JW Marriott global hospitality leader enters the luxury safari segment.

Global hotel brand Marriott has signed an agreement with Baraka Lodges LTD to open the JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge within the Mara National Reserve in 2023.

Plans for the new-build lodge comprise 20 private tents, including one presidential and two interconnecting suites, as well as a restaurant, lounge bar, spa and outdoor terrace with fire pits. Interiors will be designed by Kristina Zanic.

Located along the banks of the River Talek, the lodge will offer guests the opportunity to observe lions, leopards, buffalos, rhinos and elephants. Between June and September, the reserve will host the annual wildebeests migration when more than 10 million animals travel from the Serengeti.

The safari lodge aims to employ up to 50 locals from the Masai community.

Bruce Rohr, vice president and brand leader of JW Marriott, said: “As a brand rooted in mindfulness, we cannot think of a more perfect retreat for the mind, body, and soul than the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. JW Marriott Masai 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. We are thrilled that the brand will be welcoming adventure travellers, including families, to this breath-taking part of the world.”

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Jerome Briet, chief development officer EMEA at Marriott International, said: “The signing of JW Masai Mara Lodge is a milestone in [the company’s] growth in Africa as the company enters the luxury safari segment. This landmark project is in response to travellers’ 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.”

Marriott currently operates more than 120 properties in Africa across its portfolio. Under the JW Marriott brand, there are more an 100 hotels in over 35 countries.

Amanda Moore, senior director of global marketing at Homes & Villas by Marriott International, will be speaking on ShortTermRentalz’ upcoming RockSTRz webinar on “What does brand loyalty mean in the short-term rental space?” on Tuesday 26 April [4pm BST]. Sign up for the session at no cost at this link

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