Years ago, men-only clubs were in fashion and although some may always exist, we think their importance has diminished with the rise of the younger business, celebrity and royal sets. As evolution and change go, stuffy conformity is out and individuality with style is in. With that in mind, it makes sense that most private member clubs are no longer about gender, they are focused even more about status and position.
Even though some of these clubs have been in business for over 50 years, they attract just the right members to keep up their reputation for exclusivity. They are for the well-connected who want to be discreet, yet conduct business and have some non-paparazzi fun. Many of them would be next to impossible to join, unless your financial credentials are among the top five percent in the world, for the most part.
Generally, once a membership has been established - you're in for good, as long as the membership fee is up-t0-date and you haven't done anything to embarrass the club with which you're associated. The membership fees actually range from free to over $2,000, per year, which is not astronomical for the clientele to whom they cater. However, most require a reference, private invitation or going along with a good friend as a guest and then hobnobbing your brains out to appear a worthy contestant.
The private members clubs you are about to see comprise of a variety of the hottest and most exclusive in the world. Some are used for networking and maintaining high visibility while others are used to give clientele the comfort of sitting alongside their peers. It's all about joining the clubs that attract the people who might be the most important or meaningful within your locale. Of course, the jet setters of the world find locale a trivial issue, so they belong to many.
Although we can show you a few photos of these chic locales, we will ever know what really goes on inside.
10 Cercle de Lorraine - Brussels, Belgium
This elegant, private club is in a castle built in 1910 on sprawling grounds in beautiful Brussels. Membership isn't cheap, at almost $2,000 a year, but you will feel like royalty while dining in one of the several restaurants, lounges or bars while cavorting with the other members. The Cercle de Lorraine offers a lively ambiance as well as offering private areas for more serious business chat. Evidently, this club is specifically for wealthy business men, private companies and equity traders. Can't help but wonder about the inside scoop on the net worth of its members.
9 Le Cercle - Paris, France
For successful entrepreneurs, top tier negotiators and innovators, the Cercle is definitely one of the most exclusive private member business clubs in France. Many members use this club as a place to hobnob and network with other members while others are there to exchange business ideas and advice. The privacy will cost you about $1,600 a year, but what a great place for making things happen. This is one of the most well-respected clubs in Paris, and there are many.
8 Dracula - Saint Moritz, Switzerland
This club first opened in 1974 and is set in the most upscale of all of Europe's ski resorts. Dracula is exclusively members-only and hosts Europe's playboys and European royalty. It all started with a secret society for bob sledders and ended up being the hot spot for Swiss hedge fund managers. The vantage point is amazing, as it's location is near the main strip of the Saint Moritz. This club has seen it's fair share of bad boy scandals and their women which is ironic considering it began as a type of sports club.
7 The House of St. Barnabas - London, England
British interior designer, Russell Sage, is responsible for the stylish restoration of this club that was founded to raise money. It's for members who are interested in planning fundraiser events for the House of St. Barnabas charity and Foundation. The membership isn't cheap at about 100 euros a month, but 99 euros of it goes straight back to the House of St. Barnabas. That makes the club's members the altruistic people we love to hear about.
6 Oasis Clubhouse - Buenos Aires, Argentina
You can't even get the address of this exclusive Argentinian club until you are a member or on the guest list. With Andy Warhol originals hanging in the living room, the club includes three guest rooms, a garden terrace, a billiard room and a lounge. The lovely cocktail bar next to the pool has seen famous opera singers performing by candlelight. Day passes are available for guests, however, an annual membership can run close to $1,000 per year. The location is spectacular with amazing views of the surrounding area. Buenos Aires is said to be the Paris of South America, so it isn't surprising this haunt would be frequented by the elite.
5 Soho House - Berlin, Germany
If you want to get a glimpse of your favorite supermodels or media, Soho House is the place. Founder Nick Jones took this 1928 department store structure that once housed the Communist regime and turned it into a private club with restaurants and a roof-top pool. Steeped in history, this now-modern club costs approximately $1,600 a year to join, but you are definitely considered ultra cool if you are a member.
4 Residence - Dublin, Ireland
This club is actually a townhouse and is only four years old. It is replete with luxurious details, such as the oak floors, fresh interior design techniques and a bit of a high-brow ambiance. The restaurant, Forty One, is very well-known and partly responsible for this club's fast rise to fame. Forty One is an award-winning restaurant that is singled out for its seafood dishes and desserts. At this point the restaurant accepts non-member reservations, depending on availability.
3 A60 - New York, New York
High on top of the Thompson hotel, members have the most incredible views of the city and, in particular, the Empire State Building. A great place for both romance and business, the guests of the hotel are given entrance to the club and interestingly enough, normal membership is free; but by invitation only.
2 Annabels - London, England
For the young jet set group, Annabels' caters to the young royals and celebrities. In fact, if you're over 30 the membership fee is four times as much. (Converted into U.S. dollars, people under 30 pay about $400 and over 30 members pay close to $1,600 per year.) As many private clubs, the entrance is somewhat understated with an opulent and elegant interior. It's considered one of the hottest nightclubs in the world, but for members only.
1 The Hospital Club - London, England
This is the London locale for those who want to mix it up and hang out with the creative people in town. It includes a 36-seat 3D cinema, two cocktail bars, a restaurant and an art gallery. The clubs decor is light, bright and modern. Non-members can reserve a meeting room and experience a completely different feel with the mid-century furniture. Once inside for the meeting, guests are allowed to roam around and see the other aspects the club offers. First year's fee will cost you around $1,500, but you'll be pleased to know all subsequent years will only run about $1,000.