The Acoustic Healer [PORTER Spa Special]


Siddha and Sound Spa Program, Svatma, Tamil Nadu, India

This holistic spa harnesses ancient techniques from the temple-rich region of Thanjavur in southern India. You can go as spiritually deep as you like, with sound healing, yoga and meditation on tap, chanting with a Vedanta priest, astrology readings, and plenty of treatments led by reiki master, Beni Kikon. …Read More

Asia & India Ocean [Tatler]


Dreamy tropical archipelagos, eco-chic hideaways and butlers on call.

Wild Coast Tented Lodge, Yala National Park, Sri Lanka

Surreally beautiful, this safari camp is made up of 28 ‘cocoons’ scattered across a jungly plot in the buffer zone next to Yala National Park that crumbles into a thick strip of golden dunes and wave-bashed coastline. With their steel exoskeletons and porthole windows, the chrysalis- and teardrop-shaped cocoons are appealingly bonkers, their effect entirely UFO. Inside, the theme is industrial explorer: copper-pipe washstands and bathtubs from Jaipur, teak floorboards, Turkish rugs and leather campaign chairs. The owner operators, Resplendent Ceylon, know how to make an impression, whether that’s the shingled, boulder-shaped dining room with infinity pool where suppers of fish curry are served, or the private, crowd-free Yala game drives for leopard or sloth-bear sightings. This is Sri Lanka, which means safari is only one of the attractions: there’s blue-whale spotting in offshore channels, and an important Hindu site down the road – reached by car, avoiding the elephants crossing the road. …Read More

Might and Magic [SUITCASE Magazine]


Navigating Indonesia’s remote Banda Islands in the slipstream of spice-greedy colonialists reveals a land that time forgot. Words by Imogen Lepere, photos by Billy Bolton

With the right wind you’ll smell the Banda Islands before you see them. Also known as the Spice Islands, this archipelago of ten volcanic eruptions in the remote backwaters of the East Indies is so small that modern-day cartographers often overlook it. Yet in the 17th century, Portugal, Britain and Holland fought over them bitterly, for their mineral-rich soil nurtures a fragrant secret. They were the only place in the world where nutmegs grew, a spice once worth more than gold because of its exotic romantic flavour and the fact that it was rumoured to cure the plague. In those days money quite literally grew on trees for those prepared to overcome shipwrecks, warring tribes and tropical diseases to claim the spice. …Read More

To the Manor Drawn [The Mr Porter Post]


Hotels: so old fashioned. The new thing is renting an entire stately home, servants and all. Words by Mr Samuel Muston

Waking up in the Duke of Serbelloni’s bedroom is a singular experience. Like emerging from sleep and finding yourself in a dream done by Mr Franco Zeffirelli. The sun makes its slow, inching progress across the pontiff-red silk on the walls. There is a writing desk to my right, strewn with silver, which looks like it has been borrowed from a doge; two Empire-gilt mirrors either side of the bed; and across from this aristocratic assemblage, the main event: the shimmering lake and boats of Como, the beetling crag behind it lit by sunlight that flows in through the windows. All is well in this particular square footage of the world. …Read More

The Hot New Bucket List [Grazia, Luxe Issue]


Where can you go for an out-of-this-world adventure? Here, we present the dreamiest destinations…

The Temple Experience

Once one of Myanmar’s most glorious kingdoms, Bagan was home to over 10,000 temples, pagodas and monasteries, built between the 19th and 13th centuries AD. Today, 2,000 of these historic sites remain and make for awe-inspiring scenic views – their tapering spires stretch out across the vast plain, creating mesmerising silhouettes against the horizon. Some glint golden in the sunshine, while others peek out from beneath the copses of palm and tamarind trees. Most are very well-preserved, having been restored by UNESCO, with many containing intricate frescoes and carvings, as well as statues of the Buddha in various sizes. Unlike Cambodia’s Angkor Wat, which is now hugely crowded with tourists, Bagan is still relatively free of visitors; step inside the tranquil stupas (Buddhist monuments) and be enveloped by the otherworldly atmosphere. Explore this magical site by foot, bicycle or even horse and cart. Or take to the skies in a hot-air balloon – floating above the temples is a truly unforgettable experience. While you can explore on your own, the government is currently restricting access to some temples, so a tour is recommended …Read More

Travel Gems [Advantage Magazine]


Whether you’re looking for a private jet food tour or an adrenaline-filled yachting expedition, here is a round up of our top suggestions around the work to inspire your inner traveller…

Intimate Group Tours in 5 Unique Countries, by Ampersand Travel

Ampersand Travel thrives un creating luxurious, tailor-made journeys. For their new experiential travel collection launch, small groups are invited to “Seven Unusual Escorted Journeys”, a selection of new destinations ranging from medieval Irish castles to family-run farmhouses in South Africa. Ampersand Travel’s experts on the ground are renowned in the area, which is exactly the case for their tour of Rajasthan, taking place during India’s iconic festival – The Festival of Lights. Writer and South Asia specialist and social maestro Cosmo Brockway will take guests from Udaipur to Delhi, exploring the “Venice of the East”, drinking expertly mixed cocktails at the City Palace, sailing across Lake Pichola for a candlelit dinner and of course a nights stay in Delhi’s Taj Mahal Hotel …Read More

Broadening Horizons [FT How To Spend It}


Wander woman Maria Shollenbarger fast-tracks international intelligence on where to be and what to see...

James Grace Jayasundera, the founder of Ampersand Travel, is the go-to resource for all things Sri Lanka for those in the know - but his outfit's reach, and know-how, hardly begin and end there. Witness an intriguing new Ampersand itinerary that explores the Himalayan region of Ladakh later this summer, and for which a few places still remain...camping under the stars at 3,500m, trekking across high desert plains, paying dawn visits to monasteries and rafting along the Indus River, before journeying up to the mystical Nubra Valley to immerse in local village life ...Read More

Hyper Hyper [Conde Nast Traveller]


Shanghai is a neon-lit mash-up of old and new, a Blade Runner boom town where futuristic towers loom over Victorian Gothic landmarks in a country that has built more skyscrapers than any other every year for almost a decade... By Steve King

Megacity? Oh, no. You must think bigger. Shanghai is one of the world's dozen or so hypercities - those with a population in excess of 20 million. It might actually be the biggest, the hypermost city of all. Depends on who you ask and how they're counting. Truth to tell, nobody knows for sure how big Shanghai is. Twenty-six million people? Twenty-eight? Thirty? More? Well, if it isn't quite that big today, it will be tomorrow. Likewise the physical space it occupies, already greater than that of many nations, is continuously expanding. Even from the air, you can't make out its boundaries ...Read More

Into The Blue [PORTER Magazine]


Pure Shores: Set sail on a voyage of discovery to PORTER's most sensational ocean villas...

Surfer's Paradise... Once upon a time, there was a New Jersey adventurer called Claude Graves, who, in the way of the free-spirited, washed up on wild shores of Sumba Island in the late 1980s. There, along with his wife Petra, they founded and built Nihiwatu, an 11-shack surfer's paradise that gained a cult following. Claude is still part of Nihi, now Nihi Sumba Island; indeed, you can even rent their cottage, part of the 28-villa enclave that has been re-imagined to take it out of hippy surf-shack mode. Happily, the original ethos and natural beauty remain. Here, you can surf, of course, ride the fabled Sumba horses bareback down the beach, take 'floating yoga' classes at dusk, relax with alfresco NihiOka Spa treatments and indulge at the sandside barbecues. Guests are encouraged to engage with the culture and conservation of the island; and the knowledgeable staff are mainly from neighbouring tribes. It also helps that, despite Nihi's vast 567 acres, only 15 percent is ever allowed to be developed. Mamole Tree House, which sleeps six, is designed around the huge trunk of an ironwood tree and conceived in the Nihi spirit of sustainable, rustic luxury - it's the perfect spot for extraordinary views of the Indian Ocean surf. Catherine Fairweather ...Read More 

Trailing the Teardrop Island [Country & Town House]


Follow Fiona Duncan’s graceful ten-point trail across the tea gardens and surfing beaches of Sri Lanka.

Shaped like a teardrop, Sri Lanka is stunningly beautiful, mainly Buddhist and ‘India lite’: it’s so much easier to travel here than in India. It’s safe, friendly and remarkably hassle-free, full of nature, culture, smiling faces and charming people, a beautiful, serene, slow-paced island nation all of its own …Read More

Pink Sand [FT Weekend Magazine]


Exotic Escapes – 50 Fabulous Beach Holidays for 2018

Number #1 The Andaman Islands, India

This remote archipelago in the Bay of Bengal is most people’s idea of a tropical paradise, with coral-ringed beaches, mangrove creeks and crystal-clear waters, yet it has stayed under the radar due to poor flight connections and lack of luxury accommodation. That’s all set to change with the recent expansion of flights to the islands’ main gateway Port Blair (from Delhi, Mumbai. Hyderabad, Chennai and Kolkata) and the opening last month of a Taj Exotica Resort & Spa on the island of Havelock. Surrounded by jungle (the owners boast that not a single tree was felled during the construction) and overlooking Radhanagar beach, the resort has 72 villas, which pay homage to the style of the indigenous Jarawa tribe’s pitch-roofed stilted huts. Butlers are on hand to arrange island excursions, snorkelling, scuba diving and kayaking through the mangroves …Read More

Out of this World [PORTER Magazine]


Paradise Found

From the evergreen, spiritual epicentre of Ubud to the cultural hinterlands at the foot of the sacred Mount Agung in the east and the newly anointed hotspot of Canggu in the south – a surfers’ dream where the young and beautiful come to play – Catherine Fairweather celebrates everything the Indonesian island of Bali has to offer…

I arrive in Bali in the weeks of festivities that follow Nyepi – The Day of Silence, a public holiday when electric lights are dimmed and bonfires forbidden, and even the airport shuts down, so that the islanders can concentrate on prayer, fasting and meditation – although, legend has it, the shutdown is to fool any evil spirit flying overhead into thinking that Bali is a deserted island …Read More

20 Places To Sleep Before You Die [Country & Town House]


Whether it’s fort he sublimity of the bedroom, the view, the food, the environment or the whole package, our panel of experts choose the places to put on your wish list… by Fiona Duncan

Thotalagala Plantation House

Stay here and step back in time at Sir Thomas Lipton’s beautiful 1890 Damatenne tea plantation, balanced on the edge of an escarpment in Hill Country, with spectacular views. At Thotalagala (a handsome bungalow built for his manager) lounging on the terrace, by the pool, or in the panelled library feels like the best sort of house party. You won’t want to leave …Read More

Enchanted Wood [Condé Nast Traveller]


Aman has a reputation for being one of the most exceptional hotel groups around, so how does a thousand-year-old Chinese forest fir into its latest project? By Steve King

‘A culture is no better that its woods,’ WH Auden declared. I am inclined to agree, though I wonder whether, in his flush of pleasure at having produced such a tidy epigram, the tree-hugging poet was giving short shrift to those cultures that, through no fault of their own, have had to make do without an abundance of greenery. …Read More

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Client Testimonials

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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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

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