The London members’ club landscape has changed drastically in recent years. Previously they were mostly generally centred around the West End, Belgravia and St. James’s, with a smattering of private haunts outside these hubs. But today the City of London – the United Kingdom’s’ financial epicentre – is home to a concentration of new, upscale members’ clubs, many with bijou onsite hotels. Designed specifically to cater to the capital’s high-spending business fraternity and upwardly mobile creative types, these clubs offer facilities, space and hotel rooms hitherto unavailable at most of their West End counterparts, and they are proving to be so popular that more are being planned and launched in the City to feed the growing demand which shows little sign of abating.
Everyone knows about the Soho House group. If you want to climb London’s social ladder, eavesdrop about the hippest local happenings and rub shoulders with East London’s fashionistas, Shoreditch House is still the place to do it. Occupying a converted biscuit factory in a street-art-strewn East End alleyway, roughly-hewn semi-industrial Shoreditch House was the original City of London members club, and to a great extent the forerunner of (and started the snowballing demand for) the plethora of members’ clubs which exist today within the City’s square mile.
But Shoreditch House it too large, too brash and too in-your-face for many, who have veered towards to joining members’ clubs which cater more acutely to their business needs and entertaining clients, rather than partying through the night. One such newish members’ club is The Curtain, unveiled a year ago by renowned party king and New York hotelier Michael Achenbaum. Outwardly more hotel than members’ club, The Curtain boasts over a hundred guest rooms of varying shapes and sizes, all of which feature a king-sized bed, gorgeous marble walk-in rain shower-cum-steam room and undoubtedly the best in-room mini-bars this side of the Atlantic. Granted the smallest are more akin to crash pads, but the super-fast wi-fi is free and rooms are laden with cutesy yet functional touches such as bluetooth Marshall speakers. The Curtain also has one of the best 24-hour gyms in the square mile.
Guests booking The Curtain Suite (at around one thousand Pounds per night) even get free use of a Porsche Boxster for the duration of their stay, subject to booking direct with the hotel. Now that’s a swishy perk that any discerning Cultured Traveller would be hard pushed to pass up.