Here are where the elites gather to socialise, do business, and pass away their time. Take a look behind the secretive world of ￼Members Only clubs.
by Wen-xi Chen
Saint James Club, Paris
Hidden in a private garden a few minutes walk from the Champs-Elysée, just off of Victor Hugo avenue in the 16 district of Paris, lies the stunning 48 room Saint James Hotel and exclusive private club. Part château, part family townhouse, it has just been redecorated by the iconoclastic designer Bambi Sloan, who blended grandeur and intimacy to create an old world Parisian romance that revels in history but is elevated by whimsy. There are an impressive array of benefits here for Saint James Club’s members, including access to all of the hotel’s facilities, a dedicated team for private events, exclusive access to all of the Club’s events, special conditions on Guerlain treatments at the hotel spa, and access to over 200 affiliated clubs around the world. When the whole building is so beautiful, it’s hard to pick out one highlight. But if there was to be one, it’ll have to be the library bar; complete with 5,000 leather-bound volumes and a cozy fireplace, it’s only open to non-members after 7pm or during Sunday brunch. It is little wonder that this exclusive club attracts the crème de la crème of Parisian society.
Core Club, New York
Too busy to find the best the world has to offer? Then you’re in good hands here. Super exclusive CORE Club claims to “[put] its members at the center of the curated life”, providing its members the tools to design their own “exquisite experience”. From world- class private dining, to fitness and personal care services, and of course, the opportunity to network with the elite of New York, all’s offered up in one neat package for 50,000USD initiation fee and 15,000USD annual dues.
It’s not cheap, but you’re paying for more than just the facilities. Want to sip cocktails next to the likes of Yahoo! co-founder Jerry Yang, or taste the inventions of ex-Microsoft CTO turned culinary wizard Nathan Myhrvold prepared by the man himself? After that, how about going to work off those calories under the hawk-eyed instruction of the city’s toughest personal trainers, in the same gym as the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies? That’s right, founder Jennie Saunders’ vision for the modern business club is all encompassing, pays a tremendous attention to detail, and has managed to amass an impressive member-list to tempt even the most sceptical to fill out a membership application form.
Roppongi Hills Club, Tokyo
This elite members club in Tokyo’s glittering Roppongi Hills is where power meets wealth. Designed by the world-renowned Sir Terence Conran, the East meets West interiors hosts seven restaurants and two bars.
In addition to their astronomical initiation and annual membership charges, the Roppongi Hills Club also have a selective screening process for all prospective members. It may be a painstaking process, but once you’re in, member perks include exclusive access to all club facilities, invitation to the Annual Members Party, and use of affiliated clubs across the world.
Capital Club, Dubai
This prestigious private members’ business club is located Dubai’s most coveted address at the financial district – DIFC. A Board of Governors of the Club set a strict screening process for all prospect members and since 2008, they’ve selected over 1,500 elite members from leading businesses in the region and around the world. The Capital Club acts as a hub of business and social networking, hosting an array of events to meet all of their members’ interests.
Tower Club, Singapore
Singapore’s premier business club is where the elites of the corporate world come together to network, entertain, and relax. Opened in the late 90s, the Tower Club benefits from stunning views of the Singapore skyline and attracts the moneyed jet-setters of this wealthy city-state to this day.
Facilities at this meticulously maintained club located on the hallowed grounds of the 62nd to 64th floors of the Republic Plaza in the city’s bustling CBD include state of the art restaurants and bars, wine locker, a fully equipped gym with personal trainers, and a wide array of events held frequently for all members.
Membership options are quite flexible here and suited to one’s needs, whether it’s Individual or Corporate, and are transferable once vetted by the Club’s Admission Committee.
Norwood Club, New York
A magnet for New York’s creative types, this modern incarnation of the traditional gentlemen’s club was founded by Alan Linn as a “club for the curious”. Located in a brownstone townhouse in Chelsea, the five story club has a restaurant, two lounge bars, a screening room and a walled garden. Carefully curated art, changing annually, are displayed throughout. Of course, at this coveted club, it’s not just the art that’s curated either; the selection process for membership is strict, and prospective members are judged on their artistic and intellectual pursuits in order to join.