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JW Marriott Masai Mara: the first luxury lodge in the US venture with Africa’s largest and oldest safari company

JW Marriott Masai Mara: the first luxury lodge in the US venture with Africa’s largest and oldest safari company

The Marriott redemption program is now expanded to allow you to use your points on safaris. Cool!

The first Marriott African safari lodge opens in 2022

Marriott International, Inc. and Baraka Lodges LTD have signed an agreement to open the JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge, marking Marriott’s first safari property in Africa. The property is expected to open in 2023. It will be located in the Mara National Reserve in Kenya, overlooking the banks of the River Talek.

The newly constructed lodge will include 20 guest tents. There will be 1 presidential pavilion as well as two interconnecting canopied suites. The lodge also includes a restaurant, lounge, bar, and spa among other shared spaces with fire pits outside to make your stay more enjoyable. If you visit Masai Mara, you should prepare to see the “Big Five,” which includes lions, leopards, buffalos, rhinoceros, and elephants. If you want to see one of the other animals, it is usually possible to find a guided safari in the park or to hire a guide in the town of Mara.

Bruce Rohr (VP and Brand Leader at JW Marriott) describes the changes in an article:

“We want to provide you with a break from your day-to-day. That’s why we chose to go for a mindful experience in the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. The game-changing attraction at the JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge will be their exclusive safari experience offered to their guests. These once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to connect with nature and wildlife in a luxurious setting not only provide an unforgettable environment but also understand the importance of making sure that wildlife is respected during these unique excursions. We are thrilled that the JW Marriott brand will be welcoming adventure travelers, including families, to this breath-taking part of the world.”

JW Marriott Masai Mara

Marriott Hotels is the world’s largest hospitality company and has branched out into luxury safari hotels.

It’s awesome that major hotel loyalty programs are offering safari experiences to their members. They’re a once-in-a-lifetime trip and offer an experience unlike any other. My initial thoughts:

  • Personally, I might find it odd to brand this as a JW Marriott, because traditionally their hotels are for huge conferences and provide luxury for those who attend. This property will have a small number of rooms so the branding seems off. I’m a bit skeptical as to why you would choose to brand this as less high-end and more generic, and it makes me wonder what I am missing.

  • I’m excited to see what the resort will offer in regard to pricing options, as most lodges are all-inclusive (albeit it’s possible that this one won’t be). However, Marriott Bonvoy no longer has an awards chart available, so it will be hard t predict what price range this resort will fall into. On-site restaurants and bars: In addition to the on-site dining options, there will be plenty of other opportunities to dine in the local area. It’s not clear exactly how many restaurants/bars are available on-site, but it is likely that there are enough for most groups’ needs.

  • The tented camp sounds a bit like Al Maha Dubai, which is an animal-centric Marriott resort. There are more species there than in the tented camp, though.

  • Four Seasons Hotel Diriyah is planned to be built in Saudi Arabia’s most historic city

Bottom line

The JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge is expected to be opening in 2023 and will be their first luxury safari property in Africa, which will give travelers the chance to experience African wildlife for a famous American hotel chain. Viewing African animals from a tented camp sounds like an interesting new experience, and I can’t wait to learn more details.

Would you like to know more about Marriott’s new luxury safari property in Africa?

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