2023 What’s Hot

Openings and Client News

With 2023 on the horizon, BIRD has pulled together forthcoming openings and exciting hotel & destination news for the year ahead. From desert discovery in Sharjah and renewed access to rich cultural history, spirituality and spectacular landscapes in Bhutan, to a new community-minded hotel on the Indonesian island of Sumba and beach shack stays on the Cornish coast, this year’s hottest news offers intrigue from around the globe.

LUX* Al Jabal Resort, Sharjah – opening 2023

This hillside retreat sits on a spectacular terrain hill between Khorfakkan Beach and Luluya Beach, facing the stunning Gulf of Oman. Khorfakkan, which means Creek of the Two Jaws, is set within a crescent-shaped bay and is a favourite amongst the locals and residents for watersports activities. Those preferring a low-impact getaway can spend the day at the Sharjah Archaeological Museum, discovering the region’s little-known history spanning from the second century B.C.  LUX* Al Jabal Resort is located on 18.7 hectares of land, featuring 45 rooms and suites from one- to three-bedrooms, including a royal suite with a swimming pool, offering complete privacy and intuitive service.  You will also have exclusive access to a private beach, world-class dining options, restorative spa treatments, children’s activities and authentic experiences that will connect travellers more meaningfully with the local culture and community. 

Discover Sumba like never before with soon-to-launch Cap Karoso – opening January 2023

Opening in January 2023 set in captivating, off-the-radar Sumba, Cap Karoso is a pioneering island getaway with meaningful community engagement and sustainability at its heart. This eco-conscious haven will comprise 47 rooms and 20 villas, also available for private buyers, and a three-hectare organic farm. Born from the love of two globe-trotting, ethically-minded French adventurers, Fabrice and Evguenia Ivara, who fell for Sumba when they first holidayed there in 2017, captivated by the island’s magnetic allure and unique Marapu culture. You will be greeted with stylish interiors designed by Jakarta-based Bitte Design Studio, inspiring social spaces including Julang restaurant and Explorer’s Beach Club, an open-air cinema, spa, gym, and yoga platform all fostering a sense of community and connection in an eco-friendly environment.

The Kingdom of Bhutan reopens to guests

Perched on the edge of the Himalayas between China and India, Bhutan is one of the last true unspoilt countries. After a period of internal reflection where borders were closed to travelling guests during the global pandemic, Bhutan has returned with a new tourism strategy and brand – ‘Brand Bhutan’ which aims to capture the renewed optimism of the Kingdom and its promise and plans for its young citizens. Reflected in its new tagline ‘Believe’ the country has developed to preserve its cultural traditions, protect its heritage and environment, upgrade infrastructure, create opportunities for its young people, and build resilience for the future.

New two-bedroom beach shacks await at Three Mile Beach – Mid 2023

New for mid-2023, Three Mile Beach will see four brand new two-bedroom properties added to its lauded line-up of three and four-bedroom beach houses, just a short stroll from Gwithian Beach in south Cornwall. With one double bedroom and one single bedroom, the new smaller beach shacks are perfect for couples, young families, smaller groups and furry friends wishing to explore the surrounding golden sands, rolling waves and nearby coastal town of St Ives. Each will have fully-equipped kitchens, cosy living areas, roaring log burners and a spacious terrace boasting an outdoor barbecue and seating area, sunken cedarwood hot tub and barrel sauna. You will have access to all Three Mile Beach amenities including a roster of local private chefs, outdoor restaurant Chomp serving seasonal and fresh delights, DIY pizza kits and a range of fun-filled activities including private surf lessons, bracing coasteering sessions and new Wim Hof Method one- and two-day workshops.

Reschio’s magical new lakeside cabin, perfect for daytime hideaways and overnight stays

In the heart of the Umbrian countryside surrounded by verdant valleys, towering pines and acre upon acre of nature at its wildest, Reschio will unveil a magical new lake cabin ahead of the 2023 season. Hidden deep amongst the untrammelled wilderness of the estate and sitting in the middle of Lago delle Rane – one of Reschio’s enchanting lakes – the two-storey open-sided wooden cabin is available for exclusive hire as a daytime hideaway or for overnight al fresco stays in solitude. On the ground floor is an outdoor living and dining area from which to sit and enjoy the views, savour a gourmet picnic or a BBQ by Reschio’s talented chefs, or dive into the lake for wild swimming and paddle-boarding. Upstairs, open-sided sleeping quarters ensure a truly unique nights’ sleep surrounded by panoramic vistas of the night sky, illuminated only by thousands of stars thanks to the region’s low level light pollution. The ultimate hideaway for those looking to escape from the trappings of the modern world, the cabin is free from WiFi and mobile phone signal.

Private island Pine Cay unveils new private villa, The Boat House

A true Turks & Caicos treasure, Pine Cay is a private island haven, home to 800 acres of untamed wilderness, a two-mile long white sand beach and a kaleidoscope array of marine life. New for the season, this purposefully low-key island has just unveiled a new private home, which will be available for rent on an exclusive-use basis. Sitting at the top of the island, The Boat House will emerge fresh from a full renovation with three bedrooms, an indoor-outdoor living and dining area to make the most of the breath-taking views of nearby Lake Marco, and private lagoon access. Natural coral stone floors, whitewashed walls and vaulted ceilings are complemented by colourful textiles that celebrate the island’s vibrant surroundings. Offering the seclusion of a private villa but the services of a luxury hotel, The Boat House makes the perfect Caribbean castaway.

Sri Lanka’s leading hoteliers launch new brand Reverie, with two new properties opening on the country’s south coast in February 2023

From the masterminds behind Sri Lanka’s leading luxury hotel collection, Resplendent Ceylon, comes Reverie – a collection of laid-back boutique properties which embrace the slow pace of life that the island embodies. The collection will launch with the opening of Kayaam House in Tangalle, and Ahu Bay in Ahungalla, both in February 2023. The properties will be located two hours apart along the south coast, famed for its miles of gold sand and palm-fringed coastlines, abundance of marine life and ocean-washed shores which are sought out by seasoned surfers the world-over.

Perched on Ahungalla Point between two secluded bays on the south-west coast is Ahu Bay, a relaxed beach house for free-spirits, made up of a collection of four suites and three three-bedroom beach villas, available either on a rent by the room or exclusive use basis. Pared-back, rustic interiors will feature neutral sand tones, rattan furniture, recycled wood accents and plenty of natural greenery, and a casual all-day dining venue which will serve up Sri Lankan and international favourites, surrounded by manicured lawns, beach cabanas, a spa and a shimmering infinity swimming pool. Kayaam House situated on the south coast in Tangalle, is a spiritual sanctuary in a secluded spot just steps from the vast Indian Ocean, home to six Ocean Rooms, two Palm Suites and a chic, Bawa inspired 20-cover restaurant and bar. The Kayaam House journey focuses on restoration and recovery with wellness a key part of your experience. The Sanctuary Spa will feature two treatment rooms with therapies based on traditional healing methods utilising hyperlocal herbs and spices, whilst you can find additional opportunities to be bathed in nature at the outdoor yoga pavilion or at the far-reaching infinity pool. Expertly curated by the local team, each of Reverie’s properties will offer soulful experience menus that offers you the chance to completely, mindfully and respectfully immerse yourself into Sri Lanka’s rich cultural heritage.

These openings will closely be followed by a third property, Kelburne Estate, set to open in December 2023 as a collection of hillside cottages in the tea carpeted mountains of Haputale.

Marbella Club’s sun-splashed Beach Club emerges fresh from a new Mexican-inspired re-design

Situated in the heart of Andalusia’s ‘Golden Mile’, Marbella Club has long been recognised as one of Europe’s most iconic resorts since its inception in the Fifties. The Marbella Club’s sun-splashed Beach Club has recently emerged fresh from a Mexican-Riviera inspired re-design, based on the famed town of Acapulco in the 1950s; once the playground for Hollywood stars and the world’s most elite – and the much-loved hangout of the hotel’s original owner, Prince Alfonso. Celebrating its first full season in 2023, the new look features hues of tropical greens and vibrant corals that speak to the lush surroundings and playful spirit of Acapulco, whilst a reimagined al fresco hangout area offers plenty of sun-loungers and art-deco style umbrellas to bask under the Mediterranean sun. The restaurant will change from buffet to a la carte, with a new cocktail menu and Raw Bar featuring refreshing seafood dishes such as ceviche, tiradito and oysters with live cooking  demonstrations and  spots  to  play  backgammon  inspired  by  the  renowned  Slim Aarons photos that were captured during the Marbella Club’s golden days.

Marbella Club’s owners to open Villa Punta Paloma in Tarifa

New for 2023, the team behind Andalusia’s much-loved Marbella Club will unveil Villa Punta Paloma in Tarifa. A rustic yet sophisticated private home available for exclusive use for up to ten guests, Villa Punta Paloma caters to the discerning yet daring traveller looking to truly get off-the-beaten-track and embrace their adventurous side in one of Andalusia’s best-kept-secrets. The spacious villa comprises five bedrooms across three traditional Tarifa-style low-lying stone and teja tile buildings. The house has been positioned to afford panoramic ocean views from each corner, and pared-back interiors have been designed by the owner and interior designer Marie-Caroline Willms to celebrate Tarifa’s much-loved rustic charm and approach to slow living. An outdoor terrace leads the way to a kitchen and BBQ, vegetable garden, an ocean-facing infinity pool and a shallow lagoon and playhouse for little ones; whilst private access to a nearby cove offers the perfect spot for sundowners.

At Villa Punta Paloma you will have access to a dedicated Villa Host who will be your gateway to the beloved bohemian region of Tarifa. A traditional fishing village popular amongst those with a free-spirited nature and love for the outdoors, you will spend days windsurfing, kitesurfing, rock-climbing or horse riding. Back at the house, Villa Hosts can call on the Marbella Club’s range of wellbeing experts to arrange private yoga, Pilates, personal training sessions and spa treatments, whilst a dedicated wellness chef can be on hand for the duration of the stay. Private parties can be arranged whilst full-time nanny, babysitting and butler services are also available.

Discover Alentejo’s rich heritage with new Craft & Culture Experience at São Lourenço do Barrocal

A farmstead hotel, winery and spa set in 780-hectares of Portugal’s unspoilt Alentejo, São Lourenço do Barrocal has recently launched a new three-night ‘Craft and Culture’ experience: a curation of arti-stled experience that celebrate the region’s cultural heritage and time-honoured traditions. The experience begins with a visit to one of Portugal’s most revered pottery centres, São Pedro do Corval where you will have the chance to learn from a handful of the region’s greatest artisans, such as local ceramist Hélène Falé who will lead a masterclass on the traditional Alentejan pottery style. You will also get to visit Fábrica Alentejana de Lanifícios, a 100-year-old textile factory in Reguengos de Monsaraz, an area famed for its intricate woven blankets that adorn homes across the country,  and have the rare opportunity to see local artisans working the ancient looms. The final day is led by local florist Catarina Cunha who invites you to learn the secrets of flower arranging, using Barrocal’s bountiful greens and wildflowers to make unique botanical creations filled with foraged findings.

SHA Wellness Clinic, Spain levels up in its hyper personalisation with brand-new diagnostic circuit

Global pioneer of medical and holistic health, SHA Wellness Clinic has introduced a new preventative diagnostic circuit to its seven-day programme, offering you the chance to partake in a series of non-invasive tests that take less than 30-minutes and offer a comprehensive look into their internal and external health. One of the first of its kind, the circuit employs state of the art devices and provides a fast and wide-ranging look into the overall wellbeing of the individual which its experts are then able to use to tailor their programmes in more bespoke detail than ever before.

New Regenerative treatments at Kamalaya, Thailand

BIRD Travel PR is delighted to announce its appointment to represent the internationally recognised pioneer of holistic wellness, Kamalaya Koh Samui, commencing this month. Helmed by the quietly trailblazing John and Karina Stewart, the award-winning resort offers a unique approach to wellbeing combining ancient Eastern healing traditions with Western medical research to achieve life-changing results.  New for 2023, Kamalaya will introduce a series of new treatments to support integrative healing at its Longevity House, as well as a series of preventative health retreats. More information to follow.

Return to Sri Lanka and embark on the Cultural Passage journey with leading hoteliers, Resplendent Ceylon

After a turbulent 2022, Sri Lanka’s leading luxury hoteliers, Resplendent Ceylon is celebrating the revival of this verdant island with a new Cultural Passage journey that pays homage the country’s ancient traditions, cultural rituals and historical tales. The Cultural Passage journey begins with a three-night stay at Cape Weligama, just a 30-minute  drive away from the UNESCO World Heritage City of Galle, where guests can explore the ancient churches, museums and Galle Fort Ramparts; followed by a visit to the coastal town of Ambalangoda, where face masks are still crafted in the centuries-old tradition. The journey then traverses to Wild Coast Tented Lodge to visit the island’s wildlife hotspot, Yala National Park, otherwise known as the Kingdom of Ruhuna. Alongside days spotting some of Sri Lanka’s most magical wildlife, you will also visit the temples at Kataragama and the Situlpawwa Monastery. Finally, you will be transported to Ceylon Tea Trails to spend days immersed in the country’s thriving tea industry with a visit to the Dilmah Tea Factory alongside Tea Trails’ resident planter Bernard. Guests can also use Tea Trails as their base to explore some of Sri Lanka’s flagship cultural highlights, hopping on a train to Kandy or Nuwara Eliya, home to some of the most lauded heritage sites such as the Temple of the Sacred Tooth and Bogambara Lake.

Brand- new Maldives wellness festival, Soneva SOUL 2023

Pioneering hospitality brand Soneva and international wellness enterprise ORGANIC INDIA have partnered to launch the inaugural and immersive wellness festival SOUL , set to grace the shores of Soneva Fushi in the Baa Atoll from the 29th September – 8th October 2023. Over ten days, the intimate and life-enriching festival retreat invites guests from across the world to explore wellness in all its forms, from personal to planetary, and will bring with it a global line-up of visionaries, thought leaders, and wellness pioneers to further explore the frontiers of health and wellbeing. SOUL Festival will be a verdant space to move, eat, explore and be creative, while celebrating ancient healing traditions and modern innovations that benefit individuals, communities, and the planet through several workshops and programmes and one-on-one consultations with world-renowned wellness specialists and practitioners.

Champions of innovation and positive change, both Soneva and Organic India are committed to nurturing the well-being of their communities and the environment. Proceeds  from the sale of SOUL Festival tickets will go to the Soneva Foundation and ORGANIC INDIA Foundation to support the development of projects that have a positive environmental, social and economic impact.

The Tower Penthouse Apartment at Badrutt’s Palace, has reopened to Palace guests for the first time in 30 years

With never-before-seen imagery, this three-storey private residence boasts four individually decorated bedrooms each with a personal bathroom en-suite, an elegant living room for après-style afternoons, a dining area and fully equipped kitchen perfect for entertaining and a sitting room with cosy open fireplace.