As Clarence Vault Rooms opens as Sydney’s newest members’ club, Luxury Travel looks at some of Australia’s best establishments for those seeking private spaces to work, dine, and connect
Just opened: Clarence Vault Rooms
The new Clarence Vault Rooms from the Vault House Group has opened within Machine Hall, formerly an electrical substation that powered Sydney’s CBD. Members can access co-working areas at Third Space, a multimedia meetings and events room, Fuse Box, and the ‘speakeasy’ style Vault space.
The establishment follows Berrima Vault House, which opened in 2021 in the Southern Highlands of NSW. In addition to fostering networking and connection, partnerships with luxury brands are designed to create special experiences and events for members. For instance, the premium audio brand Sonos has a permanent listening bar, which will showcase live DJ performances.
Vault House Group has enlisted Dan Lynwood, who worked on music collections for Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles, and London’s Chiltern Firehouse to create the sound for the new venue, while artwork has been curated by Ali Hillman. Design features include soaring ceilings, large windows, and the integration of original machinery from the former substation.
Occupying three floors of the Art Deco Lawson Apartment building in the CBD, Lawson Flats is Perth’s newest — and, arguably, trendiest — members’ club, providing 1000m2 of work and leisure space designed for a creative, collaborative and community-oriented crowd.
The building was formerly used by the men’s Perth Club, and women’s Karrakatta Club. Lawson Flats Creative Director and Founder, Alessio Fini, said it was important that the building’s legacy was continued in Lawson Flats, with design elements such as the deep green carpet retained for the new space: ‘The carpet was a no-brainer. We know it’s an intrinsic part of the building and we built on that heritage and history at every touch point with this project.’ Other decorative features by Perth-based Ohlo Studio include reclaimed upholstered furniture from the ’70s and ’80s, and custom artworks by Gian Manik, Nadia Hernández, and Stephen Brameld.
At all-day eatery and wine bar, Luis’, bistro menus by chef Paul Bentley are served in a colourfully decorated dining room with a homely feel. Fitness and wellness amenities, curated with Lloyd Johnson of local personal training and fitness brand, Aspire Group, take a holistic approach with a sauna, movement studio, and gym for weight training.
As for leisure spaces, members can make the most of a listening room with an array of records, a karaoke and cinema room, and a pool table. A program of events includes performances, supper clubs, and kitchen collaborations.
Berrima Vault House
Southern Highlands, NSW
In 2021, Vault House Group opened the region’s first members’ club, Berrima Vault House, within an historic building dating to 1844 that remains an icon of the Southern Highlands town.
The house’s rich history was an important consideration in the renovation of the building, according to Si Philby, Berrima Vault House’s Founder and CEO, who commented at the time of opening: “when I first saw this building it was clear there was a special canvas to work with. The property has a series of spaces — including unseen rooms that have stood the test of time — with unbelievable history.”
Beautifully reimagined to incorporate spaces for members to dine, socialise, and work, this history can be felt in the house’s private dining rooms, for instance, which were “original jail cells with their stone walls built by convicts”, according to Philby. Interiors were conceptualised by designer Carlie Philby, who has used a contemporary countryside aesthetic throughout.
Taylor’s Crown Inn, a rustic gastropub serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, is open to the public Thursdays through Sundays with menus from chef Tommy Prosser, while a three-bedroom accommodation offering named The Residence provides access to all members’ facilities.
Elevate Club Lounge
Set on level 15 of the five-star hotel, Pullman Melbourne on Swanston, Elevate Club Lounge has recently launched a membership program that opens the space to guests outside of those staying at the hotel. The members’ club lounge, with Melbourne skyline views, has a range of facilities for discerning professionals seeking a place to relax, network, or socialise. Tiered membership options provide a variety of additional benefits, such as food and beverage discounts and access to the hotel gym.
Coming soon: Australia’s first Soho House
A network of global members’ clubs founded in London, Soho House has recently announced that it will open its first Australian house in Sydney. While an opening date and details on the planned facilities have yet to be confirmed, a building has been chosen in the city’s Surry Hills neighbourhood. If Soho House’s other clubs around the world are anything to go by, prospective members can expect refined restaurants and bars (such as the signature Italian restaurant, Cecconi’s), a program of member events that elevate and celebrate leading creatives in music, art, and literature; and co-working and social spaces fitted with colourful, contemporary décor.