Marriott’s First Luxury Safari Lodge to Open in East Africa

Mon, 28 Mar 2022 Lush Africa Safaris

Marriott International announced this week they have signed an agreement with Baraka Lodges to build a luxury safari lodge in the heart of East Africa’s wildlife spectacle.

JW Marriott Maasai Mara Lodge will be located within the Maasai Mara National Reserve, one of Africa’s most renowned wildlife conservation and wilderness regions.

Offering discerning travelers an unparalleled setting, the elegant resort is expected to start welcoming guests in 2023, according to a press release dated March 22, 2022.

Overlooking the banks of the famed River Talek and on the edge of the Mara reserve, JW Marriott Maasai Mara Lodge’s prime location will offer guests a distinctively elevated camp from which to discover the Maasai Mara National Reserve, its stunning vistas, abundant wildlife, and endless plains.

Plans for the new 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 Maasai dance performances in the evening.

The untamed landscape will offer guests the opportunity to observe the “Big Five” that Maasai Mara is famed for: lions, leopards, buffalos, rhinos, and elephants.

Between June and September, the reserve is also host to the annual great wildebeest migration, when more than 10 million animals travel 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 Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya,” said Bruce Rohr, Vice President and Brand Leader, JW Marriott, Marriott International. “JW Marriott Maasai 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 Maasai Mara too, they said.

The safari lodge aims to employ up to 50 locals from the Maasai community and will offer robust learning opportunities for guests looking to immersive themselves in the destination.

“The signing of JW Maasai Mara Lodge is a milestone in Marriott International’s growth in Africa as the company enters the luxury safari segment,” said Jerome Briet, Chief Development Officer, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Marriott International. “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.”

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 color palette promises to sit in harmony with the landscape, inviting guests to connect with nature and focus on their wellbeing.

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 Maasai Mara,” said Mr. Shivan Patel of Baraka Lodges.

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.