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, 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.

Do like the Japanese do… in a traditional Ryokan spa retreat

Do like the Japanese do… in a traditional Ryokan spa retreat

Ampersand adores ryokans. Literally translated as ‘traveller’s inn’, these havens of relaxation offer so much more than a place to rest one’s head. Sumptuous 'kaiseki', hot spring 'onsen' baths, manicured gardens and more...

Beautiful Bhutan: A Himalayan Kingdom

Beautiful Bhutan: A Himalayan Kingdom

Ellie has just returned from beautiful Bhutan, the Buddhist kingdom on the Himalayas’ eastern fringes. She spent a week gallivanting and exploring the very best this breath-taking county has to offer; from monasteries and fortresses, to dzongs and dramatic landscapes that range from subtropical plains to steep mountains and valleys. Here are her top highlights in a photoblog of her journey…

Insider View: Pondicherry

Insider View: Pondicherry

Pondicherry is charming coastal city with a distinct Indo-Mediterranean flavour. Pastel-coloured houses, friendly locals and stylish boutiques are prevalent in this unhurried sun-drenched haven. Our insider guide seeks out some of the most special corners of Pondicherry to experience this unique destination like a true local…

Dining Al Fresco: 10 of London’s Best

Dining Al Fresco: 10 of London’s Best

Summertime is when London takes it outside. Michelin starred restaurants, family-run cafés and glittering bars. There’s so much to choose from that it helps to know where look for the best outdoor hot spots. Here's our al fresco dining guide of London’s ten best outdoor eating options...

Insider India: Meeting Mallika Ahluwalia, Co-Founder of the Partition Museum, Amritsar

Insider India: Meeting Mallika Ahluwalia, Co-Founder of the Partition Museum, Amritsar

The Partition Museum has opened in the formerly derelict town hall of Amritsar, and tells the stories of the millions whose lives were impacted by the 1947 partition. We met with Mallika Ahluwalia, the museum co-founder and guiding spirit to find out more about the vision of the new museum…

Ampersand Anecdotes: The Spy Princess

Ampersand Anecdotes: The Spy Princess

Noor Inayat Khan was an Indian princess and a secret agent. She was the unsung heroine of World War Two and her story is one of astonishing courage and sacrifice. In our latest Ampersand Anecdote read about the history of this fascinating woman, and see how both her life and legacy are still influential today…

10 Japanese Cultural Concepts

10 Japanese Cultural Concepts

Japanese culture is complex and distinctive. Often visualised as an anthill society, buzzing with the advancements of technology and a population boom. However, many traditional values of Japan still underpin the culture, with a profound appreciation of nature and the simple life. Here are 10 concepts which are at the core of Japanese culture…

Top 10 Things to do in Ireland

Top 10 Things to do in Ireland

After enjoying a glorious 10-day research trip across Ireland, Ampersand’s MD, James Jayasundera has distilled his findings into a hit list of 10 unmissable experiences...

Insider View: Kolkata

Insider View: Kolkata

Kolkata, the old capital of British India is steeped in history and rich in stories. Old colonial mansions and crumbling relics of the Raj are still evident, but the city is now acknowledged as a powerhouse of the arts. In our insider’s view, we have handpicked some of our favourite insider to experience ‘Cal’ like a true local…

Everything You Need to Know about Visiting The Imperial Palace in Tokyo

Everything You Need to Know about Visiting The Imperial Palace in Tokyo

The Tokyo Imperial Palace is the primary residence of the Emperor of Japan. Located in the heart of the pulsating city, this haven proves to be the highly valuable privacy the Japanese royal family crave. In this mini-guide to visiting the Imperial Palace, you will learn about the best times to visit and more…


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
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 thought the Ampersand team was outstanding. We couldn’t have hoped for anything more.
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, 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
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 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
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
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

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