This side of Paradise [Harper’s Bazaar]


Sri Lanka has long lured writers and travellers to explore its exotic landscapes and colonial charms… By Justine Picardie

Legend has it that the isle of Sri Lanka is 40 miles from the Garden of Eden; so close, according to a 14th century European traveller, ‘’tis said the sound of the waters falling from the fountain of Paradise is heard there’. Such is its allure that everyone I know who has ever explored this teardrop-shaped island – including my husband, who went in 2003, during a ceasefire in the civil war that afflicted Sri Lanka for more than a quarter of a century – described it as a truly enchanting place, despite its history and conflict. Hence my husband’s long-held desire to return, accompanied by me, to discover if the magic he remembered had survived the rise of mass tourist. …Read More

Beach Boltholes [Ultratravel]


Andaman Islands - The one to watch for 2018. By Francesca Syz

They say the Andaman Islands, in the Bay of Bengal, are a sort of “India light”. They’ve got all this exoticism – it’s a union territory of India but geographically closer to Myanmar and Thailand, populated by Tamils, Bengalis and the indigenous Jarawa tribe – but none of the hassle. Plus heavenly, empty beaches, one of the richest coral eco-systems in the world and, for now at least, a genuine sense of seclusion. …Read More

Goa [The Sunday Times Travel Magazine]


It’s been 30 years since he was last there, but Nick Redman’s back, in search of the sleepy nirvana of his youth…

Through the car windscreen their blissed-out faces said it all. As the couple driving towards us along the bumpy track, we waved. The driver wound down her window, and delivering vital beach directions, confirmed it: ‘You’re going to pa-ra-dise.’ Little Cola beach fitted the brief: a frill of palms in a far hill, a baby-sigh of surf, yogic murmurings from the group at the inevitable shabby-chic glampsite. Nirvana in a nutshell. Reports of Goa’s demise? Greatly exaggerated… …Read More

A Foot in Both Camps [How To Spend It]


Betwixt dense palm jungle and pounding ocean surf, Charlotte Sinclair finds southern Sri Lanka’s charms singing out – and gets a first look at a remarkable tented camp, complete with leopard prints on the beach

“The very last thing I wanted to do was open a hotel in Yala,” says Malik Fernando with a hopeless grin as we sit in the entrance of Wild Coast Tented Lodge, the safari resort he – nevertheless – has built at the edge of Yala National Park, on Sri Lanka’s southeast coast. “I thought the park was too commercial,” he continues, “but I picked a plot anyway. It was only when I got here that I completely fell in love.” …Read More

Fortune Kooky [The Sunday Times Travel Magazine]


Hong Kong isn’t all futuristic high-rises and modern finance. It’s a strange, ancient city too – of gambling, gifts to the gods, and powdered gecko, said to cure asthma.

By Stanley Stewart

Hong Kong has two identities, the yin and the yang of oriental philosophy. Behind the shiny steel-and-glass towers of this sophisticated international city, there beats a very traditional Chinese heart. In the back alleys, away from the multinational offices and shopping malls of global brands, is a society with ancient roots, obsessed with omens and portents, and wildly imaginative about medical practices. …Read More

The Honeymoon [Wedding Ideas]


Change of Scenery: Why limit yourself to one honeymoon when you could have two? Here’s how to pair destinations for a match made in heaven on your dual-centre honeymoon…

Cape Town & Safari
Cape View Clifton is Cape Town’s most enchanting guesthouse, providing the prefect honeymoon destination with Clifton 7, a deluxe private apartment ideal for honeymooners. The spectacular views looking over the Atlantic Ocean, Twelve Apostles and Camps Bay are enough to make any stay unforgettable. A short domestic flight away, in the Singita Kruger National Park, is Singita Sweni Lodge. This sanctuary offers seven suites, hidden in the trees, plus a new two-suite villa with a private pool. With its close proximity to water, honeymooners at Singita Sweni Lodge will be treated to exceptional up-close sightings of the varied wildlife that wanders down to drink or wallow in the river. Singita offers walking safaris, game drives, stargazing safaris and more, plus the Singita Bush Spa, a tranquil haven of quiet space with extraordinary views. ...Read More

The Telegraph Travel Awards 2017 [Ultratravel]


Tell us what’s important to you as a traveller by completing this year’s survey, and you could win one of 20 bespoke luxury holiday experiences, in total worth more that £650,000

The Telegraph Travel Awards 2017 are your opportunity to highlight the tour operators, destinations and trips that consistently surprise and delight you. Our awards are the most trusted in the industry, voted for entirely by you, the readers of The Telegraph, who are among the most experienced and discerning travellers. In return for your time and expertise, we are delighted to offer you the opportunity to win one of 20 amazing experiences, from a luxury journey through New Zealand (frequently voted your favourite country) to a no-expense-spared tour of India, a luxury ski-chalet stay for 12 people, or private-jet travel for a year. ...Read More

State of tranquillity [The Sunday Times Travel]


Beyond the chaotic tour-bus circuit is a Rajasthan still rooted in quiet rural tradition. Stanley Stewart finds peace among serpent gods and shepherds.

They call it godhulivela in Hindi. The hour of the cow dust: day’s end, when long shadows rake across the fields and shepherds herd their cattle and sheep homeward. Silhouetted against the sun, the shepherds are iconic figures with their long crooks, white robes and outlandish red turbans. I was following them home to their village, in the cooling afternoon, along a lane in Rajasthan, breathing in the aromas of the country: cattle, wood-smoke, sage. This is the rural India I have come to find, a place where days are measured by the coming and going of the cows. …Read More

Far from the madding crowd [Times LUXX]


A romantic boat for two and a new forest sanctuary from which to escape Bali’s hordes. By Susan D’Arcy.

I am in a gazebo suspended over a pristine rainforest valley. Jasmine perfumes the air and butterflies flap their lemon-coloured wings languidly in the tropical heat, coming so close that I could reach out and touch them. An ancient waterway provides the rhythm for my unplugged soundtrack, birdsong adds the melody, while somewhere way down, and well hidden, the mighty Pakerisan river plays bass. It is blissful, so please don’t listen to doom-mongers – Bali isn’t ruined. …Read More

Island Style [New York Times]


After a decade of peace, Sri Lanka is South Asia’s most daring design destination. By Stacie Stukin

Sri Lanka conjures images of heavenly sunsets, fisherman gracefully balancing on stilts and feel-good moments of Buddhist Zen. Yet for many, the devastation of the 25-year civil war and the 2004 tsunami kept the Indian Ocean island off itineraries. Now, new resorts and tourists are bringing the island (formerly Ceylon) back into focus …Read More

Seventh Heaven [Oracle Time Magazine]


Holidays should always be a time of joy, but sometimes you just need to go that extra mile and spend that extra pound to make the occasion extra-memorable. Here, we select the most fabulous, extravagant, unforgettable holiday packages in the world, so there’s no chance of you ever saying, “Where did we go again?”

As wonderful as Presidential Suites are, they just don’t compare to real life palaces. Unfortunately, royal residences are usually closed to the public. Not so with this lavish package, appropriately titled “King of the Castle”, which allows lucky guests exclusive use of three of India’s most fabled estates: the Lake Palace in Udaipur (the set of Octopussy), Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur and Rambagh Palace in Jaipur. Strut around your personal palace and try not to think about the princely price tag – or about how you’ll ever go back to real life again …Read More

Vanity Fair on Travel [Vanity Fair]


“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list…” Susan Sontag. Victoria Mather rounds up the best of travel in 2017.

Hurrah! Yippee! Calcutta is the city we forget when exploring India. The first hits are Delhi, Rajasthan and Mumbai, yet Calcutta is magnificent …Read More

Ibiza-style beach vibe comes to Sri Lanka [The Times]


Hip new hotels on the island's southern coast make a great base for exploring... By Louise Roddon

It’s dawn off the southern tip of Sri Lanka and I’m bobbing about in a two-tiered boat when something rather thrilling happens. Until now the Indian Ocean off Mirissa Beach has stayed calm, but as the sun rises, the silvered sea parts to the curved back of an enormous blue whale. Out is arcs, sleek and smooth, roiling the water before disappearing with a final slap from his anchor-shaped fluke …Read More

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Client Testimonials

So many highlights to choose from! The hotels were amazing but Maya Villa was a highlight… I loved just hanging out in the hammock reading my book and watching the peacocks chase the cows!
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
I would recommend Ampersand without any hesitation!!! The best travel agent that I’ve ever had. Everything – from the individual care and attention in planning the trip, through to the efficiency of the agents on the ground in India – was handled brilliantly. An absolutely first-class service all round!
- Matthew Annable, Rajasthan, India
Ampersand provided a bespoke and flexible holiday, tailored to my every whim. Their highly professional staff had only one goal which was to arrange an exceptional holiday and some unforgettable experiences in India. I have no hesitation in fully recommending them and they will be the first company I approach in the future - 10/10
- Anonymous, India
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
I thought the Ampersand team was outstanding. We couldn’t have hoped for anything more.
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
Without question, you put together the best trip I have ever taken. We were 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
We had a wonderful holiday - everything was perfect. Thank you for helping us to make a thoughtful plan to enjoy and make most out of our trip. The places we visited, the guides, the transportation and driver, the hotels selected... Everything was great!
- Jaime Benitez, South India
Ampersand’s preparation, attention to detail and interaction before and during our trip show exactly why good travel agents have a role in today’s internet booking age. They were a delight to deal with!
- Mr David Wallace, North India
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
Everything you did for us whilst we were away was hugely appreciated, and Ampersand has been exemplary in every way. I'll always recommend you!
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka

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