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…