Londoners are busier than they’ve ever been. Between work, meetings, office drinks, visits to the gym and time with friends, we’ve become more reliant than ever on venues that can combine all of these under one roof.
One of London’s most exclusive business clubs is 12 Hay Hill in Mayfair. The Sybarite caught up with Chief Executive Simon Robinson to find out more about the club and its offering.
Importantly, 12 Hay Hill is not restricted to one service, it functions in many different ways but without sacrificing quality or style. Simon explained “what’s interesting about 12 HayHill is that we are different. There are many, many institutions in London – and in Mayfair particularly – you have hotels, restaurants, bars, and office blocks. What is inspirational about us is that we are a hybrid of them all, and in essence we are a wonderful place to work. That is where it starts from, for me.”
He also cites his staff as one of the unique selling points of the club. “There are two things that bring this building to life – the state of the art interior and the team that are running it. The level of personal service we offer is exceptional – you don’t find it in a serviced office environment even in the smartest offices. Without a team here, this becomes a brick and mortar. A sterile environment.”
Simon is keen to set 12 Hay Hill apart from what he calls London’s “social clubs”. Predominantly, he looks to attract interesting and inspirational businesspeople who want to work somewhere a bit different. He explains: “We are not a private members club, we are a Business Club – a lot of people make that mistake. If you come here looking for the equivalent of the Arts Club you are going to be disappointed. What you will get is a level of service that matches and surpasses these clubs.”
Hay Hill is made up of 25 offices which are all available to rent for a 12 month period. They cater to all businesses and international businesspeople who are looking for more than an average serviced office. Amongst the facilities are 11 meeting rooms, 4 boardrooms, business lounges, a private terrace and an exercise room.
Despite being focused on the business side of the business, Simon also ensures that the quality of food and drinks is equal or above any of London’s famous social clubs. “We deliberately do not position ourselves in the private members club market but we do insist on a very high standard of dining and have a resident chef, Sean Rankin, who is very accomplished.” Rankin, who has a Michelin Star restaurant in Jersey, has created a menu of light, fresh and healthy dishes that are both simple and contemporary.
Those interested in becoming a member may not have to wait long for an answer as Simon likes to keep the selection process simple: “We do not go through a traditional selection process like you would do in a private members club. We are attracting a really interesting group of people. I think the selection process will run itself – if you want to base yourselves in Mayfair or if you wish to have an office in Mayfair, I think you would be a suitable character!” Members can either join for a few months or a full year, depending on their circumstances.
Simon, who served in the army before founding Hay Hill, has experience working with large groups of people, a useful attribute in this environment. He expands on the skills needed: “There is a communication management role here, but I think most importantly for 12 Hay Hill it is my high standards of personal service. My whole career has been about setting high standards and transposing that into a business environment. I have recruited a fabulous team so it doesn’t matter where you go in this building, you will always find an enthusiastic and inspirational member of my team.”
The success of the club and the unique atmosphere is put down to simple communication. “All too often in this world people don’t communicate. Within these walls people know each other, and you generate that level of communication. There will be a lot of businesses in this building and people will start talking to each other. My responsibility is to make sure that there is no one in here you wouldn’t want to meet.”
Simon concludes: “I have a vision and my staff shares it completely, it is all about communicating. Anyone who wants to be a part of this experience I’d love to meet them.”