Jaguar Suite at 51 Buckingham Gate
The Night of the Jaguar by André Gayot Undoubtedly, we are a car civilization. The automobile is an ordinary object in our spoiled world, a dream in the barren parts of the planet and a nightmare at a quarter to nine a.m. on the 101 freeway in downtown Los Angeles. We find cars a convenient instrument to go to the stores and take back home the stuff of which probably we bought too large a quantity at our local Costco. A car is more practical than a backpack and a bicycle, but more polluting — as we are told by ecology — and more expensive, as we can see by the price soaring at the pump. OK, it’s our way of life. But some of us are in love with automobiles. They admire the beautiful machines, their engineering, their design and their power, regardless of the speeding tickets and hefty insurance premiums they may have to face. For these auto fans, there is a mecca: the Jaguar Suite, named after the legendary car and not the animal. It rests in London at 51 Buckingham Gate, Taj Suites and Residences, a lavish establishment close to Buckingham Palace and minutes away from Westminster Abbey. No need to drive. The auto fan can voluptuously immerse in the Jaguar world, live and even sleep with it. In this incredible 177-square-meter (1,832-square-foot) two-bedroom apartment, visitors are welcomed by sleek wood paneling, and each detail is evocative, reminiscent or suggestive of the iconic machine, down to a futuristic, pollution-free fireplace that mimics the back window lines of a Jaguar. With exquisite taste, the modern décor employs the same fine leather that lines the car, the ebony veneer doors and even a custom-made Jaguar wall paper. Another surprise: the huge mirror in the living room turns out to be a high-definition television. And for those who want to experience the real deal, a chauffeured Jaguar is included for guests renting the suite to battle the London traffic in style nevertheless. You can expect that all this comes at a price, but for car lovers — and even for others — the experience is unique. Enjoy this sneak peek for free. You may wonder what the British car legend and the hotel, a replica of an Indian Palace on the banks of the Thames, have in common. Well, simply, the owner, Indian mogul Ratan Tata. Elementary, my dear Watson! Related links: Taj Hotels Jaguar Ian Callum’s Jaguar C-X75 Tata.com You can click on each photo to enlarge.