The best private members' clubs in Hong Kong
It may seem like a throwback to its colonial days, but Hong Kong is a hotbed of private members clubs, where entry is extremely competitive and rarely won. Despite the social events that these clubs put on, they also offer the perfect opportunity for networking. Most clubs revolve around sport and recreational activities, but most often have a philanthropic side to them. Here’s a quick guide to some of the more famous private members clubs in Hong Kong.
The Hong Kong Club
This is probably one of the most famous and prestigious private members clubs in Hong Kong. Its roots are firmly planted in the colonial era and it was inaugurated in 1846. It is located right in the heart of the Central district, and although its history may be colonial, it’s central offices certainly aren’t. Ugly 80’s blocks aside, the club’s tradition dictated that women were not eligible for membership right up until the late 1990’s. Like most others of its kind, it offers facilities that are second to none. These include a gym, billiard room, a card room, and squash courts. Not to mention the fact that the club also has its own on-site restaurants and bars.
The Hong Kong Country Club
This gem is just as elite as the name suggests and it spans the beautiful landscape of rolling hills on the south of Hong Kong island. The country club is much more family-oriented than some other clubs in the city, and another feather in its cap is that its membership policy is open to applicants from all nationalities. Its history is a little shorter than that of its counterparts, but that’s not to say that it doesn’t stick to its traditional guns.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club
This club is one of the most famous in Hong Kong and is the epicentre of many of the social activities in the city. The club is so famous that it has three locations and an offshoot in Beijing. We can assume that membership is extremely restricted in many of these clubs, but for the Jockey Club, the joining process is taken to the next level. The registration fee is exorbitant ($400,000) and prospective members also must secure endorsements from at least five members. Membership waiting lists can be up to twenty years, so if you have time and money to spare, the Jockey Club might be just what you’re looking for.
Less of a private members club and more of a networking centre, the China Club is like stepping back in time to pre-WWII Shanghai. The club is situated in the previous Bank of China building and inside, there are plenty of artefacts and pieces of memorabilia from China’s past. There is a restaurant, a bar, private function rooms and card rooms, but visitors must adhere to the strict reservation and dress policy.
The Hong Kong Bankers Club
This is the place to come to hobnob with the executives of banks operating in Hong Kong, but it is also the place where consultants and businessmen come to talk finance. There is a choice of five restaurants on-site, but the dress code must be observed. It might sound terribly stuffy, but this is an elite club and its members are expected to present a certain image at all time. For people working in banking and finance, membership to the Hong Kong Bankers Club is the sign that you’ve arrived and mean business-literally.