Hotel group partners with local community in Kenya

JW Marriott, part of Marriott Bonvoy’s global portfolio, has opened its first luxury safari lodge in the Masai Mara National Reserve in southwestern Kenya in partnership with the local community.

Its partnership with the community began during the early development process of the lodge. Developed on land committed to a tourism project so to not unduly disturb the surrounding environment, much of the construction was undertaken by local experts overseen by technical specialists with build materials sourced from sustainable suppliers. The lodge has rehabilitated access roads to the property, installed power to the area, and provided access to clean drinking water for locals through a water treatment plant.

For the opening 60% of the lodge’s team are from the local area, and plans are to reach 70% employment for locals, ensuring its contribution to the socio-economic development of the region. As an ongoing initiative, JW Marriott Masai Mara’s Apprenticeship Programme invite young women from the community to diversify their skills and broaden their experience to kick-start their careers in the hospitality industry.

As part of JW Marriott’s ethos of fulfilment, community programmes intertwine with the guest experience to provide authentic insight into meaningful local projects and partnerships, including The Maa Trust.

Giving back to local communities (Hotel group partners with local community in Kenya)

Working together with community-owned wildlife conservancies in the Masai Mara, The Maa Trust works to increase the benefits that go back to the local community with a specific focus on women, youth, and children.

The organisation empowers small local business start-ups and microfinance schemes. The lodge supports the trust by donating a percentage of the nightly rate per person and provides a space at the lodge for craftspeople to retail Maa Beadwork and produce.

Guests are able to visit The Maa Trust to meet with local artisans and forge a deeper connection to the people in the area. The lodge is also donating stationary and sanitary pads to a local school and has long-term plans to support other organisations.

Set amongst breathtaking land renowned for stunning vistas, abundant wildlife and endless plains, conservation is a priority at the lodge. JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge contributes to protecting animals and their habitat across the greater Mara ecosystem.

Bringing a passion for the surrounding wildlife and nature to guests, the lodge’s Head Guide is a lifelong conservationist and wildlife enthusiast, and guests are able to learn more about local conversation at talks held at the lodge as well as guided walking tours.

Emphasis on waste reduction and recycling (Hotel group partners with local community in Kenya)

Emphasis on waste reduction and recycling is integral to the daily operations. The lodge’s water treatment plant provides recycled and sanitised water and food waste is used as compost.

“JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge is an elegant retreat for guests to practice mindfulness and connect with the locale. We are proud to be supporting the community and to contribute towards the conservation of the Masai Mara’s wildlife and environment, which we are so grateful to call home and look forward to sharing meaningful moments with our guests,” said Barnabas Wamoto, General Manager, JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge.

Bookings for JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge are now open with prices from $2250 per person, per night (all-inclusive board basis). For more information, visit

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