Photo Credit: Photo Credit: JW Marriott
JW Marriott Debuts New Luxury Safari Lodge In Kenya
JW Marriott has opened its long-awaited luxury safari in Kenya, JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge. The lodge is located in Masai Mara National Reserve, one of Africa’s most famous animal and wilderness conservation areas.
The lodge offers a stylish and respectful base for exploring the reserve’s breathtaking natural splendor. Masai Mara offers exhilarating guided game drives to observe the Big Five (lions, leopards, buffalo, rhinoceroses, and elephants). Between June and September, almost ten million wildebeest migrate from the Serengeti in Tanzania to the reserve.
“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 at JW Marriott, in a press release. “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 travelers to a transformative and wellness-forward stay delivered with JW Marriott’s legacy of extraordinary hospitality,” he added.
The elegant furnishings of this luxury safari lodge bring the savannah inside. Each of the lodge’s 20 individual tents is a quiet place to rest and relax. Terraces look out over the River Talek, which is a water source and home to many animals.
The tented honeymoon room has a private plunge pool. Two interconnecting king and twin suites are perfect for families with kids over the age of six.
RELATED: Traveler Story: ‘In Kenya I Didn’t Feel Black, I Just Felt Human’
Happiness and Mindful Activities
The luxury safari lodge has a number of well-thought-out spaces. The cozy Adventure Lounge, for example, has several books and a place for young adults to take some time for themselves. On the Cultural Deck, guests can gather around the fire pit to talk about their adventures from the day.
The Spa by JW offers personalized experiences and signature treatments that combine methods and therapies from the area. Guests can get spa treatments in the comfort of their tented room while listening to the sounds of nature. Treatments include a Masai Celebration that uses local herbs and therapies.
Healing Earth, a well-known African skincare brand, also has natural and organic items that guests can use in their rooms.
Local Ingredients Inspire Lodge Meals
At the center of the camp is the JW Garden, an outdoor area. There, guests can spend time learning about home-grown, organic ingredients like the lodge’s signature rosemary.
The lodge’s cooks use the food from the garden to make personalized meals, cocktails, and mocktails. For a true farm-to-table experience, the garden will have events every day, such as live cooking, interactive drink-making, and chef-led talks.
The bar at the Fig Tree Lounge has a great view of the nearby plains. It serves refreshing cocktails and mocktails made with ingredients from the lodge’s garden.
At the Sarabi Restaurant, guests can dine indoors or outside. The food is based on ingredients from the JW Garden and the local cooking history.
Guests can go into the reserve with guides from the camp to enjoy a freshly made “Bush Breakfast” or “Bush Dinner” while sipping sundowners and taking in the stunning views of the savannah.
Building Relationships Through Local Programs
The lodge’s community programs give guests a real look at important local projects like The Maa Trust. This project helps local people become more independent by supporting small businesses. The lodge gives a portion of each person’s nightly rate to the organization and gives crafters a place to sell their Maa Beadwork and other goods. People can go to The Maa Trust to meet local artists and get to know the people in the area better.
Presently, 60% of the lodge’s staff are locals, and they want to make that number 70%. This will help the hotel contribute to the social and economic growth of the area.
JW Marriott Masai Mara gives local young women the chance to learn new skills through its ongoing apprenticeship program. Young women from the area get more experience so they can start careers in the hospitality business.
When the lodge was first being built, the town began to work with local builders. So as not to disturb the environment too much, the project was built on land that was already set aside for a tourism project. Most of the work was done by local experts under the supervision of technical experts, and the building materials came from sustainable sources.
The lodge has also fixed up the roads that lead to the land, brought electricity to the area, and built a water treatment plant so that locals can get clean drinking water.
Keeping Sustainability In Mind
Recycling and reducing waste are important parts of daily activities. The lodge has a water treatment plant that cleans and reuses water. Food waste goes to the lodge’s garbage site, and there are water wells all over the lodge for animals to drink from as needed.
The lodge’s Head Guide is a lifelong environmentalist. He gives talks about local culture and walks with guests to show them how much he loves the wildlife and nature around him.