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JW Marriott Makes its Debut in the Luxury Safari Segment with the Opening of JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge
Transformative Experiences and Meaningful Connections Await at JW Marriott’s Haven of Luxury in the Heart of the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya
Fostering meaningful connections and nourishing the soul is at the heart of the JW Marriott brand, so entering the luxury safari segment is a natural next step
JW Marriott (JW-Marriott.Marriott.com), part of Marriott Bonvoy’s global portfolio of 30 extraordinary hotel brands, today announced the opening of JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge, marking the company’s highly anticipated debut in the luxury safari segment.
Sitting within the Masai Mara National Reserve in Southwestern Kenya, one of Africa’s most renowned wildlife and wilderness conservation regions, the lodge is a sophisticated and thoughtful sanctuary from which to discover nature and breathtaking vistas in harmony. Exhilarating guided game drives offer guests the opportunity to observe the “Big Five” that Masai Mara is home to, including lions, leopards, buffalos, rhinoceros, and elephants. Between June and September, the reserve is host to the annual great wildebeest migration, which sees more than 10 million animals travel a distance of 1,800 miles from the Serengeti in neighbouring Tanzania.
“Fostering meaningful connections and nourishing the soul is at the heart of the JW Marriott brand, so entering the luxury safari segment is a natural next step,” said Bruce Rohr, Global Brand Leader, JW Marriott. “Offering our guests once-in-a-lifetime experiences and a deep connection to place, JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge balances the thrill of a game drive with thoughtful opportunities to switch off and take it all in. We are excited to welcome travellers to a transformative and wellness-forward stay delivered with JW Marriott’s legacy of extraordinary hospitality.”
The lodge’s elegant interiors, designed by Kristina Zanic Consultants, seamlessly blend the savannah inwards, drawing inspiration from the elements with soft, warm tones, natural materials and textures, and native colours thread through its design. Each of the lodge’s 20 private tents provide a peaceful sanctuary to recharge and reset, and feature terraces overlooking the River Talek, a water source and habitat for many wildlife. The tented honeymoon suite offers a private plunge pool, while two interconnecting king and twin suites are ideal for families with children over the age of six (the minimum age of guests at the lodge).
Wellbeing and Mindful Practices
In keeping with JW Marriott’s ethos of mindfulness, the lodge is home to a number of thoughtfully designed spaces from the cosy Adventure Lounge full of books to get lost in and a space for young adults to take time for themselves, to the Cultural Deck where guests can gather around the fire pit to share tales of the day’s exploration.
Capturing the essence of rejuvenation, the Spa by JW emulates the serenity of the reserve and offers tailored experiences and signature treatments which blend locally inspired techniques and therapies. These are complemented by natural and organic products by renowned African skincare brand, Healing Earth, also available as in-room amenities. Guests can enjoy spa treatments from the comfort of their tented suite, accompanied by the sounds of the wilderness. Extending beyond body to mind and spirit with guided yoga, treatments include a ‘Masai Celebration’ incorporating local botanicals and therapies.
Nourishing Culinary Journeys
At the heart of the camp is the JW Garden - an outdoor space for guests to spend time discovering home-grown, organic ingredients, including the lodge’s signature rosemary. The garden’s produce is used by the lodge’s chefs to craft personalised dishes, cocktails, and mocktails. The garden will host daily programming, including live cooking, interactive cocktail mixology, and chef-led talks for a true farm-to-table experience. A relaxing gathering place, Fig Tree Lounge offers panoramic views of the surrounding plains from the indoor and outdoor bar and serves refreshing cocktails and mocktails infused with seasonal ingredients from the lodge’s garden. An indoor and alfresco dining experience at Sarabi Restaurant takes guests on a nourishing epicurean experience guided by JW Garden ingredients and local culinary heritage. Guests can venture out into the reserve with the lodge’s guides to enjoy a freshly prepared ‘Bush Breakfast’ or dinner while sipping sundowners and soaking in the breathtaking savannah vistas.
Connection to the Locale
The lodge’s community programming provides an authentic insight into meaningful local projects, including The Maa Trust, an organisation empowering local people by promoting small business start-ups. The lodge donates a percentage of the nightly rate per person to the organisation and provides a space for craftspeople to retail Maa Beadwork and produce. Guests can visit The Maa Trust to meet with local artisans and forge a deeper connection to the people in the area.
Currently, 60 percent of the lodge’s team are locals, with plans to reach 70 percent, ensuring the hotel’s contribution to the socio-economic development of the region. As an ongoing initiative, JW Marriott Masai Mara’s Apprenticeship Programme invites young women from the community to diversify their skills and broaden their experience to kick-start their careers in the hospitality industry. Partnership with the community began during the early development process of the lodge. Developed on land committed to a tourism project so as not to unduly disturb the surrounding environment, much of the construction was undertaken by local experts overseen by technical specialists, with build materials sourced from sustainable suppliers. The lodge has rehabilitated access roads to the property, installed power to the area, and provided access to clean drinking water for locals through a water treatment plant.
Emphasis on waste reduction and recycling is integral to daily operations. The lodge’s water treatment plant provides recycled and sanitised water; food waste is placed at the lodge’s compost site; and water wells are dotted around the lodge for animals to quench their thirst throughout the day.
By supporting local organisations such as The Mara Elephant Project and The Mara Protector Conservation Programme, JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge contributes to protecting animals and their habitat across the greater Mara ecosystem. Bringing a passion for the surrounding wildlife and nature to guests, the lodge’s Head Guide is a lifelong conservationist who holds talks about local culture at the lodge as well as guided walking tours. With an abundance of meaningful moments to experience at the lodge, guests can delve into photography and learn new skills at the lodge’s very own studio.
JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge is a 30-minute drive from Keekorok Airstrip and a 25-minute drive from Sekenani Main Gate.
Bookings for JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge are now open with prices from $1450 per person, per night (all-inclusive board basis). For more information, visit www.Marriott.com.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Marriott International, Inc..
Senior Manager, Consumer PR, MEA
Director, Consumer PR, EMEA
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 travelers who come seeking experiences that help them be fully present, foster meaningful connections and feed the soul. Visit JW Marriott online (JW-Marriott.Marriott.com), and on Instagram (https://apo-opa.info/3KrWtrD) and Facebook (https://apo-opa.info/3KqeoPB). 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 (https://apo-opa.info/3zrm9hP) and unparalleled benefits including free nights and Elite status recognition. To enroll for free or for more information about the program, visit Marriottbonvoy.com.
About Marriott Bonvoy®:
Marriott Bonvoy’s extraordinary portfolio offers renowned hospitality in the most memorable destinations in the world, with 30 brands that are tailored to every type of journey. From The Ritz-Carlton and St. Regis to W Hotels and more, Marriott Bonvoy has more luxury offerings than any other travel program. Members can earn points for stays at hotels and resorts, including all-inclusive resorts and premium home rentals, and through everyday purchases with co-branded credit cards. Members can redeem their points for experiences including future stays, Marriott Bonvoy Moments, or through partners for luxurious products from Marriott Bonvoy Boutiques. To enroll for free or for more information about Marriott Bonvoy, visit Marriottbonvoy.com.