Inside the Thermal Club and Its Multi-million Dollar Villas
The Thermal Club offers ultimate track day and racing lifestyle experience.
Welcome, everyone, to the The Thermal Club. This desert oasis, located just past Coachella in the California palm desert, is a beacon for automotive enthusiasts. Offering a country club-level experience, Thermal caters to the well-heeled heel-and-toe’r in your life.
However, not just any one can get into Thermal. Instead, for non-members, access is by invite-only. If you want to drive any of the expensive racing circuits, you either have to be personally invited, or buy property on-site, as part of a membership.
While the grounds are massive, and gorgeous, something I have been particularly interested in are the villas. Spread out across the vast community are villas and homes of varying sizes and builds. The most simple plot of land available starts at $525,000. If you want to be track-side, and who doesn’t, the plot of land starts at $700,000. Yes, that’s before you build the house.
Say you have the cash, love motorsport, and want the ultimate track day experience: What can that $700,000 piece of land turn into? Well, I have been invited to The Thermal Club to find out.
Our rowdy tour bus of over-caffeinated journalists were led to one of the first villas built at Thermal. It turns out that the $700,000 piece of land turns into an almost $3,000,000 villa.
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With 7,400 sq-ft of space, it’s far from small. However, the more interesting stat is the one the car-crazed care about: The garage is 2,400 sq-ft of that total number. Yes, this villa is 1/3rd garage space. All the better for storing a stash of Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Porsches and a Spec Miata race car, like this Thermal Club member has done. This particular villa had enough garage space to fit 12 cars. That said, several members have lifts installed in their garages to effectively double the amount of cars able to be contained. Oh, and check out the garage door: Tall enough to fit a full-size hauler and trailer setup.
Inside the dream getaway
This particular villa, as our tour guide mentioned, was designed more for vehicle storage and hanging out in, rather than focusing on over-night stays. There are still bedrooms, bathrooms, a beautiful kitchen, and a toilet with the best view on Earth, but this villa was definitely geared more towards hosting wild parties track-side.
The view from the balcony is unreal. Perched directly above Thermal’s South Palm Circuit, this villa may actually be track day heaven. On a busy race weekend, slide open the balcony glass and let every race car rushing along play for you the songs of their people.
That said, the build quality of everything was impeccable, and the furnishings, even in this lightly decorated home, were top notch. So much so, in fact, that all everyone could talk about were schemes to get enough cash to afford splitting the tab 10-ways on a villa.
Properties are still being built across Thermal’s massive grounds. Those with the means should certainly inquire with Thermal for more information. It will only be a matter of years before every plot has been sold. This is the best kept open secret in Southern California. Car enthusiasts should do whatever possible to experience Thermal, even if it’s just for a day. This place is truly special.