Treehouses have come a long way since being mere kid playthings in the garden. These days they’re pimped out with plush furniture or combined with monkey meetings in the jungle. These beauties show the fun, the serious and the simply genius sides to tree dwellings; and they’re all available to hire at will.
1. Treehotel, Sweden
Rather than bulldoze the Swedish forest, some very clever architects found a way to build into it. The result is a ‘hotel’ unlike any we’ve ever seen, made up of uniquely designed separate tree rooms. Our favourite rooms of the growing portfolio are the oh so natural Bird’s Nest and the hard to spot Mirror Cube (above) , while we’d love to shake the hand of whoever came up with the UFO room (below). Should you grow tired of your isolation, mingle with the other guests at the tree sauna!
Photos: Peter Lundstrom, WDO – www.treehotel.se
2. Gibbon Experience, Laos
Swap Swedish serenity for the sound of screams (of both fun and terror) in Southeast Asia. Here rustic shelters in the top-level canopy are connected by a network of zip-lines only. It’s perfect for thrill seekers who want to experience real treetop living and leave modern luxuries behind as even your food is sent down a zip-wire to you. Be warned; it’s best to visit in the dry season and this adventure is not for those who are afraid of heights, spiders, leeches, etc. Or for those who are Health and Safety Officers.
3. Castle Cottage, UK
Back in leafy luxury, The Treehouse in the grounds of Castle Cottage in Sussex is a cosier retreat. You could well be in an ordinary boutique hotel – or castle or cottage – if not for the huge chestnut tree branches sticking through the room as a reminder. Touches like an en-suite bathroom with glass roof and swing seats on a balcony make it an inviting option for city types in need of a gentle introduction to the natural world.
4. Kadir’s Treehouses, Turkey
This hostel near to the beach in Olympos is a cheap and cheerful way to live out your tree-dwelling fantasies. Largely, but not exclusively, the domain of backpackers, the huts are no-frills (and no-loos) but with rooms from a tenner including breakfast and dinner, the laid-back guests are more than happy to walk outside for the facilities.
5. Bewilderwood, UK
Relive the time when tree houses were all about fun and escape at this Norfolk Broads family attraction. Kids and their imaginations run wild through ‘The Curious Tree House Adventure’; a whimsical collection of tree houses, jungle bridges and storytellers. The tree houses are allegedly magical and may or may not have had anything to do with Bewilderwood’s multiple award-wins.
5 1/2. Tree Camping, USA & UK
And now for the ½… Why let a little detail like not having a tree house get in the way of a night on the twigs? It doesn’t bother companies like the Pacific Tree Climbing Institute in Oregon, or Mighty Oak Tree Climbing in Cornwall, to name just a couple. They specialise in tree climbing sessions which culminate in a tree top stay harnessed into a cocoon-like hammock, or ‘tree boat’. Enjoy breakfast in the branches the next morning.
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