March 31, 2016

Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces announces partnership with the Born Free Foundation

Launches a limited edition hardback of The Jungle Book while announcing partnership with the international wildlife charity

On March 31, 2016, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces in London released the bespoke celebratory edition of The Jungle Book while announcing a partnership with the Born Free Foundation, the international wildlife charity founded by Bill Travers MBE and Virginia McKenna OBE, devoted to compassionate conservation and animal welfare. Hundred and fifty years since Rudyard Kipling’s birth, with two live-action movie adaptations of his iconic classic The Jungle Book in the offing and marking 50 years since the Royal Film Performance™ première of the seminal wildlife conservation film Born Free, there has never been a better time to celebrate English classics and commit to the conservation of big cats in the wild.

  • The venue's Jungle Book beautifully themed artistic design.
  • The venue's Jungle Book beautifully themed artistic design.
  • Themed Jungle Book canapés curated by Executive Chef David Tilly.
  • Taj's limited edition hardback of The Jungle Book with a foreword by Virginia McKenna, Founder of Born Free Foundation and a special tiger scarf from theHouse of Gharats celebrating the partnership.The House of Gharats donates £5 from the sales of the scarves to Born Free USA.
  • The magnificent Shere Khan diamond necklace, designed by renowned jeweller Catherine Best.
  • British actress and founder of Born Free Foundation Virginia McKenna OBE with Tajdirector of marketing, Siddhartha Butalia.
  • McKenna OBE with Lily Travers, TV presenter, Nick Knowles and Will Travers OBE.
  • Digvijay Singh, general manager of Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites and Residences and St. James' Court, A Taj Hotel, London.
  • Danielle Bux and Nick Knowles.
  • Will Travers OBE, president of The Born Free Foundation, championing the silent auction of the limited edition print of 'Felid I' by Katy Jade Dobson Art.
  • Singer and songwriter Willow Robinson.

The Jungle Book limited edition hardback, with a special foreword by Virginia McKenna, is the second offering in Taj’s ‘English Classics, Reinvented’ series. The series was unveiled last year with the 150th anniversary edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland at Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites and Residences, whilst hosting the preview reception of the Tata sponsored Hay Festival, one of UK’s largest literature gatherings. The campaign, nominated for the prestigious Drum Marketing Award for ‘rebrand strategy of the year’, sees Taj breathing a new lease of life into our best loved literary classics by commissioning British artists to create contemporary cover designs for a selection of limited edition prints. Speaking about the campaign, Siddhartha Butalia, Director of Marketing, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces said “Inspired by the indomitable spirit of the tiger, we are proud to renew our commitment to pioneering with purpose. We are delighted to be partnering with the Born Free Foundation to help protect threatened species and keep wildlife in the wild.”

Acknowledging the partnership, Adam M Roberts, CEO, Born Free Foundation, said: “Today, it is estimated that as few as 3,000 tigers remain in the wild. The Born Free Foundation is determined to save tigers from extinction through conservation and rescue work in India and we are delighted to join forces with the Taj in enhancing this commitment.”

Digvijay Singh, general manager of Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites and Residences and St. James' Court, A Taj Hotel, London, announced a number of initiatives to support the charity, from Jungle Book menus and banquet event themes to a Jungle Book-fantastic Kids @ Taj programme. “The Kids@Taj programme now includes cuddly toy tigers, themed colouring books and menus featuring curated delights from Baloo’s Canela waffles and Akela’s cheesy flatbread to the Bandar log’s King of the Swing Banana Split. Tiger and other endangered species’ adoption packs are also available through the luxury hotel’s boutique. Adult guests have not been forgotten, with new themed menus featuring delectable delights like Mowgli’s vegetable biryani, Kaa’s chicken skewers with lemongrass marinate and Shere Khan’s pulled pork, as well as Jungle Book private event themes in the banqueting suites. While helping raise awareness about threatened species worldwide, proceeds from the sale of the books and menus will go towards Born Free’s tiger conservation work in India.”

Mridula Tangirala, director, operations, Taj Safaris, the creators of India’s first luxury wildlife travel circuit in Madhya Pradesh, announced the opening of Taj’s first lodge outside India: Meghauli Serai at the UNESCO

World Heritage Chitwan National Park in Nepal. Taj Safaris also announced the launch of ‘Mowgli Trails’ Jungle Book experiences in Mowgli’s very own forest with skilled naturalists and, with Greaves India, a series of wildlife luxury safaris offering guests the unique opportunity to see tigers in the wild and live their very own Jungle Book journey, guided by a Born Free wildlife expert.

Guests including royalty and dignitaries, wildlife experts and conservationists, literati and celebrities dined on Jungle Book themed canapés curated by executive chef David Tilly and sipped on Vintage Roots Wild Thing wines and prosecco and Khukuri beer, alongside British actress and Born Free Foundation Founder Virginia McKenna OBE, and celebrities including Danielle Bux, Gary Lineker, Nick Knowles and Vic Reeves in the elegant Edwardian I Banqueting Suite at St James' Court, A Taj Hotel, London. The star-studded event also showcased the magnificent Shere Khan diamond necklace, designed by renowned jeweller, Catherine Best. Last valued at over a quarter million pounds, the necklace is scheduled to be auctioned later in the year to raise funds for Born Free.