7 Next-Generation Tree House Hotels

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7 Next-Generation Tree House Hotels
Lofty, leafy accommodations have been popular for a while, but they’ve generally carried an element of “roughing it.” Now, a new generation of resorts is taking tree houses to a luxuriously new—and higher—level. From Tulum to Tanzania to Thailand, lavish honeymoon suites, suspended dining pods, and spa treatment pavilions are being built among the branches. Here are a few places to get your greenery fix up close.
By Ann Abel, AFAR Contributor
Courtesy of Dorado Beach
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    1. The Spa Pavilion: Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve

    Puerto Rico

    Along with 10 closed-off treatment rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows, the spa at Dorado Beach—built on five acres of pineapple gardens and verdant natural landscaping—has two tree house pavilions that let guests hear the rustling leaves and enjoy the scent of bay rum leaves and lemongrass. Those who want to sway along with the island breezes can book a hammock massage, in which spa-goers are suspended in a cloth hammock while a therapist works on their pressure points from beneath.—Rooms from $799; ritzcarlton.com.

    Courtesy of Dorado Beach
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    2. The Presidential Suite: Treehotel

    The newly opened Treehotel’s 7th Room is by far the most lavish aerie at this design-forward Lapland retreat. Built around pine trunks some 33 feet above the ground, the suite sleeps five people. The two bedrooms, living area with sofa bed, bathroom, and shower are all adorned with Scandinavian wood, warm textiles, and organic materials. Large windows throughout and skylights in the bedroom are designed for viewing the northern lights, as well as the panorama of the surrounding forest and the Lule River. The mesh floor of the patio allows for nighttime stargazing (or sleeping) and daytime admiration of the treetops below.—Introductory rate (through March): about $1,300; treehotel.se.
    Courtesy of Treehotel
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    3. An Eco Lodge Gone Luxe: Papaya Playa Project

    Sustainably handcrafted from local zapote and recycled wood, the Papaya Playa Project Resort’s new tree house is designed to honor traditional Maya structures and provide plenty of contemporary creature comforts (plumbing, for instance), as well as handcrafted woodwork, soft textiles, and local artwork. Built on stilts to preserve the forest floor, the spherical structures have a living area at leaf-level and a curving staircase that leads above the jungle to a meditation chamber, bedroom, and bathroom with wide-angle views.—From $2,100; papayaplayaproject.com.
    Courtesy of Papaya Playa Project
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    4. A Moment of Zen: Hoshinoya

    The all-villa Hoshinoya Resort is the company’s first resort outside Japan. The company does, however, plan to bring elements of its homeland to the new location, including three teahouses for sipping matcha and quietly contemplating the landscape. The structures, which are made largely of glass and cantilevered out over the jungle, are situated along a river gorge near Ubud, meaning there’s green forest extending as far as the eye can see.—Rooms from $700; hoshinoresorts.com.
    Courtesy of Hoshino Resorts
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    5. The Honeymoon Suite: Secret Bay

    Secret Bay, an intimate Caribbean hideaway, calls its two new villas “bowers of bliss,” because they have exoticism and privacy galore. Stretching over nearly 1,600 square feet, each Ylang-Ylang Villa—so-called because their exterior shape is inspired by that flower—encompasses a bedroom (which can be air-conditioned) and bathroom, two decks, an outdoor shower, an open-air kitchen, a barbecue, a dining area, a hammock sofa, and an elevated pool. Standing on a single “stem,” each is an architectural feat and a dreamy setting for a romantic retreat.—From $682, secretbay.dm.
    Courtesy of Secret Bay
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    6. The Meal of a Lifetime: Soneva Kiri

    Soneva Kiri Resort’s Treepod Dining experience elevates fine dining in more ways than one. Four diners share a bamboo pod that is gently hoisted high into the branches of a century-old masaang tree in Koh Kood’s ancient rain forest, giving them views of the sea. Once aloft, they dine on the resort’s signature gourmet fare (watermelon salad, galangal-baked fish in banana leaves), all delivered by a personal waiter who flies in on a zip line.—Rooms from $905; soneva.com.
    Courtesy of Soneva Kiri
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    7. Swiss Family Robinson on Safari: &Beyond Lake Manyara Tree Lodge

    The only permanent lodge in the park of the same name, &Beyond’s outpost here emphasizes the mahogany forest. The original 10 suites of the Lake Manyara Tree Lodge are all built on stilts with large decks suspended above the forest floor and cradled in the boughs, and they are crafted from local timber and makuti palm fronds. A new family suite takes that model and supersizes it, creating a second bedroom for the kids.—From $2,940, andbeyond.com.
    Courtesy of &Beyond Lake Manyara Tree Lodge
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