Marriott International, Inc. will enter the safari segment in Africa by opening its first property that will offer guests a distinctively elevated camp experience.
JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge will be located within the Mara National Reserve, one of Africa’s most renowned wildlife conservation and wilderness regions. Offering discerning travelers an unparalleled setting, the elegant retreat expects to welcome guests in 2023.
Overlooking the famed banks of the River Talek and on the edge of the reserve, JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge’s prime location will offer guests a distinctively elevated camp from which to discover the Masai Mara National Reserve, its stunning vistas, abundant wildlife, and endless plains. Plans for the new-build lodge feature 20 private tents, including one presidential canvas-topped pavilion and two interconnecting canopied suites, ideal for families, 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 that will play host to traditional Masai dance performances in the evening. The untamed landscape will offer guests the opportunity to observe the “Big Five” that Masai Mara is home to lions, leopards, buffalos, rhinoceros, and elephants. Between June and September, the reserve is also hosting the annual great wildebeest migration, when more than 10 million animals travel a distance of 1,800 miles from the Serengeti in neighboring Tanzania.
“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, Vice President 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. We are thrilled that the JW Marriott brand will be welcoming adventure travelers, including families, to this breath-taking part of the world.”
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 and will offer robust learning opportunities for guests looking to immersive themselves in the destination.
“The signing of JW Masai Mara Lodge is a milestone in Marriott International’s growth in Africa as the company enters the luxury safari segment. This landmark project is in response to travelers’ 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,” said Jerome Briet, Chief Development Officer, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Marriott International.
A nod to the captivating surroundings, guests can expect an authentic sense of place through artful design and architecture. Sophisticated, interiors will be led by Kristina Zanic. The location and surrounding landscape will be reflected at every turn, creating harmony with the natural world and drawing inspiration from the elements: earth, wind, fire, and water. Warm touches of neutrals and natural materials will lend to a warm ambiance, while an earth tone color palette promises to sit in harmony with the landscape, inviting guests to connect with nature and focus on their wellbeing.
During their stay, guests will enjoy the immersive, holistic approach to wellness while being mindful of the environment and its impact on the land.
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.