In a nutshell, who are you and what do you do?
I am an incredibly lucky man and have one of the best jobs in the world – to create dream holidays which add joy and enrich people’s lives. My international upbringing has helped enormously as I feel the world is like a giant playground and you are only limited by your imagination and sense of adventure.
What does your perfect holiday look like?
I recently went diving in Raja Ampat in Papua Indonesia – the marine life and coral reefs were out of this world. We stayed on a traditional phinisi boat and went out diving at the crack of dawn every day, with long lazy afternoons snoozing on deck whilst listening to the waves gently lap against the boat. It was absolute heaven.
What makes a great hotel?
There are so many great hotels in the world, but my favourites are the ones that make me feel sexy and excited to be alive. That’s what we all want when we’re on holiday. Chiltern Firehouse in London, Aman Tokyo in Tokyo and RAAS Devigarh, Delwara, near Udaipur, all have this effect on me.
What’s the most adventurous trip you’ve ever taken?
I’ve done some incredible trips. Sailing with an icebreaker through the ice floes in the Sea of Okhotsk off Hokkaido, Japan, and tracking rhino’s on foot in Damaraland, Namibia. But I think the most adventurous was exploring the Himalayas in Bhutan by chopper (we had two!) – we were following each other and flying through 7000 meter peaks - it felt like Mission Impossible – it was so exhilarating – we were truly on the rooftop of the world.
What’s the most incredible dining experience you’ve ever had?
I love food and I love cultures that care about food. I’ve always found that cultures that care deeply about food often also care about life, history and tradition, which are all very important to me.
One of my favourite things to do is hunt for the best version of a local speciality. Sri Lanka has amazing lobsters and on my last visit earlier this year I was with friends on a very small fishing boat not too far from Galle on the south coast. They had a gas burner and pan which they filled with seawater and cooked the lobster within seconds of it coming out of the sea. We ate them with hands whilst bobbing about on the sea, and dived into the warm ocean to clean up once we had finished. It was definitely the freshest lobster and the best way to enjoy them I have experienced to date – not sure how I can top it.
What is your advice for switching off while you’re away?
Switch your phone off. Nobody needs to be reachable 24/7. Even if you think you do, you really don’t
What’s your advice for travelling in style?
It’s not about how much money you spend but how well you spend it. For me travelling in style is about being relaxed, elegant and content both when things go to plan but also when they don’t. That’s why I always recommend using a vetted travel professional to ensure that everything stays on track and is as seamless and enjoyable as humanly possible.
Check in to some of Jayasundera's favourite travel destinations with his top five below.