by Ronnie Charrier
Feel like spending your next vacation in nature - literally? Once the sole province of young boys, Robin Hood's merry men, and Ewoks, tree houses offer something truly unique: the chance to feel like a kid again and re-live the magic of childhood memories while appealing to your grown-up tastes.
Creating these magical treetop hotels is hardly a new idea, as the Ariau Amazon Towers Hotel in Brazil has been inviting guests to explore the jungle canopy from its rooms since the mid-1980’s. But the concept has blossomed; today you’ll find them everywhere from the open-air African bush to inside of an old airplane fuselage.
No matter what season, these incredible tree-house hotels offer lodging experiences you won't soon forget.
Deep in the Huilo-Huilo Biological Reserve in Chile, along an ancient watercourse, the Nothofagus Hotel appears. This 100 foot high structure rises to the top of the trees, yet within offers beauty, comfort, and a magnificent spa. The core of the property is an ancent oak and there is an illuminated waterfall that gushes from the first level to the seventh level. The 55 rooms and suites offer spectacular views of the forest and Mocho-Choshuenco volcano, for an unforgettable experience.
Located just south of the city in the Phra Pradaeng district along the Chao Phraya River, the Bangkok Tree House has “nests” where guest can sleep under the stars among the treetops. You can only access the hotel by foot, bike, or boat. The floors, walls, and ceilings are made of reclaimed wood and local bamboo. Old juice cartons provide the insulation. Solar and wind energy power the LED lights and cookers, and the kitchen composts its food waste.
Tucked away on the 130-acre grounds of Chewton Glen in England near New Forest National Park are six private tree houses, each with two massive suites, floor-to-ceiling windows offering panoramic canopy views. Each has it's own spacious outdoor terrace, with a hot tub and daybeds, as well as heated timber and marble floors to encourage you to leave your shoes at the door.
As part of the Costa Verde Resort, the 727 Fuselage Hotel sits high above the ocean in the lush Costa Rican jungle. The plane is a vintage 1965 Boeing 727 that was refurbished into a two bedroom suite with amazing views. Because the suite sits at the edge of the Manuel Antonio National Park, there is a good chance that with your breakfast you could be greeted by residents monkeys, which locals say actually out number the people in the village.
At the Out'n'About Treehouse Treesort you will find twelve world-class tree houses, each completely unique and sparingly decorated with a rustic, camping feel. The Treesort is modeled as a bed and breakfast with the events and scope of a resort. One need only look at the waitlist - many guests will wait upward of a year for a reservation — to know they are staying somewhere truly magical.
Built into old tamarind trees near a "new 5,000 acre Buddhist and ecological theme park complete with temples, pagodas, (and) botanical gardens", these perfect-for-groups treehouses offer beach access, views of the South China Sea, and can sleep up to 20 guests over three levels.
Located less than 10 miles from Plettenberg Bay you'll find the beautiful & luxurious Tsala Treetop Lodge. Pick your suite or maybe even a Treetop Villa and fall asleep while you listen to the sounds of the jungle. The suites & villas are gorgeous, have their own swimming pool, and the views are breathtaking: located high above the forest floor, Tsala looks down lush forests extending across rolling valleys, towards the distant hills.
Hidden in the lush green Perigord region of France, about 100 miles from Bordeaux, lies the majestic Chateaux dans les Arbres. Modeled on Dordogne’s castles, these four fanciful luxury treehouse masterpieces were born out of a desire to create sumptuous, magical spaces whilst still preserving the environment. No two tree “castles” are alike: each is individually designed, featuring unique characteristics such as overflow spa with chromotherapy and Finnish sauna, Asian-inspired interiors, decorative ironwork or spacious terraces overlooking the magical surroundings.
From your private deck with sweeping views of the California coast, the luxurious Post Ranch Inn's seven tree houses will make you wonder why we don't build more houses high above the ground. These floating suites in the sky come standard with a bottle of wine, salted caramels, fresh granola bars, and local cheeses. With a skylight over the bed for nighttime stargazing, binoculars, and walking sticks in each suite, connecting with nature is a seamless experience accentuated by the comforts of modern luxury.
Spending a night in one of Canada's Free Spirit Spheres is a moving experience. The three rentable spheres, named Eve, Eryn, and Melody, are suspended from trees in the woods just north of Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island. When a breeze sweeps through the forest, the spheres sway gently. Each 1100-pound, 10-foot-wide orb is equipped with a bed, dining table, storage space, built-in speakers, and big circular windows for gazing at the forest. Spiral staircases and drawbridges provide access to the spheres, which hang between 10 and 15 feet above the ground.
Built among the branches of a riverine Ebony tree, this tree house overlooks the Zambezi River. From the king-size, canopied bed and from claw-footed bath, guests can gaze at the river, which feeds into Victoria Falls. Anatolian carpets, Asian chests, and West African artwork will stoke your wanderlust.