“While we have other properties in the region in destinations like Bali, Koh Samui and Mauritius, this is our only one in Singapore,” said Gerry Gross from The Hideaways Club, as he showed us around a lavish apartment at The Trillium. Except, the beautifully-furnished space located in the Orchard and River Valley area is not owned by just one person, but close to 500. The apartment is one of the 52 properties owned by the destination club worldwide, which hosts high-profile members such as tennis legend Tim Henman.
Although the concept has been gaining prominence over the past few years, destination clubs are nothing new. The world’s first destination club, the now-defunct Connecticut-based Private Retreats (subsequently named Tanner & Haley), was introduced in 1998. The concept offers the use of multimillion-dollar holiday homes around the world without actually having to own one. Instead of owning a single property, members share a portfolio of residences. But that’s not all, their needs will also be taken care of by a team of dedicated staff. Think: A personal concierge, butler, driver, masseuse — you name it.
The price to pay? A hefty one-time fee (ranging anywhere from S$41,000 to S$1.4 million), along with annual dues (S$4,700 to S$70,500) to cover upkeep, mortgages, homeowners’ association charges, housekeeping and concierge services.
Late last year, we met up with co-founder and CEO of Afini, John Blanco. The new members-only club was established last year, offering the same bespoke services and exclusivity for Asia’s affluent travellers. The Singapore-based start-up has even partnered with iconic hotel brands such as Capella Singapore in major metropolitan markets. Its unique selling point? Each member is assigned a dedicated Lifestyle Consultant who will be responsible for customising every component of every trip before departure. Additionally, they will also be available at members’ disposal 24/7 during their stay. Hermes-only toiletries? Sorted. Demand that your fridge stocked with vintage Dom Pérignon before your arrival? Your wish is their command.
Indeed, being a member of a destination club is almost like owning uber-luxe vacation homes all around the world — except you don’t have to worry about the upkeep.
If you’re sold on the idea of being a destination club member and are looking to join one, check out these clubs that offer members luxurious properties all around the globe, complete with a team of professional staff to accommodate your every need. All you need to do is show up.
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Boasting an impressive portfolio of 52 properties across 21 locales worldwide, The Hideaways Club takes the concept of a ‘holiday home’ to new heights. Properties are branded into two categories, the City Collection (boasting seven owned residences and four leased properties) and Classic Collection (consisting of 36 owned villas and chalets and six leased properties.)
With over 500 prolific members under its belt, including tennis legend Tim Henman, The Hideaways Club is one of the world’s most exclusive destination clubs. And that’s not all, members can also have access to more than 200 residences in USA, Caribbean, Mexico, Costa Rica, Canada, China, Japan and Europe.
Launched last year, the members-only club provides members with exclusive access to private vacation residences around the world — complete with plush amenities and 24/7 services tailored to your needs by your personal Afini lifestyle consultant.
Members pay a one-time initiation fee, an annual renewal fee, and discounted nightly rates averaging 20 percent to 60 percent below market rates at the best properties and locations across the globe. For example, members pay S$10,440 for a seven-night stay at Villa Amanzi in Phuket, compared to the market rate of S$21,400.
Owned by American Express, Inspirato is the world’s largest destination club, offering access to a curated collection of luxury vacation options. This includes more than 800 Inspirato Residences in over 150 locations available exclusively to members, Hotel & Resort Residences within luxury resort communities, Hotel & Resort Rooms/Suites at guaranteed members-only values, and Inspirato Experiences in far-reaching lands and at iconic events.
Membership starts from S$13,551 for a key membership to S$40,658 for an executive one. The latter includes benefits such as complimentary memberships for parents and children, as well as a 12-months advance booking compared to a six-month one for key members.
If you prefer staying in world-renowned five-star hotels, The Ritz-Carlton Destination Club is the answer. Helmed by the luxury hotel chain, the club offers four distinct usage options — The Ritz-Carlton Club Locations, Marriott Rewards, Marriott Vacation Club Resorts and the Explorer Collection.
The Ritz-Carlton Club Locations, for example, grants access to on-site residences in five locations in the United States and the Caribbean, while the Explorer Collection treats members to a curated range of once-in-a-lifetime tours and travel packages all around the world. Each member is assigned a personal Member Services Advisor who will customise each vacation, providing hospitality that is second to none.
Boasting homes in exotic locales such as Florence, Napa Valley and Cabo San Lucas, Solstice’s offerings are smaller yet more varied. The destination club’s eight distinctive homes offer a luxurious, relaxing and fun stay.
Each home is locally managed by a dedicated Destination Manager and daily housekeeper — both included as part of membership — who will also be at your disposal when you go on vacation. Membership comes in three tiers — Signature, Platinum and Sky — each granting different levels of access, offering a flexible and customised approach for members.