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Marriott International to open its first luxury safari lodge in Africa

Stunning interiors with neutral, earthy shades to compliment the nature that surrounds it. Pictures: Supplied.

Stunning interiors with neutral, earthy shades to compliment the nature that surrounds it. Pictures: Supplied.

Published Mar 23, 2022


Marriott International has established a partnership with Baraka Lodges to join the African safari market.

The JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge will be located in the Mara National Reserve, which is one of Africa's most recognised wildlife conservation and wilderness areas. The beautiful hideaway, which will open in 2023 and provide discerning travellers with a unique location, is expected to welcome guests.

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JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge's prime location, overlooking the famous banks of the River Talek and on the outskirts of the reserve, will provide guests with a distinctively elevated camp from which to explore the Masai Mara National Reserve, its stunning vistas, abundant wildlife, and endless plains.

The new lodge's plans call for 20 private tents, including one presidential canvas-topped pavilion and two interconnected canopied suites, each with its own terrace overlooking the river and suitable for families.

A restaurant, lounge bar, spa, and a big outdoor patio with fire pits will all be shared spaces, with traditional Masai dance performances taking place in the evening.

The unspoiled nature will provide guests with the chance to see the "Big Five" - lions, leopards, buffalo, rhinoceros, and elephants that call Masai Mara home.

Between June and September, the reserve hosts the annual great wildebeest migration, which sees over 10 million animals trek 1 800 km from Tanzania's Serengeti to the reserve.

“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.

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“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,” he said.

The JW Marriott Masai Mara will prioritise the conservation of the land and its residents. The safari resort plans to employ up to 50 Masai community members and will provide extensive learning opportunities for visitors who want to fully immerse themselves in the area.

“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.

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Guests may anticipate a true feeling of location through beautiful design and architecture, as a nod to the enchanting surroundings. Kristina Zanic will be in charge of the sophisticated interiors.

At every step, the location and surrounding scenery will be reflected, bringing the natural world into harmony and drawing inspiration from the elements: earth, wind, fire, and water.

An earth tone colour palette will 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.

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Marriott International now manages over 120 hotels in Africa as part of its global portfolio. The JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge will be part of Marriott Bonvoy's expanding worldwide portfolio of 8 000 properties.