Treehouses have long captured the imagination. Perhaps even a fond memory from childhood. Maybe you built one and when it actually came together you chalked “Clubhouse” on the makeshift door? Or, as I did, you might have written: “Private. Don’t enter.” After all, you (and I) may have needed a place to write, or think, listen to birds, or gossip with friends. When we got older, we might even have snuck a beer or two into the crypt-like space, a marvel above the earth, rickety, but floating among the leaves. Birds became neighbors. From up high, you could see across town, smell the apples growing on the tree, hear the animals scrabbling that also called it home. Countless poets have written about trees and the treehouse life. Silly poets like Shel Silverstein: “A tree house, a free house. A secret you and me house. A high up in the leafy branches. Cozy as can be house.” And profound poets like James Dickey: “The floor and the walls wave me slowly; I am deep in them over my head.” Maybe it’s a primal thing after all. Animals have lived in trees since the beginning of time — from monkeys to the herons I see mating and nesting down my street atop a brushy oak tree. Maybe treehouses simply please us as adults because they awaken the child inside. Whatever the reason, we all want to sleep in a treehouse. Lucky for the nostalgic among us, treehouses exist in real life, spellbinding suites in leafy hotels. Here are a few luxurious ones to climb into.
Canopy Tree House at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica, Peruvian Amazon
Some homes have a sidewalk that leads to the front door. But, you’ll have to channel your inner Tarzan and Jane and walk across the seven-bridge Inkaterra Canopy Walkway, suspended 100 feet above the jungle, to arrive at your remote cabin draped above the Peruvian Amazon’s verdurous treetops. The Canopy Treehouse, positioned atop a private platform attached to the famous walkway, provides guests with the opportunity for full jungle immersion. A night in the en suite cabana comes with a gourmet meal served on another adjoined platform, the cacophony of wildlife will be your symphonic background music. With a butler, driver, and guide on call, guests have the option (in case they get anxious) to switch mid-experience to an (already set) up escape room — a cabin on the ground.
Loire Valley Lodges, France
Erstwhile, French royalty and their cohorts took bucolic refuge from city life in their veritable woodsy playground: the chateaux-peppered Loire Valley. Today tourists flock to the still (relatively) undeveloped area south of Paris for the historical sites, castles, wine, and characteristic towns. Personifying the original rural allure of the region, Loire Valley Lodges, occupying a private portion of a 750-acre forest, provides 18 sumptuous treehouse lodges, each designed by a different contemporary artist. Meant to encourage guests to unwind from urbanity and digitally detox, the hideaways have immense terraces (nearly as large as the suite), with private spas, but zero access to Wi-Fi or television (sometimes we need that). Activities include forest bathing, “lyrical” hikes led by a world-famous tenor, biking, ballooning, and much more.
Treeful Treehouse Sustainable Resort, Okinawa, Japan
Deeply devoted to sustainable luxury, this emblematic environmental project reigns as a paragon of minimal footprint-style travel. With its minimal electricity produced completely by solar power, the Treeful Treehouse Sustainable Resort invites guests to connect with nature and find their zen with a stay in their streamlined, design-forward treehouses, each conceived by acclaimed architects, each ensconced gracefully into the branches and flora of the surrounding woods. Choose Aero House, which seems to hover mid-air with 360-degree views or Spiral Treehouse, a wonderful fantasy of twisty stairs and observation decks. Don’t miss a meditation at the adjacent Genka River, considered to be the clearest waters in Japan.
The Treehouse Suite at The Ranch at Laguna Beach
Shades of hippiedom remain in this modernized, refurbished, hexagonal-shaped suite, part of the casually swanky The Ranch. Seconds from the beach, built decades ago as a private residence for the resort’s owners, the 1,600-square-foot, two-bedroom home has been thoroughly updated to include a full gourmet kitchen. It nests high above the resort’s grounds with retro elements in place from teak walls and a staircase to a wraparound deck. A romantic snug, ideal for larger group stays, is the Treehouse Gazebo, a stand-alone studio perfect for slumber parties and small group fêtes.
Treetops Suites at Manoir Hovey, North Hatley Quebec
In the Eastern Townships region of French-speaking Quebec, evoking old-school holiday glam and picture-postcard stateliness amid sylvan forestland, Manoir Hovey beckons from the scenic shores of Lake Massawippi. A five-star Relais & Chateaux hotel, known for its fine dining, hospitality, activities (think: pontoon boats in summer and ice fishing in winter) and new spa, it offers a bevy of captivating suites. But none tantalize nor summon the surroundings as thoroughly as the Treetops Suites (aka The Pines and Birches Suites), situated on the top of a country cottage, set on a small cliff overlooking the lake. Replete with canopy beds, sizable porches, private cedar hot tubs, wood-burning fireplaces, and cathedral ceilings, the suites incorporate the outdoors at every turn.
Luxury Tree Houses Lovango Resort + Beach Club, US Virgin Islands
Encompassing a private island with views of Caneel Bay, this sleek retreat reigns as the first new-build resort in the U.S. Virgin Islands in three decades. Just a ten-minute boat cruise from St. Thomas and St. John, the tropicaloasis wows with five luxurious treehouses, each kitted out to showcase as much en plein air as possible. Surrounded by palm trees and flowering plants, with hammocks, indoor and outdoor showers, and breezy living spaces awash in natural light and diaphanous fabrics aplenty, the treehouses are large enough to sleep a family of five. Resort amenities include a 70-foot infinity pool, hiking trails, and two restaurants.
Manta Ray Treehouses at Playa Viva, Mexico
Mimesis refers to the imitation of life in art. At alluringly unpretentious, barefoot chic Play Viva this concept triumphs in the Manta Ray Treehouses, which vaunt inspirational design based on drone footage of the Mobula Manta Ray migration, which takes place in front of the resort. As an homage to nature, indeed mirroring nature, the treehouses connect guests deeply to the destination, a sliver of perfect beach just 35 miles south of Zihuatanejo-Ixtapa International Airport. Erected with building materials from the property’s own harvest of bamboo and palm fronds, the treehouses appear to float mid-air alongside palm trees, composed of two houses. Climb into the front “perch,” with a king bed and suspended hammock, its eye-catching shape inspired by the manta ray’s wing. Behind, a second section holds a bathroom and second bedroom or lounge. Pay it forward during your holiday via Playa Viva’s volunteer programs whether caring for turtles or working with local communities.
The Treehouses at Kanopi House
Legendarily and worldwide, banyan trees have long been considered sacred. They represent growth, connection, reflection, and healing. Imagine, then, what might happen if you climb into your very own treehouse, built amongst a grove of banyan trees? At Kanopi House, home to a variety of dreamy treehouses, you can do just that — as well as swim in the Blue Lagoon, dance to the Reggae beat, and eat as much jerk chicken as your heart desires. An eco-devoted destination, awash in sustainable and green focused luxury — including furnishings and decor by area artists, Kanopi House boasts six stunning treehouses — and they built them (and the whole property) without felling a tree. From Hummingbird, an ideal nest for solo travelers or a couple, to Sweet Wood, a two-bedroom, two-level tree suite that spans 12,000-square feet, be assured a roost awaits you.
Treehouses at Blackberry Mountain, Tennessee
A gem in one of the United States most awe-inspiring settings, Blackberry Mountain continues the legacy of sister property Blackberry Farm. A sweep of 5,200-acres in the Great Smoky Mountains, with 2,800 of it dedicated to land conservation, Blackberry Mountain was one of only four Relais & Chateaux resorts in the world to earn the designation before opening. From wellness pampering to body challenging rope courses through the trees, the retreat summons the prodigious drama of nature. Be restored in the treehouses, elegant architectural renditions of the genre, positioned to showcase the views through floor-to-ceiling windows. Couples will love how the bathtub and shower open to the main room in these sophisticated havens.
Keemala, a member of Small Luxury Hotels, Phuket Thailand
Offering guests a through-the-wardrobe version of Phuket, Keemala isn’t that typical southern Thai beachside hotel, beloved for its buzzy nightlife. Instead, Keemala thrives on providing tranquil, otherworldly spaces to disconnect from the external noise and spend some quality time together. Part of an eden swathe of forest, wedged into the green hills, Keemala offers a veritable aerie for luxuriating guests in one of its seven distinct Tree Houses, four of them “Tree Pool Houses.” Opulent, perched above the forest canopy, they brandish unforgettable views of the Andaman Sea. Most magically, they follow the tradition of the We-Ha clan who built their houses elevated to seize enhanced liberty and creativity. While at the resort, partake in a variety of peaceful activities from yoga to cooking classes.