Anna Haotanto, managing director of The New Savvy and jet-setting entrepreneur, shares her thoughts on the latest members-only club to hit the town – Madison Rooms.
Given its location and lack of obvious signs, Madison Rooms is not the kind of place people will go to unless they’re aware of it, which means the place is never crowded.
You won’t really notice the staff, but they are ever present to attend to your needs. Your water is always ﬁlled, and offers for additional help are frequent enough to make you feel taken care of but not so overwhelming as to be intrusive. When I needed a private room, a lady offered to lower the temperature to make it comfortably cool for me.
I love how each of the spaces have a different feel. The library – complete with Penguin books, a little detail I enjoyed – looks like a Ralph Lauren showroom, while one of the meeting rooms is done completely in bright orange. Most other clubs just have the same “old school” look throughout.
Madison Rooms has tech- savvy folk in mind, so you’re never far from a charging point. The Wi-Fi never wavers and the meeting room tables have a whole row of power points so everyone can stay plugged in.
Entry into the club is through a biometric system for fuss- and card-free access.
The bar is beautifully done and the food is good, but limited. I was once here from noon to 8pm and the menu offered no snacks. If I were to come here two to three times a week, I would get bored. There was also a signiﬁcant lack of Asian dishes.
The perks, such as cheaper airfares from Etihad and tie-ups with similar clubs in other parts of the world, are nice to have, but not the most important aspect of belonging in a club. Credit cards can offer similar perks.
I want to have meaningful connections, and not necessarily business ones. After all, when people come to my office, there is always an agenda.
Here, I can connect with people on a deeper level.
That being said, my guests have remarked that privacy may be an issue here. Given the exclusivity of the place, you’re more likely to run into someone you know here, compared to meeting in a hotel lobby or at a cafe.
As my work involves educating women on ﬁnance and careers through my online platform, The New Savvy, I typically take at least two or three client meetings every day, and that’s not including my responsibilities as business development director at Tera Capital. I can see myself coming back here to entertain because I like the relaxed, not- too-snobbish mood here, but it will be weird to come in everyday to work since you don’t have a ﬁxed desk.
Ultimately, Madison Rooms will appeal to the upwardly mobile, cosmopolitan and millennial because it provides a sense of community, while still being a safe gathering space.