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Members Only: A Guide to L.A.’s Most Exclusive Clubs
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Members Only: A Guide to L.A.’s Most Exclusive Clubs

Here's a look into the top private clubs in Los Angeles: what it’s like to be a member of L.A.’s most exclusive societies.

Roubina Al Abashian

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4 min read

March 10, 2022

L.A. has long been known for its fancy and private social clubs, where the rich and famous gather exclusively to socialize. Ever since the establishment of the first club in Los Angeles in 1888, the elites have competed over which of their clubs is the city’s finest. Memberships at these places are strictly exclusive, granting access to fine dining, wellness and spa amenities, red-carpet events, and more social functions. But if you thought you can’t hit the hottest spots in the City of Angels, think again—even if you can’t afford to be a member, all you need to do is be friends with one. Without further ado, these are the exclusive clubs in L.A. you need to keep an eye on. 

Jonathan Club's member base enjoys fine dining, wellness facilities, spa services, social events, and award shows.

1. Jonathan Club

Being a Jonathan Club member means being a part of something greater than yourself—let us elaborate. Built in 1894 as a political club and transformed into a social one in 1895, Jonathan Club has been a major part of the Los Angeles and California communities. UCLA, the Los Angeles Times, and the 1932 Olympic Games were all planned out and executed at this private social club in Los Angeles. Jonathan Club has a 12-story facility in D.T.L.A., fully decorated in European Renaissance style with walls covered in original 20th-century artwork. Inside, there are more than 100 luxurious rooms, dining and event areas, restaurants, a barbershop, and a fitness center. The dress code is conservative attire except for areas dedicated to fitness. If you want to join a community of influential people, ditch your ripped jeans, get invited by a member, and be prepared to pay a whole lot of membership fees.  

The California Club strives to accommodate every need of members and guests, providing a unique, unforgettable experience.

2. The California Club 

There’s an old saying that goes, “The people who run Los Angeles belong to the Jonathan Club; the people who own Los Angeles belong to The California Club.” While we won’t be getting into the details of that adage, we can easily say that this club in Downtown L.A. has been an icon of the city for a very long time. Established in 1888, this is the oldest club in Los Angeles and the second oldest in Southern California. 

The seven-story, Italian Renaissance Revival-style club on Flower Street was completed in 1930. Soon, the California Club became one of the most iconic architectural masterpieces in Los Angeles. Featuring antique pieces and handcrafted furniture, the club is decorated in a series of Western-themed paintings. Wish to become a part of this members-only Los Angeles club? Convince at least six club members to vouch for you—only then can you’ll have access to luxury rooms, a fitness center,  spa, and participate in exclusive events.   

3. The Britely

The Britely is one of the latest arrivals to L.A.’s ever-growing exclusive club scene. Created in 2021, the club is a free space, where people with different backgrounds meet and discuss ideas during art talks, exclusive previews, and high-end dinners. 

The social club in Los Angeles was designed by Martin Brudnizki, featuring an underground members-only lounge with turquoise banquettes, gold pillows, and feather lamps. There’s also a bowling alley, music corner, spa and wellness center, and a rooftop pool exclusive for all club members. Apply for a membership to indulge in a glamorous lifestyle—board members can get picky with who they let in, but in case you do, keep in mind that memberships come with a hefty price tag.   

Located in Downtown Los Angeles, Soho Warehouse is a members' club for creative thinkers to meet, eat, drink and relax.

4. Soho Warehouse 

Originally founded in London in 1995, Soho House has over 28 locations around the world—there are three in Los Angeles alone, the most prominent of which is the Soho Warehouse. The seven-story establishment was built in 1916 and updated to better represent the private club in Los Angeles. Exposed bricks, exterior street art, feminist wallpapers, and an acrylic mural on the rooftop set it apart from surrounding buildings. And unlike the two other locations in L.A., Soho Warehouse features guest rooms, a gym, and a large rooftop pool. While becoming a Soho Warehouse member is not an impossible task, it does take a lot of work, patience, and a certain social standing—most members work in creative fields such as media, art, and fashion. 

NeueHouse is a beacon for important and emerging cultural movements. Meet and mingle with likeminded members at their collaborative workspaces.

5. NeueHouse

NeueHouse is yet another private club with houses in Madison Square, Hollywood, Bradbury, as well as two upcoming locations in Venice Beach and Miami. Its Bradbury location is by far the most beautiful—a skylit atrium and striking ironwork make it one of the most Instagrammable places in L.A. Since its opening, NeueHouse has provided a safe collaborative workspace to its members, who are usually small business owners, as well as people working in publishing, art, film, and fashion. 

Joining this members-only lounge, you’ll have full access to the club’s wellness center, private events spaces, in-house production services, and meeting rooms. You’ll also benefit from hotel and product perks, as well as global destinations and clubs. 

A typical evening at The Magic Castle includes numerous magic shows and historic displays, as well as a full-service dining room.

6. The Magic Castle

The Magic Castle is perhaps the most unusual private club in Los Angeles—this place is exclusive to magicians and magic enthusiasts. This club was established in 1962 when Milt Larson turned an ornate house in Hollywood from 1909 into a meeting place for magicians; he chose to call it the Magic Castle. A year later, the castle became the headquarters of the Academy of Magical Arts. Now, the private club in Los Angeles is a performing arts venue and a restaurant, where amateur magicians and pros gather to perform, dine, and learn from each other.

The extravagant, chateau-style clubhouse is also one of the weirdest tourist attractions in SoCal—it features a dizzying maze, dozens of secret passageways, and bogus bookshelf doors that confuse any newcomer. There are no visible doors to the castle’s lobby; visitors have to say the secret passcode to a sculpture of an owl to be admitted in. Becoming a member is not easy either; only serious magicians and their associates can join the club after proving themselves worthy to the board. 

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