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.

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…

What makes the Oberoi Hotels & Resorts so brilliant?

What makes the Oberoi Hotels & Resorts so brilliant?

What makes The Oberoi hotels so brilliant? It’s the exceptional service, genuine hospitality and a luxury environment as experienced by Lola on her recent trip to India hosted by the hotel group. Visiting Mumbai, Bangalore and Calcutta, Lola soon realised that this was a fabulous way to experience authentic, Indian hospitality…

My First Impressions Of India

My First Impressions Of India

Our brand new Sri Lanka specialist, Lola, has just returned from her very first trip to India. Having been bought up listening to her grandfather’s stories from the 1940s when he was living in Bombay, her expectations were sky high and her excitement uncontrollable. Read about her first impressions of this wild and frenetic country…

10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Japan Now

10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Japan Now

Catriona has just returned from an introductory tour of Japan, taking in the iconic sights and must see highlights, travelling from Hiroshima to Tokyo. Here she lists her top ten reasons for why you should jump on a plane right now and visit Japan…

A Complete Visitors Guide to the Terracotta Warriors

A Complete Visitors Guide to the Terracotta Warriors

The Terracotta Army is one of the most spectacular archaeological discoveries of the modern era. Quietly lying undiscovered for over 2,000 years, until its accidental discovery in 1974, the 8,000 strong army protect their Emperor. Read our complete visitors guide to the Terracotta Warriors, with everything you need to know about this ancient archaeological site...

Hampi: A world of rocks and ruins, carnivals and carvings

Hampi: A world of rocks and ruins, carnivals and carvings

Ellie and James visited Hampi on an intense recce of the area, leaving no stone unturned and exploring the ancient UNESCO World Heritage Site. The jewel in the crown of the famed Vijayanagara Empire, 14th century ruins of the city scatter the landscape telling the magnificent story of a bygone and glorious era…

What brings you to Bhubaneshwar?

What brings you to Bhubaneshwar?

Arriving in Bhubaneshwar after a whirlwind of colour and noise in Varanasi, was like landing into a different country. With wide spacious streets and one of the cleanest cities in India, it is a very laid-back and friendly place. But the very welcoming locals wanted to know what had brought us to Bhubaneshwar?...


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
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
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
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
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
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
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

From our Instagram

Treat yourself to a stay in #Amangalla - the stately grand dame of #GalleFort while in Sri Lanka 🇱🇰
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Not only will you step into a bygone era here, but you’ll also have all the surrounding sights right on your doorstep 🏰
☀️ Hazy sunlight bathing the #TempleOfTheTooth in #Kandy 🇱🇰
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Beautifully captured by @pradeep_gamage 📸
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#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
@jamesjayasundera is currently in the Himalayan Kingdom of #Bhutan surrounded by striking views like this 🏔🏔🏔
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Follow his journey to catch exclusive glimpses into the brand new, thoughtfully-designed @sixsensesbhutan & more... 🇧🇹
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#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Intense colours of #India are the perfect antidote to the Monday blues 🇮🇳🌺🌼
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Our India specialists are gearing up for a research trip to #Rajasthan - covering #Udaipur, #Jodhpur, #Nagaur, #Jaipur, #Ajabgarh, #Ranthambore, #Agra & #Delhi
✨Ampersand’s ‘Top 10 Swimming Pools’ hotlist - 2019 ✨
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Check our TOP TEN'S #Highlights to be tempted to dive into the hottest hotels’ new pools, as well as some of our firm old favourites across Asia... 🏊🏻‍♂️💧
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#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
🎌 Hot off the press - #AmanKyoto is set to open at the end of this year (November 2019) & we can’t wait! 🎌
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Located in a secret garden behind the Golden Temple #Kinkakuji, this new property will offer a secluded retreat in the ancient Imperial city complete with beautifully-designed interiors by the celebrated #KerryHillArchitects
Travel to #Burma (#Myanmar) with us to be welcomed by  friendly locals like the ‘longneck’ Kayan (also known as Padaung) 🇲🇲
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#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
You’re bound to meet friendly locals like these in #Vietnam 🇻🇳
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Tour this wonderful country with us to immerse yourself in its energy, sweeping landscapes & fascinating history
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#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Travel with us to spot elephants 🇿🇦🐘🐘🐘
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You can see these gentle giants in all of our Southern Africa destinations: #Botswana #Namibia #Mozambique #Zambia & #Zimbabwe
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#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience

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