These clubs are the hottest spots for the world’s ultra rich and famous—but one can’t simply buy their way into these exclusive hideaways.
The concept of “secret” groups isn’t a new one. Such organizations have been present in elite circles around the world for decades, mainly acting as platforms for the affluent to truly distinguish themselves from the rest (and of course, meet and mingle with other people of similar status). However, a higher level of exclusivity exists even among the wealthy.
When it comes to exclusive members clubs, it’s no longer enough to simply have plenty of money. The real novelty and excitement arises when money can’t buy everything—in these cases, a person’s status and connections become valuable assets in gaining entry to elite clubs that surpass the rest.
Some clubs are so elusive that they barely have an online presence, and others make it a point not to reveal their high-profile patrons. Read on to learn more about these groups that cater to the 0.1 percent:
R360 Club (all across the United States)
The R360 Club is more of a networking organization than a single physical space. To say that the club is particular about who they grant membership to would be a huge understatement. As per Country & Town House, potential members are expected to have a net worth of over $100 million, for starters. This makes sense, considering how a three-year family membership at the club costs $180,000. However, that’s not the only requirement for eligibility.
Charles Garcia, one of R360’s managing members, has a very strict screening process. In fact, R360 is invite-only. It’s already rejected two billionaires in the past for not possessing the values and intentions the club looks for in candidates, as per the Evening Standard. What exactly are these values?
People looking to join R360 need to have a sense of purpose and a desire to build a legacy with their family. They also need to possess the club’s six ‘forms of capital,’ according to Country & Town House. These include financial, intellectual, social, human, emotional, spiritual capital.
Once someone becomes a member, they get access to support groups, private getaways, and investment opportunities. On the topic of legacy making, R360 even hires professional filmmakers to create documentaries of members’ lives, according to the Evening Standard.
1930 Club (somewhere in Milan, Italy)
Wealthy individuals who want to live out their “secret spy” dreams can try applying for a membership at the 1930 Club…well, assuming they can find it. This secret club is as elusive as one can be, and a speakeasy bar in every sense of the word. It has no publicly listed website, definitive location, or phone number, as per the South China Morning Post. It does, however, have an Instagram account—but it still lacks a specific address.
What people do know about the club is that it’s Milan’s “best-kept secret,” and the region’s “coolest private members’ club,” as per Vogue France. It also placed 35th in the 50 Best Bars list of 2022 (which also doesn’t list its address). This may be a frustrating conundrum to some, and a thrilling opportunity to others.
If luck is on your side, Vogue France stated that one can head to Milan’s Mag Café and try asking for 1930’s address. However, unless someone is a personal friend of the club’s owners or one of its patrons, the possibility of receiving information is slim. Oh, and interested members also need to state the club’s password before entering, for added mystique.
To those who know, the 1930 Club’s membership cards can only be read with ultraviolet light. If you can’t find the lavish spot, no worries—browsing through pictures of the club’s ornate and vintage interiors on Instagram will suffice.
Yacht Club de Monaco (Monaco)
The Yacht Club de Monaco isn’t just a group where wealthy individuals gather to bond over their shared love for the hobby of yachting. It also happens to be one of the most exclusive clubs in the world. One would expect as much from an organization that Prince Rainier himself established in 1953.
The club is located in the picturesque waters of Quai Louis II in Monaco, with membership by recommendation only. This means that at least two existing members of the club need to sponsor a potential candidate through written letters. As for the person who sifts through and reads these letters, that would be none other than Prince Albert II of Monaco, as per Country & Town House.
Should a person’s entry be successful, they’ll get to network with some of the world’s richest individuals (and of course, enjoy yachting, a state-of-the-art clubhouse, and access to partner clubs around the world). So while the club’s membership is free, getting into the elite group of more than 2,500 members is another story altogether.
5 Hertford Street (London)
The English have their fair share of secret clubs across professions and even universities. 5 Hertford Street is one particular club that epitomizes the glamor and prestige of these elusive groups. While it hasn’t disclosed a list of its members, Hertford has reportedly been a go-to spot for celebrities like Colin Firth, Harry Styles, Leonardo DiCaprio, George Clooney, and Amal Clooney. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have visited the club for dates. Politicians like Boris Johnson and Michael Gove have also frequented the club, as per the Evening Standard.
5 Hertford Street is located in Mayfair, London, and much like Yacht Club de Monaco, is by recommendation only. According to Country & Town House, prospective members need two recommendations from existing ones to make the cut.
What awaits those affluent enough to gain membership into Hertford are dim-lit interiors with a Victorian aesthetic. The club barely has any pictures online, but Country & Town House revealed that it welcomes pets, has a wide array of restaurants and bars, contains a cigar shop and Gentleman’s Club, and even has a dedicated dancefloor. However, members are required to follow a strict dress code, which means nothing too casual—it’s a pretty prestigious venue, after all.
Paris’ Silencio is an unconventional place, and according to Country & Town House, one of the most elusive clubs in Europe. American filmmaker David Lynch (who specializes in all things creepy and art house), founded the secretive group that’s made for the best creatives in the business.
So yes, one doesn’t necessarily need to be wealthy to gain a membership, but they do have to meet Silencio’s talent standards. Potential members must have established experience in any of the various creative fields and international artistic circles. One can expect regular guest performances from fellow artists; for instance, the late and legendary Prince once did a show within Silencio’s walls. Famous members include Mary-Kate Olsen, Ashley Olsen, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, and Lindsay Lohan, as per the South China Morning Post.
Like most clubs on this list, there’s not a lot of information on Silencio. Its Instagram mainly features an eclectic mix of black and white photos, and guests can only access it by climbing down six flights of stairs. Though the public can line up and access the club after midnight, only members can enter as early as 6 P.M.—and perhaps that’s when all the fun really starts.
Banner photo via Instagram @1930cocktailbar.