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.

Dining with the Nawabs: A Culinary Tale of two Countries

Dining with the Nawabs: A Culinary Tale of two Countries

‘Dining with the Nawabs’ reveals a glimpse into the present-day lives of the rulers of India. An exquisitely produced book which profiles several Muslim royal families across India and Pakistan through their culinary traditions. Author Meera Ali, is herself married to the Raja of Kotwara, and uses her insider access to give us a rare seat at the tables of princely families of the subcontinent…

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…

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...

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...

Aurangabad: The gateway to India’s ancient treasures

Aurangabad: The gateway to India’s ancient treasures

Aurangabad gives the impression of being a rather unremarkable destination; a bustling city surrounded by hot and dusty arid land. How looks can be deceptive! Aurangabad is the base from which to explore many of India’s ancient treasures – the famous Ellora and Ajanta Caves and the mighty Daulatabad Fort...

A mini-guide to Chengdu: China’s lesser known gem

A mini-guide to Chengdu: China’s lesser known gem

Chengdu is China’s lesser known gem and contains secrets that the rest of the world do not yet know. Infused with history and culture, Chengdu effortlessly combines the feel of a cosmopolitan, up-and-coming city whilst still being a historically unique destination. Here are six things that make Chengdu stand out from the crowd...


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

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