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Ken Hermer

Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, I grew up visiting Kruger National Park and other reserves throughout Africa immersing myself in safari. Through my love of Africa's varied cultures, I became captivated by the way of life of the South African Indian communities. On moving to the U.S. in 2001, I was given the chance to explore India and my love for all things Indian came full circle.

Since then, I’ve traveled many times through the ancient bustling cities of Rajasthan and hauntingly beautiful Rajasthani deserts, fascinated by the rich colors, aromas, fabrics and architectural history. The beaches and backwaters of the southeast and southwest also beckoned me and I happily heeded the call. Drifting lazily through the Kerala backwaters aboard a luxurious boat, surrounded by convivial company while enjoying adult beverages with spectacular sunsets as a backdrop is a favorite. A passion of mine is to visit India's wildlife reserves, searching for the elusive tigers.

I unashamedly promote romance at every opportunity, since so much of a vacation is centered on the rediscovery of passion and the joy and self-discovery that it restores to one’s life. I’ve never heard of any guest complain that they’re beyond exhausted from an over-supply of romance!

What my guests have said

Ken, your hard work and attention to detail has taken this trip "over the top". With careful planning you've ensured that we had a different experience everywhere we went - each unique, special and most memorable!

Everything you planned for us worked to perfection. A special thanks to the driver (John) who took care of everything for us and made sure we were covered when we left a passport behind!

Travel nuggets

  • Love people photography? Take a fixed-lens camera with an excellent zoom so that you can discreetly take snaps of charismatic locals without embarrassment
  • A camel ride in the far western Thar Desert can't be beaten for peace and tranquility. End with sundowner cocktails on a sand dune and watch the marvelous blood-red sunset
  • Visit one of the national parks in Madhya Pradesh for a fabulous tiger safari. Nothing beats seeing your first-ever wild tiger in the jungles of India. Considering their scarcity, it's an unbelievable privilege
  • If possible, attend an Indian wedding and join the pomp and ceremony. I love it for the traditional fashions, fabulous sense of fun, family, friendship and food. Top tip: go hungry
  • Enjoy a poolside pre-dinner beverage at Raas in Jodhpur (the 'blue city') before a delicious meal set against the backdrop of the spot lit Mehrangarh Fort. It's a treat for the senses

My hot picks

Baghvan,Pench National Park, India

Romantic and boutique, this lodge is tucked away in Pench National Park, renowned for tigers, gaur, striped hyena, wild dog and more. The jungles are a favorite of mine where the wide variety of deer, along with the chance to see tigers, is the draw.

Malabar House,Cochin, Kerala, India

Located in the heart of Cochina few steps from the fresh fish market, this Relais & Chateaux boutique property is a haven of peace, calm and fine dining. I love it for its history, romance, location and ease of access to the Kerala Backwaters.

Raas,Jodhpur, India

Built from local stone, it has the feel of an ancient mini-fort. Raas is set at the foot of the majestic hill-top Mehrangarh Fort, which when lit at night provides the romantic backdrop to a delicious, impeccably served dinner on the hotel roof.

Taj Lake Palace,Udaipur, India

Arriving by boat at this seductively luxurious hotel will put an unforgettable spin on your trip. A rooftop dinner, surrounded by the shimmering waters of Lake Pichola remains one of my happiest memories of all time.

The Oberoi Amarvilas,Agra, India

I adore this property. The view of the Taj Mahal from my suite with a full moon as its backdrop is happily branded on my brain forever.

Suján The Serai,Jaisalmer, Rajasthan

An oasis of jaw-dropping luxury. Excellent service, delicious food, camel safaris ending with Champagne and canapé sundowners on the dunes. Lie back on plump cushions and soak up the sun as it sinks into a rich red horizon. Dreamy romance at its best.

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What guests say

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