Why, 30 years after opening, Aman resorts are still the best in Bali 

Amandari, in Indonesia
The two-tiered swimming pool in Amandari, in Indonesia

In Bali, if you’re outside when the torrential, tropical rains start, there’s little you can do to avoid getting soaked. Or so I thought, until I was hiking in the Ayung Valley, near Ubud, when the heavens opened, and my guide, Eca, chopped down a banana leaf to use it as an umbrella. It was surprisingly effective. 

Eca was guiding me down through the belly of the Ayung Valley, the tangle of luscious green that ends with a wide, fast-flowing river. The trek is one of the many activities offered at the Amandari hotel, where I was staying, which is set high up on the valley’s hillside. 

We walked past the hotel’s vegetable gardens, a seventh-century river temple, fuschia frangipani plants and palm...

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