Soho House Nashville is officially open, and it’s gorgeous. The largest Soho House location in North America, the members-only space boasts two restaurants, a cinema, ample outdoor space – including a pool – and special events. Comparisons have been made to a country club, but Soho House is definitely not a country club. While both concepts are exclusive and offer fabulous amenities to their members, there are marked differences in everything from their application process to guest policies.
No, Soho House is not a country club. Soho House is a place where creatives can gather to socialize at any time. Start the morning with a workout, steam, and coffee, then move on to a designated working lounge, then to lunch, and finish the day with dinner, drinks, and a concert. Members can even stay overnight, for an additional fee, in one of the nicest hotel-like rooms in Nashville.
This article answers all of your questions about Soho House Nashville, from its offerings to costs and how to apply for membership.
So, what exactly is Soho House?
It’s an exclusive club catering to creatives needing a space to connect and call home. Founded in 1995 by Nick Jones, Soho House is “a place for our diverse membership to connect, grow, have fun, and make an impact. Today, there are members and Houses around the world, as well as restaurants, spas, common area lounges, and cinemas. Soho House is a platform that fosters creativity in all its forms— a place where people can share ideas and make connections in physical and digital spaces.”
Soho House Nashville is not a country club.
I first toured this space when it was under construction. I was on the tour with celebrities, creatives, and members of other Soho House locations, as they are found worldwide. No one took their phone out to snap a pic. Everyone respected each other and was kind. And everyone was wowed by the attention to detail in the decor and build-out.
Transparently, I started this tour with curiosity and no desire to join. At the end of the tour, I left knowing I would be filling out an application. The space is just so beautiful, and I know how I respond to inspired places. I thought, heck, if I get in, I’ll give it a year and see what I think. And, that is where Soho House diverges drastically from a country club.
You can’t give a country club a trial run. Once you go through all the meetups, personal references, the “who are your people” and “what do you do” questions, and pay the hefty country club entry fee (typically $15,000 to $50,000+), not to mention the monthly dues after that, you simply can’t apply unless you have a larger-than-average bank account. From the start, you have to be fully committed.
Many times, but not always, the monthly fees at country clubs include a food and beverage allowance that encourages members to spend time at the club as they’ve already paid for some meals. This creates a place where people see each other time and time again. But, after you drop that kind of cash, most people will want to use the facilities anyway. It promotes community by affiliation, and it absolutely works.
At Soho House Nashville, your annual membership fee includes access to the space, including its health club, lounges, restaurants, and pool. It also includes access to over 20 monthly events, many of which are free to attend for members. The events that do have a cost are typically far below market value if you were to attend a similar event elsewhere. It does not include any food or drinks. You pay for that as you go.
And, unlike country clubs where you often have to pay for guests to attend, at Soho House, each member can bring up to three guests at any time, with no additional fee.
While Soho House Nashville does have a beautiful pool and outdoor area, there are no tennis courts and no golf course. Also, while country clubs cater exceptionally well to families, with many activities and events for kids, Soho House Nashville is child-friendly, but it’s a space made for adults.
Soho House Nashville, along with every other Soho House location, needs to prove its worth day in and day out. If not, members will not renew. This puts a strong emphasis on all things hospitality.
Your privacy is intact at Soho House Nashville.
And, there are no photos at Soho House. Don’t snap a pic of your food or a selfie in the mirror in the temptingly gorgeous locker room. No pics of feet poolside. Why? The lack of photography creates a safe space for everyone there, including celebrities who are there for the assurance of privacy.
While every other restaurant in town depends on the power of social media to market their offerings, you won’t be seeing Instagram stories of the Sunday FEAST at Soho House Nashville, their weekly all-you-can-eat brunch experience available at all Soho House locations throughout the world — just another reason to find a friend who is a member and ask for an invite, so you can actually see it all with your own eyes. Of course, you can follow Soho House on Instagram and see what they are posting for an insider’s look.
Once you join (again, unlike a country club), you will not get a membership directory. There is no monthly announcement of new members. If you ask the head of membership at any Soho House if so-and-so is a member, they will not be able to tell you. It doesn’t matter if you ask about a celebrity or a friend. It’s all confidential, and everyone is treated the same.
Can accountants, lawyers, and doctors join Soho House?
Of course. But, they will not get in based on their profession or salary. Membership is not based on where you went to college, and there are no extra points for an Ivy League education. The membership committee is more interested in whether a potential member has a creative bent. Do you play an instrument on the side or have a passion for photography visible on your social media account? Can you demonstrate that you are a true patron of the arts? These are just some of the questions that will be going through the minds of the membership committee. They are specifically looking for well-rounded, creative people, so taking time to fill out your application thoroughly is important.
Is Soho House also a Hotel?
Sort of. Not all Houses have rooms to rent like a hotel, but most of them do. Soho House Nashville, for example, has 47 rooms available to book. And, for most of the Soho House locations that offer rooms to book, they are only available to members. However, some houses do have rooms for non-members. There is a significant difference in price for members and non-members. Rooms may be discounted up to 50% off a published rate for members.
Member pricing for rooms will always be well below the market rate for a similar room at an area hotel. This encourages members to check in at other Soho Houses and stay there when traveling.
Where did Soho House start, and where are other locations?
While Americans might associate “Soho” with New York City, it is also an area in London; it is from here that Soho House gets its name. The first one was opened in 1995 in London, and now, 32 years later, there are 35 locations throughout the world. About one-third of them are in the United Kingdom. Locations in the United States include New York City, Los Angeles, Malibu, Chicago, Miami, Austin, and Nashville.
If you’ve been looking for more evidence that the Nashville area is hot, the opening of Soho House solidifies Music City’s status as a cool place to be. And, as so many people in Nashville are creatives, Soho House makes sense here. I assume the influx of creative people from Los Angeles, Chicago, and NYC brings with it a built-in base for membership, as Soho House is well established in those cities.
What can I expect at Soho House Nashville?
While the name “Soho House” implies an actual house, it is not. It’s a home for members to spend their time, yes, but it’s not a large house that has been renovated. And, every House is unique, reflecting the city in which it exists.
Soho House Nashville is in the Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood, at 500 Houston Street. It’s located in the old May Hosiery Building, built in the early 1900s. Fun fact: this building produced socks that astronauts wore on the moon! A heavy nod to Nashville’s musical core is seen with the three indoor and outdoor performing areas in addition to the pool, health club, and screening room.
As I mentioned earlier, the design of the space is beautiful. I’d like to visit Soho House in Berlin as both Nashville and Berlin’s Houses are “Bauhaus-inspired” with geometric patterns, rounded corners, and bold industrial finishes. Bauhaus was a German art school in operation from 1919-1933, so the Bauhaus-inspired decor reflects the building’s age. The bespoke fixtures also pay homage to the building’s factory history.
When walking the space, the color teal connects the space throughout. This was inspired by the building’s original verdigris copper doors. The walls and spaces are also filled with artwork representing 41 artists connected to Tennessee, most local to Nashville. There are 170 amazing pieces, including textile-based installations, sculpture, photography, cyanotypes, painting, collage, embroidery, and mixed media works.
RELATED: Updated Guide to Wedgewood-Houston
As a side note, Soho House globally has over 6,000 pieces of artwork on permanent display, making it one of the largest private collections of its kind. A Soho House statement reads: “An integral part of Soho House’s identity, the collection plays a key role in engaging with the creative community and features work by museum-level artists alongside emerging talent.”
Club Cecconi’s is the in-house restaurant featuring Italian dishes with fresh-made pasta and a regularly rotating menu. There is also The Alley, which offers lighter café fare, including coffee and cocktails.
The health club is large and features a reclaimed timber floor; a high, exposed ceiling; a yoga terrace; and a co-ed sauna and steam room that connects the men’s and women’s locker rooms. Yes, I did say co-ed.
There are also spaces to gather and meet, work during the day, and of course, the pool and gardens. Don’t forget those 47 hotel rooms.
For parking, there is street parking, and valet service is also available to members for a $12 fee.
Can non-members enjoy Soho House Nashville, too?
Unlike many Houses, one space in the Nashville location welcomes non-members, making Soho House a welcoming neighbor in the Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood. You can grab a coffee, cocktail, or light bite in The Alley, the café at the front of the building, where the hotel registration lobby is. There is both inside and outside seating. Members have a separate entrance, allowing for confidentiality.
How is one selected for membership at Soho House Nashville?
Soho House is about connecting people with creative interests. Membership is also very selective. This quote from Eater in 2017 sums it up, “Kim Kardashian and the Real Housewives are in the same category as lawyers and hedge fund managers, as former membership director Tim Geary told the Hollywood Reporter — both lacking in the je ne sais quoi that deems one worthy of Soho House.”
I’ve seen it written many times in coverage about Soho House that there is a “no-assholes” policy. They are looking for people who don’t want press following them around; they want people who will find Soho House to be a refuge or second home; they want people who will add to the community vibe.
Anyone can apply for membership at Soho House. But, the process is selective and subjective for who gets through — there is no hard-and-fast set of criteria. It does help if you know members to list on your application.
How much does it cost to join Soho House Nashville?
The dues are affordable, especially in the realm of private clubs. This makes sense as creatives often have a lower income than their corporate counterparts. And, if you are under 27 years of age, the dues are far less.
The dues are also not secret. You can find out the membership dues for any locations via the Soho House website here. Here are the two most popular membership tiers:
Local House membership
A “Local House” membership allows you to use the House in your city but does not give you access to all of the other clubs in the world unless you have booked a room there.
For Soho House Nashville’s Local House membership, the upfront membership fee is $682.81 if you are 27 or older. For those under 27, the upfront membership fee for Nashville is just $464.31.
If you are 27 or older, annual dues for Soho House Nashville are $2,512.75. If you are under 27, those yearly dues are just $655.50. And, no matter your age, you can pay your dues either annually or quarterly.
Every House membership
An “Every House” membership grants access to every Soho House in the world, except for Little Beach House Malibu. You can pop in to use any house’s health club, get lunch or dinner, sit poolside, or use communal space to relax during the day.
The one-off registration fee is the same for the “Local House” and “Every House” memberships.
Annual dues for Soho House Nashville’s Every House membership, if you are 27 or older, are $4,206.13. If you are under 27, the annual dues are $2,130.38.
If you travel a lot, the Every House membership makes sense to extend the idea of access to a home away from home.
Where do I apply for Soho House Nashville?
If interested, you can apply for membership online. Remember to take time with your application, as the membership rules are subjective. But, they are looking for people with shared values and a heart for creativity. Taking the time to express how you fit into those values will greatly improve your membership chances.
With various private clubs opening in the last decade in Nashville, some of which have already closed, Soho House Nashville joins the Nashville community already surrounded by the positive buzz and seems destined for success.
All images were provided by Soho House.
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