Brazil’s Elite Social Clubs Are Charging US$150,000 for New Memberships

From Paulistano and Pinheiros to Harmonia, demand at São Paulo’s leading exclusive establishments is far exceeding a limited supply, and money alone may not be enough to get in

Vista de uma das piscinas do Club Athletico Paulistano, no Jardim América, em São Paulo (Foto: Reprodução/Instagram)
February 26, 2024 | 09:22 AM

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Sao Paulo — Exclusivity, security, and a plethora of leisure options await within Latin America’s largest city, just minutes away from your doorstep. The most coveted country clubs in São Paulo blend such features into elite sanctuaries where membership is a luxury reserved those of a particular socioeconomic status; one in which wealth alone does not suffice.

From São Paulo’s traditionally affluent residents to top executives and burgeoning young entrepreneurs, individuals converge at such clubs to benefit from social and professional connections and a wide array of activities ranging from tennis and children’s birthday parties.

But new memberships imply a challenge beyond financial considerations. Many traditional clubs currently have no spaces available, leading to the emergence of a “secondary market”, coupled with waiting lists extending up to two years. In certain cases, securing a membership may also necessitate recommendations from as many as 15 existing members.

For those inclined towards more contemporary settings, up and coming clubs such as São Paulo Surf Club, Beyond The Club, and Soho House São Paulo offer promising alternatives.


Bloomberg Línea recently consulted with some of the most exclusive and sought-after social clubs in the city, excluding country clubs or golf clubs, to delve into their admission policies and membership sales.

From Soho House São Paulo to Esporte Clube Pinheiros

Consider Soho House São Paulo, for instance, where new memberships cost R$8,150 (US$1,633). In contrast, the century-old Club Athletico Paulistano, established in 1900 within the prestigious Jardim América, commands an admission fee of R$750,000 (US$150,410).

At Club Athletico Paulistano, aspiring members pay R$20,000 per membership and a staggering R$750,000 (US$150,410) for admission, applicable to individuals or families. Monthly social contributions amount to R$559.35 (US$112.18) for individuals and R$932.21 (US$186.97) for families. Prospective members are expected to secure recommendations from seven existing members, with the admission process typically spanning 30 to 40 days.


On the other hand, at Hebraica in Jardim Paulistano, admission fees vary, amounting to R$224,000 (US$44,900) for families and R$168,000 (US$33,700) for individuals. Candidates must obtain three recommendations, one of which must come from a director or board member. The monthly fee stands at R$709.35 (US$142) for individuals and R$354.68 (US$71.21) for spouses.

Harmonia, established in 1930 by former members of Athletico Paulistano, offers individual memberships for R$150,000 (US$30,060), while family memberships are subjected to two separate fees. Those without familial affiliations to the club must additionally pay a fee of R$534,000 (US$107,000). Former members seeking reinstatement are given priority, while recommendations from 15 members are necessary for external applicants. The assessment process typically spans six months, although a “non-priority” list exists, albeit currently without vacancies for new members.

Esporte Clube Pinheiros, situated in one of São Paulo’s most coveted neighborhoods, Jardim Paulistano, adjacent to the Shopping Iguatemi mall, typically evaluates new membership proposals within 90 to 120 days. Candidates above the age of 16 are subjected to an interview. The club facilitates membership sales through its website, with 68 memberships listed for sale, ranging from R$88,000 (US$17,650) to R$110,000 (US$22,062). A transfer fee of R$151,740 (US$30,434) is mandatory, with discounts available for those with first-degree relatives affiliated with the club. Monthly membership contributions are fixed at R$562 (US$113).

Meanwhile, at Clube Paineiras do Morumbi, where new memberships are no longer available, a waitlist exceeding 900 individuals suggests a wait time of up to two years. Membership prices, negotiated among members, may reach R$100,000 (US$20,000), with an additional transfer fee ranging from R$180,000 (US$36,072) to R$200,000 (US$40,000). Monthly family membership fees amount to R$1,195 (US$240).


In the realm of emerging clubs in São Paulo, São Paulo Surf Club, Beyond The Club, and Soho House are spearheading novel social club initiatives.

Soho House and Other New Ventures

Scheduled for a second-half 2024 launch, São Paulo Surf Club, a JHSF venture, aims to integrate sports, leisure, and gastronomy. Offering 1,000 memberships with family and individual membership options, the former grants access to the holder, spouse, and up to three dependents below 35 years, priced at R$900,000 (US$180,000), while the latter, valid solely for the holder, is available at R$605,000 (US$121,293). Annual membership fees hover around R$25,000 (US$5,012), with a substantial portion of memberships already sold. The club, located within the Cidade Jardim Complex, features state-of-the-art facilities designed by renowned architects.

Beyond The Club, situated alongside the Transamerica Bridge, anticipates completion by June 2025. Prospective members contribute R$715,000 (US$143,345) towards membership, payable in installments, with significant demand driving the sale of approximately a third of the 3,000 available family memberships within a year.


Soho House, an esteemed international brand, adopts a distinct membership model, devoid of lifelong memberships. The São Paulo branch charges an annual fee of R$8,150 (US$1,633), alongside a one-time registration fee convertible into credit for members’ use across the club’s amenities. Positioned within the vibrant Cidade Matarazzo complex, Soho House São Paulo represents the brand’s inaugural venture in South America, offering unparalleled access to a global network of clubs.

“Culture, art, and creativity are part of the essence of Matarazzo, and Soho House is vital to our ecosystem and to inspire our community in a transformative environment, where many disruptive ideas are born,” said Alexandre Allard, creator and founder of the complex, in a statement.

Soho House occupies part of the old Umberto I Hospital, a space that was abandoned and designated as a cultural heritage, which has been restored and transformed into Cidade Matarazzo. The club, initially scheduled to open last December with no new date announced, will feature 36 rooms, a gym, a spa, a rooftop pool and bar, as well as restaurants and exclusive member spaces.

In essence, these social clubs encapsulate more than mere recreational spaces; they represent hubs of social connection, exclusivity, and cultural enrichment, shaping the fabric of São Paulo’s elite society. As the city evolves, these institutions continue to evolve, catering to the discerning tastes and needs of their esteemed members.