For this group on the Top 61 list, the clubhouses are profiled for The Club at Mediterra in Naples, Fla.; Montecito Club in Santa Barbara, Calif.; BallenIsles Country Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.; Newport Beach (Calif.) Country Club; and Meadowbrook Country Club in Ballwin, Mo.
Club + Resort Business has released its list of Top Ranked Clubhouses for 2021.
The rankings reflect the judges’ scoring of data provided on clubhouse square footage; locker room(s) data; event space and seating capacity; bar area(s) square footage; dining area(s) square footage; availability of outdoor dining; wine room/cellar; total dining and bar areas seating capacity; kitchen(s) square footage; pro shop square footage; fitness and wellness square footage; and whether a dedicated youth space is offered.
Entries also included descriptions submitted by the club and resort properties on why their clubhouses should be top ranked, and a full complement of supporting photos. The judges weighted the data and material provided to score all entries.
The entire list and details about all of the Top Ranked Clubhouses can be seen at https://clubandresortbusiness.com/club-resort-business-top-ranked-clubhouses/.
1. The Club at Mediterra, Naples, Fla.
The Club at Mediterra is a synchronicity of friendship and special moments for both its membership and its employees. Service and care is synonymous with Mediterra—service for all who pass through their doors.
“In any organization, the key to success is developing a strong culture supported by strategy and structure,” says COO/General Manager Carmen Mauceri, CCM “In our relentless pursuit of that goal, through brick and mortar and a belief that we can always be better, The Club at Mediterra, along with the help of our architecture partner Peacock + Lewis, has taken a developer-inherited infrastructure and ‘rebuilt’ a club and created a staff culture never before conceived.”
In 2018, The Club at Mediterra finished its Phase I clubhouse renovations, which consisted of improving the firepit, outdoor dining and bar areas to create an outdoor tavern dining and socializing experience. The expansive views of the golf course greens and the stunning sunsets over the 19th Hole create an impressive backdrop for members dining al fresco.
This renovated outdoor dining space doubled size and seating, creating approximately 112 seats with a variety of seating options, and enhanced with lighting, speakers, fans, and ceiling-mounted heaters to be an extension of the indoor bar.
Recently, Phase II was completed. The intention of this phase was to marry what was done in Phase I while blending with the renovated clubhouse design. The ballroom was enlarged to accommodate as many as 60 more people and allow residents to enjoy additional dining and lifestyle events. It also created an unprecedented demand as the desired destination for weddings and special functions, outpacing all competition.
The club’s leadership also secured membership approval for a complete renovation and expansion of its team member space, to better promote a teambuilding culture and as an expression of appreciation for its staff (“Giving Team Members Their Proper Space,” C+RB, July 2021).
Where the staff breakroom was previously in a dark, hidden, and uninviting area that generally went unused, the expanded area now includes a team member library, locker rooms with showers, a lunchroom with a view of the golf course, and available iPads for use.
Also included is a team conference meeting room to conduct training meetings, collaborate and brainstorm new ideas, to continually make The Club at Mediterra the best it can be for its current membership and its potential members. “It is not about the dollars and cents,” says Mauceri. “it’s about what I can provide for you that you will have for the rest of your life.”
2. Montecito Club, Santa Barbara, Calif.
Established in 1918, the Montecito Club’s facilities and its amenities were severely outdated, inefficient and lacked necessary space and functions for the needs of a multi-generational membership base.
The club engaged Marsh and Associates to redesign the clubhouse to address the needs of how membership demands had progressed while honoring the historic character of the existing facility.
As an historic landmark, a majority of the existing clubhouse exterior had to be preserved. Marsh and Associates focused on improving the efficiency of the interior by reconfiguring spaces throughout the existing structure. This improved the relationships of functions and increased usable areas by simplifying the building’s circulation, while maintain the existing building’s exterior footprint.
The reconfiguration of the interior space aesthetically honored the historical Spanish Colonial Revival of the exterior, while blending modern Moroccan design elements to create a timeless contemporary interior that complements the club’s coastal setting.
Marsh and Associates focused on improving all spaces while preserving the character of the architecture that celebrates its history. A variety of new spaces were designed to enhance the member experience and improve operational functionality, including:
• A refurbished 8,000-sq. ft. great room and ballroom with golf course, coastal and ocean views—making it a one-of-a-kind venue for premier events
• New men’s locker room and private lounge with a custom bar, hand-carved wall and ceiling millwork, and a multi-screen media wall
• New women’s locker room featuring a private lounge and outdoor terrace, steam rooms and treatment rooms
• New indoor/outdoor bar and dining, opening to the exterior dining patio and event lawn, highlighting the panoramic ocean views
• New wine-tasting room with personal wine lockers next to a 14-person private dining room featuring intricately chiseled plaster walls
• New, ground-level golf shop with contemporary design and finishes
• World-class fitness center and movement studio with private training room
• Intimate 20-seat movie theatre/screening room including concession area
• New pool facility with men’s and women’s locker rooms and indoor/outdoor snack lounge surrounding a contemporary beach-entry pool adjacent to an interactive splash pad, creating a vibrant zone for families
• New cart-storage building that includes a teen room complete with a two-lane bowling alley and arcade zone, and honors the Spanish Architectural character of the existing adjacent clubhouse building.
By addressing the current and future needs of The Montecito Club’s multi-generational membership, the clubhouse once again serves as a desired luxury destination and incorporates a diverse array of social and wellness amenities to foster the culture of an active and elegant lifestyle.
3. BallenIsles Country Club, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
The vision of the BallenIsles clubhouse was to create different experiences for members and guests in its primary areas, including five new dining locations, the golf shop, expanded card rooms, meeting rooms, men’s and ladies’ lounges, and common areas. These would be the places of choice for socializing with friends and family while serving more than 275,000 meals per year to a diverse membership that loves to dine.
Understanding the scale of the massive 115,000-sq. ft. expanded clubhouse, 9,000 sq. ft. of outdoor patio seating and the adjacent 65,000-sq. ft. sports complex, was critical throughout the envisioning process and took nearly a year of planning.
The vision for the five new dining experiences began to take shape on white walls in the executive offices. It was there that club associates, managers and even a few members could walk in anytime and write down random ideas on the walls. This allowed the entire team to be involved with restaurant themes and ideation. From wall ideas to developing the final vision, the project team concentrated on restaurant branding pillars, the wishes of members, and providing the ultimate member experience, drilling into every detail.
Throughout the envisioning process, the Board of Directors, House, Design and Marketing Committees were kept informed and contributed along the way. The club worked through architectural plans, construction layouts, interior and exterior design, club historical placements, artwork, restaurant concepts, hours of operation, pricing, menus, food features, tableware, signature drinks, uniform styles, staffing, lighting, sound and music. They could feel the space and see it all clearly before it was constructed. Visioning and fine-tuning went on for the better part of nine months.
The redefined and expanded space features modern décor, bright elegant style, and forward-thinking flair, with multiple dining venues for every taste. From the regal lobby with vaulted ceilings and clerestory windows to the iconic Lounge, the sweeping architectural changes maximize both indoor and outdoor space.
The overall architectural plan required the use of the existing clubhouse footprint, with circumference expansions providing additional square footage and the best use of space. During design, careful planning went into how foot traffic would flow throughout the club, and considerable time was spent on determining the current and future needs of the membership.
It was decided that traditional locker room space would be foregone for lounging and gathering space, and that multiple dining venues and choices were key, as dining and spending time with family and friends are part of the club’s culture. Equally important was planning the room views and transitions from indoor to outdoor space on the backside of the clubhouse. Exterior landscape and hardscape improvements tied the two areas together seamlessly.
The construction and interior design were a collaborative effort between the general contractor, architect, interior design firm, representatives from various club committees and key staff.
Interior design choices were made to be consistent with the overall vision of “a casual atmosphere with understated sophistication and comfortable chic.” The club focused upon creating engaging spaces that would have a contemporary edge and visually flow between all locations.
The juxtaposition of a neutral color palette with selected accents of pops of color resulted in a light, airy, refreshing ambiance. Throughout the clubhouse interior, materials such as stone, warm-stained wood, wall coverings and textured fabrics were selected. Finishing layers include dynamic artwork, colorful accessories, coordinating carpet, lighting and furniture.
In both indoor and outdoor spaces, emphasis was also placed on sound quality, music selection, television and monitor placement, and scent/fragrance variety, based on the space, time of day, and event.
The entire clubhouse renovation and expansion project required a re-brand of the club that included a new logo and color scheme, refreshed website, new brand standards, and more.
4. Newport Beach Country Club, Newport Beach, Calif.
The original clubhouse was built in 1954. That building was torn down in 2014 and the new clubhouse opened in July 2016.
Newport Beach Country Club’s 56,000-sq. ft. California Coastal Craftsman-style clubhouse exudes casual sophistication. Perched above the famed Pacific Coast Highway, the state-of-the-art facility boasts panoramic views of emerald fairways and sapphire seas through floor-to-ceiling windows.
Verandas and patios flow from dining and banquet rooms, creating an indoor-outdoor feel that takes advantage of Newport Beach’s incredible year-round climate.
The feedback from members and guests creates a sense of awe that matches Newport Beach CC’s vision of being the standard for the next generation of clubs.
5. Meadowbrook Country Club, Ballwin, Mo.
The leadership team and Board of Governors at Meadowbrook Country Club in St. Louis, Mo. spent countless hours with the Long-Range Planning Committee to implement a vision of a new Meadowbrook.
The club has almost completed a $4.5 million renovation, with a lot of those enhancements coming in the clubhouse. In the past two years Meadowbrook has completely renovated its lobby, hallways, Grille, Grand Ballroom Bar, and Ladies’ Locker Room from the clubhouse. In fact, over the last 15 or so years, the club has put $17 million back into Meadowbrook.
Meadowbrook has evolved from a club that spends money when things are broken to developing short- and long-term capital enrichments that the membership can directly see and utilize. Phase II comes after a complete renovation to the outdoor dining and bar.
When a prospective member finishes a tour and sits down with the Meadowbrook team to go over details, there are three things the club can say sets it apart from other clubs in town: the golf course, financial decision-making, and most importantly, the culture. After these clubhouse renovations, Meadowbrook may have to tinker with the “big three” to put more of an emphasis on clubhouse.
Meadowbrook isn’t a stereotypical stuffy country club. It is a resort in West St. Louis—a second (sometimes third) home for members. The recent clubhouse renovations are a direct reflection of what the club has become, and the creation of the first waitlist to join in over a decade is a true testament to that.
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