Redefining Sanctuary Olonana - 14 November 2017

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In June 2018 Sanctuary Olonana will relaunch as an exceptional luxury lodge with an impressive showcase of modern design blended with distinct traditional African finishes, and is the latest to be announced in Sanctuary Retreats’ extensive investment programme. Sanctuary Olonana is set in lush woodland on the banks of the Mara River in the Masai Mara, where the great outdoors is invited indoors with 14 new glass-sided suites. Famous for soul-warming service and exceptional customer experience, it is already regarded as one of the top safari properties in Africa, having recently been named the best resort in Africa in Condé Nast Traveler’s 2017 Readers’ Choice Awards.

Naturally stylish, utterly distinctive

Contemporary architecture is juxtaposed with time-tested building practices such as Maasai mudding and stone walls, with soothing organic tones and a variety of textures adding warmth and character. Inspired by the Masai Mara’s breath-taking natural wonders, an abundance of wildlife, and a dramatic river which runs right past its forest setting, this luxurious lodge will be an exhilarating environment which connects you to this extraordinary Kenyan landscape in a truly enriching way.

14 new spacious suites

Sanctuary Olonana’s 14 exceptional new suites, at least 130 sqm in size, will flaunt clean lines and organic materials, and are so comfortable that guests would be forgiven for being tempted to stay in. Floor-to-ceiling glass doors fold open to reveal magnificent Mara River views and the interiors have been sensitively and tastefully finished with elegant nature-inspired furnishings; this creates an ever-present sense of being connected to the great outdoors. Sumptuous king-sized beds, with overhead fans, and a daybed on the deck invite you to relax inside or out, while the sprawling lower lounge area offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Three of the new suites at Sanctuary Olonana feature an extra bedroom, which is heaven-sent for families. The unfaltering attention to detail extends to fully stocked mini-fridges, specially commissioned African art and glamorous ensuites. These refined marble- and slate-accented bathrooms have a generous tub, double vanity and a rain shower.

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Socialise beside the Mara River

The soothing interiors of the main lodge are an extension of the surrounding wilderness — a Kenyan Greenheart tree extends through the centre, floorboards evoke wood bleached by the African sun, while splashes of saturated mustard yellows and cerulean blues conjure the colours of African wildflowers glowing in a ‘golden hour’ light. Ornamentation includes hand-crafted Maasai spears on the walls and patterned prints inspired by these carved wooden weapons once used for lion-hunting ensure an authentic African spirit abounds.

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Dramatic glass doors open out from the lounge to the terrace. Here, faded indigo rugs and elegant Edison-bulb pendant lights gently illuminate the decking without competing with the natural ambiance and the inviting new boma firepit is encircled by deckchairs, with each seat promising grandstand river views. Dine on the deck of the main lodge and overlook the river’s resident hippos. Exotic birdlife is all around since hundreds of species live in this part of the world — falcons and storks to eagles and nightjars in one sitting.

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Key new features:

- 14 new spacious glass-fronted suites, each with ensuite and deck

- Three suites have an additional bedroom, ideal for families (163 sqm)

- New main lodge with restaurant and relaxation areas

- New extensive deck, with outdoor dining areas and boma

- Modern design blended with traditional Maasai elements

Game drives and special activities

The Masai Mara is the most renowned safari destination in Africa, home to the big five and stage to the great annual wildebeest migration. Sanctuary Retreats’ experienced guides, who regularly win responsible-tourism accolades, take guests to all the hidden spots in customised open safari vehicles which ensures the best possible photography. Private picnic breakfasts and lunches and romantic bush suppers under the stars can also be organised. Sanctuary Olonana will continue to feature a pool and spa, offering specialist Africology spa treatments.

Arts, crafts and authentic cultural experiences

As part of Sanctuary Retreats’ commitment to conservation and responsible tourism, Sanctuary Olonana is one of only a handful of properties in the country to have been rated Gold by Ecotourism Kenya. Initiatives include a natural water treatment system, a tree-planting project and an organic garden where the vegetables served in the lodge are grown. Master Maasai beadworkers visit daily to create their brightly coloured handcrafted jewellery — observe these cherished African artisans at work in Sanctuary Olonana’s remodelled shop, with all the profits going back into the community.

For more information, or to book, please contact our reservations team