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Update, 7/28: Most dates are now available with points, however rates have gone up to 98K-132K points per night (78K-105K on 5 night stays).
Update, 7/7: Most nights are no longer available with Marriott points.
Originally posted on 7/5:
Marriott’s new JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge has opened in Kenya and has some award bargains available for next year, with nights for 74.5K Marriott points, or 59.6K Marriott points per night with a 5 night stay.
Rooms normally sell for $2,000-$3,000 per night.
“JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge marks the debut of the first luxury safari lodge in the brand portfolio. Overlooking the Talek River and the Masai Mara National Reserve, this lodge features 20 luxurious and expansive en-suite tents (including an interconnecting family suite and accessible suite), all with their own private outdoor Jacuzzi tub and deck. Your experience includes meals (breakfast, lunch, high-tea/ sundowner, and dinner), both on-property and bush meals, a selection of beverages, game drives, airstrip transfers, and many meaningful moments. Communal areas include a dining area, lounge bar, spa, gym, photographic studio, garden and a large outdoor viewing deck with a fire pit.”
Award rates are for 2 adults. Kids under 6 are not allowed and kids 6 and older will cost $1,000/night to be added to your room.
The hotel is located about 4.5 hours from Nairobi, Kenya. You can also fly from Nairobi to the hotel, though that will set you back some $400 per person.
There are additional expenses. Park fees are $70 per night per person.
The hotel (firstname.lastname@example.org) says that they can work with guests to figure out kosher food options, though I’d imagine you’ll be better off bringing your own food with you as they don’t seem to have much experience with kosher accommodations yet.
I went on safari in 2021 at Kings Camp in South Africa’s Kruger National Park and in Botswana’s Chobe National Park and they were truly incredible experiences. Due to COVID, we had the entire Kings Camp to ourselves, which was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Plus, they offer a fully supervised mehadrin kosher safari from their dedicated kosher kitchen, which was amazing. We got an insane bargain there due to COVID, but prices are much higher now.
Safari in Kenya is certainly on my bucket list and January-March is peak safari season for Masai Mara, though the great migration occurs in July-August.
Marriott cards include:
- Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Consumer Card
- Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card
- Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express®Card
- Marriott Bonvoy Bold Card
You can also transfer points from AMEX and Chase cards to Marriott at a 1:1 ratio, something that is rarely worthwhile, but might be in some cases like this.
Will you take advantage of this award redemption option?
HT: Davidthebest, via Frequent Miler