Step beyond the velvet ropes and into a world of exclusivity and sophistication as we invite you to embark on a journey inside some of the most coveted private clubs around the globe. From glamorous establishments that have hosted Hollywood royalty to hidden gems nestled in historic city centers, these elite enclaves offer a glimpse into a world where luxury knows no bounds. Join us as we open the doors to these private havens, where artistry meets opulence, and where membership is a ticket to a lifestyle unlike any other. Get ready to explore the allure and mystique of the world's most prestigious private clubs.
Founded in 1963 by Mark Birley and named for his then wife, Annabel’s has been one of the world’s most exclusive private nightclubs ever since. Its posh Mayfair bar and restaurant was originally designed by Birley and decorator Nina Campbell, and later updated by Birley’s daughter, India Jane. Frank Sinatra was one of the first to join, and the club has hosted royalty (actual and Hollywood) ever since, drawing the likes of Prince William, Lady Gaga, and Mick Jagger.
Dark and secretive, Silencio is everything you would expect from a members-only club created by David Lynch. The director teamed with designer Raphael Navot, French firm Enia Architectes, and lighting designer Thierry Dreyfus on the Paris space, which includes a stage and dance floor, a screening room, a forestlike smoking area, a gilded bar and lounge, and more. Members enjoy exclusive access and performances before midnight, and the club is open to nonmembers—who can make it past the choosy bouncers—after the stroke of 12.
Owner Alan Linn opened Norwood as a hub for New York City’s creative talents. The Chelsea building, which dates from 1845, has been a private residence, the Shelter for Respectable Girls, and a funeral home. Linn worked with Simon Costin—who creates the backdrops for the Alexander McQueen runway shows—and Robert Greene to develop the interiors, which feature 13 fireplaces, blue-chip art, and custom furniture. Amenities including a restaurant, walled garden, top-floor terrace, and three bars draw hip visitors; actresses Allison Williams, Amanda Seyfried, and Emily Blunt have been spotted there.
The place to see and be seen for actors, studio execs, and other boldface names in Los Angeles, Soho House West Hollywood occupies the top two floors of a 14-story building on Sunset Boulevard. The Soho House design team gave their traditional British club aesthetic a relaxed California twist, using a muted palette, unpolished chevron floors, and floor-to-ceiling windows. AD100 designer Waldo Fernandez also contributed to the project. Olive trees hung with wicker lanterns create an illuminated canopy over diners in the rooftop restaurant, which offers views of the surrounding city.
The opulent and eclectic Kee Club has been a popular Hong Kong destination since it opened in 2001—for both its sumptuous design and its dim sum lunches (Gwyneth Paltrow is a fan). Located in the Central district, the space includes salons richly appointed in red, green, gold, and blue, a 1950s-inspired library, a moody bar, and a dining room with walls layered with fine art and artifacts. The club frequently hosts art exhibitions, runway presentations, and trunk shows.
Ken Fulk brings his exuberant eye to the design of San Francisco’s the Battery. The private club was opened last year by Michael and Xochi Birch, founders of the social network Bebo, which sold to AOL in 2008 for $850 million. The five-level, 58,000-square-foot club features several bars, 717b restaurant, a spa and gym, 14 hotel rooms, and a luxurious penthouse suite complete with Viking appliances and a terrace with views of the Bay Bridge. For a taste of life at the Battery, nonmembers are welcome to book hotel rooms and enjoy the club during their stay.
If you’re looking for New York City’s power players, check Core: Club, a favorite of executives and moguls like producer Harvey Weinstein, C. Wonder founder J. Christopher Burch, and agent Ari Emanuel. The location includes amenities such as a gym, spa, Paul Labrecque hair salon, bar, restaurant, and extensive cultural programing. The stylish surroundings, designed by Span Architecture, are accented by an impressive art collection, with works by Andy Warhol, Kenny Scharf, Jonathan Yeo, Sean Landers, and Yi Chen.
House of St. Barnabas in London’s Soho neighborhood is not your average members club. For starters, it operates as a nonprofit, with membership fees going to the in-house Employment Academy, which provides job training to the homeless. Plus, the membership is anything but stuffy: Founders include fashion photographer Rankin, musician Jarvis Cocker, and actor Brian Cox. The house itself is a historic Georgian building with spectacular architectural details that are highlighted by Grainne Weber’s vibrant interiors.
Located on the 51st floor of the Roppongi Hills Mori Tower, the Roppongi Hills Club boasts panoramic views of Tokyo. The sleek, urban space was designed by Sir Terence Conran’s firm Conran & Partners and includes seven restaurants and two bars, plus spaces for private dining, meetings, and events.
Residence is set in a restored Georgian townhouse on St. Stephen’s Green in Dublin. The club offers elegant meeting rooms, a piano bar, a nightclub, casual outdoor dining, and an award-winning restaurant with food sourced from chef Graham Neville’s own garden. Member events range from golf outings and barbecues to Hub41@Residence, a speaker series featuring industry leaders.
Buenos Aires’s chic Palermo neighborhood is home to the Clubhouse, a social club with enviable cultural offerings. Designer Jon Padgett and cofounder Parker Stanberry converted a four-story house to include three guest suites (available to nonmembers), a lounge, a terrace with an outdoor fireplace, and two bars. The pièce de résistance is the pool garden, which is shaded by high, ivy-covered walls. Members can take advantage of art exhibitions, private dinners, and film screenings.
As we conclude our journey through these exclusive private clubs scattered across the world, we are left with a deep appreciation for the timeless allure of these havens of sophistication and luxury. Each of these establishments, with their unique histories, opulent interiors, and star-studded guest lists, represents a testament to the enduring appeal of exclusivity and refinement. Whether fostering creativity, philanthropy, or simply a sense of belonging, these private clubs continue to enrich the lives of their members in extraordinary ways. As we step back into the world beyond their hidden doors, we carry with us the knowledge that there are places where luxury, culture, and camaraderie intersect, inviting us to seek out and savor the finest aspects of life.