In anticipation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s visit to India and Bhutan, bespoke tour operator, Ampersand Travel, has created an itinerary to showcase the links between England and the Indian Subcontinent, existing since the days of the Raj. This 24-night all-suite itinerary to Rajasthan and Bhutan suggests palaces and hotels that hold a personal connection for their Royal Highnesses (not least as sources say that William is keen to see a tiger and visit his father’s old friends in Rajasthan).
William and Kate would feel at home arriving at The Imperial Hotel in New Delhi, a place that dominates the bustling markets of Janpath with its cool white Lutyens design and priceless collection of British art on India. First timers should visit the iconic Taj Mahal at Agra and stay at The Oberoi Amarvilas, only 600 metres away. As wildlife enthusiasts, William and Kate would enjoy the thrill of tracking the elusive Bengal Tiger in Ranthambhore – one of the most densely populated tiger reserves in India. Sher Bagh – a SUJÁN luxury property and the first tented camp to open in Ranthambhore – provides a sumptuous sanctuary in the wild.
The Prince might like to follow in the footsteps of his father and grandmother, by visiting the ‘‘Pink City’’ of Jaipur and staying in the Prince of Wales suite at the newly restored SUJÁN Rajmahal Palace, once home to Maharaja Jai Singh and his wife, the legendary Gayatri Devi. Over at the Blue City of Jodhpur, Maharaja Gaj Singh II – a personal friend of Prince Charles – would welcome the young Royals to his home, the magnificent Umaid Bhawan Palace, also recently voted TripAdvisor’s best hotel in the world, with the Art Deco interiors of the Maharani Suite spanning the length of the palace. Kate might like to follow the Royal household in creating her own fragrance with the in–house perfumer. Jodhpur is famed for its polo season where the two renowned schools of their respective countries, Eton vs Mayo College, go head to head at the polo club. The Duke and Duchess would enjoy seeing the fine breed of Marwari horses at the Royal stables.
The final leg of the journey will be the glorious mountain Kingdom of Bhutan. The Duke and Duchess will have much to discuss with the King and Queen regarding the recent birth of the Crown Prince. If the Duke and Duchess fancy a bit of time alone, Amankora’s five lodges here offer the opportunity to explore ancient monasteries, remarkable landscapes and the region’s rich cultural heritage – all beneath the soaring peaks of the Himalayas.
Ampersand Travel offers bespoke tours to India and the subcontinent. The Royal Connections Package starts from £17,674, comprising 24 nights based on two people travelling together and sharing suite accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis, domestic flights, private transfers, fully guided sightseeing and Bhutanese visas. For further information, go to www.ampersandtravel.com or call +44 (0)20 7819 9770.