Welcome to The Ultra Exclusive Madison Rooms
UPDATE: An earlier version of the article mistakenly wrote $8,000 as the annual fee. This has been corrected and the writer has been sentenced to hard labour.
You'll agree that there is a subtle backlash against consumerism now. Portions of the world are turning their back on the acquisition of goods, choosing instead to embrace memories and experiences. That was the idea behind Madison Rooms, a members-only club sharing the same premises as the Freemasons.
Walk through its grey doors and you'll be greeted by plush armchairs and imposing glass-topped tables that look like they belong on the set of The Tudors, such is their intricateness. There is a bar stocking aperitifs and other liquids as well as a cosy room where you can indulge in reading or perhaps other less desirable pursuits.
Raj and his business partner Alex Chew envisioned Madison Rooms to be a place where members could conduct business in its private rooms, either over a meal or drinks, before retiring to the verandah (a beautiful place with natural light in the day and the solitude that you won't get in a city like Singapore) to celebrate a concluded deal. But Madison Rooms isn't just a place; it's a lifestyle. Members get exclusive privileges with Etihad Airways - think free upgrades to first class seats - and Quintessentially Lifestyle.
Raj tells me that they've also tied up with other members' clubs around the world. So wherever a Madison Rooms member is, he's bound to find an enclave to rest, relax and conduct business, if need be.
And the price for such exclusivity? $8,800 a year, a pittance for many of the members I saw walking around the place.
Check Madison Rooms out here.