The best things in life are free. The second-best things are generally extremely lavish and exclusive. It’s like they say: the harder something is to get, the more you appreciate it. In some cases, this means working hard for the sweet reward of accomplishment. But in this case, it explains the enduring appeal of private members clubs and why there's a surge of exclusive, expensive hideouts popping up in major cities across the globe.
Members clubs are more ubiquitous than you probably know — but that’s the point. Social media and DeuxMoi have blown the lid on spaces like Soho House. This club used to be the mecca for creatives and celebrities. But now, everyone and their mother has a membership. So the luster has worn off and the appeal has dissipated. What remains is the desire for an even more exclusive experience, ushering in a new class of private member clubs where celebrities, nepo babies, and others willing to pay their exorbitant fees can escape the crowds and commoners like us.
Where is the opportunity in the members club business? #privatemembersclubs #5hertfordstreet #amanmembersclub #amanhotels #sohohouse
This phenomenon goes beyond social clubs. Delta keeps increasing the red tape for their airport lounges, hoping to decrease the crowds. Meanwhile, other luxury services are letting members skip the airport experience altogether with private terminals. Digital brands are offering memberships for exclusive in-person events or perks. Even Vogue magazine is offering an exclusive membership called Vogue Club — but unless it comes with tickets to Vogue World and the Met Gala, I don’t want it.
So when you see photos of Taylor Swift and her girl gang exiting Zero Bond in SoHo, Leo leaving The Ned with another 25-year-old blonde in Manhattan, or Rihanna leaving San Vincente Bungalows in Los Angeles, you might ask yourself … wait, what are these places? Just know, their members are shelling out hoards of cash to get that exact reaction.
And these are just the tip of the iceberg. Everyone is vying to be the next Soho House. This means offering luxury around the world. From great design to great events, there’s a lot that goes into a members club. These clubs aren't just about exclusivity; they're about curating experiences, fostering connections, and providing a haven for people who want experiences that combine all the best of arts and culture.
A good one is a destination all on its own. It's something you’d fly across an ocean just to experience. From new-age European beach clubs to cosmopolitan cool girl destinations, here are the most coveted memberships in the world right now:
The Twenty-Two (London)
London is the epicenter of social clubs. There’s Anabel’s, the original Soho Houses, and even the old, stuffy clubs of yore. Although The Twenty Two is a newcomer, it’s one of the most exciting clubs the city has seen in years. It has all the classic amenities: multiple dining places (and good food … Soho House take note), a hotel, a bar, and a perpetually packed smoking area. What it really brings is a youthful energy that many other clubs lack. Its members are young and cool. And a night at the Twenty Two is always one to remember.
Lisbon is one of the coolest cities in the world. It’s no surprise they have one of the most coveted memberships in the world. It’s a former palace, for one. And just moments away from the picturesque Jardim do Tore and set high above the city landscape.
Casa Cruz (London/NYC)
Want to host a fab dinner party or an exclusive event? Head to Casa Cruz in London or their new location on the Upper East Side of New York This chic and stylish private members' club. With its Argentinean-inspired interiors, sumptuous dining, and intimate atmosphere, it's a favorite among celebrities and the city's elite.
Laylow in London's Notting Hill is an artistic haven. This members' club combines a music venue, restaurant, and creative space, attracting a trendy crowd with its eclectic vibe and intimate performances.
Casa Cipriani (Venice, Italy/NYC)
Casa Cipriani started in Venice, Italy, is an exclusive extension of the renowned Cipriani brand. Set on Giudecca Island, it offers unparalleled views of the city, exquisite Venetian cuisine, and an ambiance of timeless elegance. Other locations include the New York City outpost, where you will see models and actors checking in and out between press meetings
Silencio (Paris, France)
Silencio is more than just one of the hottest clubs in Paris. It’s an enduring members club that has managed to stay cool for over two decades. This artistic and cultural hotspot was founded by filmmaker David Lynch. This avant-garde members' club features an eclectic mix of art, performance, and nightlife, drawing in the city's creative elite.
Club 39 Monte Carlo (Monte Carlo, Monaco)
Monte Carlo is one of the most expensive cities in the world. It doesn’t need to be more exclusive. But of course, Monaco would make even a gym feel sophisticated and exclusive. This refined private club and fitness center cater to high-profile members, offering luxurious amenities and an elite social scene.
Club 1930 (Milan, Italy)
The epitome of IYKYK, Club 1930 in Milan doesn’t even have a website. But this prestigious members-only establishment is where everyone goes during Milan Fashion Week.
The Shanghai Club
This ultra-exclusive club in Shanghai attracts the city's elite with its opulent setting, fine dining, and bespoke services. It's a symbol of exclusivity in a cosmopolitan hub.
This Tokyo-based club embodies Japanese hospitality fused with international sophistication. Alfred's blends exclusivity with warmth, offering members a luxurious retreat with impeccable service and cultural immersion.
The Carnegie Club at Skibo Castle
Nestled in the Scottish Highlands, The Carnegie Club at Skibo Castle is a haven for privacy-seeking members. This country member’s club is the epitome of a country club. With its castle backdrop, it offers an exclusive retreat with golf, fine dining, and serene landscapes.