The World’s Most Exclusive Private Members’ Clubs

Lifestyle
27th May 2024

Fancy rubbing shoulders with the elite set? Private clubs are an important part of the extremely upper class social experience – where the rich and famous go for privacy, luxury, and to mingle amongst their own.

Looking to join? It’ll set you back… with joining fees up to £100,000 and 25 year waiting lists. But if you want to dream big, here’s our pick of the world’s most exclusive clubs for privacy, luxury, and the height of elitism – from London to Tokyo,  Malibu and New York.

Worlds Most Exclusive Clubs: From London To Tokyo

Worlds most exclusive clubs, little beach house malibu

Little Beach House, Malibu

Soho Houses are a mixed bag in exclusivity terms, but Little Beach House in Malibu is rumoured to be the trickiest to get into. Not least because (and the clue’s in the name) it’s little.

The beachfront property draws its membership from the  film, fashion, advertising, music, art and media sectors of this Californian surfing mecca. Which, given that’s pretty much everyone, means that competition is fierce.

 

Even normal Soho House members can't just waltz in...

Even normal Soho House members can’t just waltz in, and despite being part of the Nick Jones empire, the ‘local membership’ rule is unique to Malibu, making its laid-back terrace one of America’s most sought-after.

Worlds most exclusive clubs, little beach house malibu

Core, New York

Billed as an ‘international community of minds, mavericks and leaders, Core’s membership is rumoured to include the Clintons, Jay-Z and Howard Schultz. You or I might read ‘CORE: is a philosophy. A culture. A sensibility. An ethos. A playground for the zeitgeist’ and struggle to stifle a giggle, but this is how rich Americans like to be spoken to and it’s deadly serious.

As are the fees, which are said to be $50,000 for membership and $17,000 annual charges. Thankfully the 1,600 members apparently have an average net worth of $83 million so, if anything, they need to put the fees up!

Worlds most exclusive clubs, core club new york
Worlds most exclusive clubs, core club new york
annabels, Worlds most exclusive clubs

Annabel’s, London

One of London’s most sought-after clubs, Annabel’s is the darling of Mayfair with its Berkeley Square townhouse almost constantly playing host to some art installation or other, whether the entire 70-foot facade is dressed for Christmas, fashion week, or Halloween.

A legend on the London club scene...

A legend on the London club scene, the club may not be the oldest, the grandest or the most exclusive, but it’s one of the best known. After undergoing a £65m facelift (that includes a Picasso in the foyer) a few years ago, the club has been entirely reimagined by Martin Brudnizki, the ubiquitous interior designer, and has created a playground perfect for the rich and famous.

annabels, Worlds most exclusive clubs

The Carnegie Club, Scotland

The fantasy of being a Scottish laird can become a reality at Scotland’s Carnegie Club. The stunning Skibo Castle is a private members club made up mainly of American businessmen, presumably rediscovering their tenuous Celtish roots in the lap of luxury. And by chance they can experience life as genuine Scots do. Being awoken each day by a resident bagpiper and eating breakfast accompanied by a live organist.

The opulent club boasts a golf course, a spa, off-roading, riding (sorry, ‘horse-back riding’ – in case you didn’t know where to sit) and clay pigeon shooting, all on the 8,000 acre estate.

the carnegie club, Worlds most exclusive clubs
the carnegie club, Worlds most exclusive clubs

The Hurlingham Club, London

With a closed waiting list and reportedly a 15-20 year wait for anyone already in the queue, only the Order of the Garter can rival The Hurlingham for exclusivity. In fact, there’s such a demand, that the only way to secure membership is through marriage.

The only way to secure membership is through marriage...

The Fulham mansion sits in grand parkland and comes with swimming pools, tennis courts and some of the best croquet lawns in the country.

Club 33, California

Bet you didn’t expect one of the worlds most exclusive clubs to be hidden inside a Disneyland park… Named after its address at 33 Royal Street in Disneyland’s New Orleans Square (and perhaps because of its resemblance to mouse ears), Club 33 is the ultimate VIP spot for any Disney fanatic. This legendary private members club was founded by Walt Disney and used to be the go-to for a drink in the park, being the only place where alcohol is permitted. Now, lucky members get the royal treatment, scoring up to 50 single-day admission tickets, five VIP tours a year, FastPasses, and all the Disney merch you could dream of.

So, how do you join the club? Well, Disney likes to keep it formal; you have to write an application letter. And then, brace yourself for the long haul – some folks wait over ten years for club membership. Oh, and don’t forget the hefty $25,000 joining fee plus $10,000 annual membership.

Yellowstone Club, Montana

For the ski-loving elite, this exclusive club caters to those with a taste for adventure and deep pockets. Among its members, you’ll find the likes of Ben Affleck, Jessica Biel, Jennifer Lopez, and Bill Gates, and it proudly boasts itself as ‘the world’s only private. ski, golf and adventure community’. Offering direct, private access to Big Sky’s ski slopes, members can enjoy world-class ski experiences right on their doorstep. 

Curious about joining? You’ll need to own a home in Yellowstone, pay an annual fee of $41,500, as well as a humble $400,000 sign-up payment. No biggie.

5 Hertford, London

5 Hertford Street is housed in an 18th century Mayfair townhouse. Hidden behind an anonymous looking door lies a deceptively large club with multiple restaurants and cocktail bars, a cigar room, a cinema, and Loulou’s – 5 Hertford Street’s prestigious nightclub. Having opened in 2012, Loulou’s has already achieved iconic status amongst London’s young elite, frequented by royalty of both the celebrity and blue-blood variety.

Despite this, 5 Hertford Street remains a timeless club where you can spend Sunday afternoons as well as partying into the early hours on a Friday night. The open fires, soft lighting and armchairs made to sink into make it a dream spot for lazing off your hangover, treating a date, or impressing your parents with your excellent lifestyle choices.

Roppongi Hills Club, Tokyo

In the centre of Tokyo’s exclusive Roppongi Hills, the Japanese equivalent of Mayfair or the Upper East Side, is the Roppongi Hills Club, 51 storeys above the capital and overlooking its most familiar landmarks. But it’s what’s inside that most people don’t have an opportunity to discover.

The club enjoys seven restaurants and two bars. including Amakawa, which only serves hand selected A5 Wagyu beef...

It’s run by the Hyatt hotel, which owns the Mori Tower that the club tops. Along with its 360 degree view of the skyline, the club enjoys seven restaurants and two bars (including Amakawa, which only serves hand selected A5 Wagyu beef). If you’re looking for the very best of Tokyo, this is the perfect start.

the tanglin club, Worlds most exclusive clubs

The Tanglin Club, Singapore

With a seemingly endless waiting list, The Tanglin Club is the place to be seen in Singapore. In a city that boasts a hotel with the most impressive infinity pool in the world (courtesy of Marina Sands Bay) or one the most luxurious hangouts East of Suez (that’s you, Raffles) it still falls to The Tanglin to be the one place in Singapore you want to be.

The club was founded in 1865 and still evokes an old-school charm of a St James’s Club, but with a modernity about it. The waiting list is said to be between ten and fifteen years long and members can enjoy six restaurants and bars as well as a raft of facilities. And for the $100,000 membership, you’d expect at least as much.


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