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India | Jordan | Spain | Peru | Sri Lanka

Choose hotels with character

Chain hotels can be reassuringly familiar, but offer a similar experience whether you’re in Delhi or Denver. Staying in characterful, independent hotels is not only a more sustainable way to travel, it’s a chance to immerse yourself in the local culture, whether that’s hearing stories from the owner or sleeping in a piece of history.

We can help you experience accommodation as unique and characterful as your surroundings. Unwind in one of India’s heritage havelis, Japan’s tatami-matted ryokans, Jordan’s atmospheric desert camps, or another authentic property that captures the true spirit of your destination.

Below, discover a selection of unique hotels around the world. For more inspiration or to begin planning your adventure, press 'Enquire Today' to speak to one of our travel consultants.

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Five unique stays

Live like a maharajah in India

Out of India’s sun-baked Thar desert grew Bikaner and its resplendent palaces, forts, temples and havelis. Today, this city is the fourth largest in Rajasthan, and authentic havelis such as Narendra Bhawan – the former home of the Maharajah of Bikaner – now accommodate guests in regal surroundings.

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Camp out under Jordan's desert stars

Vast, echoing and god-like: that’s how Lawrence of Arabia described Wadi Rum. This Mars-like desert in Jordan is punctuated by sandstone massifs, and sprinkled with tented camps such as Saraya Rum that offer you the full nomad experience. At night, recline in comfort beneath a canopy of stars, and in the morning, admire the crimson sunset burning on the cliffs.

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Be charmed by the heritage of Spain's paradors

The paradors of Spain are historic buildings tastefully converted into hotels and given the government stamp of authenticity. They range from palaces to castles to monasteries, but all promise to wrap you up in history. Parador de Mérida was among the very first paradors. It is set within the grounds of a 17th-century Baroque monastery, within walking distance of Mérida’s Roman ruins, and replete with heritage charm.

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Find peace in a Peruvian monastery

Cuzco is the historical capital of Peru, and its blend of Incan and Spanish-colonial heritage has been recognised by UNESCO. While there are sleek, contemporary chain hotels to choose from, why not stay instead in a piece of history? Monasterio was a Jesuit monastery in the 16th century, but now accommodates guests in well-preserved, warmly lit spaces adorned with centuries-old paintings and Baroque décor.

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Unwind in Sri Lanka’s hill country

Sri Lanka is one of the world’s major producers of tea. The crop is grown on the lush plantations of its hill country – arguably the most scenic part of the teardrop-shaped island. Here you can lose yourself in views of emerald slopes swept by delicate mists. Established as a colonial country retreat, Nuwara Eliya retains much of its period character, and converted estates such as the Heritance Tea Factory place you in this most tranquil of settings.

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Genuinely small groups

Small groups promise a more personal touring experience. That’s why Cox & Kings maintains a maximum group size of 18 guests on most tours, and an average of just 14.

Worldwide support

Enjoy round-the-clock support – in person, over the phone and online. This is made possible by our well-travelled staff and unrivalled network of offices in destinations across the world.

Your money is protected

Cox & Kings is ABTA bonded and ATOL protected. When you arrange a holiday with us, rest assured that your booking is secure and your money is protected.

Experts since 1758

Cox & Kings is a name you can trust. We’ve been helping the curious traveller explore for more than 265 years – longer than any other travel company.

Begin your journey

Enquire online or contact one of our travel consultants.

Order a brochure

For more travel inspiration, request a copy of the latest Cox & Kings brochure – a comprehensive collection of our group tours.