The Rainier Club – A Review of Seattle’s Elite Private Club

The Rainier Club has long been considered the most elite private club in Seattle. As one of the city’s oldest institutions, it has a long history in its ivory-covered building on 4th Avenue downtown. I was a member for several years, but my review is a couple of years old. It is possible that updates and renovations have been made since I last visited.

The Rainier Club Feel

The Rainier club is stately, but in need of a decor renovation to keep it feeling fresh and modern. Club members skew older, but with a decided campaign to bring in younger faces. 

The feel is old world luxury, but make it Seattle casual. The club has rules about dress and where cell phones are allowed, but it’s a welcoming, friendly space. The staff gets to know you quickly and is eager to respond to suggestions.

The club is centered around committees with common interests like literature, wine, law, entrepreneurs, and more. Anyone can join committees, which meet regularly. In addition, there are club-wide social activities that are the real reason to maintain a membership. 

Though the club has common spaces for things like coworking, a lounge, the formal dining rooms, and a sports bar, this landmark-designated building feels in transition. The Club is working to modernize and maintain relevance to attract a younger clientele, but the transformation feels a little awkward at times. 

The Highlight

family with Santa at The Rainier Club holiday party
Photos with Santa at the winter holiday party at The Rainier Club

Each of the major events – a winter holiday party, spring eggstravaganza, and Mother’s Day brunch, among others, are the ideal way to celebrate the seasons without the crowds. The winter party features a private Santa with idyllic backdrop. While the lines for Santa will find you even in a private club, so will drinks and snacks for kids and parents alike to keep you busy while you wait. 

Egg dying at the Spring Eggstravanza celebration

The Rainier Club also has reciprocal relationships with dozens of private clubs around the world. That means wherever you travel, you can enjoy exclusive experiences not open to the regular visitor.

The Takeaway

Overall, The Rainier Club a wonderful, private and somewhat formal “third space” for those working downtown or looking to experience upscale, memorable holiday parties you can’t get anywhere else in Seattle. Membership is for you if you value art, interesting speakers and cultural events. If you want a multi-generational space for meeting influential people outside your normal bubble, this is it.

How to Get into the Rainier Club

The Rainier Club has a membership process that includes a tour of the building and a personal point of contact to help you see where a membership would fit in your life. You have to be sponsored for membership by a current member. The membership team can help connect you with current members if you don’t have a sponsor in mind already. 

There is a review process by the membership committee, and if your nomination is recommended, your profile will be posted to all existing members for review and comment. If there are no objections, your nomination is accepted. There is a one-time initiation fee.

Once in, there is a minimum food and beverage spend per month, in addition to your club dues. There are other optional fees such as valet parking, which is capped after a certain point per month. There is also a gym with monthly fees that include a private locker and laundry service. Private events can be arranged with a minimum food and beverage spend based on the room size and number of people in attendance. The events and catering team are spectacular and can accommodate even the grandest wishes.

Seattle Eastside Date Night Ideas

Not ready to take the leap into Rainier Club membership? It is a great spot for a cozy date night, but we’ve got lots of other ideas. Check out our list of unique date night ideas on the Eastside or go in-depth on the best wine tasting experience in Woodinville.

I'm Ashley, the founder of Wanderlux and a travel junkie. When I'm not at home near Seattle, Washington, you can find me on the beach in Mexico or traveling the world. Wherever I am, I aim to travel respectfully, show my kids new things, and learn more than I teach.



  1. Hi Ashley,
    I am the Director of Membership at the Rainier Club overseeing all aspects including sales, engagement, retention all all other things membership related. I just stumbled upon this article while searching on Google and I was surprised that I did not know about it. You mention that this review was from a few years ago so I am not quite understanding why it is being used again now.? In the last two years the club has experienced more change than it has in years. Much of the information here from a few years ago was wrong to begin with but now most all of it is misinformation, and outdated. When reading this review not everyone will take the time to read carefully enough that it was from two years ago. If you ever have the desire to write a current and relevant review that gives the Club a chance to showcase alll the amazing changes, unparalled new benefits and a club demographic that is changing dramatically by the day, I would be happy to give you a tour and all the new and correct information. Everyone has worked so hard and are cotinuing to work so hard creating and executing the startegy and vision to make sure the Club can continue its Legacy for the next 135 years and so it is sad that could have been conveyed here.

    Lori jansen

    • Hi Lori, thanks for your comment, which I’m sad to say was caught in spam. This post resurfaced because I am slowly merging 2 of my blogs and I migrated the review to my new domain. My review accurately reflects my experience when I was a club member, and I’m happy to hear that the club’s innovation continues! I would welcome a chance to update this post with newer information, and will reach out to connect.


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