Words by Renae Robinson
“I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree,” wrote Joyce Kilmer. If you feel the same, you can embrace your inner tree hugger and spend the night at any number of poetic locations around the world. Here is our ode to but a few luxury tree houses, from our own back yard to Mexican shores.
Image courtesy of Love Cabins
Love Cabins, Australia
Wake up in the treetops at Love Cabins’ Wollemi Wilderness Treehouse in New South Wales’ Blue Mountains. This stunning treehouse offers views of Bowen’s Creek Gorge and World-Heritage-listed rainforest, through floor-to-ceiling windows. There’s a spa for hot weather, and a fireplace for cold, as well as a kitchenette and queen bed.
Built on a slope, the treehouse is accessed via a narrow walkway and at its highest point is 10 metres off the ground – although it’s an 18-metre drop from the balcony. You can reach even greater heights with a massage, salt scrub and mud wrap, or reflexology foot massage in your abode, while listening to the water splashing in the ravine.
Watch clouds form and butterflies frolic around the tops of the trees. Take a guided rainforest walk along a 200-year-old convict-built road before enjoying a dip in the creek to cool off; or take a private evening glow-worm tour.
Image courtesy of Tranquil Resort
Tranquil Resort, India
The Tranquilitree Tree House at Tranquil Resort features a royal poinciana tree (gul mohar tree) growing through its midst, and overlooks a working coffee plantation dating from the colonial era in the beautiful Indian state of Kerala. Decor could be described as ‘rustic luxury’, and the lofty accommodation comprises a king bed, bathroom and balcony. It sits 14 metres above the ground, and is accessed via stairs and walkways. There are insect screens and tea and coffee facilities, as well as bathrobes and a laundry service.
Families can opt for the child-friendly (three years and over) Serenetree Tree Villa (also a treehouse), which offers a large bedroom with a queen bed, two day beds and two bathrooms, and is accessed from an inclined walkway. You can visit the coffee plantation during the main cropping seasons between January and March. There is a common dining room at the resort, as well as a swimming pool, and you can take advantage of the Kerala Ayurvedic Massage on offer, or go bird-watching to spot 127 different bird species.
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Image courtesy of Tongabezi Lodge
The Tree House at Tongabezi Lodge in Livingstone sits on the banks of the Zambezi River, just upstream from Victoria Falls in Zambia. It is set against the basalt rock bed, among the branches of a riverine Ebony Tree. While it isn’t high in the air, you won’t mind as you sit on the sustainable pine deck and gaze at the spectacular Zambezi. There is a mosquito net for the king bed, as well as airconditioning but the best part is the claw-foot bathtub. Tongabezi aims for ‘laid-back, castaway luxury’ and hits the mark, with Anatolian carpets, Asian chests and West African artwork.
During your stay, you can take a boat trip to Livingstone Island, where legendary explorer David Livingstone first saw the mighty falls, go canoeing on the Zambezi, have a sampan floating candlelit dinner, take a microlight flight over the falls, or indulge in any number of massage treatments. If you visit during the three nights around a full moon, you can see the lunar rainbow over the falls (best times April to August).
Image courtesy of Post Ranch Inn
Post Ranch Inn, US
The Tree Houses at Post Ranch Inn on California’s Big Sur coastline feature king beds with organic mattresses and linens, fireplaces, spas, and private decks with mountain views. You’ll also get complimentary Wi-Fi, a nightly turndown service, bathrobe and slippers, organic bath products, walking sticks and binoculars. They are built on stilts about three metres off the forest floor, and are accessed via stairways.
You can lie in bed and watch the stars through the skylight, and wake up to a gourmet breakfast daily. Activities include Pilates, yoga, guided nature hikes, whale-watching, and an edible tour of the chef’s garden. Or relax in the inifinity pool on the cliff edge overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Treat yourself to rejuvenating spa treatments, or relax with a book in the ranch library. And the Sierra Mar restaurant, with its inventive dining and spectacular views, is not to be missed.
Image courtesy of Xinalani Retreat
Xinalani Retreat, Mexico
While the eco-friendly accommodation at Xinalani is not actually built into trees, this dedicated yoga retreat centre in Mexico’s Puerto Vallarta will have you feeling like you are floating in the treetops. The high-end, palm-thatched Eco Chic rooms are built on stilts among the trees by local artisans, and offer breathtaking ocean views. They have king beds or two double beds with mosquito nets, open-air showers, private terraces and hammocks. Guests are encouraged to bring a torch or head light and book lights, as lighting in rooms and all over the resort is quite dim.
Xinalani means ‘seeds’ in pre-Hispanic language, and the goal is to plant the seeds of wellness for guests. You can enter the Temazcal – a type of sweat lodge – take a meditation class, enjoy a massage, explore local folklore, zip-line through the jungle, swim with wild dolphins, learn to cook healthy food and, of course, practice yoga. The restaurant serves such fare as Quimixto style mahi-mahi on rice with Mexican salsa and beans for dinner.