Lifestyle / Travel

Marriott To Open First Luxury Safari Lodge In Africa

Anticipated to launch next year, the JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge signals growth in the continent as the global hospitality leader enters the luxury safari segment.

Apr 01, 2022 | By Cleo Yong
JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge
Render of the Junior Suite Tent Bedroom. Image: Marriott International

On 22 March 2022, Marriott International unveiled its agreement with Baraka Lodges LTD. in opening the first luxury safari lodge in Africa.

JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge will situate inside the Masai Mara National Reserve — one of Africa’s most renowned wildlife conservation and wilderness regions. On the edge of the reserve and overlooking the prominent banks of the River Talek, the lodge’s prime location will give a distinctively elevated camp setting, from the abundant wildlife to endless plains and stunning vistas.

“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,”said Jerome Briet, Chief Development Officer, Europe, Middle East & Africa of Marriott International. Briet expressed the signing of the lodge as a milestone in Marriott International’s growth within Africa, as the multinational company enters the luxury safari segment.

Safari Africa Vehicle
Image: Ashim D’Silva/Unsplash

The lavish and elegant retreat expects to welcome guests in 2023, offering a refined, unparalleled experience. Plans for the Marriott lodge feature twenty private tents, including “one presidential canvas-topped pavilion and two interconnecting canopied suites”, each with a private terrace overlooking the river.

The shared spaces will consist of a restaurant, lounge bar, spa, and a large outdoor terrace with fire pits that will play host to traditional Masai dance performances. Guests will also have the opportunity to observe the “Big Five” that Masai Mara is home to lions, leopards, buffalos, rhinoceros and elephants.

JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge
Render of the Lounge & Bar. Image: Marriott International

Bruce Rohr, Vice President and Brand Leader of Marriott International, said that the national reserve in Kenya is the perfect retreat for the mind, body and soul, what with the JW Marriott brand rooted in mindfulness.

“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.”

The Great Migration, Africa
Image: Harshil Gudka/Unsplash

Interiors will be led by Kristina Zanic, a notable name in interior design in Asia and the Middle East. To recognise the captivating landscapes, guests can expect an authentic sense of place through artful design and architecture.

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

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