Treehouse hotels are taking the art of escapism to new heights. When seclusion is what you’re seeking, where better to find it than in the sky? Treehouses might once have been solely the setting of childhood fantasy, but they have had a decadent makeover on the travel scape. Think state-of-the-art technology, king-sized beds, marble bathrooms, and alfresco hot tubs. With an undeniable air of romance and awe-inspiring panoramas, these hideaways are underscored by grand designs and sit atop glorious scenery. Here are 10 of the best luxury treehouses to stay in.
Where: The New Forest, England
Chewton Glen’s famous New Forest suites are suspended 35 feet above the hotel’s picturesque surroundings. Renowned for being one of the best countryside escapes in the UK, the beautifully appointed main house and grounds boast every element needed for an idyllic getaway. But a haven beyond imagination awaits when you are whisked to the sanctum of one of its treehouses. Stargaze from the hot tub on the wraparound terrace, enjoy a forest view from the marble bathroom, cosy up in front of a log-burner stove, bed down in style and breakfast from the locally sourced hamper delivery. You’ll never want to come down from cloud nine.
From £950 a night, chewtonglen.com
Where: Tarn et Garonne France
With elegant interiors and your very own sauna, this cabin in the Midi-Pyrénées woods is the epitome of rustic chic. Prepare to embrace a laid-back style of living, with a glass of Syrah Rosé from the nearby Montauban vineyards in hand while sampling local delicacies on the sun-drenched deck. Wind down to the tempo of the tranquil setting with a late afternoon stroll, then while away the hazy twilight evenings in the wood-fired hot tub.
From £186 a night for 2, canopyandstars.co.uk
Where: South Africa
Guests at South Africa’s Lion Sands Game Reserve can add a night like no other to their (already exceptional) stay – an immersive safari sleep-out under the stars. Pack a bag of just the essentials, leave behind your luxurious lodge for the night, and head for a lantern-illuminated treehouse in the wilderness. Arrive to a dinner picnic as dusk falls, and observe animals in the surrounding bush from (a safe distance) above, before falling asleep to shooting stars and the sounds of the wild. There might not be Wi-Fi – allowing for total switch off to be at one with nature – but this is no ordinary sleep-out. King-sized canopy beds and rain showers will remind you of the hotel comforts awaiting your return the following morning.
From £210 per person per night (additional to lodge price), lionsands.com
Where: Somerset, UK
Eagle-eyed visitors may recognise the sweeping grounds of Harptree Court from the opening sequences of The Great British Bake Off seasons three and four. But the best view of the Grade II-listed Georgian manor house is offered by its most well kept secret, nestled in the boughs of an old oak tree. The treehouse suite is comprised of two domed pods, one a country kitchen-cum-living room and the other a bedroom, sumptuously furnished and complete with a freestanding copper bathtub.
From £245 a night for 2, canopyandstars.co.uk
Where: Harads, Sweden
This striking capsule high in the canopy is accessed via a horizontal walkway set between the trees. Some of Sweden’s leading architects have collaborated to curate a minimalist, contemporary space that takes full advantage of the views of Lule River valley in this remote area of Swedish Lapland. Sustainability is a key theme, and the unique cabin, along with all rooms at its parent Treehotel, uses hydroelectric power. The double bedroom has floor-to-ceiling windows looking directly onto the forest, and the rooftop terrace perched between branches completes the feeling of submersion in nature. Take a steam bath in the nearby tree sauna, or book in for a wellness session with the hotel’s resident yoga, meditation and running coach.
From around £354 a night for 2, treehouse.se
Where: Cornwall, UK
The Treehouse on the Lake is part of the Luxury Lodges’ show-stopping portfolio of properties, sitting in 97 acres of landscaped Cornish parkland. This forest hideaway overlooks a rowing lake fringed by wildflowers, and offers details such as bespoke Hypnos beds, an outdoor copper bathtub and a curved wall kitchen with elegant furnishings. Enjoy long, lazy dinners on the terrace, surrounded by the calm of the countryside at night. If you make your booking online, you’ll benefit from early check-in and a complimentary bottle of Taittinger Champagne.
From £1050 for 4 people for a 3-night stay, luxurylodges.com
Where: Arlena di Castro, Italy
Nestled in the crux of a centuries-old oak tree, the Suite Bleue treehouse in the countryside near Rome is about as bucolic as you can hope to find. Part of an Italian agriturismo (farm stay), the eight metre-high den overlooks a horizon of lavender hills that come into bloom in late spring and early summer.
Inside this treetop retreat, you’ll find a four-poster bed and a fridge stocked with champagne. Breakfast is charmingly delivered via a pulley mechanism and you can top up your kitchen supplies with products such as lavender honey and extra virgin olive oil from the farm. The site also offers an infinity pool looking across the olive groves and a riding centre.
From around £334 per night for 2, lapiantata.it
Where: Lancashire, UK
This rather regal treehouse has the air of a small yet exclusive estate. It sits in its own one-acre patch of woodland by a serene lake, with a private swing bridge and boat house. The latter houses a small vessel that guests can use to explore the waters on (there are also mountain bikes, pedalos and kayaks on-hand).
The modern kitchen comes with double-length windows that look out onto the nature reserve, with resident swans and peacocks. A free-standing roll top bath is a lovely touch, as is a piano for lakeside serenades (depending on your skill level) and a fire pit with marshmallows for toasting.
From £229 a night for 4 people, cleveleymere.com
Where: Pedras Salgadas Nature Park, Portugal
This otherworldly vision is the brainchild of Portuguese architect Luís Rebelo de Andrade, in which the rustic notion of the treehouse transitions to a futuristic space. With slate and wood silhouettes suspending out into the treetops, the idea is that the ecological structures make minimal impact on the 100-year-old Pedras Salgadas nature park, while showcasing its raw materials.
Each treehouse has two large windows, “one through which the life of the park may be observed, and another to look at the stars”. A series of restaurants and a thermal spa offering massage, face and body treatments can be found in the host hotel, and eight kilometres of walking trails stretch through the park itself.
From around £500 for 2, for a 2-night stay with meals, drinks and treatments at the on-site thermal spa, pedrassalgadaspark.com
Where: Kaikoura, South Island, New Zealand
You’re hard pressed to find views to parallel those at New Zealand’s Hapuku Lodge and Tree Houses, which is located close to Kaikoura, known for being a leading eco-marine tourism destination. Panoramas from the canopy-level rooms take in the Pacific (where whale-spotting is likely), mountains and the hotel’s own deer park. Uniquely designed to blend in with the unspoilt backdrop, each suite immerses guests in the natural surroundings, as do the activities on offer (from observing the local marine and wildlife to hiking and mountain biking).
From approximately £620 per night, hapukulodge.com
Words: Katie Berrington and Anna Brech.