When news of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s engagement broke out last month, questions naturally arose. How long have they been together for? Where did they meet? And the perennial question: “Who goes on a blind date with a prince?!” While the rhetorical question may never be answered, we do have a lead as to where the royal couple first met; the exclusive Soho House — one of London’s most prestigious private members’ clubs.
The private members’ circuit has come a long way since its inception and no longer brings to mind a stuffy old-school social club. While London is home to some of the world’s chicest and most secretive clubs, there are many others around the globe that each provides a safe haven for the world’s elites.
Whether in Singapore (home to 1880 and the upcoming Straits Clan) or San Francisco, private members’ clubs can be found in various parts of the globe. However, they each boast different levels of prestige — and choosing one to be part of may be confusing. So we took it upon ourselves to curate a list of the most prestigious private members’ clubs around the world.
Without further ado, check out the world’s most exclusive members-only clubs to join — if you can get through the door, that is.
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Founded by British entrepreneur Michael Birch and his wife Xochi Birch (the names behind social networking platform Bebo), The Battery is an invitation-only private social club dedicated to creating an innovative social networking space — you know, away from laptop screens.
The club is located in San Francisco’s Financial District and housed inside the Musto Building — which was once a marble mill and candy warehouse. If you want to gain access to San Francisco’s tech elites, you must be recommended by an existing member — before going through several rounds of screening interviews.
Of course, New York is home to some of the world’s most sophisticated members-only club — such as the Core Club. The exclusive club holds regular activities for members including art exhibits, film screenings, concerts and discussions with luminaries such as Sir Richard Branson, Google’s Eric Schmidt, and biologist Richard Dawkins.
Members benefits include the organisation of private aviation, yacht charter, stays at Bulgari hotels and access to VIP sports, music and theatre tickets — all at a S$66,000 joining fee and S$19,800 per year.
Founded in 1887 in Los Angeles as a secret club, The California Club is the second-oldest private members’ club in Southern California — and holds the reputation of being one of the finest in the world.
To join, members will go through a strict screening — where they’ll first be invited to be interviewed by six current members. Selected members will then have to pay an “undisclosed” admission fee. Additionally, the club has a strict dress code of no denim of athletic shoes — and collared shirts must be worn by gentlemen.
First founded in 1995 on Greek Street in London, Soho House has become one of the most prestigious private members’ clubs in the world — with over 18 locations around the world. Unlike other members-only clubs, which often focus on wealth and status, the members of Soho House work in creative industries such as film, fashion, advertising, music, art and media.
Soho House 76 Dean Street, located in the heart of London’s Soho area, is a haven for the creative and well-heeled in the heart of London’s Soho area. Housed in two Georgian-style residences at 69-70 Dean Street, the club features facilities such as bars and restaurants, the screening room, outdoor spaces, and a calendar of events for members.
Founded by Scottish ex-Rugby International and Monaco resident Ross Beattie in 2016, Thirty Nine Monte Carlo is probably the most luxurious sports club you will ever see.
The members-only club, located in Monaco, features a state of the art fitness suite, spa and beauty rooms, a hair salon, as well as Michelin-star cuisine in its private members’ lounge and private function room. Additionally, the club also offers members access to high-tech sports equipment and training from sports professionals in a private-club setting. Thirty Nine Monte Carlo boasts a list of illustrious members including Prince Albert, who is said to be a regular there.
The prestigious Carnegie Club, founded by American industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie (one of the world’s first billionaires), is located in Skibo Castle — which has been transformed by Carnegie into a “millionaire’s playground.”
Located in a secluded corner of the eastern highlands, the Carnegie Club sits on 8,000 acres of land and boasts an expansive golf course, as well as a spa. The club’s portfolio of members includes CEOs, oil tycoons and aristocrats — and membership costs S$14,700 per year, excluding a S$45,933 one-off joining fee.