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.

Ballyfin - A history & restoration of the ‘best hotel in the world’

Ballyfin - A history & restoration of the ‘best hotel in the world’

The heart of Ireland is often overlooked for its coastal counterparts with visitors flocking to the delights of West Cork and the rugged Connemara coast. However, within their green valleys and

Ampersand Little Black Book: Varana, Mayfair

Ampersand Little Black Book: Varana, Mayfair

Mayfair’s Dover Street welcomed the launch of artisanal luxury brand, Varana a year ago and the brand has quickly gained an international coterie of devotees. The three-floor boutique showcases a

Newly Opened ‘Japan House’ in Kensington – A Slice of Tokyo in London

Newly Opened ‘Japan House’ in Kensington – A Slice of Tokyo in London

Much to our delight, Japan House opened its gleaming doors to the public this weekend (23rd – 24th June 2018). We’ve been avidly awaiting this welcome addition to Kensington High Street and it has far

The Most LGBT-Friendly Cities in the UK

The Most LGBT-Friendly Cities in the UK

June is LGBT Pride Month, and to mark the occasion we have created a guide to the most LGBT-friendly cities in the UK.In our newly released Rainbow Cities Index, we have analysed multiple factors

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...

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...


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
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 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
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
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

From our Instagram

Happy #Holi to all of you! 🇮🇳✨
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‘Traditionally to welcome the coming of spring, this joyful festival is filled with colour, music, dancing and great energy’ @the_ampersander
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#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
We’re dreaming of #Bali’s reflective sunsets today 🌅
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Enjoy particularly striking views from @thelegianbali in #Seminyak
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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
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
In #Japan, the lesser-known plum tree (‘ume’ #梅) blossoms in February - March 🌺
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Visit at this time to admire these special flowers and beat the crowds that swarm the country during cherry blossom peak season 🌸
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#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Perched up high in the Himalayan Kingdom, the new #SixSenses lodges sit in prime positions in #Bhutan
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Our favourites are the sleek properties in #Paro and #Thimphu, for these offer phenomenal sweeping views over the pristine valleys below to the mountains beyond, which sit perfectly at eye-level
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#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Sunsets at the @gallefacehotel are the best welcome to #Colombo, especially when watching their flag ceremony from the iconic checkerboard terrace with a G&T in hand 🌅
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We also love the wonderful @maniumpathy_boutique_hotel, which is truly an oasis of tranquility within this city 🌿
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#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Don’t miss out on #Teardrop’s new boutique hotels while touring #SriLanka 🇱🇰
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Each sleek property brings a fresh twist to the traditional hill country - from #NineSkies in #Ella to #CamelliaHills in #Dickoya, plus #Goatfell in #NuwaraEliya 🍃
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#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
The mysterious allure of #Namibia never fails to draw us in 🇳🇦
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Misty layers, endless plains and silhouetted trees stretch as far as the eye can see
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#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience

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