Channel your inner child and sleep in the trees. Yes, we’re reconnecting with our youth and celebrating treehouses that are literally on another level.
As a child, the treehouse room service was mum bringing up cookies and interrupting your game of truth and dare. There’s still a playful sense of fun and adventure at the world’s best treehouses. Except now you’re old enough for people to listen when you say “do not disturb.”
Architects have created magic in forest canopies, where you only share the travel experience with nature. Here are our favourite ten around the world.
1. Baobab Treehouse, Xigera Safari Lodge, Botswana
A three-story treehouse built to resemble a native baobab tree. Located half a kilometre from the main Xigera Safari Lodge, this treehouse is so realistic elephants congregate beneath it every evening. They can even poke their trunks into the first-floor bathroom.
Go up a spiral staircase and you find a canvas-walled bedroom on floor two. Up further an the open-air deck has uninterrupted views over the Okavango Delta.
Yes, the Okavango Delta! From this secure hideaway you can even watch lions prowl the savannah!
2. Treehotel, Sweden
Bertil Harstrom is one of our favourite hotel architects. He recently created Arctic Bath, an overwater spa hotel in north Sweden. A decade ago, the Tree Hotel put him on the map. Here there are seven treehouse suites, each completely different from the next.
Contrast the Bird’s Nest with the UFO, two radically different pieces of art. You literally sleep inside a giant’s bird’s nest, or a UFO!
The most famous suite here is the Mirror Cube, which blends with nature in the most unfathomable way.
3. Treehouse Lodge, Peruvian Amazon
If you want to sleep in the trees, where better than the biggest forest of them all. Getting off the ground is the best way to explore the Amazon and at Treehouse Lodge you’re eye to eye with the monkeys.
It’s nowhere near as well equipped as Baobab or Treehotel, but hey, this is the Amazon so bring your sense of adventure. So wake up to a safari of animal life and bask in the privacy of your location.
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4. Chateaux Dans Les Arbres, Dordogne, France
Why build a house when you could build a castle? Okay, the tree castles at Chateaux dans les Arbres don’t quite rival Versailles or Buckingham, but they’re still a thrilling place for your family.
Inspired by the castles of Dordogne, they come complete with spires, turrets and outdoor jacuzzis. They’re even surrounded by a moat, good protection against any medieval armies passing through.
5. Bisate Lodge, Rwanda
Is there a natural setting more spectacular than Bisate Lodge?
The amphitheater of an eroded volcanic cone, in a rainforest populated by wild mountain gorillas, with views onto three active volcanoes!
We love how Bisate Lodge stays true to both its natural surroundings and Rwanda’s cultural heritage. Before colonialism, Rwanda’s royalty lived in thatched treehouses. Bisate honours that design tradition.
6. The 727 Fuselage Home, Costa Verde, Costa Rica
In Costa Rica, they transformed the fuselage of a 1965 Boeing 727 into a two-bedroom jungle suite. Can we call it a treehouse? It’s more like sleeping in a plane that crashed into the trees.
Planes are pretty high off the ground. Here you’re face to face with monkeys and the views make it seem like you’re flying. Step out onto the right wing and gaze all the way to the ocean. Now to prove it was no design fluke, Costa Verde just built a cockpit cabana – a four-person room constructed from a Mcdonnell Douglas MD-82 jet.
7. &Beyond Ngala Treehouse, South Africa
Completely off the grid, on a private unfenced reserve in South Africa’s Kruger region, Ngala Treehouse is a contemporary retreat in a traditional region. It’s modern luxury living, with lions wandering the savannah down below.
Floors one and two cover your basic eating and bathroom needs. Keep the windows closed though, because giraffe and baboon roam here. Level three is a covered bedroom suite. Level four is perfect for a starlit picnic dinner and falling asleep on a king-size bed, beneath the stars.
8. Nothofagus Hotel, Chilean Patagonia
How ambitious is your dream treehouse? Nothofagus Hotel is a remarkable sight, a vast multi-storied complex built from reclaimed timber. It’s designed to mimic its forest environment.
It’s certainly rustic. But it’s built to help fund a conversation program in Huilo Huilo Reserve. Apparently hugging trees releases the hormone oxytocin, which gives you a warm fuzzy feeling. Imagine how you will feel at this hotel, where every stay helps to save the forest.
9. Four Seasons Tented Camp, Golden Triangle, Thailand
Amid bamboo jungle in far northern Thailand, Four Seasons pitched 15 tents in the treetops. Then added hot tubs and in-suite fine dining.
If 19th-century explorers did treehouses, they’d look a lot like this creation from renowned hotel designer Bill Bensley. It’s comfortably the most opulent of all the treehouses on our list, a romantic cocoon in the trees for explorers demanding luxury.
10. Elewana Loisaba Star Beds, Kenya
For all the grand designs, the beauty of a treehouse is where you get to sleep: above the ground, out in nature. Loisaba Star Beds are the simplest of all our favourite treehouses. Just a raised wooden platform with a four-poster bed on top. You could probably build a better one in the grounds of your country house.
You’re hosted by Samburu warriors and sleep beneath the endless African sky. And what’s that down below? That’s the African savannah, populated by sights and sounds you definitely won’t find at your country house.