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.

Beautiful Bhutan: A Himalayan Kingdom

Beautiful Bhutan: A Himalayan Kingdom

Ellie has just returned from beautiful Bhutan, the Buddhist kingdom on the Himalayas’ eastern fringes. She spent a week gallivanting and exploring the very best this breath-taking county has to offer; from monasteries and fortresses, to dzongs and dramatic landscapes that range from subtropical plains to steep mountains and valleys. Here are her top highlights in a photoblog of her journey…

Ampersand Anecdotes: The Spy Princess

Ampersand Anecdotes: The Spy Princess

Noor Inayat Khan was an Indian princess and a secret agent. She was the unsung heroine of World War Two and her story is one of astonishing courage and sacrifice. In our latest Ampersand Anecdote read about the history of this fascinating woman, and see how both her life and legacy are still influential today…

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…

Everything You Need to Know about Visiting The Imperial Palace in Tokyo

Everything You Need to Know about Visiting The Imperial Palace in Tokyo

The Tokyo Imperial Palace is the primary residence of the Emperor of Japan. Located in the heart of the pulsating city, this haven proves to be the highly valuable privacy the Japanese royal family crave. In this mini-guide to visiting the Imperial Palace, you will learn about the best times to visit and more…

A legendary legacy: eccentric tales of Indian Royalty

A legendary legacy: eccentric tales of Indian Royalty

The dazzling style of the Maharajas remain a source of fascination to this day, with books, exhibitions and films delving into the near mythical wealth and panache. The palaces, once elusive citadels, now have opened their doors to guests allowing a tantalising glimpse into a largely vanished world. Here we explore some of the eccentricities of a singular race of princes from a bygone era…

A mini-guide to Bhutan – Land of the Thunder Dragon

A mini-guide to Bhutan – Land of the Thunder Dragon

The mountain paradise of Bhutan, known as ‘the happiest kingdom on earth’ has always been a frontier land promising a unique adventure to any traveller. Land-locked between the goliaths of India and China, Bhutan is a diminutive treasure box of alpine scenery with pristine landscapes, intriguing architecture and perhaps its greatest asset – the gentle and gracious people...

Indonesia, An Introduction…

Indonesia, An Introduction…

Our seasoned Indonesia specialist, Emily Gillman has just returned from a rigorous 5-week research trip to Indonesia. Travelling across seven of the biggest islands and visiting almost 100 hotels, Emily has the most up to date intelligence and first-hand experience of the finest hotels and experiences on offer...

Polo and Peacocks: British Polo Day in Jodhpur

Polo and Peacocks: British Polo Day in Jodhpur

A celebrated and ancient sport, Polo has been played since the time of the Mughals. But it was in the late 19th century that polo came to Jodhpur in its modern form. British Polo Day enjoys three days of events, rich in intrigue, romance and the majesty of India...

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…


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
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 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
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
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

From our Instagram

Glide down #ThePerfumeRiver to experience #Hue’s scenery, passing mausoleums as you go 🍃🌿
.
📸 Beautifully captured by @soaipham
.
#Vietnam #AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
From mid May to mid October, The Ultimate Travelling Camp’s wonderful #ChambaCamp in #Thiksey (#Ladakh) will be open! 🏞
.
Our specialists stayed at this one-of-a-kind luxury tented camp last year and adored it - we guarantee that you will too 🏕
.
#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’ 🇫🇷
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience 
#SouthIndia
‘Led by Buddhist monks, a butter lamp ceremony offers a guiding light to finding peace and harmony’ @sixsensesbhutan 🕯🕯🕯
.
#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!🏝
.
The ultimate beach destination, the #Maldives can easily top or tail a tailor-made Ampersand tour & makes for a perfect honeymoon 🇲🇻
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
The buzzing metropolis of #Shanghai promises an unforgettable stay 🇨🇳
.
Visit this city as part of a tailor-made tour of #China with us to discover its heady mixture of impressive skyscrapers, colonial history and incredible gastronomy 🏙🥟🍜
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Perched up high in the Himalayan Kingdom, the new #SixSenses lodges sit in prime positions in #Bhutan
.
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
.
#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 🌅
.
We also love the wonderful @maniumpathy_boutique_hotel, which is truly an oasis of tranquility within this city 🌿
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Spot mighty lions in #SouthAfrica’s game reserves with the help of our expert guides 🐾 🇿🇦
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience #KrugerNationalPark #SabiSands #Madikwe
.
(📸 @chris_fischer_photography)

Let us keep you up to date

Sign up to our newsletter and never miss out on unmissable exclusive luxury experiences