Best of the Best: Residence Clubs
Homes sweet homes.
Exclusive Resorts’ raison d’être is simple: Instead of settling for a single vacation home or a cookie-cutter hotel suite, members of this leading residence club have access to villas and estates throughout the world.
Exclusive Resorts boasts a portfolio of more than 60 opulent, family-friendly residences (with new properties added frequently) in the United States, England, France, Mexico, Canada, and the Bahamas. Members can sun on private beaches on Hawaii’s Kohala Coast, ski in the Colorado Rockies, tee off on championship golf courses in Scottsdale, shop in Paris, sail in Newport, R.I., or sample local vintages in Napa Valley. For a true change of scene, members may also spend time in a lavish suite aboard ResidenSea’s luxury liner The World, which continuously circumnavigates the globe.
Properties in the Exclusive Resorts portfolio have a median value exceeding $2.5 million. Each qualifies as an ultimate vacation home, with features including gourmet kitchens, marble baths, and the latest home entertainment technology. To ensure that visits exceed the experience of staying at a five-star hotel, personal concierges at each property cater to members’ every whim: stocking cupboards with groceries, hiring a top chef to prepare family dinners, obtaining theater tickets, setting up spa appointments, and arranging tee times at local golf clubs.
Exclusive Resorts members pay a one-time initiation fee of $350,000, which is 80 percent refundable upon termination, plus tiered annual dues ranging from $15,000 for 30 days use per year to $19,000 for 60 days. The program offers as many as 14 consecutive days at each location.
Adventures in Elegance
Launched in 1998, Private Retreats was the original residence club. Now part of the Abercrombie & Kent family, the company remains a leader in the field, with unmatched location flexibility across seven continents and no limits to the amount of days members may vacation.
Private Retreats boasts an impressive collection of more than 70 private homes, valued at $1.2 million or more on average, as well as suites in luxury boutique hotels and yachts. Members can choose from among 29 mountain, beach, and golf residences—from Telluride to Tortola—as well as properties in cosmopolitan destinations such as Paris, Rome, London, New York, San Francisco, San Diego, and Miami.
Thanks to its Abercrombie & Kent affiliation, Private Retreats presents the preferred residence-club option for adventure-minded travelers. Members can see the European countryside from a river barge, hunker down in a luxury tent camp on an Africa safari, bunk down in an exclusive lodge in Australia or New Zealand, raft the rivers of the American West, or take adventure tours through such diverse destinations as Egypt, China, India, and South America.
Private Retreats’ initiation fee is $250,000 (100 percent refundable upon member resignation), and annual dues are $8,750. Members may travel 365 days a year, but stays at each location are limited to 21 consecutive days, and there is a $150 nightly fee. Members also enjoy unrestricted access to Abercrombie & Kent private jets for a flat hourly rate—one of the many ways Private Retreats’ new owners are adding value to this prestigious club.
Private Retreats by Abercrombie & Kent