5 Best Tree Houses

Experience the height of luxury in the most natural surroundings, says Annelise Goodsir


Kerala, India

Kerala, India

The Indian "eco-entrepreneur", Babu Varghese, dreamed of building an ecologically-sound resort that would both appeal to nature-loving tourists and support the local community. The result is the Green Magic Nature Resort, on an old cardamom plantation in northern Kerala.

The tree-houses, camouflaged by the thick foliage, are modelled on the traditional homes of the local Paniya people. Access is via an indigenous cane lift and a rope bridge, which hangs 90ft above the forest floor. The tree-top rooms have spectacular views across the valley and sway with the cool mountain breezes, while the big double beds are dressed in warm woollen blankets and colourful Indian textiles.

Enquiries through TourIndia (00 91 471 2331 507; www.tourindiakerala.com). Prices from US$180 (£112.50) per night for a tree-house, including all meals

Lake Manyara, Tanzania

At the remote southern tip of Lake Manyara National Park, which is noted for its tree-climbing lions and 387 species of birds, lies an ancient mahogany forest. Here, against the backdrop of the Great Rift Valley, 10 elegant, stilted tree-houses can be glimpsed, scattered among the boughs of the trees. Lake Manyara Tree Lodge is the only safari accommodation within the park. Each tree-house suite has been built using local timber and makuti (palm fronds), and is decked-out in contemporary safari-chic style with earthy tones and voluminous mosquito netting. Tree-house balconies overlook a boma (outdoor dining area), where theatrical meals are prepared.

Prices from US$355 (£221) per person per night, including all meals, two game drives and nature walks. Enquiries through Conservation Corporation Africa on 00 27 11 809 4300, www.ccafrica.com

Cedar Creek, USA

When Bill Compher bought land near Mount Rainier National Park, a few hours' drive south-east of Seattle, he decided to fulfil a childhood fantasy and build a tree-house. Twenty years later the result is perched 50 feet up in a giant cedar. At the top of the stairway leading into the tree, a glass observation deck affords 360 degree views of the dense forest and craggy mountains beyond.

The tree-house sleeps up to five people and contains a living room, kitchen, bathroom and sun room. You sleep in a loft. A skylight gives clear views of Mount Rainier's icy summit, while the sun provides solar energy and the friendly owner hauls water up on his back every day from the clear mountain stream.

Cedar Creek Tree-house (001 360 569 2991; www.cedarcreektreehouse.com) costs US$250 (£156) for two people sharing and $25 (£16) for each additional person, self-catering. Closed February.

Tsala Treetop Lodge, South Africa

Swing off South Africa's famous Garden Route just west of Plettenberg Bay and you'll find a tree-top haven overlooking the vast sweep of the Tsitsikamma forest. The architecture of the main lodge is dramatic: soaring roof, exposed beams, chunky pillars and rough stonework. To reach the 10 secluded tree-house suites, guests pad along winding wooden walkways that meander through the forest canopy. Each tree-house has a private deck with infinity pool, and inside you'll find a living room with roaring log fire, a bedroom with floor-to-ceiling windows and an enormous bathroom with a free-standing stone tub. A candelabra-laden dining area juts out on a platform so diners can eat outside.

Tsala Treetop Lodge (00 27 445 327 818; www.tsalatreetops.com) Doubles from R2,290 (£190) per person per night including breakfast. From 16 April the price drops to R1,720 (£143) per person

Hinchinbrook Island, Australia

Hinchinbrook is Australia's largest island national park, lying off the tropical north Queensland coast and surrounded by the Great Barrier Reef. The only accommodation available is barely visible in the tree-tops - the Hinchinbrook Island Wilderness Lodge has been carefully designed to blend with the landscape and offers peaceful seclusion in four roomy timber tree-houses. Accessed by winding boardwalks, each is stylishly furnished, dappled by natural forest light and freshened by cool sea air. Timber patios allow incredible views across the rainforest to the ocean beyond.

Hinchinbrook Island Wilderness Lodge (00 61 740 668 270; www.hinchinbrookresort.com.au). A one-bedroom tree-house costs from Aus$355 (£145) per person per night, based on two sharing, and includes all meals

News
peoplePaper attempts to defend itself
Voices
voicesWe desperately need men to be feminists too
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Food and Beverage Cost Controller

    18,000 to 20,000 per annum: Accountancy Action: Our fantastic leisure client i...

    Affiliate Marketing Manager / Affiliate Manager

    £50 - 60k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Affiliate Marketing Manager / Affiliate Mana...

    IT Administrator - Graduate

    £18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...

    USA/Florida Travel Consultants £30-50k OTE Essex

    Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...

    Day In a Page

    Secret politics of the weekly shop

    The politics of the weekly shop

    New app reveals political leanings of food companies
    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
    Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

    Beware Wet Paint

    The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits