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.

At Home at Highclere: Dining at the real Downton Abbey

At Home at Highclere: Dining at the real Downton Abbey

Highclere Castle, the 19th century home of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, is a jewel of English heritage. Lady Carnarvon is a historian and author, passionate about Highclere’s heritage, and has just written the fascinating story of entertaining at the great house entitled ‘At Home at Highclere’. Here she shares with us about the journey of the book and its inspirations...

Ampersand Travel Presents... Southern Africa!

Ampersand Travel Presents... Southern Africa!

You need to get a few things right to do what we do. Excellent ground handlers, an enviable contacts book, expert in-house consultants and frequent research trips are all key, but the crucial thing

Augusta’s Japan: My top 40 highlights on revisiting the Japanese archipelago

Augusta’s Japan: My top 40 highlights on revisiting the Japanese archipelago

I moved back home to England after studying for a year in Tokyo, and after a while I was longing to go back and immerse myself in Japan’s incredible culture, scenery and food. I’d missed the

Where to travel in 2018 based on your Zodiac Sign

Where to travel in 2018 based on your Zodiac Sign

Happy New Year! A new year, a new you and a whole new 12 months to travel and explore some of the world’s most exciting destinations. But what to choose, and where to begin? At Ampersand Travel we

Kalinko: A love affair with Burma

Kalinko: A love affair with Burma

Kalinko, a brand of ethically crafted textiles and homewares, was founded in Yangon by Londoner Sophie Garnier. Sophie works with a tribe called Ka-Lin-Kaw who are renowned for their weaving skills, and the collection comprises of linens, throws, beautifully cut garments, patterned cushions, all handmade on wooden looms. Here we get an insider glimpse into the land she now calls home…

Ashok Ferrey: My Sri Lanka

Ashok Ferrey: My Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is an island creative minds and artistic talents. Colombo-based Ashok Ferrey is one of its most celebrated contemporary authors, and his recent novel, The Ceaseless Chatter of Demons, wittily and irreverently portrays the Sri Lankan society in which Ferrey grew up and rebelled against in youth…

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

See how to say Merry Christmas in 26 different languages so you can spread the Christmas wishes and cheer to your friends and family around the world...

Southern Africa: Best month to travel

Southern Africa: Best month to travel

From beach escapes to wildlife safaris, wine tasting tours and whale watching expeditions, there are some truly exceptional travel experiences on offer in Southern Africa. But this vast and varied sub-continent contains some of the most disparate landscapes on earth…

Kathmandu: Insider's Guide

Kathmandu: Insider's Guide

Kathmandu is ‘the Queen of the Himalayas’. An intoxicating and ancient city, adorned with golden spires and fluttering prayer flags, truly friendly locals and a soaring mountain setting… She has risen from the ashes of the catastrophic earthquake of 2015 and is back on her feet with aplomb. Read our insider’s guide here…

Enticing Indonesia & Spectacular Singapore

Enticing Indonesia & Spectacular Singapore

Ellie recently spent two weeks exploring just a fraction of Indonesia’s 17,000 islands. Rich with diversity, it’s a melting pot of cultures, peoples, animals, customs, plants, sights, artworks and foods. Here we have compiled a selection of her most enticing photographs…


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

From our Instagram

‘Led by Buddhist monks, a butter lamp ceremony offers a guiding light to finding peace and harmony’ @sixsensesbhutan 🕯🕯🕯
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#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
A luxury holiday to #Goa feeds the soul and the senses 🇮🇳🌅
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Discover a kaleidoscope of baroque architecture, whitewashed churches, crumbling forts, tropical beaches, intoxicating spices and the warmth of #SouthIndia ⛪️☀️🌶
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#AmpersandTravel 
#LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Staying at the beautiful @GalOyaLodge means you will experience one of Sri Lanka’s lesser-known National Parks at its very best 🌿
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Take a boat safari here to see swimming elephants and a striking sunset 🐘🌅
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#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
From mid May to mid October, The Ultimate Travelling Camp’s wonderful #ChambaCamp in #Thiksey (#Ladakh) will be open! 🏞
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Our specialists stayed at this one-of-a-kind luxury tented camp last year and adored it - we guarantee that you will too 🏕
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#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Atmospheric rural villages, mirror-still lakes and gracious locals sum up #Myanmar (#Burma) for us 🌅
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📸 courtesy of @zayyarlin84
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#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
There are more colours to the #PinkCity than you may think... 🌸
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Walk the streets of #Jaipur, past the iconic #HawaMahal (Palace of the Winds), #CityPalace & #AmerFort passing a vivid spectrum of colours as you go 🌻🌹🌿
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#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
✨Beautiful Udaipur✨
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A pleasure palace built in the 1700s, the location for Octopussy and many a love story, @tajlakepalace is so magical, you can’t quite believe your eyes
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📸 @the_adventuresofus during their whirlwind tour of India 🧡🇮🇳
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#AmpersandTravel
#LuxuryIsInTheExperience
#Milaidhoo is magic at all hours - be it in broad daylight, at sunset or under a starry sky - as our General Manager @emilyjanegillman witnessed last week!🏝
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The ultimate beach destination, the #Maldives can easily top or tail a tailor-made Ampersand tour & makes for a perfect honeymoon 🇲🇻
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#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Peek into the Himalayan Kingdom of #Bhutan & discover its extraordinary natural beauty with us 🇧🇹
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Vibrant hues compliment earthy tones at every corner, especially within the hotly-anticipated #SixSensesBhutan lodges 🍂✨
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📸 captured by @jamesjayasundera along his @sixsensesbhutan journey
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#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience

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