SRI LANKA Beautiful Male Indian Peacock Showing Its Feathers

Press, Testimonials & Accolades

  • Credited as Conde Nast Traveller’s Sri Lanka Guru in their Little Black Book, 'The Experts'
  • Named one of the Top 10 Super Agents by Financial Times
  • Voted best travel agent by Wallpaper*
  • "James Jayasundera, the boss of Ampersand Travel, is awfully well connected and his tours are testament to his ruby-encrusted contacts book." – Sunday Times Travel Magazine
  • “There are a handful of regional access masters who have twin blessings of being profoundly well connected and gatekeepers offering insider experiences. They include James Jayasundera, whose reach in Sri Lanka is unparalleled.”
    – Maria Shollenbarger, How To Spend It editor

Ampersand’s recent press coverage

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Testimonials

View the feedback we have had from a few of our many happy clients

Without question, you put together the best trip I have ever taken. Everything seamlessly came together at all times. We were collected, organized and shown around like visiting dignitaries. The hotels were fantastic and the itinerary was just right. Everybody I know will hear about how amazing Ampersand is.

Leslie Siben, India, January 2017

Ampersand organised an excellent trip to Northern India for us. We were welcomed by one of your representatives in each city we visited, confirming our itinerary and making sure we were content with the arrangements…. We would like to thank Catriona for organising and planning our travels and always answering all our queries promptly. The hotels chosen for us were all excellent and in such varied settings which, we much appreciated. Catriona is an excellent representative of Ampersand and we would not hesitate to recommend your Agency.

Peter & Catherine Hartley, North India, November 2016

Catriona, we wanted to thank you again for all your assistance and advice in relation to our Sri Lanka trip, we really had the most wonderful time. We expected the trip to be a great one but I think it even surpassed our expectations! Sri Lanka is a seriously magical place and we feel like our itinerary meant we saw a great cross-section of it so we were able to fully appreciate it. All our accommodation was excellent, all the sightseeing and similar experiences were awesome. We realise we've already sung Naan's praises, but feel we need to reiterate that again! He really went the extra mile to make the trip extra special. We were astounded by (Naan our driver’s) level of knowledge (he's literally a walking encyclopaedia) and by how friendly, accommodating and professional he was. It felt like driving around with a very clever long-time friend! In terms of highlights (in no particular order), we especially enjoyed the safari in Minneriya, visiting the Temple of the Tooth, our stay at Taylor's Hill including a hike Dawn arranged up to James Taylor's bungalow (loved the personal atmosphere, staff were wonderful, loved the setting), and our stay at Amangalla (such a beautiful hotel and the staff were amazing).

Jane Favretto, Sri Lanka, August 2016

I just wanted to say how impressed I have been by you and your company on helping us to plan and book our holiday. We have been on expensive and luxurious holidays in the past but the service and communication you have provided have far exceeded those offered by other agencies. Although we haven't yet been to India, I feel confident that we will have a fantastic time based on our experience in the planning process.

Susan Ford, April 2016

Shalmali, we had the most amazing holiday. Our driver, Kingsley, was just perfect for us, I was so relieved when I met him and we immediately felt safe and respected (which hasn't always happened as a single mum and 12 yr old daughter). Everywhere we stayed was beautiful and special in its own way, although Thotalaga was supreme and provided the most incredible level of service I've ever experienced, it was truly enchanting. Galle Fort Hotel provided the most amazing rooms I've stayed in anywhere. It was all worth every penny. Our game drives at Yala surpassed all expectations and Stewart, the guide at Yala, deserves a special mention for being most excellent. Everyone was so kind and so dedicated to making sure we had a fabulous and relaxed time. It really was the holiday of a lifetime. Prior to us leaving I wondered if I could have arranged it myself in quiet times at work, but as soon as we arrived I realised that wasn't the case. Thank you for such excellent recommendations and an itinerary that really made the most of the little time we had. My only complaint is that we didn't have another week.

Helena Wisden, Sri Lanka, February 2016

We are exhausted but soooooo happy for the trip. It was amazing!! No words can describe the experience and the service provided by May, our guide. May went way beyond her duties as a tour guide and we can tell that she loves her job and helping others in her home country. As always Ampersand delivered high quality service and lodging. Thanks again for all your help to make such a memorable experience.

Tami Hiraoka - Burma, December 2015

I had a very lovely time and was looked after splendidly. My first visit to India could not have been better, save for being longer. But I shall return at some point and I shall look to you to make the arrangements.

Matthew Nicklin – North India, November 2015

We had a wonderful Holiday in South India. Everything was perfect. Thanks a lot, Catriona for helping us to make a thoughtful plan to enjoy and make most out of our trip. Ampersand was great. The tour operator in South India was great. The places we visited, the guides, the transportation and driver, the hotels selected, everything was great!

Jaime Benitez - South India, November 2015

We had a VERY memorable holiday and was lucky enough to come back with a fiancée - I proposed at the top of Sigiriya Rock! Very happy campers with the whole holiday - especially the driver (Mohn) who was awesome! His knowledge of everything was decent and a very kind man. The Hotels were lovely - the Ulagalla resort was beautiful and the Tintagel was without a doubt one of the most spectacular hotels we have and will probably ever stay in! Thank you for all your help in making it the most special trip I've been on to date!!!

William Katzler - Sri Lanka, October 2015

Difficult to articulate just how good the service from you and your team really was. We know you will continue to do well and hope we have the chance to seek your assistance again before long.

Mr & Mrs Manson – North India, September 2015

I loved loved loved Vana Malsi!!! I would give it a 15 out of 10. Everything is so well thought out and genuine, a true endeavour of love. I had a fantastic time, met great people and am planning on returning inshallah next September for the 21 day Pancha Karma. Just writing this makes me want to go back ASAP. Thank you for making it happen.

Reem Al Fahim – Vana Malsi Estate, September 2015

Accommodation was fabulous – a huge range of styles but each memorable in its own way. From rustic simplicity and amazing service at Gal Oya (Sanjay the part-owner and Chamilla, our guide, were fabulous and so friendly) to the luxury and personal attention at Tea Trails – everything was well organised and went smoothly. We really loved it all! Tea Trails was a very special experience and Ulagalla’s accommodation / pool were excellent, but we genuinely loved the whole trip. Thank you!

Mr & Mrs Forth, Sri Lanka, July 2015

Ellie, the whole trip was incredible. Inle and Bagan were just out of this world! 12 days of delights and pure pleasure. Mind blowing. It was all fantastic; magical. It was just perfect. Loved every minute of the tour. May was just the most lovely lady – sweet, kind and so knowledgeable. We love her! We were just so privileged to have met her. Also, our driver in Bagan was so fantastic as well. Thank you Ellie for organising our incredible holiday! I feel like I had a real break discovering the most fabulous country and meeting some unforgettable people too. Perfect planning and timing. But May for sure made it even more special. Many, many thanks Ellie.

Mr Beccherle & Mr Shine, Burma, April 2015

We dealt with the lovely Shalmali Paterson and what a wonderful asset she is to your company. I rang her and told her the things we were interested in doing and, having been to India five times previously, we had done a lot so it was a challenge for her to come up with something exciting and away from the normal tourist routes. Well, she came up with a wonderful itinerary full of different things tailored to exactly what we liked and I cannot compliment her enough. Also all the tour guides and drivers we had were wonderful and so passionate about their country. Most days we were phoned by your representatives checking everything was okay and if we wanted extra things sorted it was never a problem. We have never had such wonderful customer care from any other company and would not hesitate to use you again and have told so many people about you that I am sure you will get lots of new business. Thank you so much and I look forward to travelling with your company again. You have wonderful people working for you and it is the staff that make the company stand out.

Ms Morris & friends, North India, April 2015

The highlight of our trip was getting great sightings of tigers and leopards but we also enjoyed all the other diverse wildlife. The tour was perfect, wish we’d gone for longer!! The quality of the guiding was excellent on all fronts, but in Satpura it was exceptional! All the staff in all three lodges could not do enough to help us and even went out of their way to provide extra game viewing not on the itinerary. The quality and diversity of the food in all the place we stayed was exceptional and far better than we expected from a safari lodge. The help and advice we received from Shalmali at Ampersand meant that we had a perfect trip and cannot thank her enough. All that is left now is to start booking the next one!

Mr Atkinson & Mrs Roberts, North India, April 2015

We must have been a challenging group of people to satisfy but you did an excellent job! The highlights of our trip were: 1) The flight from Delhi to Paro over the Himalayas. 2) Meeting the King & Queen of Bhutan and helping to make Claire’s birthday so special by their generosity and kindness. 3) The warmth and friendliness of the people of Bhutan and our outstanding guide and driver Sangay who was knowledgeable and flexible and a joy to have with us. I was not sure what to expect from Bhutan but the whole county exceeded my expectations. It provided food for the soul and eyes – a very special place. Thank you so much Mark for all your hard work, it was much appreciated.

Ms Harries & Ms Long, Bhutan, April 2015

The highlight of our trip was the trek! It was strenuous and brilliant. We also loved meeting the King!! Our guide Sangay was exceptionally helpful, bright, fun and flexible. He made suggestions for amendments to the itinerary which were always positive and gave us lots of interesting info and Bhutan and Buddhism. He was sensitive and responsive to the group’s needs and always calm.

Ms Harrington & Ms Killaspy, Bhutan, April 2015

The trip went amazingly well and we were extremely happy with our holiday. Our guide and driver were brilliant and the vehicle appropriate for the road conditions. All hotels were very good and the trek at the end was inspired and exactly the right distance, ending at the Tiger’s Nest Temple. Thank you so much for an amazing trip. We can’t emphasise how good Sangay was. He hugely enriched our trip and was by far and away the best guide we have come across. Due to his efforts we went to an unscheduled festival and met the king and queen of Bhutan! Can’t get better than that!!!

Mr Sanders & Mr Cavaliers-Smith, Bhutan, April 2015

Getting to Amanpulo from Manila was very simple and the beach was the most beautiful I’d ever been on; pristine white sand, not a single piece of rubbish in sight. You get your own solar powered golf buggy to drive around resort (and a butler at request). The views from the Hillside Casita were spectacular!

Mr Wyburd, Philippines, April 2015

Never having benefited from the services of a travel advisor such as Ampersand before, we were intrigued to experience this type of trip but were unsure if we would feel claustrophobic. Thankfully this wasn't the case at all. The logistical organisation, hotels, guides, choice of excursions and personal care we received ensured that we had a relaxed, informative & truly memorable trip. Thank you for the part you played in introducing us to China, such a fascinating country of contrasts. The highlights of the trip were the rice terraces at Longsheng, hiking The Great Wall & the delicious food!

Mr & Mrs Beechey, China, April 2015

We have just returned back from a wonderful trip. Thank you very much for organising everything. The transfer was excellent – for once they had perfect car seats. The villa was lovely, just what we needed and the hotel had helpfully put us as far away as possible from everyone else. The breakfast buffet was the best I have ever seen – and I am slightly obsessive over breakfast!! There was an incredible choice, something for everyone and so beautifully presented. A real highlight of the trip. Thank you again for sorting everything - and at such short notice!

Redmayne family, Phuket, April 2015

Thank you so much for helping us organize our Burma trip for us, one of the most memorable trips I ever did, and what a special country and kind population. The trip was full of highlights, I think our guide Miu was one of them, also the hot balloon experience in Bagan. All drivers we had were excellent special mention to our Bagan driver who was a class act... About the hotels, the Governor’s Residence and Amara are simply above, they can definitely fit in a top 5 stars categories hotels anywhere in the world. Mark, thanks again for those incredible memories, Ampersand’s reputation is very well deserved and exceeded any expectation we could have.

Ms Chenat & Mr Kropf, Burma, March 2015

Thank you for putting together an interesting and enjoyable trip which included many memorable moments. Falaknuma was all you promised and more. It was truly an extraordinary experience. We are delighted we took your advice and included Calcutta on our itinerary – one of the highlights of the trip – everywhere we went and every single thing we did was memorable. Varanasi was simply unforgettable and we are pleased we got the opportunity to visit. Sunrise on the Ganges was a special moment. We loved the Raas and the fort was magnificent. Sitting in the rooftop bar in the evening, looking up at the floodlit fort is one of my abiding memories of the trip. Udaipur and the Lake Palace were fabulous. We had dinner there during our last visit and resolved to stay there if we came again. Soneva Fushi was simply magical. Villas sit right on the edge of the beach, are well spaced around the island with the lush vegetation affording complete privacy. Whilst the facilities and the food are exceptional, it retains a real Robinson Crusoe feel. The outings, the guided tours, the boat trips etc were all interesting and enjoyable, many truly memorable.

Mr & Mrs McKerracher, India & The Maldives, March 2015

We really enjoyed the trip and were happy that we squeezed so much into a few short days. The Burmese people were lovely and the sites were fantastic. We really enjoyed the balloon ride and would highly suggest it to others in the future. The trip went super smoothly and a good time plus learning happened for all. Yangon was nice as the Strand was quite amazing and we of course loved the giant gold temple. Many thanks for all of your help and look forward to future travel with you.

Wallace Family, Burma, March 2015

I barely know where to begin ....... though a sincere 'thank you' would be the best. You have organized this trip perfectly. May was an inspiring and delightful companion in Myanmar – thoroughly professional and friendly at the same time. My accommodation throughout has been superb, especially 'The Governor's Residence' and 'The Mandarin Oriental'. The view from the 'cottage' at Inle Lake was beautiful and I loved every moment of being there. And here I am now on the last leg of this extended holiday ..... at my favourite place. I could stay here for ever, the peace, silence and surroundings all amazing, plus the people and the whole aura of 'Vana'. Maybe Bhutan and 'Vana' next year. Or Cambodia and Laos and 'Vana'??????? Or just 'Vana'!!! Thank you for much, and I look forward to speaking to you on my return.

Ms Margulies, Burma, India & Thailand, February 2015

From the very beginning Shalmali you made the planning a pleasure. During our holiday Jonty was truly spectacular – she had put her heart and soul into this tour – and it showed. It was the most fabulous trip. The highlight of the holiday was The Golden Temple (Amritsar) and Jonty. I would absolutely recommend Ampersand to others and have done so.

Dr & Mr Gerrey, India & The Maldives, February 2015

We were extremely impressed by the Governor’s Residence. Everything was perfect, lovely bedroom, very generous and free mini bar, gorgeous gardens, delicious food. Best of all the staff were all charming and efficient with a good command of English – we sensed an extremely well managed hotel. Ampersand scores excellent in all respects. You clearly knew the country well, carefully tailored the trip to our requirements and we found the background information really helpful. We really appreciated the extras like departure and arrival home good wishes, the excellent arrangements for my birthday and complementary spa treatments and meals. Personally the highlight of my trip was the balloon trip over Bagan, quite magical. A close second came boat trips on Lake Inle with its mysterious and beautiful atmosphere. We loved Burma and our trip there, and will happily recommend Ampersand to our friends.

Ingrid & Michael, Burma, February 2015

I wanted to thank you for a superb holiday. It was absolutely wonderful and outshone last year’s visit for both of us. The Dharavi slum tour was simply superb and the young guide was amazing. The Delhi guide and driver were absolutely the best, very professional and excellent knowledge. Jodhpur guide also excellent. What was noticeable and a great relief about all guides was the fact that they didn’t cart us off to shopping emporiums. Hotels: The Imperial, Umaid Bhawan Palace and Malabar House were the best. I liked Marari Beach and would probably go there again. Great bar, lovely room, good food. Again, many, many thanks for arranging such a wonderful holiday. We have already recommended you to some friends and are bound to call on you again in the future.

Mr & Mrs Charlesworth, India, January 2015

Balloon ride was a highlight. V well organised. But we also loved the boat trips on Inle Lake and the Irrawaddy. Drivers excellent throughout. Itinerary has worked well. Some of our most special times have been getting close to seeing the way of life of the people. Specifically going into their homes! It was so interesting to be part of the cookery lesson. It was so special walking into the village, meeting the family, seeing their home, how they lived, cooked, etc. We have had an AMAZING time Ellie and we have loved it. Thank you for all your arrangements!

Mr & Mrs Thorne, Burma, January 2015

We had a great trip. The people and places we encountered were all truly memorable. All the guides were excellent and all meetings (at airports and venues) worked out very well. In particular, we would like to commend the guide who met us at Yangon on the trip home. We would have no problem in recommending your agency to friends in the future and we of course would be glad to avail of your services in any future exploits! The bottle of wine in Inle Lake was very much appreciated for which we thank you. I am sure we will embark on more exciting trips in the future. Thank you so much again for all your help and considerations.

Mr & Mrs Donnelly, Burma, January 2015

My husband and I had a truly wonderful time in Burma and all the Ampersand arrangements were great. We especially liked Aung, our charming young guide in Bagan who was so knowledgeable about the history, architecture and religion. Mai was very kind to store our two excess bags at the Strand. The hotels were wonderful....Thanks so much for arranging this unforgettable trip for us.

Mr & Mrs Lammert, Burma, January 2015

The trip was absolutely marvellous! We really want to thank you because everything was just perfect: the itinerary, the hotels, the activities, the guides, the drivers, the details, the fine touches… We travel a lot and I can say without doubt that this was the best organized trip we’ve ever had. Best hotel: Hotel de la Paix, Luang Prabang. The service and attention to detail was simply extraordinary and it was beautiful. We had the best of times, so thank you again!

Mr & Mrs Lopez, South East Asia, January 2015

Ballyfin was great - we loved it! Best things were the amount of space, it felt like you had the whole place to yourself, the history of the house, and the staff. We'd definitely recommend it. Thanks v much for all the help getting it booked!

Mr Wyburd, Ireland, December 2014

Everything was excellent. The highlight of the trip was Jaipur, Dera Amer elephant ride and dinner under the stars, Chandni Chowk, Old Delhi on rickshaws, and seeing the Taj Mahal for the first time through the entrance gate.

O’Riordan family, North India, December 2014

We had a great time in India, met up with some of Christine’s relatives in Kolar Gold Fields and saw everything we wanted to, including the places her ancestors lived and worked and married. There were a few highlights – the Windermere Estate was excellent and the staff very welcoming. Pondicherry was lovely and Havelock very peaceful, which is just what we needed after a couple of weeks on the road. Both of our drivers, Shanker and Dilip were wonderful, friendly guys. Everything was great and your help in getting us there was greatly appreciated.

Mr & Mrs Nicholson, South India, November 2014

We had the most wonderful time in India – everything we hoped for and more – many thank yous for organising it so well. It was all marvellous in many different ways, but one of our highlights was the sighting of a tigress and three cubs at Ranthambore – would now like to visit Sher Bagh's safari Camp in Kenya!

Mr & Mrs Kitchen, North India, November 2014

Difficult to choose the highlight of the trip, can’t choose between… 1) Taj Mahal & Oberoi Amarvilas. 2) Ranthambore. 3) Lake Palace. We have to say a particular thank you for selecting Parmode as our driver. He is a delightful and kind man who took our holiday and our enjoyment as his responsibility. Thank you Ellie for putting together such an amazing trip for us. The balance of city and rural destinations was perfect for us and the variety of rooms and hotel types brilliant. Our driver and guides also added so much to the trip with their knowledge of India’s history and culture and their willingness to discuss it both from a professional and personal angle.

Carruthers family, North India, Oct 2014

Excellent driver, Simson. We very much enjoyed our time in Pondicherry and like the Palais de Mahe. The Ideal River View Hotel in Tanjore had a great swimming pool, charming staff who could not have gone to more trouble to make us welcome. Splendid cuisine too. There was something very charming about their slightly unpolished eagerness to please. And the Rajakkad Estate was a stand out experience which we would not have missed for anything – peaceful, friendly, charming staff, wonderful food. We loved it.

Mr & Mrs White, South India, September 2014

Dear Mark, our amazing holiday was undoubtedly a huge success in every way. Mutiara Laut really is the most beautiful boat and each and every one of the crew went over and above their call of duty and looked after our every need. To say that the beaches, sea, wildlife and sea life are spectacular would be a gross understatement and our only sadness was that we could not stay longer! The Four Seasons was the perfect place to reflect on all that we had seen the previous week too. I cannot thank you enough for all your help with organising our trip. It has certainly wetted our appetite for what we might do next, not least I could never imagine that I would love diving!

Mr & Mrs Yerburgh, Indonesia, July 2014

Dear Mark, We had the most brilliant holiday so thank you very much for helping to organise everything for us. Certainly we managed to see a very different side of Indonesia which was absolutely the intention of the holiday. The Tiger Blue crew are simply superb; always cheerful; completely accommodating to our requests and happy to make suggestions. Food was incredible, cabins were comfortable and on deck there was ample space for us to sit whereever we wanted. The Cruise Director was really superb, always cheerful; the diving really was superb (I didn’t ever think we would do as many dives as we did!) and we loved the way the crew interacted with us – they helped us build the most amazing hermit crab race track on one beach; happily accompanied us on walks around islands; beat us at Karoke (perhaps future guests should be encouraged to learn a couple of songs in order to hold their own against the TB crew – we were utterly useless!) and patiently took the kids wakeboarding. The highlight for the kids was scuba diving with manta rays on Tiger Blue and learning to surf at Nihiwatu.

Harrow family, Indonesia, August 2014

The trip could not have been more perfect. We wish we could go back again tomorrow -- we just loved it, and you did such a great job with every detail and taking such great care. The highlight of our trip was Vana, Vana, Vana! Next would be sundowners with the family at the Shahpura Bagh fort, the school visit in Shahpura Bagh, dinner at Rambagh Palace, elephant ride/dinner, pool time at Samode Haveli. Oh, and we LOVED Parmod and Dilip!! We absolutely loved our trip! We felt like celebrities — so much attention to detail. It was hard to go back to “real life” after that. We can’t wait for another trip planned by Shalmali. Thank you, again!

Ms Fitzhugh & Ms Breen, North India, July 2014

Shalmali - I will write more later once home, but just a quick note to thank you again for a totally life changing, special, incredible trip. No detail was left out. It was perfect. We are happy beyond belief! So many memorable moments of laughter, depth, learning, amazement... Dilip was a perfect match for us. Enjoyed every minute with him. Both drivers amazing-- Parmod is our special friend forever! Every property, city, drive, meal -- perfection. All so special. And Shahpura Bagh -- SO special!! Thank you for all you've done! I know it would not have been this way without you. Everyone raves about you, both here and at Vana :) I think the hotels thought we were secret celebs or something thanks to you, ha! You are so good at what you do. Will tell all our friends about you. Bye for now, and again -- THANK YOU! Oh and the wine!! Our favorite Indian wine!! So incredibly kind!! We drank every drop :)

Ms McClure & Ms Fitzhugh, North India, July 2014

Hi Ellie – we really had a truly fantastic time and could not fault anything, and we are very grateful indeed for the champagne in the lounge at Heathrow and at the Fullerton and Raffles – we were made to feel very special indeed.

Mr & Mrs Pitt, Singapore & Langkawi, July 2014

We had a brilliant time – it was VERY well thought through and very well organized. Thank you very much. The Amanbagh – I guessed that this would be gold standard and difficult to beat and so it proved. It’s hard to find fault in a hotel where staff are almost standing by to catch a leaf should it blow off a tree! It’s beautifully designed and very efficiently run. They upgraded us to a villa, which was sweet, and the accommodation with its own pool is pretty irresistible. The food was exceptional and all the trips were great and the staff were amazing – VERY welcoming and totally available for even the tiniest request. We went to the ruins of the "ghost city" at dawn with the yoga instructor (thanks for that recommendation) and to the lake at dusk... equally sensational. We also enjoyed our meal under the stars – thank you very much for treating us to this – it was a fair old feast !!! Lakshman Sagar – I loved this place. This was the real highlight for me. I loved the remoteness and the quiet. We were pretty much the only guests and our little cabin overlooked the lake and was delightful. It’s a very special place. All the reps were lovely – both drivers were excellent and very welcoming – and we felt in good hands everywhere we went. It was a top break – your advice was very good, your recommendations and route worked very well. Well done Ellie.

Mr & Mrs Harries, North India, April 2014

Mumbai was absolutely fabulous - crazy, wonderful and stimulating. What a change since our last visit. Your shopping tips were marvellous and we found a brilliant guide book before we left London which I shall tell you about. I would like to thank you so very much for organising a trip that absolutely met our expectations and more - you understood us without even seeing us and your arrangements were well thought out and went very smoothly.

Mr & Mrs Capstick Dale, India, April 2014

Dear Ellie, everything was BRILLIANT! Nothing wrong, no mistakes, no complaints. Many thanks for your help.

Mr & Mrs Gomes, North India, April 2014

Jaipur was a breath of fresh air!! The Rambagh Palace is probably the finest hotel we’ve ever stayed in (and that includes the Ritz in London and a host of others!). It was simply marvellous from start to finish (oh for more time there). The grounds were wonderful, the room superb and the staff were all charming and attentive. This would be one hotel we would certainly go back to. Our guide Dilip was very good, not pushy and with a lot of knowledge of textiles and local fashions which was an interesting aside. Didn’t take us shopping at all as we didn’t want to… good man! The Amber Fort was Nick’s favourite; beautiful scenery, interesting history and fascinating buildings. In Udaipur we had another excellent guide. At the Taj Lake Palace we had dinner on a private terrace – it was absolutely marvellous. All bedecked with garlands and a little local music playing and the food was superb! All in all, a lovely romantic evening and a delightful end to our trip. The Spa Boat was simply wonderful – we’d recommend that to anyone! Parmod… What can we say! Such a delightful driver – and safe and charming and polite!

Mr & Mrs Buck, North India, April 2014

Hello Catriona, let me start by saying a big thank you. Your assistance from beginning to end was invaluable. It's really hard to choose one highlight - it was honestly the best holiday of my life. Ampersand came highly recommended for someone wanting a luxurious holiday with good attention to detail and my expectations were far exceeded. Everything was perfect. Everything about the vacation was so thoroughly and efficiently taken care of that we weren’t left wanting for anything. Sri Lanka was just the most fantastic country. The ground staff and our driver went out of their way for us. We felt safe and informed and got an authentic view of Sri Lanka. The food, people and culture were all sublime and the itinerary was great. The transfer and trip to the Maldives was amazing. There were people to help us every step of the way, making for a very relaxed adventure to a place that really is paradise. The restaurants were all magnificent with an unbelievable variety of the freshest food. The sea life is indescribable and snorkelling was an absolute highlight. The surfboards did come to good use and David did get 2 or 3 days of surfing, while I made good use of the spa! We were very sad that it all had to end (which is greedy – I know!) I have told everyone that this is a holiday they have to do!

Mr & Mrs Stacey, Sri Lanka & The Maldives, March 2014

Dear James, we do thank you for all your splendid arrangements on our behalf. Everything went smoothly as ever. So many, many thanks for contributing so much to Carl’s Big Birthday. He declared it a perfect day. Quite a milestone, all he’d hoped. We were treated more than regally at Falaknuma. Ahilya Fort was as enchanting as ever. Again, with thanks.

Ms Salmon, North India, March 2014

Dear James, I wanted to write to thank you for the most wonderful holiday. Judy and I had a truly fantastic time and were both incredibly impressed with the attention to detail that went into the organisation of every part of our trip, the whole experience was seamless due to your meticulous planning. We thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the tour. The ground representatives could not have been more friendly and attentive. The highlight was definitely the Ahilya Fort in Maheshwar, which was very special indeed, and a testimony to your knowledge of India and understanding of our taste. You and your team offer an exceptional service and I look forward to arranging further travel with Ampersand in the future.

Mr & Mrs Green, North India, March 2014

The highlights of the trip were climbing Sigiriya Rock, the Tea Plantation of the Bogawantalawa Valley, the perfect beaches in Tangalle – too many, it was amazing! The tour was perfect! : ) I chose to travel with Ampersand for several reasons: 1) I had heard great things, 2) the website and sample itineraries were excellent and 3) dealing with Catriona, even at the initial stages, was an absolute pleasure. It was an absolutely amazing trip, and I thank you for making it happen!

Mr Troiano, Sri Lanka, March 2014

My initial conversation with Catriona on the phone was wonderful. She was knowledgeable, energetic and offered great suggestions on trip cadence, activities and accommodations. The chefs at all 3 resorts [Ulagalla, Amanwella and Amangalla] were terrific. We wanted Sri Lankan food at every meal so they cooked their specialties. Really fantastic! They also all did a nice job celebrating David’s birthday. We also enjoyed Henry and Pietro, the Aman GMs. Both were hospitable, made great suggestions and were the perfect combo of casual, fun and interesting. And Sasilu, our butler-type guy at Amanwella, rocked! From our airport pickup to our Anaradhapura guided tours, everything was done to ensure a comfortable, interesting and knowledge packed tour.

Ms McLaughlin, Sri Lanka, March 2014

It has been a truly great holiday. Catriona - you got the blend between culture and relaxation just right and your excellent organizational skills made this a holiday to remember! Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok fully lived up to expectations. Laos was a delight and Luang Prabang is very picturesque. The early morning alms giving to the monks was worth getting up early for. The Nam Hai is stunning; the upgrade to the villa with all the trimmings was excellent advice, Catriona. The private villa by the pool / beach; the grounds and the excellent service from all the staff make this an experience to remember. Saigon is a big metropolis buzzing with life, with 9 million people and 8 million motor cycles! Completely different from anywhere else we have visited. Our guide was probably the best we have had to date. Enthusiastic without being overbearing and knowing when to step back and leave you to your own devices; also very knowledgeable about history. The Four Seasons at Koh Samui fully lived up to its billing – a really classy hotel. The views are magnificent and the interior design colour schemes are well thought out. It goes without saying that the service is exceptional. Overall Summary – excellent planning; hotel choices and support from the guides; good blend of culture and leisure time – well done Catriona!

Michael and Adele, Thailand, Laos & Vietnam, March 2014

The highlights of our trip were Castlereagh, safari, whale watching and dinner at The Gallery Paradise Road. Sri Lanka restarted our love affair with the Indian Subcontinent! A lovely place with lovely people – we shall return!

Mr & Mrs Roberson, Sri Lanka, March 2014

We had an absolutely memorable trip thanks to Ampersand – thank you so much for the part that you played in particular! Sonam (our guide) met us at the airport and we so enjoyed our time with him and Penjo (our driver). We laughed so much and Sonam was very good at explaining the history, Buddhism and culture of Bhutan – his English was excellent. By the end of the trip we were very sad to say goodbye to them both. Please let Aman know how pleased we were with the service they provided. We could not have asked for more. The hotels in Bhutan were excellent and I think the combination of Uma and Aman (+ Taj Tashi) worked really well. Uma Paro and Punnaka were beautifully located and the food and service could not have been better. We loved the valley and the setting of the hotel was excellent – you felt part of the community. The food was superb. I loved all the dzongs and temples as well as the unique architecture of the hotels we stayed in – I don't think we stopped smiling the whole time. I want to let you know how well things went and how appreciative we were of the support you gave us. Thanks again.

Mr & Mrs Helmore, Bhutan, March 2014

Hello Mark, we have completed our tour in Kashmir and it was fantastic. Kashmir is so different from India, it felt like being in a different country. Everything went well globally, no bad surprises or accidents, and we were lucky to have 3 glorious days for our hike in Pahalgam when the rest of the trip was more in clouds and rain. We all loved it very much and will have fond memories of this beautiful country. In conclusion it was a successful trip in a fascinating country with very nice and friendly people, well chosen hotels and hikes, a fabulous local guide for our hikes. Many thanks for have planned this trip for us, and if luck brings us to this part of the world again, we shall definitely be in touch!

Mr & Mrs Kingsman, Kashmir, North India, March 2014

Dear Ellie, thank you for putting together a wonderful trip for Diana and me. The hotels you put us into were really wonderful; we wish we could have had a more leisurely trip and stayed longer in some of them, especially the Nadesar Palace in Varanasi and the Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur... The driver we had was superb, both as a driver and as an individual. He took really good care of us. Many thanks for your hard work.

Ms Shagan & Ms Feit, North India, March 2014

Here are a few photographs reflecting our adventure to Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. There were so many highlights to choose from, it’s not possible to name one! I would absolutely recommend Ampersand to others. Great holiday – thanks.

Mr Nissen, Cambodia, Laos & Vietnam, March 2014

Amazing time in Burma with Ampersand Travel and took some amazing photos on my trip. The highlight was Bagan - particularly sunset at Pyathada Paya - and the friendliness of the people. I really enjoyed my guide and driver in Bagan and Yangon at the end. Escape Gastro Bar in Yangon is open late and has a good range of spirits and free wifi. Be Kind To Animals The Moon Restaurant in Bagan is a lovely veggie restaurant in Bagan with good and cheap food and great service.

Mr Morris, Burma, February 2014

Dear James, it’s 11:15 p.m. and I’ve just delivered Jill to her room after an exquisite birthday dinner at Falaknuma. Thank you so much for arranging it. The meal was delicious and splendidly served in the Presidential Suite with gorgeous china and stemware and all the bells and whistles one would expect at Falaknuma. This bas been an extraordinary holiday, culminating in one of the happiest birthdays I’ve ever known. Best regards and many thanks.

Dr Boyer, India, March 2014

I wanted to write to thank you for the most wonderful holiday. We had a truly fantastic time and were both incredibly impressed with the attention to detail that went into the organisation of every part of our trip, the whole experience was seamless due to your meticulous planning. We thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the tour. The ground representatives could not have been more friendly and attentive. The highlight was definitely the Ahilya Fort in Maheshwar, which was very special indeed, and a testimony to your knowledge of India and understanding of our taste. You and your team offer an exceptional service and I look forward to arranging further travel with Ampersand in the future.

Mr & Mrs Green, North India, February 2014

The information packs and all the guidance provided by Ampersand Travel was enormously helpful as preparation for a trip to India for the timid first time visitor. The hotel descriptions and the suggested sightseeing proposals proved invaluable. The suggested itinerary allowed for the indulgence as well as the educational! About the Taj Lake Palace, there can be little that has not been said by many before. What a wonderful location and what a wonderful hotel this is. Our stay was made particularly memorable by two events. Not only were we upgraded to a Suite of the most magnificent proportions and outlook, which was a wonderful surprise and simply brilliant, but we also had the great pleasure of a Roof Terrace Dinner courtesy of Ampersand. What more could a geriatric couple want. Perhaps a time wand to go back twenty years! Our stay here was absolutely perfect in every way.

Dr & Mrs Claydon, North India, February 2014

Walking around Yangon with its colonial buildings and various neighbourhoods and markets was a real treat. Riding the circular train, absorbing the scenery, and watching the locals going about their daily activities were worth every minute of the three hour trip. We love the Governors Residence. It's one of the best hotels we have ever stayed anywhere in the world. The room was good, but the service was extraordinary. My husband spends more than 150 nights a year in hotels, so he knows hotels well. Being on the boat and watching daily life by around Inle Lake were the best experiences – we took a paddle boat ride early one morning (around 6:30am) on misty Inle Lake. It was magical and spooky and eerily quiet without the motors. We also enjoyed rowing past a village busy with morning chores and heard quite a bit of karaoke blaring from the homes. Despite the cold temperature, the Inle Princess Resort was lovely. With a coal fire glowing throughout the night, the rustic room decorated with local crafts was homey and charming. It's unique and different from the bland, standard hotel. If I can go to only one place in Burma, I'd go to Bagan. Thank you for insisting on the balloon ride. It was definitely worth it (unfortunately also smoggy in the morning). The only regret was that we couldn't do it twice – one to take photos and one just to enjoy the experience.

The Tsai Family, Burma, January 2014

Highlights of our China holiday included the Great Wall, the Terracotta Army and the smaller Terracotta Army, a cycling trip around the limestone mountains of Yangshuo, a boat trip along the Li river from Guilin to Yangshuo, the sidecar motorbike ride in Shanghai and the trip to the water village in Shanghai! Li’An Lodge in Longsheng was excellent, given it is on top of a mountain and a real trek to get there. It has very individual rooms – some twin, some double – and the food is extremely good. The Peninsula Shanghai was outstanding, the stand-out hotel of the trip – the food, views, service and free international telephone calls were a highlight. There is even a nail drier in the room! Our guides were fantastic – Jerry was extremely friendly, well-read and interesting company, and Monica was very enthusiastic and driven to succeed, with an insatiable curiosity and good company.

Mr & Mrs Wright, China, November 2013

The balloon flight was flawless and amazing. We all adored it. The ride to Mount Popa was fascinating. The lodge has an amazing position and we are enjoying it thoroughly. This morning we did the hike up the mountain, great! The food here is wonderful, especially with that view. We will have comments about this lodge and all the hotels once we are back, but for now all we can say is that the experience is superlative and we thank you for having designed such a great itinerary.

Flisi & family, Burma, December 2013

James, you have good taste! I so loved Ahilya fort – I was lucky that I had a good group of other guests and I did not want to leave! The Golden Temple lived up to its hype and the Wagah border crossing was huge fun and unique, although playing the theme music from Slum Dog Millionaire a little incongruous! Glenburn is an amazing place. I went to Darjeeling and I am so glad that you persuaded me to stay there and not in Darjeeling! The staff are great. India restores your soul – thank you! I think Calcutta is going to be my favourite city in India. This is the India of my childhood dreams!

Ms Davis, North India, December 2013

There were almost too many highlights to mention. But one must be the short trek in the Phobjika Valley, which was stunningly beautiful and was coupled with the stay at the most Bhutanese of all the hotels. Uma Punakha has the edge over Uma Paro given its size and location. Uma guides were well worth the cost of the upgrade – very knowledgeable guide, very competent and safe driver, both entertaining company and extremely attentive/ helpful. The only thing Ampersand could have done to improve our trip is extended it!!

Mr & Mrs Arnold, Bhutan & India, November 2013

We arrived home Monday evening after a wonderful three weeks. The Ampersand arrangements all worked splendidly and we were always met as and when we should have been. Thanks so much for all the arrangements which really contributed to our time in India. If we could have commissioned our driver to drive us back to London, we would have! He is an absolute gem!!!

Mr & Mrs Wheeler, India, November 2013

We have just returned from our adventures. Both of us would like to thank you for organising what has been an exceptional holiday. The experience was truly magical and so varied that there was never a dull moment. We felt very safe and well informed with all the support we received from the driver and the local reps and guides. The hotels were a wonderful mixture and all of a high standard, and the staff were efficient and helpful. The entertainment at Rohet Garh and the Taj Hotel were very good, and the step well experience at Narlai should be a must on everyone's itinerary. Our last night at the Taj Lake Palace Udaipur was made particularly special and the hotel really gave us a tremendous service with chocolate cakes, sweets, extra courses and roses and petals strewn over the table for our evening meal. They also took photographs of us and framed one there and then as well as sending the photos by email. The service from them was outstanding and really made our stay extra-special. Thank you once again.

Mr & Mrs Dore, North India, November 2013

We chose Ampersand because it had better offer than other Maharajas Express holidays in terms of knowledge and willingness to tailor-make the holiday for us. We thought the guide in Delhi was excellent and we loved the Leela Palace! We have already recommended Ampersand to others!

Mr & Mrs Creer, India, November 2013

The whole trip was wonderful - we were delighted with the whole experience.

Mr & Mrs Kearsey, North India, October 2013

We are very sad, that our two week holiday in India has ended. Your organization of the trip worked excellent, the choice of hotels was superb and the planned activities were marvellous. All transports and pick-ups worked seamlessly and with a lot of friendliness and care. The local guides were well selected and gave us an inspiring variety of views about India and its history. The Lake Palace, Sher Bagh and the Nadesar Palace definitely stood out in terms of service level and staff.

Mr & Mrs Schönbeck, North India, October 2013

Highlights included the exceptional service at Como Shambhala, who couldn’t have been more accommodating and helpful ...... Moyo Island: the flat plane arrival, the private island excursion and the service (beach & restaurant) ...... The private island drop-off, beach BBQ and waterfall excursion at Amanwana were amazing! We also did a fabulous star-gazing trip at night. I was impressed with Mark’s knowledge of Indonesia and it was crucial for me that he had visited the various properties we would visit. Ampersand did a fantastic job. We had an unforgettable honeymoon!! THANK YOU!!!

Mr & Mrs Bruce, Indonesia honeymoon, October 2013

Thank you for living up to Ampersand's standards and arranging such a fabulous itinerary, that's why we keep coming back!

Mr & Mrs Smith, North India, October 2013

Our trip was absolutely fabulous, many thanks for all the planning and organization. Nepal – the helicopter tour is a must for those who can afford it. We were lucky to have a bright blue sky that day, and the sights all the way from KTM to the viewing spot and back is absolutely spectacular. The hour we spent facing Everest was also fabulous, just watching Everest as we were having tea and chatting to trekkers en route to base camp, and walking around. Definitely a highlight! Bhutan – as you say, you cannot not love it. Everything was perfect, from the choice of the guide – knowledgeable, sporty (great for our hikes), close to nature, good sense of humour, and who totally adapted to our pace, making it a perfect holiday. The choice of hotels was excellent. The circuit well planned, as it seemed that each day was better than the previous one, ending with the Tiger's nest climb. I would say every single day was a highlight! We very much look forward to our trip in Kashmir in March!

Mr & Mrs Kingsman, Nepal & Bhutan, September 2013

We had a wonderful time in Burma – the breathtakingly beautiful countryside, deliciously chaotic cities and the profoundly peaceful Inle Lake.... Pre-trip – Mark made me feel very comfortable. He was very accommodating and gave me the feeling that I was dealing with company that has agents visiting the country and had first-hand information of the situation on the ground. Itinerary – it was well put together and matched my brief. A good mixture of the different aspects of Burma without too much overlap and at a reasonably leisurely pace. Hotel selection – the choice was perfect considering what is available in Burma. I will certainly recommend you to my friends and family. Who else will send two representatives of the company to Burma with us!!

Mr & Mrs Thomas, Burma, September 2013

The programme was very well balanced and gave sufficient space for information, relaxation and activity. The hotel upgrade at Kandalama was very kind and thoughtful – nice touch. Thank you. Our driver was really efficient and proved a real asset. He was proactive, knowledgeable and considerate. Flying business class was the correct thing to do as that part is one of the most tiring. James, we are planning a trip to India in a couple of years; we will be back to Ampersand. Well done and thanks.

Mr Brown, Sri Lanka, August 2013

The execution of the trip was fantastic. We wouldn’t have changed one thing about it, which I have never said before. We absolutely loved India; you can’t find hotels in America that are even comparable in style and service to the hotels in India. Our favourite hotels were the Taj group, especially the Taj in Mumbai. We loved travelling off season as we feel we got better service and there were no crowds. Our guides were fantastic which made their experience come alive. We can’t wait to go back to India; ideally we would like it to be a yearly thing.

The Montgomery family, India, August 2013

Just a quickie to let you know the trip was fab, fab and more fab! You must continue to highly recommend Hanging Gardens, Alila Uluwatu (off the hook amazing) and the Amanjiwo. Just gorgeous properties in exquisite settings with amazing service. Our itinerary was terrific. The time on the Ikan Terbang was perhaps the best of all! What was uber great was being able to sail to wherever we wanted and snorkel in the most beautiful of waters. We actually saw giant manta rays (!!) - absolutely breathtaking, white tipped sharks, barracudas and fish of every color, shape and size. We slept on the top deck under the stairs as below deck was too hot. Our vegetarian meals were fantastic (who would've expected good food on a boat) and the boats owner, Bruno was wonderful. I highly, highly, highly recommend this aspect of any Indonesian itinerary you plan for your clients. Btw: 3 nights is just the perfect amount of time on the boat. Everything was seamless. Good food, good people, great sights and amazing accommodations. We were thrilled. Thank you for everything!

Ms Ross, Indonesia, May 2013

Just a quick message to thank you for setting up a successful and delightful holiday for us. All the arrangements worked perfectly and we could not have wished for a better driver/guide than Sriyan Nandana Wimalasundara. He took stock of us pretty quickly and used his initiative to fine-tune our programme to suit our own personalities and characteristics - without in any way taking over. He has a very nice personality, was a mine of information, knew his way around very well and had good contacts. He became more of a friend than a driver and we cannot commend him too highly. You had clearly taken on board our liking for the smaller hotels and we were particularly delighted with the Warwick Gardens in Nuwara Eliya and Why House near Galle, both utterly individual and both devoted to looking after the guests in their own special ways. At the other extreme it was fascinating to stay at the Galle Face Hotel 61 years after I had once had a drink there! Sri Lanka itself fascinated us and the people were very friendly and welcoming. Your recommendation to drive straight up to Sigiriya on arrival rather than spend the first night in Colombo was absolutely right and this got the holiday off to a very good start. Thank you for all you put into making this a very special holiday.

Mr & Mrs Blanch, Sri Lanka, April 2013

Vintage holiday – faultless. It really was a perfect holiday and we are toying with the idea of doing it again next year! Thank you.

Mr Shneiderman, Sri Lanka, April 2013

THANK YOU, it was the best holiday I've ever had and more. All elements were fantastic in their own way. Tiger Blue = experience of a lifetime. We have already recommended Ampersand to others.

Mr & Mrs Bothwell, Indonesia, March 2013

Thanks very much! We had a super time. We really enjoyed Nepal and all the attractions. Our guide was splendid (he knew everyone) and we made it for the entire trip without a pit-stop into a petrol station - hurrah! The highlight was the flight along the mountains which was sensational - so, so beautiful. I look forward to returning at some point, and perhaps nipping up and over to Tibet and Bhutan. Many thanks for all the arrangements. All went swimmingly.

Mr Solum, Nepal, March 2013

It was a superb trip, beautifully organised. It was just magic – a triumph! Completely sensational from start to finish. Each destination was different and each in its own way was wonderful. I loved every moment of every second. Only one bad thing – I had to come home! Thanks for everything James.

Mrs Morris, India, March 2013

From the moment we were collected from our home to the time we arrived back the whole experience was seamless. Sri Lankan Air was superb, comfortable and charming service which continued from everyone who looked after us during our holiday in Sri Lanka. Amangalla and Amanwella were both exactly what you expect from an Aman hotel, though both very different. Arriving at Tea Trails’ Norwood Bungalow felt like going to stay with an old long lost uncle, with wonderful staff but a sense of old colonial decadence – delicious food, endless cocktails and gorgeous walks. I don’t really know what I was expecting but it was above and beyond my expectations. I would recommend Sri Lanka as a wonderful holiday destination, which is very unspoilt. A lovelier country with lovelier people would be hard to find anywhere in the world. I do however know that our experience was very enhanced by your and your team’s recommendations, knowledge and expertise. Looking forward to our next holiday in Rajasthan. Thank you to you all.

Ms Seiff, Sri Lanka, March 2013

The tour was a remarkable success with superb organisation. With our thanks and deep appreciation for all that you have done (and it was a lot) and for always 'being there' (I am sure you will understand what I mean).

Mr & Mrs Gwynn, India, Feb 2013

Many thanks indeed for planning our recent trip to India. All worked like clockwork and we would not hesitate to recommend you highly. We met very charming guides and not a hitch on our travels!

Mrs Cairns, India, Jan 2013

Now that we are back from our sojourn in Myanmar I wanted to write and thank you for arranging our wonderful holiday and give you some feedback, all positive!!!! Firstly all arrangements were faultlessly executed - your agents arranged for us to be guided by a Mr Myo Naing - it is difficult to describe quite how good he was without meaningless superlative but the characteristic of his which resonated best with us was his working with the local drivers taking us both on and off the beaten track. Our days were full and fun and suited us absolutely. Secondly all hotels performed as advertised - the stand out was Ngapali Bay - I can see that many might prefer a bigger resort but it's outstanding location, excellent rooms, great housekeeping, super breakfasts, designated beach brollies and wonderful cocktail bar on the beach were certainly the ticket for us. Finally I would like to mention Balloons over Bagan - it is quite rare to find a holiday concept so flawlessly executed - from picking us up in their marvellous buses to the champagne breakfast at the end. Thank you for advising that. Suffice it to say that should we intend a visit to any area you cover we will call you first.

Mr & Mrs Fraser, Burma, Dec 2012

We would like to thank you for putting together such a wonderful trip to India for us. All the arrangements worked like clockwork, and the guides and drivers were without exception punctual, courteous and generous with their time and knowledge of all the local places we visited. The guides in particular were endlessly patient and supplied us with so much extra information about Indian customs and lifestyles, it really added to our enjoyment of the whole tour. We were delighted to be upgraded to a suite in Delhi and Udaipur, which was both unexpected and much appreciated. All the hotels were absolutely amazing, and the quality of food was also excellent. I think the added bonus was being able to come home without having experienced the dreaded 'Delhi belly', and somehow managed to survive the Indian roads without harm!! Thank you to Mark also for his input, and we will definitely recommend the service of Ampersand to friends who may be considering travelling to the areas you cover. Burma here we come!

Mr & Mrs Brewster, India, Dec 2012

Just wanted to thank you for organising such an excellent holiday. We thoroughly enjoyed it (we were especially impressed with Luang Prabang and our guide there) and the organisation was absolutely flawless.

Mr Claremont, Laos, Dec 2012

I arrived home to Ireland last night after a fantastic, eventful, informative, and enjoyable Indian holiday. The itinerary that you and my brother Alan arranged was as varied as it could have been in the time we had available but also left us wondering what many of the other well regarded places in India that we had not visited were like as the ones we did see were so spectacular but in different ways. The travel arrangements went almost like clockwork and in particular the pick ups and drop offs by the travel agents, the guides and most of all our drivers were invariably punctual, helpful. friendly and informative. Mr.Synge. our driver in Delhi, Agra and Jaipur was almost like a guardian angel in an unobtrusive sort of way but we did feel he was "watching out for us", and "Prem", our driver in Ahmadabad and Udaipur, was always available, diffidently polite and very dependable.

Mr Bate and family, India, Nov 2012

I really think you guys have done a great job. Best of all your flexibility. We’re used to changing plans every day so it’s always pleasing to find service oriented companies that can still accommodate this.

Ms Flohr and friends, India and Sri Lanka, Oct 2012

Our trip up until now has been amazing, to be honest, Burma is 100 times more interesting and unique than Vietnam, I wish we could stay a little bit longer!! :-)

Mr & Mrs Loupa, Burma, July 2012

We returned safely and we had a really EXCELLENT time. We were delighted with the "family history" aspects of our journey. The welcome given to us by the military at Fort William could not have been more cordial. The guide provided in Calcutta was absolutely excellent, being a man of profound knowledge and with forthright and challenging views on Ghandi. We feel that we achieved as much as we could possibly have hoped for and were really delighted. We were very impressed with the really efficient system of drivers and guides who were always on time and who, with the administrators, ensured that all the arrangements worked really well. In general, we were very impressed by the guides, some of whom had Masters' degrees and who displayed profound knowledge of their subjects. The hotels were excellent, our favourite being the Oberoi Grand in Calcutta which combined professionalism of the highest order with genuine personal interest in individual guests. The hotel in Jaipur--Samode Haveli--upgraded our room; even if it had not done that, we enjoyed it so much that, if we were to return to India, we would look at spending a week there --if was very relaxing! Finally, one name that was mentioned wherever we went was that of James who seems to be held in great respect, almost reverence, by everyone who knows him. In general, we have had a really lovely, successful holiday and we are very grateful to James, to yourself [Catriona] and to all your staff and helpers for all you did to make it so very memorable.

Mr & Mrs O'Neil, India, April 2012

We had a wonderful holiday - thank you for all your advice and help. It's hard to say the highlight but Siem Reap and the temples are what remain in our memory. Ampersand gives the best advice at the best prices and the accommodation was good. Guides were all excellent and very efficient at sorting our Vietnamese visas. We tried some of your recommended restaurants and they were all good. One to add in Siem Reap is Cuisine Wat Damnak www.cuisinewatdamnak.com - French chef with Cambodian cuisine. Our guide took us to Pho Zooo in Ho Chi Min City for lunch. It was surprisingly good for a tourist place, possibly the best pho on the trip. I would recommend the boat trip to anyone - gentle way to see some of the remote areas of the country.

Mr & Mrs Eilon, Vietnam, Cambodia & Laos, Dec 2011

I want to thank you for your help and guidance in arranging this holiday. It was a pleasure to deal with the same person each time we phoned; and to have our calls returned promptly when you were not available. This personal touch was what made us choose Ampersand rather than the many other companies who arrange tours in the Far East.

Mr & Mrs Kosky, Bangkok, Vietnam & Cambodia, October 2011

The highlight was the Mekong Delta trip. We had a really great holiday and everything went very smoothly. Hung, in Hanoi, was particularly interesting. The recommended restaurants were good and we enjoyed the food - particularly the lunch we had in Hue. Thank you very much for your excellent service.

Mr & Mrs Black, Vietnam & Cambodia, October 2011

Many thanks for a lovely trip! La Residence d'Angkor was every bit as divine as I had expected - superb service, excellent food, gorgeous pool and beautiful room! Your recommendations for Siem Reap and Phnom Penh were spot on.

Mr Wakefield, Cambodia, October 2011

We felt that the tour was a great success. The guides/drivers were first class, nothing was too much trouble. The highlight of the trip was Hue.

Mr & Mrs Hills, Vietnam, September 2011
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Accolades

Named one of the Top 10 Super Agents by Financial Times

Voted best travel agent by Wallpaper*

Credited as Conde Nast Traveller’s Sri Lanka Guru in their Little Black Book, 'The Experts'

"James Jayasundera, the boss of Ampersand Travel, is awfully well connected and his tours are testament to his ruby-encrusted contacts book." – Sunday Times Travel Magazine

“There are a handful of regional access masters who have twin blessings of being profoundly well connected and gatekeepers offering insider experiences. They include James Jayasundera, whose reach in Sri Lanka is unparalleled.”   – Maria Shollenbarger, How To Spend It editor