6 exotic treehouses to bring out your inner child

By Melissa Burfitt

Treehouses have grown up. No longer restricted to childhood rope-ladders and leaky wooden roofs, today’s tree-top hideaways have everything from free-standing bathtubs to four-poster beds. No wonder travellers are clamouring to spend a night in the canopy. Tarzan never had it so good…


1. La Sultana Oualidia, Morocco

For a taste of the high life, La Sultana’s chic stilted Treehouse Suite can’t be beaten. Ensconced in a luxe Moroccan resort, the wooden structure was built around a tree trunk and its lagoon views are the stuff honeymoons are made of. Every indulgence you could want is within easy reach – stroll through bucolic gardens to unwind in the stunning stone spa or enjoy dinner in the sunken restaurant.


2. Lion Sands River Lodge, South Africa

Nature-lovers, adventurers and romantics will love the atmospheric treehouses at Lion Sands River Lodge. Choose from three settings: one high in a jackalberry, one overlooking a river, and another in an ancient leadwood tree. At sunset, you’ll be driven out from the main lodge and left to commune with the extraordinary South African night. Thankfully, creature comforts such as candlelight, a delicious picnic supper, fluffy robes, and a heavenly four-poster bed are also provided.


3. Tree House Lodge, Costa Rica

Hidden deep in a jungle garden, Tree House Lodge is Peter Pan-style eco-house built on tall stilts, with a sloped wooden walkway leading to its front door. More quirky than luxurious, its furniture is hand-carved from sustainable wood, and the fabulous bathroom is built into a 100-year-old Banyan tree. Sit out on the deck to watch hummingbirds flit about, agouti and lizards scamper past, and sloths laze in the trees above. Adrenaline junkies can zip-wire through the canopy for a bird’s-eye view of the rainforest.


4. Tranquil, Kerala, India

Set on a 400-acre coffee and vanilla estate in the hills of northern Kerala, Tranquil’s Tree Suites make charming alternatives to ground dwelling. The smaller of the two (jokingly called ‘tranquilitree’), sits at a lofty 35ft high – the views are excellent, but those of a nervous disposition may prefer the larger (and lower) ‘serenetree’. A communal tree deck makes a great spot for yoga or meditation, after which you can chill out in the plantation’s beautiful pool and Jacuzzi.


5. Douar Samra, Atlas Mountains, Morocco

At almost 2,000m above sea level, Tamartet is one of the highest and least spoiled villages in the mighty Toubkal Massif. In its midst sits Douar Samra (pictured above), a guesthouse where care comes before profit and everyone is welcomed as family, in true Berber tradition. Its treehouse is particularly peaceful, shaded by trees in summer, warmed by a wood-burning stove in winter, and giving wondrous mountain views all year round. On a clear evening, take blankets out onto the private deck and soak up the exceptionally starry sky.


6. Phantom Forest, South Africa

Connected by raised wooden walkways, an entire eco-chic village awaits in the private woodland above Knysna’s lagoons (South Africa). Phantom Forest’s gorgeous glass-fronted treehouses perch on stilts in the forest canopy, allowing guests to watch vervet monkeys and feathered wildlife from the comfort of their deck, armchair, bed or even bathtub. Explore further to find an outdoor ‘Bubble Barrel’ Jacuzzi, treatment rooms and a great restaurant. Treetop luxury at its best.

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