Marriott International has signed an agreement with Baraka Lodges Ltd. to enter the safari segment in Africa.
JW Marriott Maasai Mara Lodge will be located within the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, one of Africa’s most renowned wildlife conservation and wilderness regions. It is expected to open in 2023.
Plans for the new-build lodge feature 20 private tents, including one presidential canvas-topped pavilion and two interconnecting canopied suites, each with a private terrace overlooking the River Talek.
Shared spaces will include a restaurant, lounge bar, spa and a large outdoor terrace with fire pits that will play host to traditional Masai dance performances in the evening.
The untamed landscape around the resort will give guests the opportunity to see the reserve’s “Big Five”: lions, leopards, buffalos, rhinoceros, and elephants. Between June and September, the reserve is also home to the annual great wildebeest migration, when more than 10 million animals travel some 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.”
Conservation of the land and its inhabitants will be at the heart of JW Marriott Maasai Mara. The safari lodge aims to employ up to 50 locals from the Masai community and will offer robust learning opportunities for guests who wish to immerse 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. 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,” said Jerome Briet, chief development officer, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Marriott International.
Marriott International currently operates more than 120 properties in Africa across its portfolio.