In 1880 the Los Angeles Athletic Club
became the first private club in the city. This was when Hollywood was little more than a farm and an adobe hut, and the phrase "Malibu Colony" referred to bats. As the city grew, and grew draped in tinsel, so did the club: if you were somebody, you were a member of the LAAC. The fact that any club has lasted 129 years in Los Angeles is incredible; what's more, after throwing a few million at it the owners look to be ready for the next thirteen decades.
The prize draw is the 80,000 square-foot fitness center, where an exhaustive fitness menu offers an indoor Olympic pool, court sports, yoga, squash, and of course a spa and personal training just for starters. After that would come the Trophy Room, where you can sup on a chef's tasting dinner while suffused in the glow of a 1,000 bottle wine cellar and mounted, golden chalices. Say you have a few too many bottles yourself, you can store some of your own collection there, too.
When the running and dining has worn you out you can retire to any of the 72 freshly remodeled rooms, each with custom furnishings, luxurious bedding, roman shades, and flat screen televisions. Nine of those rooms are themed, 1-bedroom suites, in the following flavors: Yacht Club, Country Club, Polo Club, Racquet Club, Beach Club, Athletic Club, Social Club, Bruin Club, and Trojan Club.
No matter which room you choose it will be found down a moody hallway -- the designer calls it "1920s French Moderne with some British Campaign and a touch of Americana," but it's easier imagined as The Shining
meets the W meets the batcave. For the moment you can procure one for an introductory nightly rate of $149, which includes a complimentary American breakfast buffet for two in The Grill Room and WiFi. Naturally, you need to be a member to sample the premises, but once you've done the hard work of signing up, where you -- and your yeoman -- choose to get your workout is up to you. Anchors away, fearless voyagers...