Marriott to open first luxury safari lodge

Kenya's Masai Mara revealed as launch African destination for JW Marriott retreat

Marriott International is entering the safari segment in Africa, signing its first luxury lodge in Kenya’s Masai Mara under the JW Marriott brand.

Through a new partnership with Bakara Lodges LTD, Marriott plans to welcome guests to the JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge in the Mara National Reserve from 2023.

Overlooking the banks of the River Talek and on the edge of the reserve, JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge’s prime location will offer guests an elevated camp from which to discover the Masai Mara National Reserve.

Masai Mara, Kenya | Photo by Heather M. Edwards on Unsplash

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Plans for the new-build lodge comprise 20 private tents, including one presidential canvas-topped pavilion and two interconnecting canopied suites, each with a private terrace overlooking the river.

Shared spaces will include a restaurant, lounge bar, spa, and a large outdoor terrace with fire pits. Guests will have the opportunity to observe the Big Five on safari drives. Between June and September, the reserve is in prime position for the annual great wildebeest migration.

JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge, Junior Suite Tent Bedroom

“As a brand rooted in mindfulness, we cannot think of a more perfect retreat for the mind, body, and soul than the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya,” said Bruce Rohr, VP and Brand Leader, JW Marriott, Marriott International.

“JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge will offer guests a luxurious backdrop to make once-in-a-lifetime memories as they connect with nature and wildlife as never before.”

Conservation of the land and its inhabitants will be at the heart of JW Marriott Masai Mara. The safari lodge aims to employ up to 50 locals from the Masai community.

Jerome Briet, Chief Development Officer, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Marriott International said the deal was a “milestone” for the hotelier’s growth in Africa.

“This landmark project is in response to travellers’ growing desire for experiential offerings that enable them to build a deeper connection with their chosen destination. JW Marriott encourages guests to be mindful and present, which perfectly lends itself to meaningful safari holidays,” Briet said.

Hot air ballooning over the Masai Mara | Photo by sutirta budiman on Unsplash

During their stay, guests will enjoy the immersive, holistic approach to wellness while being mindful of the environment and their impact on the land.

“We’re delighted to collaborate with Marriott International to debut this stunning luxury lodge and their first Safari offering in the Masai Mara,” said Shivan Patel of Baraka Lodges LTD.

Marriott International currently operates more than 120 properties in Africa across its portfolio. JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge will join Marriott Bonvoy’s growing portfolio of 8,000 hotels globally.

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