Majestic, extravagant, and exclusive, these clubs indulge their members’ every whim! By Satyaki Sarkar
1. Soho House Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
There are countless exclusive and extravagant clubs in Barcelona, with Soho House Barcelona being the crème de la crème of the lot. Overlooking Port Vell Marina, the club is situated in a beautiful 18th-century building that has it’s own 37-seat cinema! Booking one of the 57 guest rooms doesn’t require you to be a cardholder, but some of the more exclusive spaces, including the lounge and restaurant, are reserved only for members. The membership costs around $1,950 per year, apart from the $450 initiation fee, and it also grants you access to every other Soho House in the world as well.
2. Core Club, New York, USA
Probably the most elite of New York’s deluxe upmarket clubs, Core Club is located right at the centre of midtown Manhattan, and is the complete opposite of what stodgy clubs are supposed to be. It is a melting pot of unconventional new age culture, with a focus on the unique and the new. From art exhibits, film screenings, and concerts, to scintillating discussions with renowned personalities like Sir Richard Branson, Google’s Eric Schmidt, and biologist Richard Dawkins, it defines cool like no other. This club charges $17,000 annually as member’s fee, apart from the initial $50,000 registration fee.
3. The Carnegie Club, Skibo Castle, Dornach, Scotland
Situated on a gigantic country estate spanning 8,000 acres in the Scottish Highlands, the Carnegie Club at Skibo Castle was named after Andrew Carnegie, who was responsible for restoring it before turning it into his private summer residence. To this date, the castle as well as the estate has been preserved and maintained. With as many as 21 guestrooms and 11 freestanding lodges, the castle serves almost as a home away from home, doubling up as a go-to holiday escape with sporting attractions like horseback riding, shooting, fishing, swimming, tennis, and golf. The Carnegie Club has an annual membership charge of roughly $10,134, besides the initial joining fee of $31,670.
4. Capital Club, Dubai, UAE
Frequented primarily by members of government and business heads, this famous club is one of Dubai’s most elite recreational places for extravagance and luxury. Offering a host of exquisite culinary delicacies, the club is available for business meetings and presentations as well. Frequent guests include prominent speakers from around the world who deliver lectures and hold discussions addressing countless socio-political, commercial, and cultural issues. The joining free is $15,000, while the annual membership costs $270.
5. The Arts Club, London
Founded in 1863 by world renowned English writer and social critic Charles Dickens along with a few of his contemporaries, the London Arts Club was designed to be a place for lovers of art, literature, and science. Since then the club has metamorphosed into a grand old conclave of exquisite local eateries and a veritable cornucopia of music, cultural, and art events. Recently, 16 more guestrooms were added to the club, and are reserved exclusively for members and their guests. The membership fee for this exclusive club, which houses over 40 brilliant art works, come to around $2,515 per year, in addition to the joining fee of $2,515.