
It was as nice a dining experience as you could probably find in an airport.
The bathrooms and shower rooms were also beautifully decorated and spotlessly clean.
Other than the one small TV area and a few magazines and newspapers, there wasn’t really a whole host of amenities available. To be honest, though, this lounge was much more about relaxing and socialising over a nice meal and drinks rather than relying on entertainment to keep occupied.
If you’re an AvGeek, there’s probably not much for you here. The lounge looked onto a quiet part of the apron, and what I could see was restricted by the fact that there were only a few narrow windows that were further obstructed by strange barriers on the outside of the building.
Food and Beverage
This is where this lounge really shows its value. Why? Yes, it is a lounge first and foremost for premium Etihad passengers, so you would expect a high standard. But the fact that it is also a lounge for Priority Pass cardholders as well as anyone willing to pay £40 is a key differentiator — and it’s worth it. Not only is there an à la carte menu, but there’s also a dedicated restaurant section with full waiter service.
Despite the à la carte menu being very good, I absolutely loved beef stroganoff, so I decided to eat from the buffet instead. I ordered a glass of malbec with my meal, and it was spot on.
I figured I couldn’t leave the lounge without testing the à la carte menu, so I ordered myself the cheese plate for dessert, which came within five minutes of me ordering.
The buffet options were minimal, but in a lounge where there’s an à la carte restaurant, I’m sure offering more would have been a waste.
Sweet options were catered for in a cute, afternoon-tea-style setup.
There was a self-service coffee machine, as there are at most airport lounges. I didn’t test this one out, as I’d already reached my coffee quota for one day.
The fully kitted-out bar was impressive. The spirit selection was very good and included more top-shelf brands like Brooklyn Gin, also one of my favourites.
The wine selection was also one of the best I had seen in a lounge, large enough to probably get a tasting in before a flight.
To top it off, the service at the bar was great. After I took my first gin over to where I sat, the waiter remember what I ordered and came over about 30 minutes later to see if I wanted a second. Excellent service, that’s for sure.
I really enjoyed my time in Etihad’s The House, and it will most definitely be my lounge of choice the next time I’m in Terminal 4. It was great because it was quiet, the service was excellent and the à la carte restaurant was a real bonus. When I arrived at the lounge, the receptionist called me by name and gave me a tour of the lounge to make sure I knew where everything was.
Apparently at times when Etihad don’t have a flight due out, especially on the airport’s quieter days of Tuesday and Wednesday, you can have the lounge pretty much to yourself. This might also be because it’s not widely known that this lounge is accessible, with varying entry requirements, to literally every passenger in the terminal. Well, now you know, and you should definitely check it out next time you’re in the terminal.
Cheers, Etihad and No1 Lounges!
All photos by the author.
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