Haute Top 5: Boston’s Most Exclusive Social Clubs 2017

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If you aren’t lucky enough to be a member, consider this your formal introduction to the secret society of old world charm combined with elegant sophistication where Boston’s most exclusive groups sip on aged spirits while rubbing elbows with the city’s elite. Access here doesn’t come easy. To become a member at most of these social clubs, you have to be nominated by a current member. From there, highfalutin comes at a hefty price tag as most clubs require an exorbitant initiation fee along with a lengthy nominating process and even higher annual fees. Here’s a peek inside five of Boston’s most exclusive members-only clubs.



1 The Algonquin Club

The Algonquin Club
From the moment you set foot inside The Algonquin Club, you know it will be a memory you won't want to soon forget. The historic club opened in Back Bay in 1886 with its original location in a mansion on Marlborough Street and just 50 members. A few years later, it relocated to its current location on Commonwealth Avenue where now Presidents, heads of state, foreign dignitaries and preeminent local and national leaders have visited the Club where its membership is comprised of men and women of distinction. The club hosts everything from speaker series and member receptions to exclusive concerts and wine dinners (where there is even a handful of guest rooms available to members for overnight accommodations).
217 Commonwealth Avenue Boston, MA 02116

2 University Club of Boston

University Club of Boston
Founded in 1891, The University Club has become Boston’s premier athletic and social club. The “UClub,” as it is known to its members, is open to those 21 years of age and older who have a college or university degree. Membership must come highly recommended and all candidates must have a primary sponsor along with two co-sponsors and an external reference. From squash courts to a private 25-yard multi-use saline pool (the only one of its kind in Boston), the Club offers a Masters Swim Program as well as a Triathlon Program along with water fitness classes and scuba diving lessons. Each year, they also offer a Future Leaders of Boston Scholarship Program that presents eligible graduating high school seniors a scholarship of up to $5,000 per year for their college tuition.
426 Stuart Street Boston, MA 02116

3 The Harvard Club of Boston Back Bay Clubhouse

Harvard Club of Boston
The Harvard Club of Boston's mission is to “encourage the social, intellectual and athletic interests of our members, to promote the welfare of Harvard University, to assist students with financial aid, and to foster the Harvard Spirit in all Harvard men and women.” Open to graduates of Harvard and select New England universities, including Harvard, MIT, Yale, and the Fletcher School at Tufts University or as faculty of Harvard and MIT, members and their guests can enjoy two locations (a Back Bay Clubhouse on Commonwealth Avenue and a downtown Clubhouse in the Financial District). Membership events include wine dinners, scotch tastings, children’s events, and even films paired with flavors from the region.
374 Commonwealth Avenue Boston, MA 02215

4 Somerset Club

Somerset Club
One of Boston's most expensive clubs is also one of the city's most exclusive. The Somerset Club is where some of the city’s most elite have signed up. History has it that when a fire broke out here in the 1940s, firemen had to use the service entrance to extinguish the blaze so as not to disturb the membership. The private Brahmin social club, which was formed in 1826, is so exclusive you have to be a member to gain access to their website. Members here come from high society Beacon Hill families where every member is treated like a VIP.
42 Beacon Street Boston MA 02108

5 The College Club of Boston

The College Club of Boston
The College Club of Boston is the oldest women's college club in the country so it's no wonder the Victorian brownstone is host to afternoon tea, fashion shows, book clubs and private concerts. The clubhouse that was built in 1864 is also home to an 11-room bed and breakfast in Back Bay that members can book for a stay after an event. Each year, they hold a campaign that raises scholarship funds for Boston public school seniors. Today's membership ranges in age from 28 to 90+ years old and includes lawyers, doctors, homemakers, realtors, scientists and entrepreneurs.
44 Commonwealth Avenue Boston, MA 02116