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SOUTH INDIA 3A Farmers In Kerala Original

An ox-drawn plough races through the paddy fields of fertile Kerala.

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South India Chinese Fishingnets Fort Cochin
SOUTH INDIA Kerala Backwaters

Coconuts as far as the eye can see in Kerala's verdant Backwaters.

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SOUTH INDIA - Kerala fishermen

In an age-old tradition, which is surprisingly effective, local Keralan fishermen throw huge nets into the sea, then slowly pull them in, harnessing a wealth of fish in the process.

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South India Andaman Islands Havelock
SOUTH INDIA Taj Falaknuma Palace Facade At Night

Feel history seep from the walls of Hyderabad's Taj Falaknuma Palace, which boasts marble staircases, lavish chandeliers and rare objects d’art. It really is as grand and magnificent as it looks – a real-life fairytale!

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SOUTH INDIA Taj Falaknuma Palace Pool

Cool off in the swimming pool of the opulently restored Taj Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad.

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SOUTH INDIA - Pondicherry Church

Explore the fine colonial architecture of Pondicherry and be sure to stop by this vast Roman Catholic church, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

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SOUTH INDIA - elephants at Periyar National Park

Watch magnificent elephants take a refreshing drink in the Periyar National Park. Keep an eye out for tigers too!

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South India Tamil Nadu Tanjore Temple
South India Swaswara
South India Swaswara 2
South India Boys Fishing
SOUTH INDIA Snake Boat Race Every August Backwaters Kerala

Head to the Kerala Backwaters in August to watch the lively annual Snake Boat Races.

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SOUTH INDIA Marari Beach 2

A glittering morning scene as the fishermen set off on Marari beach, Kerala.

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SOUTH INDIA Private Dinning On Beach

South India has a great buzz but sometimes it’s the quiet, peaceful spots that give you the lasting memories, like this scenic dining experience in front of lapping waves at the Taj Exotica in Goa.

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SOUTH INDIA Kerala Backwaters Dusk

Dusk settles over the Backwaters - a peaceful and spiritual time.

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South India Banner

A warm traditional Indian welcome, offering flowers and a blessing.

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SOUTH INDIA Kerala Back Waters House Boat

Houseboats were traditionally used to carry grain stores up the Backwaters of Kerala. Luxuriously adapted, they now the offer the unique chance to travel these nature-filled network of waterways.

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SOUTH INDIA - Backwaters, Kerala

Drink in the tranquillity of this dusky scene from your own private houseboat, gliding through the Keralan Backwaters.

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SOUTH INDIA Beach

You won’t forget the beaches of South India: wild, windswept and utterly enthralling.

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SOUTH INDIA Beach 4

South India’s coastline is characterised by lush palm thickets, white sand beaches and dominating Dutch-built forts.

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SOUTH INDIA Beach 2

400 Kms west of the Malabar coast lies the dazzling Lakshadweep Islands. Above water find a deserted paradise and below, discover plentiful corals teeming with colourful fish.

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SOUTH INDIA - Taj Falaknuma Palace Dining room

Dine in stately grandeur in the opulent dining room of the Taj Falaknuma Palace and re-live the history of the Nizams of Hyderabad.

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SOUTH INDIA - Taj Exotica Sunset Villa Private Pool

Soak up the sun in the privacy of your private pool at the Taj Exotica, a fantastic five-star resort in Goa, just paces from the stunning powder-soft sandy beach.

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SOUTH INDIA Palms

Vistas like this are hard to forget. Let Kerala’s incredible coconut plantation panoramas leave a lasting imprint on your memory.

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SOUTH INDIA Munnar Kerala Tea And Coffee Planatations

Take in the wonderfully cool air of the misty hill station of Munnar in Kerala and learn more about the production of coffee and tea.

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SOUTH INDIA - water-front view with private pool villas at Coconut Lagoon

Philip Kutty's Farm is a luxurious private homestay in Kerala's Backwaters which offers a peaceful eco-friendly escape, coupled with amazing Ayurvedic treatments. You’ll feel totally re-junevated after a stay here.

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SOUTH INDIA - Vivanta by Taj - Madikeri,  villa

Be utterly spoiled by wraparound Coorg rainforest views in Vivanta by Taj Madikeri's inspring and eco-conscious villas complete with fireplaces and indoor pools.

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SOUTH INDIA - Vivanta by Taj - Madiker, indoor pool

Living, breathing rainforest fills every view from the luxury of your private indoor pool with retractable sunroof at this remarkable resort in Karnataka, Vivanta by Taj Madikeri.

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SOUTH INDIA - Tamil Nadu, cow

Experience India’s culture and mysticism at its incense-scented Hindu temples and observe revered cows which wander freely throughout city streets.

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SOUTH INDIA - Tamil Nadu (8)

Marvel at the vibrantly coloured carvings that greet you at Chidambaram, one of Tamil Nadu's most exotic Hindu temple complexes. 

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SOUTH INDIA - Tamil Nadu (7)

The coastline of Tamil Nadu, remote and windswept, is largely off the tourist track. Come here to discover a chilled out pace and friendly welcome.

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SOUTH INDIA - SwaSwara 1

Pick through the exotic bazaars of Goa to immerse yourself in local life.

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SOUTH INDIA - SwaSwara 2

Everyday life in India – you’ll be surprised how much even a tiny shop can sell; bananas, cigarettes, even gasoline!

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SOUTH INDIA - Spice Coast, Kerala

Be enchanted by a unique lifestyle aboard your traditional houseboat, drifting up the fertile canals and lagoons of Kerala’s Backwaters.

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SOUTH INDIA - marari beach, fish basket

Rise early to experience the bustle of the morning catch coming to shore at Marari Beach. Potential buyers line the beach to choose the day’s catch straight from the fishing boats. Fresh fish is a staple part of every Keralan’s diet – often laced with fiery chillis!

 

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SOUTH INDIA - Marari Beach Resort, Mararikulam, Kerala,

For an alternative and atmospheric beach break, Marari Beach in Kerala can't be beat. This laid-back resort consistently gets great feedback from our clients.

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SOUTH INDIA - Leela Kimpinski Goa

At the Leela Kimpinski in Goa, expect staff to go the extra mile to make your day. Al Fresco dinner surrounded by water lilies and candles? Not a problem.

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SOUTH INDIA - Hotel Brunton boatyard, Cochin

If you like boats, then you’ll love staying in our favourite hotel in Cochin, the atmospheric Brunton's Boatyard, set in a restored shipyard surrounded by artefacts from the age of steam and sail.

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SOUTH INDIA - Goa

Set on an idyllic spit of land in north Goa overlooking the ocean, ‘Elsewhere – The Beach House’ is a simple but charming 3 bedroom Portuguese-style house with just the friendly staff, fishermen and egg-laying turtles for company… bliss.

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SOUTH INDIA - Beach 3

Make sure you leave time to explore the coast of Kerala and discover hidden tropical beaches encased by swaying palm trees.

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SOUTH INDIA - curry

The south of India is known for its creamy, coconut-milk fish curries. Although smoother in flavour they still have a fiery bite!

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SOUTH INDIA - Coconut Lagoon, Kerala

Accessible only by boat, Coconut Lagoon resort in Kumarakom, set amongst glistening lagoons, lakes and coconut plantations is a seriously serene spot. 

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SOUTH INDIA - Coconut Lagoon

Use your time in the Backwaters to gain an understanding of daily life on these sleepy Keralan waterways. In between the rice paddy fields are a criss cross of canals, which locals use for transport.

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SOUTH INDIA - Bangaram beach

Set within the Lakshaweep Archipelago, Bangaram Island offers a simple yet idyliic lifestyle in rustic accommodation. While away your time on the beach or snorkelling the beautiful coral gardens.

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Welcome to South India

The tropical south has a different pace to the rest of India, it is slow and soothing, much like the idyllic backwaters of Kerala – South India’s answer to the North’s iconic Taj Mahal. Renowned for its welcoming people, lush scenery, delicious Indian cuisine and distinctive gopuram temples, South India is the perfect destination if you are looking for a relaxing, yet culturally stimulating escape. Its spiritual cliff-backed beaches are ideal for a meditative break on an Indian getaway and some of the country’s finest Ayurvedic medicine is practiced in the laid-back spas and resorts of this region.

Travel across India’s southern states, stretching from the palm-lined beaches of Goa down to the quiet Keralan Backwaters and across the Western Ghats to the thriving city of Chennai – once a hub of the British East India Company – with Bangalore, the "Garden City", on the plains in between. The state of Andhra Pradesh spans a huge part of the east coast, with Hyderabad, which is famed for its nawabs and markets at the heart. In Tamil Nadu, visitors can explore elaborately carved stone temple complexes with towering gopurams visited everyday by hundreds of pilgrims, such as the Sri Meenakshi Temple in Madurai. Chennai and the former French colony Pondicherry each have their own distinctive style of architecture. Besides the many fun beach resorts, Goa has a wealth of churches, a legacy of more than 400 years as a Portuguese colony. Few tourists make it to the remote, ruined Vijayanagara city of Hampi in Karnataka while travelling in India, but those who do are left overwhelmed by its beauty and atmosphere. For those seeking adventure holidays, this spot is worth visiting in tandem with the stunning natural backwaters. The trick with successful South India tours is to do less, rather than more, and plan to go back!

Below is a selection of our favourite India itineraries, but please bear in mind that all of Ampersand Travel's tours are bespoke for each and every client. Our specialists are more than happy to share their travel advice to fit your personal interests, as well as provide insights on the best times to visit South India – especially during special festivals and events - while planning your India trip to this wonderful part of the country.


Our suggested tours in South India

The Palaces, Wildlife, Plantations & Beaches of Karnataka

Hampi, Karnataka, South India (3).jpg

17 days from £5,260

The astounding ruins of the Vijayanagar Empire at Hampi, exquisite rock cut temples of Badami, Pattadkal and Halebeedu, and giant...

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The Hidden Beaches of the Andaman Islands

Jalakara Andaman Islands South India 9

12 days from £3,650

Explore the hidden beaches and secret gems of India’s underrated and laid-back Andaman Islands on this relaxing 12-day itinerary.

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Boutique South India: From Chennai to Cochin

Boutique South India From Chennai To Cochin Itinerary 2

15 days from £5,495

This tailor made tour of South India comprises some of the best boutique hotels in the area, providing a unique...

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Taj Palace Tour... The Ultimate Indian Indulgence

Umaid Bhawan JODHPUR North India 6

17 days from £6,805

A combination of what we do best, this 17 day tour blends opulent luxury with the best of Indian culture....

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Essential India... Our Comprehensive Tour of North & South India

Essential India Itinerary 640

17 days from £6,800

This itinerary is one of our absolute favourites. It combines the fascinating historical and natural gems of the northern regions...

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A Jewish Heritage Tour of India

Jewish Heritage Tour Of India Mumbai 5

16 days from £4,450

Journey through India’s Jewish past and present on this special tour of her Jewish heritage hubs – Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta...

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Tamil Nadu & the Andaman Islands... Cultural Tour & Beach Holiday in South India

Madurai Tamil Nadu South India 7

16 days from £4,530

A chance to experience two extremes of India: Tamil Nadu, a fabulous alternative to Rajasthan renowned for its incredible centuries-old...

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Classic Kerala Holiday... Beautiful Beaches & Balmy Backwaters in South India

Classic Kerala Itinerary

14 days from £3,845

A relaxed introduction to the diverse and beautiful state of Kerala, loved for her friendly charm, incredible Keralan cuisine and...

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Tamil Nadu & Kerala... A Luxury Tailor-made Tour of South India

South India Chinese Fishingnets Fort Cochin

16 days from £3,975

Towering temples, mist shrouded hills and palm fringed beaches are just a few of the incredible sights that await you...

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Immersive Journey through South India

Munnar South India 2

9 days from £2,900

At Ampersand we share Conde Nast's philosophy towards luxury travel, so when we organised a press trip for them to...

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Grand Tour of South India... Our Signature Family-friendly Holiday

SOUTH INDIA - Tamil Nadu (8)

21 days from £5,495

This fabulous journey cherry-picks the region's highlights, from the colonial charm of Cochin and the buzzing temple-town of Madurai to the...

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Mystical Tamil Nadu... Our Sacred South India Tour

Madurai Tamil Nadu South India 4

15 days from £3,950

Exploring the myths and legends of the sacred south-east, this journey encapsulates the essence of the spiritual state of Tamil...

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Deccan Discovery... Archaeology, Ancient Temples & Train Journeys in South India

Deccan Discovery Itinerary

15 days from £4,940

This extraordinary itinerary provides comfortable access to some of the most beautiful locations in southern India and to the Deccan,...

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From Bhutan to India's Andaman Islands... A Romantic Adventure from Mountain to Beach

Bhutan and the Andaman islands 5

17 days from £4,895

Bhutan and the Indian Andamans could hardly be more different and it is precisely for this reason that we bring...

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Some of our favourite hotels in South India

MS Oberoi Vrinda ,
Kerala

MS Oberoi Vrinda Backwaters South India

The Oberoi Vrinda is an exclusive cruiser that offers a luxurious journey through the picturesque and lush backwaters of Kerala....

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Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Goa ,
Goa

Taj Exotica Goa South India 3

Located on the southwest coast of Goa, just 150 metres from the Arabian sea, this beach resort offers all the...

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Svatma ,
Tanjore

Svatma Tanjore Tamil Nadu 5

Svatma is a unique hotel that aims to immerse its guests into traditional Tamil culture. The Tamil owners are experts...

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Visalam ,
Chettinad

Visalam Chettinad South India 12

Visalam is an elegant 70-year-old Chettiar Mansion which has been carefully converted into a boutique hotel in the heart of...

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Evolve Back Chikkana Halli Estate ,
Coorg

Orange County Coorg Karnataka South India 14

Located in the hills of the Western Ghats, Karnataka, Evolve Back Chikkana Halli Estate offers a unique opportunity to experience a...

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Windermere Estate ,
Munnar

Windermere Estate Munnar South India 2

Windermere Estate is a charming 15 bedroom property perched on a hilltop, surrounded by a working cardamom estate. The 360...

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Some of our favourite places of interest in South India

Vembanad Lake

Vembanad Lake South India

This enormous freshwater lake stretches from Cochin to Alleppey. Separated from the Arabian Sea by a narrow strip of land,...

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Havelock Island

Havelock Island South India 1

The beautiful Andaman Islands lie in the middle of the Bay of Bengal, 1,000 kilometres from India's east coast. The...

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Kumbakonam

Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu, South India (5).jpg

The great temple town of Kumbakonam, one of the oldest and most important religious centres, lies between the Kaveri and...

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Bekal

Bekal Kerala South India 3

Bekal is a small, peaceful town situated on Kerala's golden coastline. Famous for its giant key-hole shaped fort, Bekal attracts...

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Neeleshwar

Neeleshwar South India

Neeleshwar is a tranquil area of empty beaches fringed by coconut plantations, uncrowded inland waterways and lush hillside spice gardens...

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Dindigul

Dindigul Tamil Nadu South India 3

The Dindigul district in the heart of Tamil Nadu offers a true insight to local South Indian village life; a quaint and quiet area, off...

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Related Blog Posts

Read some of our hand-picked blog posts for South India


We have been on expensive and luxurious holidays in the past, but the service and communication Ampersand has provided has far exceeded those offered by other agencies.
- Susan Ford, 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
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
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

From our Instagram

Step into #SamodePalace to walk colourful mirror-tiled halls & pass beautiful mural-lined walls 🇮🇳
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This heritage property located in the romantic Aravalli Hills is also home to a marble swimming pool - the perfect place to take a cooling dip in the Rajasthani sun ☀️
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Dive into its crystal-clear aquamarine waters to explore one of the richest marine environments on Earth 🌏
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🎌 Hot off the press - #AmanKyoto is set to open at the end of this year (November 2019) & we can’t wait! 🎌
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Located in a secret garden behind the Golden Temple #Kinkakuji, this new property will offer a secluded retreat in the ancient Imperial city complete with beautifully-designed interiors by the celebrated #KerryHillArchitects
Travel down the #IrrawaddyRiver to #Mingun 🇲🇲
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Admire the pristine pagoda modelled after the mythical Buddhist Mt Meru & keep an eye out for the local saffron-robed monks
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Intense colours of #India are the perfect antidote to the Monday blues 🇮🇳🌺🌼
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Our India specialists are gearing up for a research trip to #Rajasthan - covering #Udaipur, #Jodhpur, #Nagaur, #Jaipur, #Ajabgarh, #Ranthambore, #Agra & #Delhi
Set sail in the serene, crystal-clear waters of the #KomodoIslands to discover one of the world’s richest marine environments 🌊
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If you’re after a romantic escape, look no further than #Alexa luxury yacht 🇮🇩
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Rise early to witness a spectacular sunrise over the terraced rice paddies in #Bali 🌿🌅
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And stay at the luxurious #COMOUmaUbud to experience #Ubud at its finest 🇮🇩
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✨Ampersand’s ‘Top 10 Swimming Pools’ hotlist - 2019 ✨
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Check our TOP TEN'S #Highlights to be tempted to dive into the hottest hotels’ new pools, as well as some of our firm old favourites across Asia... 🏊🏻‍♂️💧
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It’s all about razor-sharp Japanese design at the @ritzcarltonkyoto - our absolute favourite hotel in the Imperial capital #Kyoto 🌿🎌
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