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In the spotlight: Sabyasachi and the Cinema Suite

‘Unique’ is a word all too often over-used in relation to things that really aren’t that unique at all. Yet, although the meaning has been somewhat diluted, there is no better way to describe the new suite at 51 Buckingham Gate, which I recently had the pleasure of exploring with its creator Sabyasachi Mukherjee. It is unique in the purest sense of the word.

Located in the beating heart of London, this is not the first designer collaboration to be instigated by the TAJ owned residence. After the successful completion of its smooth and sleek Jaguar Suite with the luxury car manufacturer’s Design Director Ian Callum, the hotel was keen to develop another luxury suite under the watchful eye of a very different type of creative visionary.

The Man

Sabyasachi – fashion designer, costume maker and interior design guru – exudes a reassuring air of peace, and talks softly while introducing himself and the suite.


Born and raised in India, he graduated from the National Institute of Fashion Technology in New Delhi before establishing his own Sabyasachi label. What began as a modest independent venture soon ballooned into international success and recognition for not only his characteristic designs but also his use of traditional techniques and indigenous materials.

He’s exhibited at New York, London and Milan Fashion Weeks among others, designed costumes for various Bollywood films, and most recently turned his eye for detail to the Cinema Suite at 51 Buckingham Gate.

The Cinema Suite

The vibrant colours, interesting objects and an unapologetic mix of patterns are spread across two en-suite bedrooms, the lounge, dining room, study, kitchen and powder room.

The Cinema Suite, 51 Buckingham Gate

As the name suggests, the suite’s initial selling point is its impressive home cinema. The 85inch Panasonic TV was specifically chosen, in partnership with its bespoke sound system, to give guests a truly personal home cinematic experience. Draw the curtains, dim the lights, and settle down to enjoy your own private movie night.

The name however, is as subtle as it is literal, with cinematic influences used in the design of each room. Whether it’s the master Bollywood bedroom, the Stepford Wives’ inspired kitchen or the red carpet down the hallway, Sabyasachi has shared elements from Mexican, Iranian, Indian and world cinema to create “a great bohemian mix” of “well travelled elements”.

Cinema Suite, 51 Buckingham Gate

There was no fixed ‘design’ to speak of for the suite. It evolved room by room, piece by piece, culminating in this beautiful eclectic mix of finery. However, for all of the striking wall coverings, vintage prints, frames, rare plates, clocks and animal heads which found themselves a home in the suite, there was only one item that was destined to be there from the beginning, and that’s the Chesterfield. Sabyasachi said it “came first” in the room owing to his “obsession with the British Chesterfield”. It sits proudly front and centre in the lounge-cum-screening room, holding its own among the various textiles, colours and objects all competing for your attention.

The Cinema Suite, 51 Buckingham Gate

It’s almost impossible to see past the rich décor and remind ourselves that ultimately the suite is a haven for guests staying in this busy city of ours. It is an escape, a sanctuary, a home. It is designed to not only showcase creativity, cultures and influences but to be comfortable, inviting and somewhere guests will want to return to.

The Study, Cinema Suite, 51 Buckingham Gate

It is the marrying of luxury, comfort and unforgettable style that makes this suite such a success. On the one side, it’s a reflection of the diverse and colourful ideas bursting from Sabyasachi’s enviably creative mind, and on the other it pays tribute to the sensitive nature with which he has constructed it, ensuring it has the cosy, welcoming atmosphere of a home away from home.

To find our more about the new Cinema Suite, contact the hotel directly on +44 20 7769 7766 or visit the website.

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