JW Marriott has announced the opening of JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge, marking the company’s highly anticipated debut in the luxury safari sector.
Sitting within the Masai Mara National Reserve in Southwestern Kenya, one of Africa’s most renowned wildlife and wilderness conservation regions, the lodge is a sophisticated sanctuary from which to discover animals and breathtaking vistas in harmony. Exhilarating guided game drives offer guests the opportunity to observe the “Big Five” that Masai Mara is home to, including lions, leopards, buffalos, rhinoceros, and elephants.
Between June and September, the reserve is host to the annual great wildebeest migration, which sees more than 10 million animals travel a distance of 1,800 miles from the Serengeti in neighbouring Tanzania.
Global Brand Leader of JW Marriott, Bruce Rohr said that fostering meaningful connections and nourishing the soul is at the heart of the company’s brand, and entering the safari market is a natural next step.
“Offering our guests once-in-a-lifetime experiences and a deep connection to place, JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge balances the thrill of a game drive with thoughtful opportunities to switch off and take it all in. We are excited to welcome travellers to a transformative and wellness-forward stay delivered with JW Marriott’s legacy of extraordinary hospitality,” said Rohr.
The lodge’s elegant interiors, designed by Kristina Zanic Consultants, seamlessly blend the savannah inwards, drawing inspiration from the elements with soft, warm tones, natural materials and textures, and native colours thread through its design. Each of the lodge’s 20 private tents provides a peaceful sanctuary to recharge and reset, and features terraces overlooking the River Talek, a water source and habitat for many wildlife.
The tented honeymoon suite offers a private plunge pool, while two interconnecting king and twin suites are ideal for families with children over the age of six (the minimum age of guests at the lodge).
In keeping with JW Marriott’s ethos of mindfulness, the lodge is home to a number of thoughtfully-designed spaces, from the cosy Adventure Lounge full of books to get lost in and a nook for young adults to take time for themselves, to the Cultural Deck where guests can gather around the fire pit to share tales of the day’s exploration.
The lodge’s community programming provides an authentic insight into meaningful local projects, including The Maa Trust, an organization empowering local people by promoting small business start-ups. The lodge donates a percentage of the nightly rate per person to the organization and provides a space for craftspeople to retail Maa Beadwork and produce. Guests can visit The Maa Trust to meet with local artisans and forge a deeper connection to the people in the area.
Emphasis on waste reduction and recycling is integral to daily operations. The lodge’s water treatment plant provides recycled and sanitized water; food waste is placed at the lodge’s compost site; and water wells are dotted around the lodge for animals to quench their thirst throughout the day.
JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge is a 30-minute drive from Keekorok Airstrip and a 25-minute drive from Sekenani Main Gate.