Incredible experiences, meaningful connections and deeply transformative moments lie at the heart of JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge (Photo: Getty Images)

Meaningful connections and deeply transformative moments lie at the heart of JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge. Embark on an African safari with daily game drive adventures, then relax and unwind with soothing camp experiences – from treatments at the Spa by JW to chef-led tours of the JW Garden. As the sun begins to set, soak up all the beauty of the savannah with a cooling mocktail in hand, then nourish the soul with flavourful dishes prepared using locally sourced ingredients.

Day 1: Rejuvenate from the start

Woman relaxing in her room at JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge

Luxuriate in a sense of complete serenity as you envelop yourself in the sanctuary of soft, natural materials and textiles of JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge (Photo: Marriott International)

As your plane touches down on Kenyan soil, everyday worries evaporate, the country’s natural beauty embracing your entire being. On your way to the lodge, you’ll get a first glimpse of the game drive experience that awaits in this national reserve that teems with wildlife. The Masai Mara hosts the annual wildebeest migration, with over 10 million animals crossing over from Tanzania’s Serengeti. Sightings of the Big 5 (lions, elephants, rhino, buffalo and leopards) are common here, too.

As your vehicle pulls up at JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge, you’ll experience a warm welcome rooted in authentic traditions. The lodge echoes the serenity of the surrounding savannah, with soft, natural materials and textures drawing inspiration from the surrounding environment, providing a peaceful sanctuary where you can switch off and recharge. Sit back, unwind and savour local flavours – your African adventure is about to begin.

Day 2: Rejuvenate with Earth’s gifts

Woman having a treatment at The Spa by JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge

Recharge your spirit with a relaxing treatment in the haven of the Spa by JW, where the calming décor echoes the serenity of the surrounding nature and wildlife (Photo: Marriott International)

The lodge's Spa by JW is a haven of peace and serenity, with calming décor echoing the natural colours of the surrounding wilderness to provide a soothing escape that recharges the spirit. Treatments marry locally inspired therapies and techniques to create holistic experiences designed to balance the body and mind.

Rituals use organic skincare products by South African spa brand Healing Earth that are designed to harness the rejuvenating properties of Africa’s abundant natural resources. The products use pure active ingredients sourced exclusively from the continent to bring out the natural powers of botanicals, from herbs and fruits to seeds and flowers. Guests can also enjoy treatments in the comfort of their tented suites, with therapists carrying out relaxing rituals to the soothing sound of the African bush.

Day 3: Rejuvenate in serene green spaces

Woman explores herb and veggie garden at JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge

Take a stroll in the peaceful sanctuary of the JW Garden, where you can enjoy a chef-led tour of the herb and vegetables garden used by the restaurant to create its flavoursome dishes (Photo: Marriott International)

At the heart of JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge lies JW Garden, a peaceful sanctuary of greenery that's home to the restaurant’s herb and veggie garden. Here, organic ingredients thrive under the African sun, including the lodge’s fragrant signature rosemary. Take in this soothing verdant haven as you stroll the garden accompanied by one of the lodge’s passionate chefs. You’ll learn about the different herbs used to craft creative cocktails as well as the ingredients used in innovative dishes, the result of a veritable farm-to-table experience.

At the end of your personalised tour, enjoy a mocktail infused with fresh seasonal ingredients at the bar overlooking the African plain. Later, head to the restaurant to savour exquisite dishes prepared with JW Garden ingredients.

Day 4: Rejuvenate by being present

Woman with yoga mat by infinity pool JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge

Rejuvenate your mind and body with a restorative yoga session by the soothing infinity pool, a place that exudes calm and serenity (Photo: Marriott International)

Yoga and meditation are known to calm the mind and create awareness, with an emphasis on being present. JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge’s location close to the heart of a game reserve invites relaxation and reconnection with the natural environment. Grab a mat and renew your yoga and meditation routine by the infinity pool, where the soothing sound of the water accentuates the experience.

The pool’s inviting blue waters are perfect to cool off between one game drive and another, or to enjoy an invigorating swim to release endorphins, reduce levels of stress and soothe the mind. Nestled amid greenery in the heart of the African bush, the swimming pool exudes calm and serenity, allowing you to pause and practise a little mindfulness to focus on the present moment.

Day 5: Rejuvenate with enrichment

Guided visit to Maasai village

Enrich your knowledge of the land and learn about the rich heritage of its people with a guided visit to a local Maasai village (Photo: Marriott International)

Inhabiting parts of Kenya and northern Tanzania, the Maasai people are semi-nomadic pastoralists. Known for their calm and courageous spirit, they are renowned for donning traditional bright red dress. JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge organises guided visits to a local village where you can learn more about the people’s rich heritage and way of life. You will see how the Maasai live, learn about ancient practices, and have the opportunity to experience life in a traditional village. Age-old customs and traditions have been handed down from generation to generation, with the Maasai retaining a strong sense of community and belonging. You will deepen your connection to the land and its inhabitants and will leave feeling emotionally enriched.

Day 6: Rejuvenate from an elevated perspective

Woman in hot air balloon above African savannah

Witness the scenes of the African plains unfolding from high above as you glide through the air in a hot-air balloon, from which you can experience the beauty of the pink savannah sunrise (Photo: Marriott International)

One of the best ways to take in Kenya’s natural beauty is from the air. During your time at JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge, you can hop into a hot air balloon and float above the African savannah. You’ll see vast plains unfolding below, herds of elephants and sprinting gazelles. The silence you experience from a hot air balloon promotes peacefulness and restfulness. The basket’s soft, gently swaying vertical movement offers a serene experience as you watch nature awaken at sunrise, the sun painting the savannah pink. You’ll glide above the trees before landing to enjoy a bush breakfast, prepared at a live cooking station in front of your eyes.

Day 7: Rejuvenate with nourishing experiences

Sundowners on the veranda at JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge

Relax into the stunning views of the bush afforded by the hotel's beautiful Fig Tree Deck as you listen to the crackling fire pit with a sundowner in hand (Photo: Marriott International)

Whether it's for a light bite or a more substantial meal, you can nourish the soul with freshly picked organic ingredients straight from JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge's own JW Garden. Sit back on the breezy veranda of Sarabi Restaurant and take in delightful views of the reserve as you savour international dishes with a contemporary twist. For your next meal, make for Fig Tree Lounge, where you can unwind on cushioned seating by a crackling fire pit to the sound of the Talek River below.

For a memorably intimate experience in the heart of the bush, soak up Kenya’s beauty with sundowners in the heart of the reserve. The lodge’s guides are on hand to prepare an exquisite meal for you to enjoy in the wild, whether it's a morning breakfast to fuel you for the day ahead, or dinner as you watch the sun set over the plain.

Published: July 10, 2023

Article Tags:  Masai Mara , South Africa

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