Dining at a restaurant that only serves dessert and staying up all night watching cartoons on TV are just two of the many forms of childhood wish fulfillment with which contemporary culture has graced us. Though we've yet to locate a formal living room fort, there are now a number of treehouses in which you can spend the night. A mushrooming international hospitality industry trend, treehouse hotels are finding a global audience among vacationers looking for absolute isolation amid nature's grandeur.
The talk of the web over the past few weeks, this brand new treetop village just opened in the forest of Swedish Lapland. Treehotel consists of a collective of six guest homes, each with a different aesthetic, that appear to be levitating beneath a pine canopy. The first two to host travellers are The Bird's Nest
, a rounded cobweb of twigs and branches that camouflages a modern room suitable to sleep a family of four, and The Mirrorcube
, a geometric approximation of kaleidoscopic
domesticity that's covered in ultraviolet tinted mirrored glass. Offering accommodations fit for a couple, the latter could very well be the 21st century incarnation of a Poconos honeymoon suite
. Other dwellings in the retreat include the multilevel Room with a View
, the elfin Blue Cone
, and The UFO
, a glowing intergalactic spaceship that seems descended from Mars. The transparent capsule Cabin
, complete with wraparound deck, and magical Tree Sauna
ensure that visitors will never want to come back down to earth.
Tree House Lodge:
Fantasies of a winter vacation are dancing in our heads after discovering this tropical haven that's located in the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge
on Costa Rica's southern Caribbean coast. Built on a 10-acre beachfront property, the Tree House Lodge features four separate cottages, each constructed of eco-friendly, fallen tropical hardwoods and boasting dramatic views of the surrounding flora and fauna. (Up close and personal encounters with howler monkeys are a given.) The crown jewel of the setup is the Tree House
, a bi-level bungalow that's not only nestled within the canopy, but also literally built around the trunk of a 100-year-old Sangrillo tree. The trunk sprouts through the bamboo fortress of the bathroom, so guests can shower while pretending to cleanse themselves beneath a jungle rainstorm. The House's master bedroom, poised on the "top floor," is reached via a suspension bridge - guests may want to set a piña colada intake quota at the start of each beach day, or the stumble home could get pretty interesting.
Sanya Nanshan Treehouse:
When it comes to Asian beach resorts, Thailand's usually hog the spotlight. But for those whose idea of fun does not include full moon parties
, China's Hainan Island offers a tropical paradise, oft compared to Hawaii, minus the rave-to-the-grave scene. Should we ever rack up enough frequent flier miles to go, we hope to land a reservation at this retreat's "Big Beach in the Sky." Nestled high amid a grove of tamarind trees, it's a one-minute jaunt down to a dip in the aquamarine South China Sea. Of course, those whose idea of roughing it is 200 thread count sheets had best check in to a Four Seasons; while the sky hut does have electricity, the only hot showers are located in a separate shelter. On the other hand, after spending time on the beach, visitors can check out the adjacent Buddhist Cultural Park
, an ecological esplanade of botanical gardens, pagodas, and, for those looking to infuse their stay with even more romance, "love temples."