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Step into any of the better private business clubs in Jakarta and you'll sense a big difference in atmosphere from the average public facility. A sense of belonging, a feeling of privileged exclusivity, an aura of welcome, a full range of amenities - all this and more are the hallmarks of private clubs.
Though each club has its own style, you will find a special welcome in whatever club you are a member of. Some clubs emphasize the quiet peaceful surroundings reminiscent of the British club tradition. They offer 5-star service in their operations and facilities and make it their business to provide the absolute best in service to their pampered members. While all private clubs have dining and meeting facilities, some may emphasize fitness and sports facilities and programs or be more family oriented.
Many clubs are well-known for the impressive profile of their membership. The movers and shakers in the business world, government and society gather in these private clubs for business and socializing. If you enjoy rubbing shoulders with influential people or having the opportunity to meet them socially in order to further your business interests, a membership in a business club may facilitate these opportunities.
High profile membership clubs may be difficult to join. Membership may require a recommendation from an existing member/s or approval from the board. While in the past membership fees to the better clubs were quoted in thousands of dollars for initial fees and hundreds of dollars in monthly fees. Many clubs are now charging in rupiah, which makes them very affordable to expatriates who have a foreign currency-based income.
There are significant advantages to joining a business or social club that is affiliated with an international club chain as you can use reciprocal facilities in other cities during business travel. Associated clubs can include city clubs, country clubs, golf and country clubs, other athletic facilities or even accommodations. Ask if the club you are interested in joining is affiliated with an international club management chain for reciprocal privileges abroad. If you are interested in joining a city club, ask if they have an affiliation with a golf and country club in the Jakarta area so that you can utilize their facilities as well.
Making your decision
Ask around to get the feedback of business colleagues on the various clubs. Most people join a particular club because of its reputation and because their business colleagues and friends recommend it. Don't depend only on personal recommendations alone as everyone has their own personal preferences. Visit the various clubs, check out the services and facilities, membership rates, as well as booking availability during breakfast, lunch and dinner hours.
Active members will find that the staff in the club will take the time to get to know them. Upon arrival you will be greeted by name and the club staff can facilitate meeting your guests, as they will know you. In a restaurant it can be harder to meet guests as your identity can remain a mystery to the ever changing receptionists.
Guest relations and membership staff make it their business to ensure that your needs and requirements are met. The staff make the extra effort to ensure your event is a success by taking the time to determine your personal preferences so that your events will go off with out a hitch. Consult the club staff for arranging special occasions such as birthday parties or anniversary celebrations. Their knowledge of the special touches will help to make the event more memorable.
Many special social events are organized by the staff of the club. These events enable you to meet other members and enjoy getting to know each other in a relaxed social setting. Sporting events, including golf or tennis tournaments, are often organized by clubs so that you can widen the circle of friends that you share these interests with.
The club may employ pros or award winning instructors to help you perfect your tennis, golf or other sports. When touring the fitness or athletic facilities, ask if the club employs in-house pros. The athletic staff may also organize special fitness classes, aerobics, or weight training; ask to see the course schedule.
Business networking and entertaining
One of the primary benefits of joining a private club are the numerous opportunities to network. Business clubs organize special events for business people in the various industries. At these events you can enjoy the camaraderie of business leaders and good friends. These opportunities do much to improve business connections - especially since knowing the right people will open doors for your company.
Private clubs provide facilities for meetings, seminars, cocktail parties or wedding receptions. Before you make your decision on which club to join, consider the needs your company has for meeting venues outside your office. Tour the meeting facilities at the various clubs to determine which may best fit your future needs for meetings and business entertaining. A private club will provide a more confidential atmosphere for important business meetings than most hotels could offer.
Dining in a private club can provide you with continuously changing taste adventures if they employ international-standard chefs or there is an emphasis on gourmet food, gastronomic pleasures and culinary delights. If fine dining is a pleasure you enjoy, ask about the qualifications of the club's chefs.
Some business clubs open their facilities to family members, if not all the time, then on certain days or at set hours. There may also be special programs for children. If you want your family to be able to take advantage of the membership as well, ask what facilities or programs are available for children.
Enjoy the advantages
Avoid the Pitfalls
While visiting the various private clubs, consider the issue of access to the club's facilities. Facilities in popular clubs may be booked well in advance and you may have problems arranging meetings or lunches with colleagues on short notice. The physical location of the facility and its proximity to your office or home is a major factor in how often you'll actually use the facilities.
Check out the traffic from your office to the club to gauge if it would be convenient to get there for a breakfast meeting or on your lunch hour. Ask how far ahead you have to book to reserve a table during the lunch or dinner hour. If the club is continuously fully booked, you may rarely be able to take advantage of your membership.
Look at the choice of cuisine available in the club, ask how often the menu changes or if the club has plans to change the cuisine/theme of any of their restaurants in the coming year. Ask about banquet or catering services for business or social functions. Ask how often the club puts on special food promotions to determine how often the menu will vary.
Enjoy the many privileges of joining a business club in Jakarta and build useful networks and friendships at the same time.
See also Sports and Fitness Clubs
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