Cover Not just anyone can become a member at these exclusive members only clubs (Photo: The Hurlingham Club/Facebook)

From women only clubs to those set on their own private ski resort, not just anyone can become a member at these exclusive clubs

Those in the know will be more than familiar with the perks of being a member of a private club––and here in Hong Kong, we’re lucky enough to have some of the very best. But if you’re a seasoned traveller looking for a second home away from home, or you’re just curious as to how the other half live, we’re letting you know all about some of the most exclusive private member’s clubs in the world. 

See also: 11 Of The Most Exclusive Private Members' Clubs In Hong Kong

1. CORE:

New York has many private members' clubs, but one of the most exclusive––and expensive––is Core. Though notoriously difficult to get into, Core strives to update the notion of stuffy old school clubs, creating a unique space that aims to bring together the most culturally curious visionaries from around the world. As the website puts it, Core is “a playground for the zeitgeist”.

Located in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, the club offers a concierge service, event spaces, meeting rooms, a fine dining restaurant, library, gym, salon, spa and private theatre. Core also has a second club in Milan, Italy.

Location: New York, USA and Milan, Italy
Membership: $50,000 initiation fee, plus a $15,000 annual fee. Though applicants aren’t defined by the school they went to or the industry they work in, all applicants are carefully selected on the merit of their individuality and what they can bring to the table; they must also be referred by an existing member or partner of the club.

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2. Ten Trinity Square

Located in the Four Seasons Hotel in London’s Tower Hill, Ten Trinity Square promises only the finest surroundings for business, food, wine and culture.

The iconic location is a historical London landmark as the former headquarters of the Port of London Authority. Concealed inside of the hotel, the club comprises a series of lavish yet discreet rooms, which ooze timeless charm and are ideal for conversation and relaxation.

As well as cuisine by a Michelin-starred chef and its own impressive wine cellar, the club offers its members a roster of exclusive events, concerts, forums and wine tastings with distinguished guest speakers. Members can also enjoy a host of additional benefits, including access to the Spa and Fitness Centre at Four Seasons Hotel London, discounted rooms at the hotel and access to a selection of reciprocal clubs around the world.

Location: London, UK
Membership: GBP3,000 annual fee, plus an initial joining fee of GBP5,000. Anyone wishing to join also requires an endorsement from one of the club's founding members.

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3. The AllBright

While members’ clubs of the past may have been reserved for gentlemen only, The Albright is strictly for women. Founded in 2018 by former CEO of Hearst Anna Jones and entrepreneur Debbie Wosskow OBE, the female-focused space has the mission to drive change for smart-minded women, with the intention to be a unique space for its members to connect, create and collaborate.

The space, which is designed for women and by women––though the website does make it clear that men are more than welcome as guests––is situated in the heart of London’s Mayfair, set over five-floors of an exclusive townhouse. Featuring an all-day restaurant, private dining rooms, two secluded rooftop terraces, a hair salon, workspaces, an in-house art collection and more, The AllBright promises a unique environment to network, unwind and dine.

During the pandemic, The Allbright also pivoted to a hybrid-online model, offering a more inclusive digital only membership to those that are keen to connect, upskill and achieve career goals, without having to go through the usual membership vetting process.

Location: London, UK
Membership: £1,500 plus a £300 registration fee, with special rates available for under 30s. Though members can be professional women at any stage of their career, all applicants must be approved by The AllBright.

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4. The Battery

Striving to be more than just a place to eat, drink and socialise, The Battery’s founders Michael and Xochi Birch vision is all about community engagement. With the intention of turning promise into purpose, the club was designed to bring together bright minds with big ideas––all while still providing a space that is both stimulating and relaxing, that offers cocktails, cuisine and culture worthy of discussion.

Once inside, members will be able to enjoy a host of facilities, which include a bar, library, wine cellar, garden, living space, gym, spa, study, parlour, card room, guest house, penthouse and restaurant. And while the interiors are definitely worthy of a space on your camera roll, The Battery asks for phone usage to be kept to a minimum, asking guests to refrain from taking and posting photos, or tagging people in photos to protect the privacy and exclusivity of the space.

Location: San Fransisco, USA
Membership: US$2,400 per year, plus a US$500 one-time initiation fee. To join you must be nominated by a current member and then you will need to fill out an application and await approval. 

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5. The Hurlingham Club

If you want to really see how the other half live––or strictly speaking, the other one per cent––look no further than London’s Hurlingham Club. Perfectly manicured green lawns and a grand manor house set the picture-perfect scene, with the 42-acre grounds including lush gardens, four indoor squash courts, a fitness centre with a half size Olympic indoor pool, and more.

Offering its members a taste of quintessentially English traditions and heritage, while providing modern facilities, The Hurlingham is widely regarded as  one of the most exclusive country clubs in the world. In fact, though the memberships used to have a decades long waitlist, new membership applications are currently closed, with the club not giving a hint of a date as to when they will re-open again. Your best bet at getting in is to marry an existing member, as it has been reported that even children of members are on the wait-list. Another side-door into the Hurlingham would be to become a member of a reciprocal club, which would grant you visiting rights for a maximum of 14 times in a calendar year. 

Location: London, UK
Membership: Fees are undisclosed. Memberships are not currently being offered and the waiting list for new members is now closed, subject to annual review.

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6. The Tanglin Club

Founded in 1865, The Tanglin is known to be the oldest and most exclusive club in Singapore. As with The Hurlingham, memberships are notoriously hard to come by, with applicants having to wait between ten and fifteen years, along with having to be proposed and seconded by two existing members.

Once you’re in, The Tanglin Club is home to six different restaurants and bars, 27 suites, a hair salon, playroom, gym and outdoor swimming pool and more. Members of the Tanglin Club can also gain access to over 130 reciprocal clubs around the world including the Tokyo American Club and the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron.

Location: Singapore
Membership: One time fee of SG$100,000 for Ordinary/Lifetime membership, plus a SG$1,070 application fee and a monthly subscription fee of $107 for individuals and $214 for couples and families. All applicants must be proposed and seconded by two existing members who have been part of the club for a minimum of three years.

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7. Thirty Nine

A different kind of private club, Monte Carlo’s Thirty Nine focuses on all things sports, health and fitness. Created by ex-professional rugby player Ross Beattie, the private sports club aims to help its members to not only realise their full fitness potential, but to discover a new way of living.

With a collection of living spaces,Thirty Nine is designed to feel like an extension of your own (very luxurious) home, with facilities and services including state of the art gym equipment, along with its own bespoke wellness app; an innovative menu designed by sports nutritionist and chefs; along with treatments for relaxation and recovery from sports and daily life.

Location: Monte Carlo, Monaco
Membership: EUR4,900 for annual members, or EUR7,900 for a couple. New joiners can be referred by existing members or apply directly via the website.

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8. Roppongi Hills Club

Occupying the entire 51st Floor of Tokyo’s Roppongi Hills Mori Tower, Roppongi Hills Club boasts spectacular 360 degree views of the city, as well as offerings its members outstanding restaurants, bars and some of the most sought-after event spaces in Tokyo.

Run by the Hyatt, the club is designed for those who who love culture and the arts, with the refined space housing seven restaurants and two bars, along with two private dining rooms.

Location: Tokyo, Japan
Membership: JPY1,320,000 annual membership fee, plus JPY500,000 initiation deposit and JOY198,000 annual fee. All applications are subject to a screening process.

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9. Yellowstone Club

Spanning over 15,000 acres of Montana countryside, Yellowstone Club features 2,000 acres of world-class ski trails––including 15 ski lifts and 60 trails for its members to enjoy––along with an 18-hole mountain golf course. A natural choice for a winter getaway due to its sought-after location, Yellowstone also promises plenty of activities throughout the year, with a full spa and fitness centre, outside sports and world-class restaurants.

The catch? On top of the hefty membership fee, you can only apply to become a member of Yellowstone if you own a home in the area––with properties ranging from US$2 million condominiums to US$25 million ranch homes. What’s more, to keep things uber exclusive and the personalised service at its very best, memberships are capped at 864 households. 

Location: Montana, USA
Membership: $300,000 joining fee, plus $37,500 annual fees. Members must also own a property in the area.

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