For some, the ideal holiday involves sunshine, a pool, a good book, and not much else. For others, even mentioning the word ‘holiday’ has them conjuring up ideas on the site of their next mountain bike ride, scenic skydive, or thrilling underwater encounter.
Whether you’re in it for the nature or the luxury, there’s no denying the allure of a treetop hotel. Next time you’re looking to book a memorable getaway, lock in a stay at one these lofty and leafy retreats.
Aura House, Bali
Bali’s bamboo Aura House is one of the island’s most iconic stays. Located on the river Ayung, 25-minutes from Ubud and 35-minutes from Canggu, the impressive tri-level villa is favoured by influencers, photographers, and anyone with a keen interest in sustainable living. While not a new concept (bamboo villas are common in this area), Aura House has cemented itself as the top spot for stays of its kind thanks to its prime location on the river, its private rainforest plunge pool, and the stunningly subdued interiors. The villa makes the most of its treetop rainforest location, embracing indoor-outdoor living in almost every room.
Since it opened in 2010, nobody can discuss the world’s best treetop hotels without a mention of the visionary Treehotel Sweden. Arguably the world’s most design-focused set of treehouses, the hotel’s six pods - hidden amongst the trees in the very northern reaches of Sweden - are each centred around their own unique concept. From the camouflaging twig-covered ‘Bird’s Nest’ or the tree-reflecting ‘Mirrorcube’ to the more conspicuous ‘UFO room, the contributing architects’ minds were left to run wild on the pod designs. Their designs are wildly varied, but the one constant between the capsules is the promise of an introspective getaway that forges a true connection with the surrounding nature.
The Treehouse, Australia
Overlooking the deep Bowen's Creek Gorge in the New South Wales Blue Mountains, this quirky hidden treehouse is a couple’s paradise. It’s essentially an adult’s only cubby house, built high up around the trunk of a real living tree. The towering tree that punctuates the living area isn’t the only way the cosy retreat aims to bring the outdoors in. There are floor to ceiling windows (and a sunken spa bath) capitalising on the view, decorative wooden features in their organic form, and plenty of rock, fur, and leather throughout.
Keemala Resort, Phuket
Trade in the throngs of tourists and chaotic nightlife of Patong Beach for the treetops and fresh, rainforest air at Keemala Resort in Phuket. Set back from the more subdued Kamala beach on the island’s west, the treetop resort’s hillside location overlooks the lush Thai countryside and the Andaman Sea. Keemala’s unique, pod-like architecture was inspired by the ancient story of four clans - the earth, wanderers, sky, and nest clans. It’s the unique design of the treehouses inspired by the sky and nest clans, also known as the tree and pool villas, that the resort is most known for.
Bisate Lodge, Rwanda
Perched in the treetops on a hillside of rural Rwanda, the thatched exteriors of Bisate Lodge’s six forest villas blend seamlessly into the countryside. The eco-sensitive lodge, known for its reforestation and conservation programs, fringes the home of the endangered mountain gorilla, Volcanoes National Park. From the balconies of the villas, guests can take in the dramatic landscapes of the park, including the jutting peaks of both Bisoke and Karisimbi volcanoes. Inside, the luxury villas pay respect to traditional Rwandan style with no shortage of the use of colour, weaves, and pattern throughout.