A feature in USA Today detailed members-only clubs, including Los Angeles Athletic Club, The Battery Club in San Francisco, and Soho House in Chicago, that offer overnight accommodations to non-members, which include access to club amenities.
A hotel stay can be the key to access to some of the world’s most exclusive members-only clubs. While a regular member of Soho House must undergo a rigorous application process and pay pricey annual fees, the average traveler can get in the door simply by booking one of the club’s many global hotel rooms, USA Today reported.
Downtown Los Angeles is home to the Los Angeles Athletic Club, which has rooms and club suites available for booking starting in the low $200 range. San Francisco’s The Battery Club has 15 hotel rooms, which include a 6,200-sq. ft. rooftop penthouse with an outside terrace. Rooms for non-members at The Battery range from $600 to $1,300 per night, with a discount for members. The Penthouse begins at $10,000 per night, Today reported.
“The ever-changing global economic climate has seen a growth in the mobile workforce,” said Sue Walter, CEO of The Hospital Club. “Changes in lifestyle management have also resulted in more flexible working arrangements.”
Private membership clubs have had a resurgence in popularity in the last 10 years, Walter said. And those members have asked for overnight accommodations to reflect their flexible lifestyles and changing needs, Today reported.
“The term ‘home away from home’ is being used more and more when referring to private members clubs,” she said. “The addition of bedrooms means that a club can provide a space where its community can seamlessly transition from work to play to rest.”
The Battery in San Francisco added rooms to ensure that guests had somewhere to go after bars closed elsewhere. “The Battery offers hotel rooms so that the member—or visiting guest—experience wouldn’t have to end at last call,” said Stephen Flowers, membership director for The Battery. “Many of our members do not live in San Francisco. Therefore, we can provide them with a home away from home.”
The Battery specifically caters to business travelers by including a desk and several chairs in every room. The club also rents out private meeting spaces for up to 12 people as well as conference equipment, information technology and audio/visual assistance, Bluetooth connectivity and free Wi-Fi. There are also workspaces available in the club’s communal Library, Today reported.
For business travelers, these amenities are useful, as is the possibility to network inside a club’s usually impenetrable walls. Tanya Spaulding, principal at design firm Shea, Inc., prefers staying at the Soho House in cities such as Chicago even though she’s not a member, Today reported.
“They’ve created multiple common areas within the hotel dedicated to business or pleasure, or both, that layer in design, amenities and lighting in a way that makes guests instantly comfortable,” she said. “When you stay here, you have access to some of the most popular and coveted spaces in town that are not open to the masses.”