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.

Japanese Art & the Courtesan

Japanese Art & the Courtesan

The Japanese culture throughout the ages, has attached ceremony to every part of life. No element was allowed to descend into mundane squalor or ugliness that pervaded western societies. This sense of

Ampersand's Little Black Book: A Design Tour of South Africa

Ampersand's Little Black Book: A Design Tour of South Africa

South Africa is a country in the midst of one of the most exciting design evolutions on earth. Having languished for many years as a cultural backwater due to the political and socio-economic

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

Ampersand's Bespoke Cultural Tours: The Pearls of Punjab & Mumbai

Ampersand's Bespoke Cultural Tours: The Pearls of Punjab & Mumbai

Ampersand’s bespoke cultural tours with Cosmo Brockway was launched recently with a trip to India to visit the magical destinations of Punjab and Mumbai. An intimate group of ‘Ampersand-ites’, led by

Ampersand Culture: India Design ID Fair 2018

Ampersand Culture: India Design ID Fair 2018

Delhi is a city full of 'happenings' with a thriving arts, literary and design scene attracting the brightest talent from across the country. From the stunning exhibitions,

Southern Africa: Best Properties for Design, Art, Wildlife, Beach & Deserts!

Southern Africa: Best Properties for Design, Art, Wildlife, Beach & Deserts!

Here we pick our favourite properties in Southern Africa, starting with our top pick for design-lovers: the extraordinary Matetsi River Lodge near Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe

Revisiting Japan: Our top 20 highlights

Revisiting Japan: Our top 20 highlights

After moving back home to England after studying in Tokyo for a year, I was longing to go back to immerse myself in Japan’s incredible culture, scenery and food.

Henry Wilson – A tribute to a man who truly loved India

Henry Wilson – A tribute to a man who truly loved India

Henry Wilson was a much loved photographer, author and textile designer, known for his deep love and knowledge of India. Through his books and photographs, he bought India’s mysterious style to life and devoted a large part of his life to bringing his subject to an international audience. Here we remember the man, genius and Indophile behind the lens…

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…

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…


Client Testimonials

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 would recommend Ampersand without any hesitation!!! The best travel agent that I’ve ever had dealings with. Everything – from the individual care and attention in helping to plan the trip, through to the efficiency of the agents on the ground in India – was handled brilliantly. An absolutely first-class service all round.
- Matthew Annable, Rajasthan, India
I thought the Ampersand team was outstanding. We couldn’t have hoped for anything more.
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
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
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
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
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 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

From our Instagram

As the year begins to draw in, here at Ampersand HQ we've been thinking about where our adventures in 2020 will be, but where will be yours? 🌍
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Will it be on the soft white sand beaches of #Cambodia @songsaaprivateisland, indulging in the colourful cuisine of #Vietnam, rejuvenating at @vanajourney, #India, hiding away beneath the #okavangodelta or exploring the endless shrines and Temples found in #Japan...
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It's never too early to start planning! For inspiration, get in touch with one of our experts today to start your 2020 adventure.
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#AmpersandTravel
#LuxuryIsInTheExperience
"They've spotted us!" 🦒 #OkavangoDelta in #Botswana
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One of the most sought-after wilderness destinations in the world. Reigning over 15,000 Square kilometers of land - there's no wonder that its home to 200 different species of mammals!
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If you'd like to be in with the chance of spotting one of these for yourselves, get in touch to start planning your safari adventure! 📸 @ravalli1 @mlabgol @mo_naser 
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Beautiful #Bhutan has topped the @lonelyplanet #BestinTravel list as the top country to visit in 2020 🇧🇹🐉
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Soaring mountains are blanketed with evergreen forests and dotted with Buddhist temples, valleys are sliced by glacial rivers and the piney air is delicious and clean.
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It is already the world’s only carbon-negative country, and the kingdom is set to become the first fully organic nation by 2020, so it’s only going to get more beautiful 🏔 ✨
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Travel to with us to Bhutan & discover its extraordinary natural beauty.
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#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Glide down #ThePerfumeRiver to experience #Hue’s scenery, passing mausoleums as you go 🍃🌿
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📸 Beautifully captured by @soaipham
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#Vietnam #AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Our Africa Specialist captured these memorable moments during their recent stay at @matetsivictoriafalls 🦓🐘
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A beautifully designed Safari Lodge set in a vast private reserve along the Zambezi River banks. The perfect stay close to Victoria Falls, post or pre African Safari ✨
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To see more, check out our 'on location' highlight to follow our journey!
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#AmpersandTravel
#LuxuryIsInTheExperience
As you travel through #Cambodia’s countryside you’re bound to come across some friendly faces like these! 🧡
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If you’d like to go off the beaten track in this wonderful country and meet some lovely locals along the way, then please get in touch!
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📸 @alesmartan
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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
Today marks #InternationalTigerDay & we couldn’t be happier that #India’s wild tiger population now touches almost 3,000! 🐅🐅🐅
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If you’d like to catch glimpses of these magnificent creatures during a tailor-made tour with us, then please get in touch!
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📸 @wildmanrouse
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#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Wander through the bustling fruit and vegetable markets in #Pondicherry to experience the true essence of #TamilNadu 🇮🇳🥬🍎
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Follow our stories for live updates!
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#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience

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Condé Nast Top Travel Specialist Award 2019
Condé Nast Readers Choice Award 2019