As millennials continue to prioritise their health over hedonism, the riotous members clubs that once drew in hordes of creatives and wealthy businessmen are being replaced by a new wave of establishments catering to the pursuit of well-being.
Creating sanctuaries dedicated to improving the quality of everyday life (rather than escaping it), these private enclaves are bringing together ambitious, health-minded individuals, who are looking for ways to incorporate wellness into their fast-paced lives.
Touted as being a ‘third space, outside of work and home’, High Court, which is set to open in New York in early 2017, combines wellness with intelligent leisure, says co-founder Hailey Brooks.
“What we really want to offer our members is a new way to socialize – combining things that are good for them and that they are curious to learn more about,” she explains.
Spotting a lack of specifically curated spaces that merge social activities with health-minded ambitions, along with sister and co-founder Colleen, Brooks hopes to position High Court as an oasis for young, urban professionals and travelers, rather than a co-working space.
“We will have work space to take out your laptop and work on personal projects, meet with clients, or bring your work or team out of your office space,” she explains. However, the main focus of the 6,000-square-foot oasis will center on a yoga studio, private treatment room and in-house store featuring products that claim to enhance wellbeing.
Priced at $250 per month, membership isn’t accessible to everyone, but Brooks says they are aiming to attract a young, ambitious and curious crowd.
“We aim to have a really diverse, curated mix of members from across all industries – creative and professional – with a 50/50 split of men and women,” she reveals.
And, despite the premium price tag, the duo told Bloomberg that they’ve already received applications for well over the 200 spots allocated to first comers, following a recent pop-up event to showcase the venture.
Taking place in July, the four-day event gave prospective clients a glimpse into what they can expect from their membership, through a series of exclusive workshops, talks and evening events ‘designed to make each member the most informed person at their next dinner party.’
Writing about the event’s success on their website, the sisters revealed:
‘Every morning and afternoon yoga class brought in a mix of men and women, at all levels in their practice. Still, it was the most exciting for us to see these busy professionals stay for a bit before or after class to continue their conversation with someone who they took class with, or open their laptop and check back in with their desk while remaining chilled out.’
Having already raised around half of their $3 million funding goal, according to Brooks, the sisters hope to open five locations over the next five years, with two more in Manhattan and Brooklyn, before expanding to Austin and LA.
And, while the duo don’t have any plans for international expansion, in the UK one savvy entrepreneur has already found success with his wellness-inspired members club.
Opening London’s South Kensington Club in 2015, real estate developer, Luca Del Bono, launched the popular venue after releasing how intrinsic wellness had become to everyday life.
Founded upon a belief in the importance of a sustainable, balanced lifestyle, the luxury club provides members with a world-class fitness offering, a results-driven, science-led treatment menu, a variety of complementary therapies and a traditional bathhouse, for the costly sum of £325 a month.
Aside from wellness, the luxurious Georgian Townhouse also offers areas for people to relax and socialise, including a bar and restaurant.
“People are seeking a place to get fit and be well but also a place to socialise,” Del Bono told Welltodo.
“These days, friends get together on weekends to do a fitness class and then enjoy a cold press juice or a healthy dinner after. It’s all about a balanced lifestyle, so we cater for people who like to be well but also enjoy the good things in life too,” he added.
According to Del Bono, The South Kensington Club works so well because consumers are increasingly looking for a haven they can work in, relax in, and workout in. Finding a sanctuary that offers all three is well worth the price.