Top
10

The official top ten
Secret Gems

If you’re hankering after something a little different, a little special for your next holiday, we have 10 secret gems that are truly lovely yet off the radar of most travellers. We’ve selected a range of quirky options, from Rajakkad Estate, an ancient teak home in the forested hills of Southern India, to Li’An Lodge, a traditional Chinese chalet perched in Longsheng’s terraced rice fields, to The Amara, a beautiful English-style country cottage in Burma.

Habaraduwa House is Sri Lanka’s chicest new beach villa, or for Dutch Colonial splendour, spectacular golf and sweeping views, Clingendael is another of our secret gems – an exclusive 5-bedroom boutique hotel in the ravishing hills near Kandy.

In Japan, The Garden Terrace overlooks the bay in Nagasaki, 'San Francisco of the East.' It's a design afficionado's dream making great use of bamboo in the building and grounds, by renowned Japanese architect Kengo Kuma. Nearer to Kyoto in central Japan, Ryokan Kurashiki by a scenic old trading canal has just six lovingly furnished traditional rooms with open beams and a fine collection of antiques from Japan, China and Europe. At once homely and luxurious, it served as Sophia Loren's hideaway on her recent visit to Japan.

Jeeva Beloam Beach Camp in Lombok is a place to completely switch off from modern life and enjoy one of the most beautiful white beaches you will ever see; Lakshman Sagar is a candy-coloured heritage fort hidden away​ in the Rajasthani desert; or for the true luxury nomads amongst you, we highly recommend The Ultimate Travelling Camp which pops up in some of India’s most beautiful and remote regions. Secrets are for sharing!

1

Amara Mountain Resort

  Amara Mountain Resort is one of Ampersand's Top 10 Secret Gems.  A quaint colonial cottage which dates from 1909, Amara Mountain Resort is the best hotel in town, and...

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2

Habaraduwa House

  Habaraduwa House is one of our Ampersand's Top 10 Secret Gems, Top 10 Private Villas in Asia and Top 10 Venues for a Wedding or Party Originally built in 2001 but completely re-designed and renovated in 2011...

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3

Li'An Lodge

  Li'An Lodge is one of Ampersand's Top 10 Secret Gems.  Struck by the beauty of the Longsheng rice terraces, artist Keren Su returned to the area to open the Li-An...

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4

Ryokan Kurashiki

  Ryokan Kurashiki is one of Ampersand's Top 10 Secret Gems and Top 10 Luxury Ryokans. This ryokan is halfway along the idyllic willow-lined canal in Kurashiki, and shares a 300-year history with the converted...

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5

Clingendael

  Clingendael is one of Ampersand's Top 10 Secret Gems. Located on the Victoria Golf and Country Resort, around 40-minutes from Kandy town, The Clingendael is situated on a hill at...

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6

The Ultimate Travelling Camp, Chamba Camp

  The Ultimate Travelling Camp, Chamba Camp is one of Ampersand's Top 10 Secret Gems. The first truly mobile luxury camp in India, ‘The Ultimate Travelling Camp’ offers the opportunity to...

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7

Jeeva Beloam Beach Camp

  Jeeva Beloam Beach Camp is one of Ampersand's Top 10 Secret Gems and Top 10 Beach Hotels. Situated two hours from the airport in the remote and untouched southeast of Lombok,...

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8

Lakshman Sagar

  Lakshman Sagar is one of Ampersand's Top 10 Secret Gems. Opened in 2011, Lakshman Sagar is a hidden gem of a hotel, located in a remote rural setting between Jaipur...

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9

Rajakkad Estate

  Rajakkad Estate is one of Ampersand's Top 10 Secret Gems. Set 1,000 metres above sea level, in the cool foothills of the Wester Ghats, Rajakkad Estate is an intimate garden...

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10

Garden Terrace

  Garden Terrace is one of Ampersand's Top 10 Secret Gems. By all accounts this is the superlative place to stay in Nagasaki. Designed by Kengo Kuma, it impresses from the...

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Client Testimonials

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
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
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
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
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 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

From our Instagram

✨Beautiful Udaipur✨
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A pleasure palace built in the 1700s, the location for Octopussy and many a love story, @tajlakepalace is so magical, you can’t quite believe your eyes
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📸 @the_adventuresofus during their whirlwind tour of India 🧡🇮🇳
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#AmpersandTravel
#LuxuryIsInTheExperience
#SriLanka has just been awarded the title of #WorldsBestIsland by @travelandleisure 🇱🇰
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We couldn’t be happier that this spirited country is getting the recognition it deserves!
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Travel with us to get under the skin of this spectacular country 
#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
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
'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
💧#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
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
As the Rugby World Cup kicks off in #Tokyo this weekend,  and #Japan will soon begin to bloom into its world renowned Autumn season, we want to be there more than ever! 🇯🇵🍂
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Attracting three million tourists every year, the #tokyotower has quickly become Tokyo's international symbol since its opening in 1958. 🗼
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If you'd like to see this Eiffel Tower-inspired structure for yourself, speak to one of our specialists today!
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📸@jungraphy_
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#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
One of our #Cambodia specialists, Simon, has just returned from the wonderful #ShintaManiWild & couldn’t recommend it more! 🇰🇭
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Overlooking a crashing waterfall & immersed in rugged jungle, this luxury camp genuinely lives up to its name 🍃
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Swipe to peek inside the tents, designed by one of our favourite designers #BillBensley & get a striking bird’s eye view of the camp...
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#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience

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