No longer are trees just the domain of Tarzan. As more and more people find they need to unwind from life’s stresses, the novelty and retreat of a tree-house hotel stay is increasing in popularity. Travellers around the globe are regularly choosing to spend time in comfortable tree-based lodgings where they can switch off, recharge and get back to nature.
There are many purpose-built tree-house accommodation offerings around the world, from Asia and Australia to North America, Europe and Africa. So, no matter where you want to holiday, you’re sure to find a unique spot in the trees. Read on for a countdown of ten cool stays you can try out in 2014.
10. TreeHouse Point, United States: from $150 per night
If you feel inspired to build your very own tree-house, then make sure you visit TreeHouse Point, just 30 minutes from Seattle in the United States. Apart from welcoming visitors with a variety of overnight tree-house lodging, the property is also home to the Nelson Treehouse and Supply, a specialty tree-house building and design team.
Guests at TreeHouse Point can enjoy the peaceful setting of the accommodation, which is located in a forest beside the Raging River. The tree house can be accessed via a suspension bridge or spiral tree-wrapping staircase. The venue provides private yoga and massage sessions, large grounds to explore and plenty of spots to sit around a relaxing fire.
9. Bangkok Tree House, Thailand: from $122 per night
If you’re familiar with Bangkok, then you will probably be surprised to find out that there is actually a green haven located by the river in the busy city. Visitors to Bangkok’s first bed in a tree enjoy beautiful views of the Chao Phraya River and the surrounding forests, all from up in their secluded nests. The tree houses are located in the heart of Bangkok’s “green lung” yet, still only 10km from Sukhumvit Road.
The accommodations at Bangkok Tree House feature all the mod-cons, such as private outdoor lounging areas; a rooftop terrace; rain shower; organic toiletries; free Wi-Fi, cell-phone and bicycle hire; and an assortment of included foodie treats such as ice cream and an a la carte breakfast. Apart from your body and soul, your conscience will also appreciate a stay at the Tree House – the hotel has a policy of removing 2.2lbs of trash from the river for every booking.
8. Aqua Wellness Resort, Nicaragua: from $145 per night
Another top eco-retreat, this time in Nicaragua, the Aqua Wellness Resort is exactly the type of accommodation you need if you feel overworked and in desperate need of some R & R. The Resort is located on a private, white sandy beach on the country’s Pacific Coast and almost hidden from view by the treetops. Guests at Aqua stay in secluded villas and get to experience beachside treetop living. Each suite is elevated to maximise the views and experience the rainforest.
The open-plan villas have been constructed from sustainable hardwoods and then furnished by local artisans. Additionally, they feature wraparound decks and infinity plunge pools. The resort further enhances health and well-being by providing locally-sourced organic cuisine, luxurious spa facilities, open-air yoga classes and many outdoor eco-activities.
7. Daintree EcoLodge & Spa, Australia: from $295 per night
The winner of the World’s Leading Eco Resort and Spa award at the 19th World Travel Awards in 2012, Daintree EcoLodge & Spa is considered one of the top luxury eco-lodges in Australia. Located in a rainforest setting, just 90 minutes’ drive north of Cairns, the lodge provides the perfect base to explore the Great Barrier Reef, Daintree River, Cape Tribulation and the Daintree Rainforest.
Each of the 15 tranquil, tree-house style suites is nestled within the world’s oldest living rainforest. Creature comforts include Jacuzzis; bathrobes and slippers; canopy beds; house-made bathroom amenities; hand-crafted wooden furnishings and traditional Aboriginal artworks. Guests can also enjoy alfresco spa treatments, meals at the on-site restaurant and Aboriginal-guided walks around the 30-acre property.
6. Baumhaus at Meisters Hotel Irma, Italy: from $260 per night
The tree-house suite at Meisters Hotel Irma in Merano, called “Baumhaus”, is privately located at a 60-metre walk from the main building of the hotel. It literally sits suspended amidst a garden of pine trees. The suite features a massive terrace on which to relax, take in the views or indulge in delicacies from the local South Tyrol region. Guests are even welcome to move their bed outside if they want to sleep under the stars and enjoy an open-air experience.
Baumhaus has a freestanding bath tub with a view and quality wooden furnishings; while the property also prides itself on being a complete spa and wellness destination with plenty of pampering opportunities, outdoor activities and gourmet food.
5. Chateaux dans les Arbres, France: from $310 per night
Francophiles are sure to love the fanciful tree houses that have been modeled on an old French chateau at the Chateaux dans les Arbres in lower Dordogne, nine miles west of Montpazier. With a name meaning, “Castles in the Trees” you’ll soon feel like royalty in these luxurious wood houses. Each of the majestic abodes feature fairytale turrets; stunning interiors with antique decorative pieces; views of the French countryside; dressing gowns; and a hot tub on the terrace.
The hotel is set within 25 acres of forest and meadows, so you’ll soon clear out the cobwebs with a stroll around the grounds – if you can be bothered leaving your own little castle, that is. Chateaux dans les Arbres also provides guests with complimentary breakfast that’s hoisted up by a pulley to your tree-house.
4. Tsala Treetop Lodge, South Africa: from $200 per night
If you’re looking for a luxury hideaway amongst the trees in South Africa, Tsala Treetop Lodge offers a remote wilderness experience combined with laid-back, five-star luxury. The Lodge is ideally located along the Garden Route of the Western Cape, between Plettenberg Bay and Kynsna, so it is the perfect choice for accommodation along the way. You can unwind in the luxurious and romantic treetop lodges that cater to every desire and provide a bird’s eye view of South Africa’s resplendent forest canopy.
In the unique suites you’ll find facilities like wraparound decks to take in the view, private infinity pools, sitting-rooms with fireplaces, under-floor heating, bathrobes, slippers, complimentary port, 24-hour room service and complimentary Wi-Fi. The Lodge features 10 private suites and 6 two-bedroom villas that are connected to the rest of the hotel via elevated walkways. Tsala further treats guests with its on-site restaurant, an honesty bar, wine cellar, library, wedding chapel, forest walks and pamper packages.
3. Hapuku Lodge and Tree Houses, New Zealand: from $500 per night
Located in seaside Kaikoura, on New Zealand’s South Island, Hapuku Lodge and Tree Houses is a luxurious accommodation option that’s perfect for tourists who love to get back to nature or spend time spotting whales, dolphins and seals. The tree-house rooms are nestled 30 feet above the ground, within a canopy of native Manuka trees. Each has a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean, Kaikoura’s mountains, and the property’s own deer park.
Complementing the natural environment, each abode and its interior has been created from native wood, and the tree-houses feature large wraparound windows, a spa bath, iPod dock, natural toiletries, seating nook with wood fire, deck, rain fountain shower and free Wi-Fi. Hapuku also provides guests with a DVD library, sauna, 25-metre lap pool and 600-hectare grounds to wander.
2. Tree House at Tongabezi, Zambia: from $665 per night
The Tree House suite at Tongabezi Lodge in Zambia has been built into a towering old ebony tree and provides stunning views of the Zambezi River. Constructed as one giant platform, with some poles around the edge to prevent falls, the suite has a raised deck that extends over the river, as well as a private dining table, large claw-footed bath, open-air shower and West African artwork. A good night’s sleep is assured within the four-poster bed that’s enclosed in insect-proof netting and features its own internal air-conditioning.
If you’re lucky enough to stay in the Tree House at some point, you’ll find yourself entering via a secluded path along the riverbank. Here you can even hang a rope across the path any time you want to make sure your peace and quiet isn’t disturbed by your own personal valet.
1. Tree House Suites at Chewton Glen, England: from $1250 per night
Chewton Glen, in Hampshire, England is a member of the luxury Relais & Chateaux hotel brand, so you can rest assured that rooms here are of a suitably high standard. Stay in one of the secluded Tree Houses Suites (all built on stilts within a valley and tree canopy) and you’ll be treated to panoramic forest views from the floor-to-ceiling glass windows and outdoor hot tub; a private deck; wood-burning stove; underfloor heating; coffee machine; wine cooler; freestanding bath; iPod dock and daily breakfast hampers.
The suites are hidden amongst the grounds of Chewton Glen, in a peaceful valley and the hotel treats guests like royalty with a staff-to-guest ratio of two-to-one. Facilities at the property include a nine-hole golf course, spa, gym, croquet lawn, tennis courts, bike loan and free Wi-Fi.