There’s a big difference between a convenient place to anchor and a yacht club with luxe amenities in a gorgeous locale. Whether you’re sailing on your family yacht or have opted for a private charter, you’ll want to choose a yacht club that matches the prestige of your vessel. These yachting clubs are over-the-top in that they boast stunning clubhouses, can be found in some of the world’s most scenic boating destinations, and some have high-end accommodations within the yacht clubs. Many of them also have a long-standing history of service excellence, personal concierge services, exclusive restaurants, and even ties to royal lineage. For your next yachting vacation, aim to anchor at one of these global clubs.
Yacht Club de Monaco
Chef Thierry Thiercelin, the first chef to be awarded a Michelin star on the Saint Tropez peninsula, runs the kitchen at Yacht Club de Monaco and serves his signature Provencal cuisine at 1909 Restaurant—open only to YCM members. On Sundays, the restaurant hosts “Sunday Live Cooking” with Moët Impérial champagne. The yacht club itself is a gorgeous new building designed by the likes of Lord Norman Foster, Jacques Grange, and Nelson Wilmot. It was, of course, founded by royalty—Prince Rainier opened the club in 1953. Classic yachting tradition helmed originally by the “Société des Régates” is still celebrated at YCM, and they’ve housed some of the most envied private yacht charters in the world.
Royal Langkawi Yacht Club
The only award-winning club in Malaysia, Royal Langkawi Yacht Club accommodates 250 berths and is situated on the southeast coast of Langkawi Island. HRH Sultan of Kedah is the royal patron of the club, which is why it commands a “royal” club title. RLYC opened recently—at least in comparison to other global yacht clubs—in 1996. They sought to encourage boating culture in Malaysia and now host the Royal Langkawi International Regatta annually. The design of RLYC intends to honor and accentuate the natural beauty of the island, and the clubhouse has restaurants, a bar, and a beautiful swimming pool on the bottom deck. Langkawi Yacht Club Hotel is one of the club’s best amenities, with a choice of gorgeous waterfront rooms or their marina-view private cottage.
San Francisco Yacht Club
The biggest perk of San Francisco Yacht Club is that any “visiting Yachtsmen who are members in good standing of any Club in the world” can enjoy status at SFYC. Not only do they have a harbor for slips looking to dock, they also have a dry boating facility available. For nicer fare, their clubhouse serves lunch and dinner Wednesday through Sunday and breakfast on the weekends. But the real treat is the summer BBQs SFYC hosts on Friday evenings overlooking the harbor. The oldest yacht club on the Pacific Coast, it’s one of the most elegant and exclusive yacht clubs to belong to in the U.S.
Yacht Club Costa Smerelda
Playing host to 10 prestigious regattas this year, including the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, the Yacht Club Costa Smerelda has been tied to the Italian Sailing Federation since the 1960s. YCCS has a beautiful wellness center and spa, and the clubhouse overlooks the Marina and the sparkling Italian coast. Their stunning main structure was renovated in the early 2000s by New York architect Peter Marino, and in addition to the spa, it has a panoramic pool terrace, al fresco dining, and a member’s lounge and bar. The clubhouse’s best feature? There are also 24 suites, the most coveted of which is the Presidential suite that opened in 2016.
Dubai Marina Yacht Club
The expansive yacht club is comprised of east marina, west bay marina, clubhouse marina, mall marina, and marina promenade. East marina is the largest and has easy access to the DMYC clubhouse. With views of the Arabian Gulf and the city of Dubai, the clubhouse is home to a variety of restaurants, shopping, and amenities galore. The club is widely acclaimed in the yachting world and has won 5 Gold Anchor awards for their state-of-the-art facilities. It also boasts a location that’s hard to beat—it’s both right on the water and in the heart of Dubai. With the ability to accommodate 550 yachts, membership allows access to all five marinas and club amenities like their dedicated concierge service.
Royal Thames Yacht Club
It should come as no surprise that the oldest yacht club in the world exudes London sophistication. The Royal Thames Yacht Club was founded in 1775, and their exclusive Knightsbridge Clubhouse has two bars, an acclaimed restaurant, and accommodations for those staying overnight. Anyone looking to join must be recommended by current members of RTYC, and once approved can take part in the multitude of chic events available to those who belong to Royal Thames. The clubhouse is surrounded by exceedingly picturesque grounds and is close to Hyde Park, Harrods, and Harvey Nichols.
Grand Bahama Yacht Club
As if the clear blue water surrounding the Grand Bahama Yacht Club wasn’t enticing enough, the striking European architecture and lush tropical accents sets the club over the top. Attached to the yacht club is a clubhouse with a stunning view, an Olympic-sized outdoor pool, and an adjacent pool bar where you can eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And its convenience to the best of Grand Bahama Island is not to be overlooked; the club is within walking distance of luxury golf courses and tennis courts, restaurants, bars, and hotels.