Members’ clubs to join now
We’ll send you a myFT Daily Digest email rounding up the latest Travel news every morning.
A cardholder’s haven in midtown Manhattan
Those in possession of American Express’s invitation-only Centurion card know the privileges of membership are many, from hotel room upgrades to the oodles of points they earn with various purchases. As of next month, it has another one to enjoy, in the heart of Manhattan: Centurion New York is its new, private, hybrid work-relax-wine-and-dine space on the 55th floor of the historic 1 Vanderbilt building.
Designed to provide all the benefits and privacy of a members’ club, the venue offers an all-star line-up of contributors, from Yabu Pushelberg (who designed the interiors throughout) to Daniel Boulud (he created the menus and oversees the kitchens at both casual spot The Studio, and The Gallery, Centurion’s fine-dining restaurant). There is a wine vault, and a semi-clandestine bar called 1850. Every space is filled with fine art curated by New York- and Toronto-based consultant Hanabi; the collection evokes a wide swath of recent art history, featuring Nan Goldin, Diane Arbus, and Robert Motherwell, among many others. Card holders have priority for all restaurants and spaces (but others are allowed to partake, space permitting, so a booking is recommended).
Cipriani’s home sweet Casa in Milan
Milan, where Fashion Week is just now wrapping up, is moving up the agenda on Italophiles’ must-visit lists. Last September, the Venetian Cipriani family set up operations here in the Palazzo Bernasconi, a grand 20th-century building overlooking the Indro Montanelli gardens. Casa Cipriani is a combination of hotel and private club, with 15 rooms and suites and a clutch of spaces and facilities to which members can bring up to three guests.
The sister to Casa Cipriani on Lower Manhattan’s South Street, it reprises all that’s good about the experience: there’s Bar Arrigo, in a soaring interior courtyard, and a wood-panelled Cipriani restaurant. Wellness buffs are amply catered to and the spa features his-and-hers sauna and steam rooms and facials with the made-in-Italy Bakel skincare line. casaciprianimilano.com
Exclusive arts in East London
New to London’s East End, meanwhile, is Shoreditch Arts Club, which has taken over 500sq m of the landmark Tea Building on Redchurch Street. Joel Williams and Ché Zara Blomfield bring the hospitality and culture nous: he is the former CEO of The Conduit and spent several years with both Home House and the Conran Group, while she is a curator who has produced exhibitions across the UK and Europe.
There’s the requisite restaurant and bar, meeting rooms and co-working spaces, as well as a full cinema. Blomfield will also curate a moving image arts programme and other events in collaboration with local galleries. (Note to aspiring founding members: preference is being given to artists, art professionals and curators, on a very egalitarian founding-fee schedule to keep things interesting). shoreditchartsclub.com
Aman’s sky-high New York eyrie
New York’s Crown Building, a Fifth Avenue landmark, is where a club of a very different sort opened late last year. The Aman Club is the members-only affiliated with Aman New York; rooms start at $3,500 – and membership is even more strictly the preserve of the rare-air breathers, costing as it does a tidy $200,000, plus $15,000 in annual dues.
In, er, fairness, that does get you access to some of the city’s most sought-after exclusive spaces in town, along with Italian and Asian dining venues, three full floors of wellness space and privileged access to the medical-longevity-wellness services of Dr Robert Graham, an internal and integrative-medicine specialist. There’s also the 7,000sq ft terrace bar, which is already the post-work seat du jour for those whose bank balances get them through the door. aman.com, from $3,500