NAIROBI — JW Marriott has officially entered the luxury safari segment with the opening of JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge.
Situated within the Masai Mara National Reserve in Southwestern Kenya, the lodge features 20 private tens overlooking the River Talek, a water source and habitat for many wildlife. Perfect for honeymooners, the tented honeymoon suite even offers a private plunge pool, while two interconnecting king and twin suites provide families with children over the age of six (the minimum age of guests at the lodge) with ample space.
In keeping with JW Marriott’s ethos of mindfulness, the lodge is home to a number of thoughtfully designed spaces, from the cozy Adventure Lounge full of books, to the Cultural Deck where guests can gather around the fire pit to share tales of the day’s exploration.
For guests looking to be pampered, the Spa by JW offers tailored experiences and signature treatments that 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 also enjoy spa treatments from the comfort of their tented suite, as well as guided yoga.
At the heart of the camp is the JW Garden, an outdoor space where guests can discover home-grown, organic ingredients, including the lodge’s signature rosemary. The garden’s produce is used by the lodge’s chefs to craft personalized dishes, cocktails and mocktails. A wide array of daily programming is available, including live cooking, interactive cocktail mixology and chef-led talks for a true farm-to-table experience.
Guests can also congregate at the Fig Tree lounge, which offers panoramic views of the surrounding plains from the indoor and outdoor bar. Sarabi Restaurant also offers an indoor and alfresco dining experience, while those who want a truly unique dining experience can venture out into the reserve with the lodge’s guides for a freshly prepared ‘Bush Breakfast.’
In an effort to give back to the local community, the lodge donates a percentage of the nightly rate per person to The Maa Trust, an organization empowering local people by promoting small business startups. Guests can visit The Maa Trust to meet with local artisans and forge a deeper connection to the people in the area.
Currently, 60% of the lodge’s team are locals, with lpans to reach 70%, 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 kickstart their careers in the hospitality industry.
Much of the construction of the lodge 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.
Moreover, 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.
Bookings for JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge are now open, with prices from US$1,450 per person, per night, all-inclusive board basis. For more information go to www.Marriott.com.