Luxury gone wild: Top treehouse hotels around the world

Who said luxury was limited only inside four walls? In the backyard of hotels and resorts we frequent around the world are miles of lush landscapes just waiting to be explored and slept in. Look up the next time you’re walking through the woods and imagine a space in that tall tree, complete with all the amenities you would find at home.

Treehouses are treasures that embrace our childhood and indulge our adventurous side, and they have a lot more to offer than a bird’s nest and an old carpet from your Mom’s garage. Below are some of the most unique treehouse hotels around the world worth exploring… are you game?

Parrot Nest Lodge, Belize: Spend the night under a 100-foot guanacste tree in a thatched treehouse in Parrot Nest Lodge. Surrounded on three sides by the Mopan River, you’ll watch fireflies swarm at eye level and make friends with a few parrots from your hammock on the porch of the tree. Make sure you have plenty of battery life in your camera – the Parrot Nest Lodge is one of the best places to play with the wildlife that inhabits the exotic gardens on the grounds. The best part? It’s only $40 a night for double occupancy and children under 12 stay free.

Tree Houses of Hana, Maui: These tree-top rooms are pretty basic, but if you’re looking for rustic romance they’re worth the climb. The rooms in these trees lack electricity (read: candles set the mood) and when the sun goes down, tiki torches and candles light the way through the wooded path to your secluded treehouse. Treetops, House of the August Moon and Pavillion all provide guests with ocean views and camp-style in-tree kitchens. This cost of this adventure will cost you $120 per night. hanalani.maui.netThe Aviary, Lenox, Massachusetts: Not your typical treehouse, The Aviary is a two-level suite with a private covered terrace located on 22 acres of parkland in the Berkshire Mountains. The “treehouse” comes complete with a living rooms, antique soaking tub, and a full entertainment system. The circular stairs lead you to the second floor sleeping room ‘in the trees’. The lap of luxury in the woods will cost you $2100 a night, but it’s sure to be the best time you’ve ever had in a treehouse.

Tranquil Resort, Wayanad, Kerala, India: Imagine waking up to the smells of vanilla wafting through the air and coffee beans roasting in the sun. The 500-square-foot treehouse at Tranquil Resort is set on a private 400-acre estate complete with a working coffee and vanilla plantation, meant to relax and rejuvenate. The treehouse is set 35-feet off the ground and come with king-sized beds, full baths, and a veranda. Insect screens protect you from the outside elements and if you get bored of the panoramic view of the estate, you can turn on the TV or pop in a DVD, conveniently wired in the tree. Nightly rates were unavailable on the website, but you can email the resort directly for information.

Tree House Lodge, Limón, Costa Rica: Located on the southern Caribbean coast of Costa Rica lies a small eco-lodge with four treehouses on pristine ocean-front property. A true mesh of nature and harmony, the treehouses are located in the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge and feature solar heating, two bedrooms, a kitchen, and a shower. To add to the ambiance of these wooden digs, you access your treehome via a hanging steel bridge. Access to the bridge. Rates start at $300 a night.

Zip line fun at The Gibbon Experience

Ever had a chance to ride a zip line? It’s basically a steel cable stretched between two points, allowing adventurous travelers to clip on a harness and ‘zip’ along at speeds of up to 100mph. We recently put together a list of 10 great zip lines from around the world here at Gadling, but there’s maybe one more to add to the list. As part of my recent travels through Southeast Asia, I had a chance to visit the Gibbon Experience, an eco-preserve in Laos where I slept for two nights in a tree house and played around on the park’s numerous zip lines. Want to see what it’s like? Here’s a video of me crossing one of the longer stretches. Girlish screaming while you watch is optional…

The world’s craziest houses

They say that “home is where the heart is,” but I have to wonder when I look at the at the “Gravity-Defying Homes” gallery over at design site PointClickHome. Perhaps the expression is better written as “home is where the crazy is?” Point Click Home’s gallery features a slideshow of some of the most surreal and interesting houses from around the world, including strange structures in Russia, The Netherlands, Indonesia, the U.S. and Canada, among others.

It’s hard to pick a favorite from this bunch. I think the Russian gangster house wins the award for the poorest planning – it’s probably because the owner was incarcerated before he was able to finish it (no joke). Meanwhile, the Dutch seem to be quite adept at building whimsical houses, offering an assortment of homes in the shape of cacti and cubes. And I have to hand it to the American houses – the “mushroom house” and “pod house” are certainly the most trippy.

While I can’t imagine these bizarre buildings are practical to live in, they certainly make for some great voyeurism. Check out the gallery below to see them all. And if you still haven’t gotten your fill, take a look at Justin’s post last year for some more examples.


[via Josh Spear]

The Ritz Of Treehouses

I was a bit of a fan of treehouses when I was a kid, but the ramshackle collage of plywood and plastic I built on the edge of Auckland’s suburbs had nothing on the luxury treehouse I’ve just been staying in at Kaikoura in New Zealand’s South Island.

With handmade furniture, a Scandinavian wood-burning stove and a spa bath, and an iPod sound system pre-loaded with jazz standards from Ella Fitzgerald and Cole Porter, staying at Hapuku Lodge has been pretty special as New Zealand’s weather gods kept debating whether or not to let the country transition to spring.

Waking up near a surf beach is always good. When you’re several metres above the ground it’s even better, and it’s been the ideal background to an exciting weekend swimming with seals and whale watching by helicopter.

Thanks to Hapuku Lodge for the pic.