The New JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge will open in 2023, Marriott's first luxury safari lodge in Africa and first Marriott luxury brand in Kenya. Of the major international luxury hotels, only Four Seasons and Belmond have safari lodges: the Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti in Tanzania, and Belmond's Savute Elephant Lodge, Eagle Island Lodge and Khwai River Lodge in Botswana. Marriott's press release noted “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 Masai Mara Lodge Location and Amenities
The JW Marriott Masa Mara Lodge will be located by the River Talek, which bisects the Masai Mara reserve. One of the most important wildlife conservation areas in Africa together with Tanzania's Serengeti (which the Masai Mara is next to), the area is known for its populations of lions, leopards, buffalos, cheetahs, rhinoceros and elephants. Guests wanting to catch the annual wildebeest migration will want to try to stay sometime between mid-July-August for the outbound migration or late October-early November for the return migration.
Guests will stay in one of twenty private tents, which include a presidential canvas-topped pavilion and two interconnected canopied suites. Designed by Dubai-based interior designer Kristina Zanic, who has also worked on the Jumeirah Al Qasr and the Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah Al Hamra Beach in the UAE, the lodge’s interiors will pay tribute to the natural surroundings and take inspiration from earth, wind, fire and water, with an earth palette and natural materials. The lodge will also include a restaurant, lounge bar, spa and outdoor terrace with fire pits, which will also be the venue for evening Masai dance performances.
Reserving JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge
JW Marriott is one of Marriott's “Classic Luxury” brands, and falls under the Marriott Luminous umbrella, which includes Autograph Collection, W Hotels, Le Meridien, etc. rather than the STARS portfolio, which includes Ritz-Carlton and Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Bvlgari, EDITION, St. Regis, and the Luxury Collection. Luminous benefits include:
- Welcome amenity
- Daily breakfast for two
- Upgrade priority, if available on arrival
- Complimentary WiFi
- Select Luminous properties also include a $100 credit once during the stay
The small footprint of this lodge is an intriguing turn for JW Marriott, a brand whose hotels typically have well over 100 rooms and suites. In this part of the world, the brand to beat is Singita; we particularly enjoyed our stay in Singita Sasakwa, with its manor style house and private cottages, as it enjoyed sweeping panoramic views of the plains, but we also enjoyed Singita Sabora Tented Camp.
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