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Inside 1880: A private members’ club in Singapore

Cosmopolitan space founded by Marc Nicholson set to woo savvy global crowd.

At the height of 1880’s launch on Saturday, the lounge of the private members’ club was as packed as Robinson’s on a Black Friday sale. Venture capitalist John Kim was having a go at the violin, an instrument he hadn’t touched for decades but was persuaded by the event organisers to reveal his creative side on this occasion. Another member, digital strategist Christel Quek, showed off her chops on the saxophone.

(Related: Luke Jones, CEO of 1880 on how new-age private clubs are wooing next-gen members)

Meanwhile, leggy beauties weaved among a sharply-dressed, VIP audience supping up champagne and oysters. This could be London if it wasn’t the third floor of the same building that houses the Intercontinental hotel at Robertson Quay.

  • Bar by night, cafe by day.

To be sure, the 22,000sqft space is designed for a cosmopolitan crowd. The concept by Timothy Oulton Studio sees eclectic touches that blend industrial elements with stylised Chinese motifs and earthy materials such as wood and minerals. The reception desk, for instance, is a chunk of rose quartz, clocking in at 25 million years and weighing 1.5 tonnes. There’s also an outdoor terrace, all-day-dining restaurant, bar, grooming and spa centre, mirrored studio and co-working space.

(Related: Meet the men behind Singapore-based private members’ club Straits Clan)

We like the hidden “recovery room”, where plush leather sofas and a courtesy bar help cushion guests from life’s mishaps, from jetlag and hangovers to breakups and market dives. Membership is capped at 2,000 individuals, with a one-time payment of $7,000 and yearly fee of $2,000. For under-30s, $2,500/$1,000. Information at

(Related: How private members-only clubs are attracting millennials)

Cover photo credit: Colossal Photos