Balancing act: London’s wellness-focused members’ clubs

Words by
Charlotte McManus

3rd May 2019

With high-net-worth individuals leading increasingly pressured lives, private members’ clubs now aim to provide an oasis of calm by catering to wellbeing

No longer synonymous with boozy lunches in cigar-fugged rooms, many of today’s private members’ clubs are promoting a decidedly healthier lifestyle. With time-poor schedules, high-pressure jobs and an always-on lifestyle, addressing the work/life balance is a growing issue amongst the high-net-worths these days; a factor that many of the newer clubs in the capital are attempting to cater for with a refreshing focus on wellness, relaxation and nutrition.

Launching in April by the team behind top members’ club Home House, Home Grown is aimed at high-growth entrepreneurs, investors and business leaders. Located in Marylebone on Great Cumberland Place, the club occupies four Grade II-listed five-storey Georgian townhouses, elegantly designed by Russell Sage Studios. Alongside standard features such as bedrooms, bars and restaurants, members have the opportunity to attend dedicated wellness seminars, while Month End Recharge events come with sound meditation and yin yoga.

Home Grown
Home Grown

Home Grown

“Home Grown offers the perfect work-life balance and health and wellness will be integral to the club community,” says managing director Andrew Richardson. “The creative calendar of members’ events tackles the culture of entrepreneurship, focusing not only on key skills and networking, but also on well-being and balance.”

Another promising upcoming space is the second women-only club from The AllBright, located on Maddox Street. Due to open in May, the entire second floor of the 12,500sq ft building will be dedicated to its members’ wellbeing. Alongside a swish fitness studio, three holistic wellness rooms will offer a wide range of treatments for mind, body and spirit, from massage and acupuncture to psychotherapy and personal nutrition sessions. Additionally, members can have their outside looking as good as their newly-glowing inner life feels at the on-site hair and beauty salon, with a menu shaped by Michal Cohen-Sagi, founder of luxury wellness brand 58 Lifestyle.

The AllBright
The AllBright

The AllBright

Also in Mayfair, The Conduit opened last September with an ambitious plan to tackle social and geo-political issues through a carefully curated community of members passionate about social enterprise. Its eight-floor, neo-classical space — designed with sustainability in mind, naturally — comes with a rooftop and garden terrace, living room and restaurant — not to mention a library stuffed with tomes about social entrepreneurship. Again, wellbeing has been considered as a priority; the club’s varied calendar includes events dedicated to yoga, meditation sessions and workshops to reduce stress, improve mental health and encourage mindfulness.

“Wellness is important for our members and providing opportunities to support their physical, mental and spiritual health is part of The Conduit experience,” says Joanna Sparber, membership and programme director at The Conduit. “By integrating wellness into our business and addressing members’ needs in a holistic way, it will help us build an engaged community passionate about driving social change.”

The Conduit
The Conduit

The Conduit

In Fitzrovia, Mortimer House cites the pursuit of holistic wellbeing as one of its key commitments, with the view to “engendering the ideal balance of body, mind and spirit”. Its top-notch gym comes with private training sessions and a variety of classes — such as HIIT, TRX, Reformer Pilates and ,of course, yoga — while a meditation room, lush with leafy plants, helps members wind down from the bustle of city life. The club also hosts frequent talks with wellness experts, meditation teachers and exercise gurus, while workshops cover such topics as the benefits of CBD oil and the healing power of plants. For more pressing existential problems, there is even an in-house life coach on standby.

Mortimer House
Mortimer House

Mortimer House

As one of the leading players in the members’ club game, it’s no surprise that the Soho House group has weighed in on the living well trend. Its latest outpost, White City House, features the largest wellness area of any of their locations to date — 30,000sq ft, consisting of a full-length indoor pool, spa, hamman and expansive gym with Peloton bikes, which, for the uninitiated, are the exercise machine of the moment.

Further west, South Kensington Club’s ethos maintains that health is an integral component to a successful lifestyle. Members are invited to relieve their day-to-day worries in the elegantly conditioned Turkish hammams and Russian Banyas, or in London’s only salt-water Watsu pool, combining Shiatsu massage with warm water. There are also private training studios for such disciplines as yoga and Pilates, along with a swish gym and the opportunity to partake in wellbeing retreats. Even the food offering is conducive to healthy living, with a hearty quinoa salad available for green-eating fans, while hardcore fitness types can benefit from programmes tailored to kinesiology or bio-mechanical correction.

White City House
White City House

White City House

As the lines between work, rest and play increasingly blur, self-care will continue to be placed at a premium among London’s luxury set.