Looking for something a little bit different for your next vacation? You might want to go out on a limb, ditch the stuffy hotel room, and consider a treehouse hotel. Not only does living amid the branches make for a whimsical getaway,research shows that it could boost your health, too.
Just in time for your summer vacation planning, The Sierra Club has spotlighted four of the world’s most magical treehouse hotels. These arboreal abodes are upgrades from the nailed-together scrap wood most of us are familiar with. But whether you seek quiet solitude or a chance to let your inner child run amok, you’ll likely find it, even in the most modern of these lofty dwellings.
Hidden in the Costa Rican rainforest, the Tree House Lodge merges luxury and sustainability into a tree hugger’s paradise. Sitting beside the pristine Punta Uva beach, the lodge features three bungalow-style dwellings, as well as the two-level Tree House, built around a twisting, hundred-year-old sangrillo tree. Visitors will find a bedroom and kitchen on the Tree House’s first floor, while a walk across a wooden, palm-thatched suspension bridge will lead them to the upper-level master bedroom, an ideal spot for watching howler monkeys. Bungalows accommodate up to five people, while the Tree House sleeps up to six.
An array of activities awaits visitors to this jungle jewel. Fitness lovers can limber up in yoga, Pilates, or belly dancing classes. Adventure-seekers can get their fix zip lining through the jungle canopy or white water rafting on the Pacuare River. At Puerto Viejo, seasoned surfers can brave Salsa Brava—Angry Salsa—a wave that breaks over a coral reef, with a steep drop. Cahuita National Park offers scenic hikes in a protected area with stunning biodiversity, including 35 species of coral. Local guides lead tours through the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge, sharing their knowledge about natural medicines.
The treetop lodge’s efforts to lessen its environmental impact and integrate with its natural surroundings have earned it a Certification for Sustainable Tourism. The treehouses, made entirely of fallen trees, use solar heating and electricity, and tour proceeds help fund efforts to preserve the endangered green iguana.
A four-day trip package ranges from $1,575 for two guests to $2,670 for six. A weeklong stay costs between $2,476 for two people and $4,628 for six. Both packages include private airport transportation, as well as tours of the rainforest canopy and Jaguar Animal Rescue Center.
Perched atop gnarled, sprawling tamarind trees overlooking the South China Sea, the Sanya Nanshan Treehouse Resort offers weary travelers a scenic, meditative retreat. Guests can admire the sea from afar, or swim its warm waters by sliding down sand dunes that dip toward the beach below. The resort also sits near a 5,000-acre Buddhist park filled with temples, pagodas and botanical gardens.
The operators of Sanya Nanshan Treehouse Resort caution that their accommodations are “not for the fussy.” But they’re ideal for eco-friendly vacationers who prefer fresh air to air-conditioning. Built from all-natural materials, the houses are also designed so as not to harm the surrounding environment.Accessible only by suspension bridge, the Big Beach in the Sky treehouse hosts six people, while the Hawaiian Hale Hotel Treehouse can host up to 20. An added bonus: as affordable as they are dreamy, these treehouses rent for about $100 a night.
Visit the Sierra Club to see more of the world’s most magical treehouse hotels.