Memberships Worth Having

Acceptance has its privileges at these five places.

Core Club, 66 E. 55th St., New York: Members treat the Core, where Warhols hang and Fortune 500 types hold court, like a second home. No wonder: They have access not only to the club’s comfy guest suites, restaurant, gym—with first-rate trainers like Josh Holland—and the greatest shave off Park Avenue but also to Home House in London. Annual dues, $15,000; 212-486-6600; thecoreclub.com.

Kee Club, 796 Huai Hai Rd., Shanghai, China: Tucked on the upper floors of a 1920s white, verandaed villa, the Shanghai rendition of the Hong Kong club attracts businessmen and Hollywood stars alike to its wood-paneled, leather-upholstered lounges, meeting rooms and restaurants—not to mention in-house Alfred Dunhill store and shave room. Annual dues, $8,030; 86-21/3395-0888; keeclub.com.

Cresta Run, St. Moritz, Switzerland: The world’s only amateur toboggan course attracts a particular set of thrill-seeking gentlemen adventurers to its clubhouse, resulting in a membership likely to welcome anyone who can sled from the peak and spin a tale of derring-do. The price of this mountaineering camaraderie: No women allowed. First five rides, $645; annual dues, $425; cresta-run.com.

Arts Club, 40 Dover St., London: Founded by Dickens, frequented by Kipling and Lord Tennyson, Mayfair’s eminent grotto was relaunched in 2011, emerging transformed—and with a membership committee headed up by Gwyneth Paltrow. After hours, members frequent the Mark Ronson–programmed shows at its bordello-like Nightclub. Annual dues, $2,385; 44-207/499-8581; theartsclub.co.uk.

Eagle Club, Wasserngrat Peak, Gstaad, Switzerland: Outside Gstaad, on the isolated summit of a private mountain and accessible only by ski lift, sits Eagle, the 56-year-old members-only restaurant (with a three-year waiting list). Here fur-clad royalty trade grand pronouncements with the glamorous loafers of the jet set over spiced vin chaud. Annual dues upon request; 41-33/748-4232; eagleskiclub.ch.