Ampersand's Travels...

Welcome to Ampersand's travel blog. This is where you'll find out all the latest goings on from our travels across Asia, Southern Africa and the British Isles.

Our motto is that luxury is in the experience: watching tigers padding through the Kanha jungle in the company of an expert guide; camping out under the Ladakh stars wrapped in cashmere blankets; exploring the art galleries and fine dining restaurants in Cape Town; or explore the wild and ravishing highlands of Scotland... these are the things we adore.

All over Asia, Southern Africa and the British Isles – from Bhutan to Bali, Cape Town to Victoria Falls, Bath to Ballyvaughan – we know the most charming privately-owned hotels, the best secret beaches, the prettiest and castles, and the most exclusive safari trails in the untouched wilderness. Our Little Black Book contains the best textile buffs, the keenest foodies, the wittiest maharajas, the most expert guides and the loveliest spots to drink champagne in the moonlight.

But what we love most of all is revealing these treasures to our clients. In our blog we hope to inspire and inform you by providing the latest travel news, hotel openings and luxury holiday ideas across Asia, Southern Africa and the British Isles.

Geoffrey Bawa: An Island Visionary

Geoffrey Bawa: An Island Visionary

Sri Lanka is a paradise for lovers of architecture. The island is dotted with villas and bungalows set like jewels in sweeping gardens and plantations waiting to be explored. Many of these buildings were conceived by the man called ‘Sri Lanka’s greatest architect’, Geoffrey Bawa…

Heritage & Hindustan: Nathdwara, A Divine Art Form

Heritage & Hindustan: Nathdwara, A Divine Art Form

They say a picture describes a thousand words, and to the artists of the Hindu temple town of Nathdwara, art has been a traditional way of depicting sacred imagery of gods to countless illiterate worshippers over the centuries…

A Healing Land – Ayurveda in India

A Healing Land – Ayurveda in India

The term Ayurveda literally means life knowledge in Sanskrit, and Ayurvedic medicine, as practiced throughout India, is one of the oldest known medicines, being passed down the generations for over 2,000 years. Here we explore one of the oldest medical theories and the ancient wisdom behind it…

India Design Pavilion launched at the 10th Anniversary of London Design Festival

India Design Pavilion launched at the 10th Anniversary of London Design Festival

The annual London Design Festival brings together creative talent from across the globe. For the first time this year, emerging Indian design talents were also given a platform, and the Old Truman Brewery in Shoreditch was the site for ‘This is India’ Pavilion…

Lucknow – The City of Illusions & Princes

Lucknow – The City of Illusions & Princes

Dotted with British Raj–era buildings, home to two superb mausoleums and a fabulous culinary and arts scene, Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh caters well to history buffs, without attracting the hordes of tourists. We speak to Muzaffar Ali, Raja of Kotwara about Lucknow’s reputation as a city of culture...

Seasons of India on a Grand Scale

Seasons of India on a Grand Scale

India’s seasons lay claim to an array of colourful sights and sensational delights throughout the year. From hazy golden summer evenings in the Thar Desert to the dramatic swathes of monsoon rains sweeping the Assam hills, each month promises a spectacle to behold. Four of our favourite hotels describe their favourite time of year…

Taking it Izu: Stanley Stewart's search for Ancient Japan

Taking it Izu: Stanley Stewart's search for Ancient Japan

We organised the offbeat trip for celebrated travel journalist, Stanley Stewart. David writes about how he worked with Stanley to create a truly bespoke trip to the Izu Peninsula, a land of hot springs and empty coastal headlands, where hospitality traditions haven’t changed for 400 years…

David’s Shooting Star: Jews of Mumbai

David’s Shooting Star: Jews of Mumbai

India has ebbed and flowed with a kaleidoscope of races since time began and within this, the little-known Jewish community have a long and captivating story to tell. Their charming legacy, distinctly Levantine but infused with local colours, has been woven into Mumbai’s metropolis which was once a Jewish haven under British colonial rule...

Ladakh - Summer on the Silk Route

Ladakh - Summer on the Silk Route

A tiny mountain kingdom nestled in the Himalayas and annexed to the much larger Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh has been captivating the most intrepid travellers since the mists of time. Today it remains one of the most intact Tantric Buddhist societies on earth, both tranquil and otherworldly…

When and where can you see the Cherry Blossom in Japan?

When and where can you see the Cherry Blossom in Japan?

Japan’s cherry blossom season is one of the most iconic times of year to visit, often cited as a symbol of the transient nature of life. Here you can read about the best hotspots in the height of the season, and the more unusual spots which will see you dodging the crowds…


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
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
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
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
Ampersand’s details preparation, attention to detail and interaction before and during our trip show exactly why good travel agents have a role in today’s internet/direct booking age. Shalmali was a delight to work with – before and during our trip.
- Mr David Wallace, 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
We have been on expensive and luxurious holidays in the past, but the service and communication Ampersand has provided has far exceeded those offered by other agencies.
- Susan Ford, India

From our Instagram

Happy #Holi to all of you! 🇮🇳✨
.
‘Traditionally to welcome the coming of spring, this joyful festival is filled with colour, music, dancing and great energy’ @the_ampersander
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
The exhilarating city of #Tokyo has a world-renowned culinary scene & rightfully so! 🇯🇵
.
Be tempted to join ‘salarymen’ for an evening drink and #yakitori in restaurants and bar likes this 🏮🏮
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Our India specialists are off... ✈️
.
They’ll be whisked straight to the divine #TajLakePalace in #Udaipur upon arrival! 🇮🇳
.
Get in touch with us to stay at this heritage hotel, which has been a firm Ampersand favourite for years
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
All smiles in #Vietnam 🇻🇳
.
Courtesy of the brilliant portrait photographer @rehahn_photography
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Spot mighty lions in #SouthAfrica’s game reserves with the help of our expert guides 🐾 🇿🇦
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience #KrugerNationalPark #SabiSands #Madikwe
.
(📸 @chris_fischer_photography)
We’re dreaming of #Bali’s reflective sunsets today 🌅
.
Enjoy particularly striking views from @thelegianbali in #Seminyak
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Monks in #Myanmar (#Burma) 🇲🇲
.
Buddhism runs strong through the country’s veins - not only are 90% of the Burmese Buddhist, but many children are monks in training and call ancient monasteries home 🧘🏽‍♂️
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Set within an inviting oasis of elegant palms and eucalyptus trees, #Amanbagh stays true to its name 🍃(‘Peaceful garden’ in Sanskrit and Hindi) 🇮🇳
.
One of @jamesjayasundera’s favourite hotels in the world, #Ampersand believe that there’s no better place to enjoy rural #Rajasthan than this luxurious idyll
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Atmospheric rural villages, mirror-still lakes and gracious locals sum up #Myanmar (#Burma) for us 🌅
.
📸 courtesy of @zayyarlin84
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience

Let us keep you up to date

Sign up to our newsletter and never miss out on unmissable exclusive luxury experiences