The World's Most Exclusive Private Members Clubs

Memberships to these elite, invite-only clubs, requires referrals or interviews, a vetting period, not to mention hefty annual fees.

The Library at The Battery (c) Douglas Friedman

There are clubs which are exclusive, and then there are clubs which are exclusive. We take a look at five of the most elite - and expensive - from around the world.

CORE:Club, Manhattan

The benefits of joining CORE:Club in New York are numerous, from the in-house plastic surgery spa to a menu of car rentals, including Lamborghinis and Ferraris, as well as priceless wine tastings and A-List star screenings. The club has hosted talks with luminaries such as Sir Richard Branson, Google’s Eric Schmidt, and scientist Richard Dawkins. It comes at a hefty price though; the joining fee will set you back US$50,000 plus US$17,000 annual membership. Billionaires Christopher Burch and Steve Roth are said to be members.

Bohemian Club, California

Founded in 1872 originally as a club for journalists, now it counts the most powerful politicians (usually Republican) in the world as its members. The waiting list is said to be around 15 years, with a few exceptions for academics and creative types who can sometimes get a fast track. To get in, you need a number of letters of recommendation and 15 separate interviews. Once you're in there is the reported US$25,000 initiation fee and hefty annual dues. The Bohemian Club has its headquarters in San Francisco, in a red brick masonry building, but every Summer its gathers for two weeks in a grove of 2700 acres of virgin Redwood forest to host light talks, meetings and plays. Notable Bohos, as they're called, reportedly include George H.W. Bush, Henry Kissinger, Clint Eastwood and Bing Crosby.

The rooftop at 39 Monte Carlo

39 Monte Carlo, Monaco

Founded by Ross Beattie, a Scottish former international rugby player, 39 Monte Carlo has one of the best locations in the Principality, on the exclusive Avenue Princesse Grace. It is famous for its state-of-the-art gym facilities, including a pilates studio, a high-altitude hypoxic training room, a cardio wall and body composition analysis technology. It also offers Michelin-starred dining looking out over Monaco's famous harbour. Some of its elite athlete members include F1 driver Charles Leclerc, tennis players Grigor Dmitrov and Alexander Zverev, Australian cyclist Caleb Ewan and Prince Albert himself is frequently seen here. Annual membership costs EUR 4,900 for an individual and EUR 7,900 for a couple.

The Battery, San Francisco

The Battery was founded by husband-and-wife tech entrepreneurs Xochi and Michael Birch, co-founders of Bebo. It opened its doors in October 2013, transforming a five-story warehouse and former sweet factory into a private club and boutique hotel. With around 5,000 members, the Battery features a 120-seat restaurant and a library, a spa, a gym plus a wine cellar with 1,200 labels. To join The Battery, one must be nominated by a current member, complete three video interviews, and await approval by a committee. The cost to join is US$2,400 per year, plus a US$500 one-time initiation fee.

5 Hertford Street, London

Owned by Robin Birley, the English businessman who is the son of Lady Annabel Goldsmith and nightclub owner Mark Birley, 5 Hertford Street in Mayfair is one of London's most secretive clubs. Located in an 18th century townhouse, through a narrow, unsigned wooden door, if you are looking for glamour or sophistication, 5 Hertford Street does not disappoint. The spiral staircase entrance is hugged by walls peppered with mirrors, breathing an elegance that reflects what is inside. There is a labyrinth of rooms, dance floors, courtyards and restaurants. The real party starts after midnight when the young and beautiful flock to the dance floor in the nightclub, Lou-Lou’s. Regularly seen here are Harry Styles, Lupita Nyong'o and Leonardo di Caprio. Membership costs £1,800 annually plus a registration fee.


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