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

5 Unmissable Experiences in North India

5 Unmissable Experiences in North India

It is easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer variety of enticing activities on offer in North India, but fortunately our specialists have done the hard work for you and scoured the region in search of the crème de la crème. See below for our top five…

Ampersand's Unusual Escorted Tours for 2019

Ampersand's Unusual Escorted Tours for 2019

Nothing creates a bond than experiencing an unfamiliar setting and culture in the spirit of adventure and fun. As the world gets increasingly more digitally connected people are in fact seeking

24 Hours in Luang Prabang, Laos

24 Hours in Luang Prabang, Laos

If you are seeking a relaxed pace of life and a warm welcome, there’s no better place than Laos; golden temples, saffron-robed monks, rusty old bicycles meandering down crumbling colonial boulevards, and a scattering of river islands upon the mighty Mekong River. Follow our whistle-stop guide for a magical 24 hours in Luang Prabang…

A Southeast Asia Photo Diary

A Southeast Asia Photo Diary

My love affair with Southeast Asia began with annual childhood escapades to Thailand, however I had never managed to venture beyond the borders of The Land of Smiles, until a recent research trip led me to neighbouring Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.

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

Varanasi: The holiest of holy cities

Varanasi: The holiest of holy cities

Varanasi is a place that is described as ‘intense’ by those who visited it, but what the holiest of holy cities is really like in the flesh? Ellie describes her experiences exploring the frantic city made up of ancient narrow back lanes where life, death, and everything in between, come into contact...


Client Testimonials

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

From our Instagram

'Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever' 🙏
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Today, 2nd October 2019, marks 150 years of celebrating Mahatma Gandhi's birthday. The celebration of Gandhi Jayanti is observed in India as a national holiday, where ceremonies and tributes are conducted across the nation.
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If you would like to celebrate this special time of year in India, do get in touch and let us help you plan a trip for 2020. 🇮🇳
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📸 @whatbaublenext_sam
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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
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
✨Please vote for us!✨
*Link in Bio*
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For the top Tour Operators & Specialists in the  #CondéNastTraveler #ReadersChoiceAwards #2019
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Only 5 Days left!
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#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
🇮🇳Reminiscent of a French village, with its bright Mediterranean architecture and flower-laden balconies, it’s no surprise that #Pondicherry (or #Pondi) is nicknamed the ‘Indian Côte d’Azur’ 🇫🇷
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#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience 
#SouthIndia
💧#WaAle is calling our name this Monday
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Set on a secluded island in the #MerguiArchipelago, this eco resort makes for the perfect tropical escape
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If you’re also tempted by these shots of the aquamarine #AndamanSea, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to start planning your trip!
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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
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 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

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