Whether it’s the fine food, refined service, beautiful spaces or mingling with like-minded visionaries, members-only clubs have unique appeal that taps into a sense of luxury living. The latest local iteration comes in the form of The Pencil Club — a new addition to the upmarket hub of Umhlanga, KwaZulu-Natal.
Having officially opened in March, the club was birthed in the spirit of innovation. Covid-19 had a significant delay in the completion of the club which encouraged the founders, Marc Rosenberg and Renzo Scribante, to flexibly adapt to the current market and members’ expectations.
GM Keegan Daniel and co-founder Rosenberg are of the opinion that this has offered more opportunities than challenges. “We believe that the restriction placed on our community as a whole has enabled The Pencil to refine its offerings and understand members more intimately,” they say.
At the heart of their offering, they hope to foster an inspirational and collaborative environment of like-minded people that make up its membership base.
To incubate ideas and fuel this spirit of collaboration, the club offers 11 audiovisual-equipped meeting rooms and event spaces for private hire with a capacity ranging from a team of four to a group of 80.
That’s not to mean it’s all work and no play. To steal a moment of privacy, escape to the members-only library with its own honesty bar or catch a view of Durban’s sunset from the rooftop pool terrace.
Inside the sleek club, members will find two sit-down restaurants. If the club menu in The Terrace Café doesn’t appeal to an impressive business meeting, a fine dining menu in The Rosewood will placate the connoisseur’s palate. And for post-work drinks, members can take their pick of four bars, each unique in their offering and design.
An on-site exclusive boutique gym boasts all the essentials, including a free weights section, treadmills, exercise cycles, a sauna and steam room while the in-house hair stylist and tailor are available to add elegant finishing touches to your post-workout look.
Boasting an impressive art foundation — led by Michelle Davidson (director) and Tonya Seiler (founding custodian) — the aim is to increase value, visibility and appreciation for art, while celebrating and uplifting local artists. “The Pencil Art Foundation, focused on the creation and curation of art produced by talented local artists, is the conduit for conversation in and around the art world.”
The club is also currently working on building a reciprocity programme which will allow members access to reciprocal clubs when they travel. In the light of the restrictions on international travel, efforts are being made to engage with both international and local clubs.
While, currently, accommodation at The Pencil is not available, the idea is being considered to enable members to fully immerse themselves in the location and to enjoy the top-class amenities on offer. Should this happen, the only potential problem would be, of course, that once you check in, you may not want to check out.