Marriott International to open first luxury safari lodge in Africa

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Marriott International, Inc. recently announced it has signed an agreement with Baraka Lodges LTD. to enter the safari segment in Africa. 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 travellers 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 observethe “Big Five” that Masai Mara is home to: lions, leopards, buffalos, rhinoceros and elephants. Between June and September, the reserve is also host to the annual great wildebeest migration, when more than 10 million animals travel a distance of 1,800 miles from the Serengeti in neighbouring 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,” says Bruce Rohr, Vice President and Brand Leader, JW Marriott. “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 travellers, 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 immerse 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 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.”says 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 ambience, while an earth tone colour 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 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” says Mr. 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.

About JW Marriott 

JW Marriott is part of Marriott International’s luxury portfolio of brands and consists of beautiful properties and distinctive resort locations around the world. JW Marriott is a tribute to the founder of Marriott International, J. Willard “J.W.” Marriott, who prioritized his own well-being so that he could take better care of others. Inspired by his approach to life and rooted in holistic well-being, JW Marriott properties offer a haven designed to allow guests to focus on feeling whole – present in mind, nourished in body, and revitalized in spirit – through programs and offerings that encourage them to come together and experience every moment to the fullest. Today there are more than 100 JW Marriott hotels in more than 35 countries and territories worldwide that cater to sophisticated, mindful travellers who come seeking experiences that help them be fully present, foster meaningful connections and feed the soul. Visit JW Marriott online, and on Instagram and Facebook. JW Marriott is proud to participate in Marriott Bonvoy®, the global travel program from Marriott International. The program offers members an extraordinary portfolio of global brands, exclusive experiences on Marriott Bonvoy Moments and unparalleled benefits including free nights and Elite status recognition. To enroll for free or for more information about the program, visit marriottbonvoy.com.  Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, and encompasses a portfolio of approximately 8,000 properties under 30 leading brands spanning 139 countries and territories. Marriott operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts all around the world. The company offers Marriott Bonvoy®, its highly awarded travel program. For more information, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com. In addition, connect with us on Facebook and @MarriottIntl on Twitter and Instagram.