Detour: Club Class

Whichever city you happen to be in, there's an eerie sense of déjà vu that descends as you check into your hotel. For there, with deflating inevitability, is the all-day coffee shop and the signature restaurant, the atrium lobby and the noisy bar, all cut from the same international design template. But for everyone suffering from executive-suite ennui, an alternative is at hand: the private club.

In terms of accommodation, some give five-star hotels a run for their money. Others are simply homely. But if reasonable rates, subsidized dining and a decent choice of recreational facilities appeal, then...

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