Want a cool but romantic hotel setting and something a little different? Want to be one with nature and stay up in the trees under the stars like the Ewoks for your next holiday? If so then these cool tree house hotels maybe just what you were looking for. Here are the world’s coolest tree house hotels…
Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica (Peru)
As a pioneer of sustainable tourism in Peru, Inkaterra’s aim has always been to introduce outsiders to the wonders of Peru’s indigenous culture in a way that actively benefits local people. One of its loveliest properties, Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica, is a jungle lodge on the banks of the Madre Dios river in the Amazon rainforest. Accommodation is in 35 thatched cabanas, all with screened porches and hammocks.
The latest addition, the fairytale Canopy Tree House, is a heart-stopping 90ft above the ground. Accessed by canopy walkway and situated on its own private platform in the sky, the Canopy Tree House is ideal for animal watching below, stargazing above or just unwinding in complete peace. Everything has been considered, including the possibility that you might get vertigo in the night (there’s an additional bedroom at ground level you can clamber down to), and a butler is on hand, contactable by walkie-talkie, for those late-night Pisco Sour orders.
Hapuku Lodge (New Zealand)
Beautifully positioned on a shelf between the snow-capped Kaikoura Mountain Range and surf-lashed Mangamaunu Bay on South Island, Hapuku Lodge is an exercise in fresh, contemporary, low-impact design.
The architect Tony Wilson and his family set out to build a low-key country inn, but before long the project had morphed into a six-room lodge and five glorious tree houses, 30ft up in the canopy of a native manuka grove.
All rooms are simple, with comfortable handcrafted beds, wool rugs, roaring fires, huge windows and terraces facing the ocean.
There is a tree house to suit all – from a romantic one-bedroom nook to two-bedroom enclaves for families. There are great walks direct from the lodge, and it is 12 miles north of Kaikoura (Maori for ‘to eat crayfish’), once a major whaling town and now a centre for eco-marine tourism and an artists’ colony that has achieved Green Globe Benchmark status. Next year Hapuku is adding a few more rooms and an outdoor heated pool.
- From NZ$440pn for a lower branch tree house (hapukulodge.com). Bales Worldwide offers 10-day itineraries that include two nights at Hapuku Lodge from £2,385pp (0845-057 0600; balesworldwide.com).
Tranquil Resort-Plantation Hideaway (India)
On a private coffee and vanilla plantation in the remote Wayanad district of northern Kerala, Tranquil Resort-Plantation Hideaway is much as it sounds – a peaceful rainforest haven with the efficiency of a resort and the intimacy of a ‘home stay’. You are greeted like old friends by the owners, Victor and Jini Dey, and it is difficult not to relax at Tranquil Resort.
There are eight rooms in the main bungalow, the Tree House with a bedroom, bathroom and a large veranda, and the bigger Tree Villa, huge with a double and two single beds, two bathrooms and a large veranda. Its diminutive overall size gives the hideaway a laidback house party atmosphere. Relax by the pool in a hammock, in the garden or strike out for a walk into the 400-acre plantation, where you can learn how coffee and vanilla are produced. Home-cooked meals are taken around a big communal table – some say this is the best food in Kerala.
- Stays in the Tree House cost from £280pn (tranquilresort.com). Pettitts offers 12-day itineraries including two nights in the Tree House from £2,390pp (01892-515966; pettitts.co.uk).
Chole Mjini Lodge (Tanzania)
Off the tourist trail on a stunningly beautiful island within Tanzania’s Mafia archipelago, Chole Mjini Lodge was an eco-lodge way before the term had been coined. The owners, Jean and Anne de Villiers, built this collection of six tree houses high in the branches of baobab trees set within tropical gardens to be environmentally sound and to give something back to the community.
Today, $10 of each guest’s nightly tariff goes towards funding a local project (most recently building a primary school and an adult education centre). Be prepared for ‘creative’ takes on modern conveniences: storm lanterns replace electricity, there are composting lavatories, and air conditioning comes in the form of natural ventilation that blows through each open-sided house.
The result is a unique rustic charm and complete indulgence defined by attentive staff, huge wraparound terraces with gorgeous ocean views and the feeling of being somewhere completely, wonderfully different.
- Expert Africa offers a seven-night ‘Lemon Grass Beach Holiday’ from £1,672pp (based on two sharing), which includes three nights at Chole Mjini (020-8232 9777; expertafrica.com).
Jaci’s Tree Lodge (South Africa)
Luxury safari lodge situated in the malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve. Jaci’s Tree Lodge voted one of the 101 best hotels by The Tatler Travel Guide.
Visit the website at www.madikwe.com/tree_lodge.htm
Wild Canopy Reserve (India)
A great example for eco tourism is the Wild Canopy Reserve hotel, located in south India. Unfortunately, Wild Canopy Reserve is currently closed, due to ongoing issues with the owners of the private reserve near the Masinagudi Wildlife park.
This eco-friendly hotel offers tree house accommodation while an elephant or a tiger lingers at your doorstep. From the Wild Canopy Reserve tree houses resorts you will enjoy over two hundred varieties of birds including the Great Indian hornbill, not to mention elephants, tigers, leopards, wild dogs, peacocks, various species of deer, wild boar, giant squirrels and flying squirrels. Just look at this amazing view of this tree house hotel to the vast grounds of the Indian jungle.
Safariland Treehouse Resort
Safariland Treehouse Resort: Deep in a mountainous jungle region of India, you’ll stumble upon one of weirdest hotels on the planet. This hotel actually consists of 4 treehouses which stand approximately 15 feet off the ground, and each is built out of locally sourced materials such as bamboo. These gigantic tree houses provide awesome views of the mountains and jungle streams below.
Each of the 14 rooms here cost between $150 and $250 per night depending upon the room, and there’s plenty to do for eco-tourists including wildlife treks, mountain hikes, bonfires, elephant rides, and you can even get some good food at the on-site restaurant.
Visit the hotel website at www.safarilandresorts.com