“Sea-to-Lake” is “Mar-a-Lago” translated from Spanish. Feigning loss in translation is exactly how you should plan an uninvited visit to Donald Trump’s Palm Beach club. It’s incredibly easy to get in, compared with the pre–January 2021 days of Secret Service agents and background checks. Trump’s people are back in charge now, so it’s become a lot like Jimmy Carter’s old peanut farm in Georgia, at least in terms of security.
Reasons for wanting to be there are plentiful. You can appreciate the gaudy 1927 architecture, snuggle into the yellow pool towels, and hazard a nibble off of the weird menu, not to mention the chance to mingle with wealthy QAnon believers. All at the modest price of bypassing a membership system not unlike Soho House’s but for gun owners. If you’re smart, you can even sleep there. (Technically, only members can book rooms, which go for roughly $2,000 a night; non-members need a member to sponsor them, either to get in or to book a room.)
In honor of your transgressions, you’ll make it into a special book, which logs every trespasser since 2016. So far there have been 141 cases. Right next to it is another book, titled “Expelled Members.” (Top of the list: Jeffrey Epstein, who got kicked out for hitting on a teenager.) You might even want to get caught sneaking in on purpose, just so you can become a part of this rich history. Remember: it’s not illegal to go places you don’t belong.
Here are the best ways to go about it.
Pretend You Owe Money to the Club (“The Unsettled Tab”)
The MAGA world is all about debt. Arrive at the club midday and tell the guard a long story about how you partied so hard the night before with numerous members that you forgot to pay. Now you demand to come in and settle a $5,000 bill. They may hesitate; you may insist. Show them the money. Invite the gatekeeper to walk with you to the bar to prove it. Once you’re in, it’s done. Head to the toilets and then immediately order something heavy from the menu, such as “Barron’s Macaroni & Cheese.” Keep walking around from pool to ballroom looking for that mysterious tab. When Trump walks into the dining room, be the first to clap, as everyone is ordered to do anyway.
Go Through the Beach Tunnel (“The Backdoor Scheme”)
A tunnel underneath South Ocean Boulevard gives Mar-a-Lago direct access to the beach, shared with the Palm Beach Bath & Tennis Club. In 2017, college kid Mark Lindblom famously stood in line with club members waiting to pass through a metal detector manned by Secret Service agents. He got in. Today these agents are gone. Walk close behind a group of members as they’re about to enter the tunnel and move your lips as if you’re their friend. The staff won’t think twice.
Leave an Item Behind (“The Coat-Check Racket”)
Once you’re in, having utilized one of the methods above, swipe a signature Mar-a-Lago bathrobe from the used-towel basket, or from a member’s poolside lounge chair. (Members can always ask for a new one.) Wear it around all day on top of your clothes. Tell everyone how comfortable it makes you feel. At sunset, check it with the concierge near reception. They’ll give you a ticket, the same one they use for checked luggage. Keep the ticket. Laminate it. This ticket is equivalent to a lifetime membership. Now, every time you want to come back, wave the ticket at the gate and say you must collect the item A.S.A.P., and that only you can touch it because it’s extra-special. Repeat this every week, wearing the robe if you like. The more peculiar you look, the less anyone will doubt your member status. Some will mistake you for Newsmax host Benny Johnson.
Name-Flop (“The Opposite of Name-Dropping”)
Done right, dropping names confuses staff who haven’t done their homework on the membership list. Try to name-flop a lot—meaning, name-drop in a clumsy, incomprehensible manner. Always say that a member is on the way to meet you and just hasn’t arrived yet. Never say Rudy Giuliani or Congressman Matt Gaetz. Stick to random names such as Sergio Gor and Seb Gorka. If all else fails, pretend to be Tiffany Trump’s fiancé, Michael Boulos, who’s among the non-member members that are always in the club. Boulos is constantly “planning a wedding” of some sort while keeping an inconspicuous but flashy presence.
The Joy of Missing Out (“JOMO”)
Get an Airbnb overlooking the club. Be online all day and check who’s posting from within. It could be a G.O.P. fundraiser, a Bar Mitzvah, or a golf-tournament awards ceremony. As soon as any usable information comes up, whether it’s a screenshot of an invite that somebody posted or a new guest-list name that’s been tweeted, run to the club and use it.
The Rejection E-mail (“No Means Yes”)
E-mail the club and ask to book a room for the night. A manager named Bernd Lembcke will reply, saying, “Accommodations can only be booked by a member for their own use or to sponsor a friend.” Mr. Lembcke is a Roger Stone look-alike. All you need to do is to arrive at the gate dressed like Mr. Stone (six-button striped suit, white hair, neon tan) and say you have a meeting with Bernd. Flash the e-mail he sent you as proof. Staff will see the sender’s name and let you in. If they call to verify and try to give you the boot, don’t leave. Say you have some information on Hillary Clinton and show them a big brown envelope you packed for this purpose. Then hit the toilets again. For eternity, “dirt” on H.R.C. will be the golden ticket into Mar-a-Lago.
Nimrod Kamer is a London-based writer and the author of The Social Climber’s Handbook: A Shameless Guide