Inside h Club, LA’s New Members-Only Haven for the Creative Class
The posh London import is transforming a famous corner of Hollywood and Vine.
Connect. Collaborate. Create. It’s the mantra of h Club, LA’s newest members-only hideout that opened its doors February 28 near the famous corner of Hollywood and Vine. But this is not your grandparents’ country club, or a stodgy stuffed-shirt society. Philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder (the late) Paul G. Allen, along with musician Dave Stewart, founded h Club in London in 2004 as a home-away-from-home for innovative and forward-thinking creative professionals, and the concept has finally crossed the pond. Pairing the exclusivity and elegance of a private club with the camaraderie and comfort of a neighborhood pub, h Club is located in what was once the Redbury Hotel, across the street from the iconic Capitol Records building—and the beautifully face-lifted space impresses from the moment you hand your car keys to the valet.
The eclectic style of English designer Russel Sage (who also designed the London club) reveals itself right away. Between the warm wood floors and contemporary furnishings, the pervasive ‘international’ flavour of the Moroccan lamps and textiles, African jewelry, Grecian columns and other worldly objets d’art, it’s hard to know where to look. H Club art curator Ali Hillman selected local and international art for the interior, with select pieces available for purchase and rotating original works. Never-before-seen black-and-white images from the Capitol Records archives also deck many of the walls, adding an appropriate old-Hollywood vibe.
A second-floor swimming pool with city views tucks into the courtyard of the U-shaped building, and is a coveted oasis on hot LA days. Members also have access to a locker room, state-of-the art workout facility, and hair salon. For out of town members, 35 spacious hotel rooms and suites, some with kitchenettes, spread over the third and fourth floors, while the fifth floor’s fully-stocked bar, Asian-themed tea room, and light-filled Club Lounge inspire a sense of perpetual vacation. Members can bring three lucky guests at a time to share the club’s accoutrements, and up to five for a lunch or dinner reservation.
H Club makes no bones about its mission: It is a social club. A “laptops-away” curfew of 6 pm is encouraged, but there are private workspaces if you want to continue past happy hour (but why would you?). A diverse programming calendar invites members to return again and again for events such as musical performances and book readings, art exhibitions, screenings in the 49-seat theatre, album launches and podcasts in the professional recording studio, lectures, wine tastings, and more.
The jewel of h Club’s crown is the 1670-square-metre rooftop, celebrating L.A.’s year-round outdoor lifestyle with a shaded bar, a seating area with views of the Hollywood sign, and an alfresco cinema for the ultimate summer date night. It doesn’t get more social than dining with friends, and from 6 am breakfast to late-night dining, southern California chef Kris Morningstar serves inventive and fresh food that ranges from bone marrow dumplings in the tea room to a satiating veggie burger in the Club Lounge to a crispy black rice seafood dish at Jarman’s, the club’s signature indoor/ outdoor gastro pub and an ideal spot for a business lunch, special occasion dinner, or night cap.