Toying with TreeHouses

Rustic or luxe, bunking out in a tree house during your vacation gives a different view — some say a bird’s eye view.
February, 2013
  • tree houses
  • vacation hot spots
  • resorts
  • Rustic or luxe, bunking out in a tree house during your vacation gives a different view — some say a bird’s eye view. Climb the stairs, cross a rickety bridge or whiz by via zip line to get there. Inside you’ll find serenity, plenty of greenery and a good story to tell when you return. You’re sure to find something you like in these four international tree house resorts.


    Tree House Lodge in Costa Rica

    Whether you’re venturing to Costa Rica for a romantic vacation or planning to immerse yourself in the country’s wildlife with the kids, the Tree House Lodge makes for a memorable trip. Of four wooden homes made of fallen wood at this Caribbean-side lodge, the tree house is the only one up in the air. After spending time snorkeling, hiking, sunning on the beach and exploring nearby nature reserves, you’ll want to relax in the private open air living room on ground level, with its eco hot tub and kitchenette. Look for sloths, iguanas, monkeys and frogs!

    When you’re ready to retire for the night, climb the stairs to the sloped wooden suspension bridge, which brings you to a split-level tree house sleeping six. The hand-carved beds include optional mosquito nets to shield you at night, and it’s surrounded on three sides by glass-free (but screened) windows. When nature calls, you’ll find the toilet tucked into one of the folds of the 100-year-old living tree that the house is built around. The shower is just on the other side of the trunk.

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    Photos courtesy of Costa Rica Tree House Lodge


    Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, California

    Known for its stellar views of the Pacific Ocean, premium guest services and romantic vibe, it’s not surprising the Post Ranch Inn’s tree houses are considered luxurious. Built nine feet off the ground in a modern angular design, you’ll have a view of the water or the trees at this Big Sur location. Each tree house sports a skylight, wood-burning fireplace, private deck, two-person indoor hot tub, complimentary mini-bar snacks and kitchenette, so there’s little reason to leave your perch. If you do venture out, though, you’ll find plenty to do, with on-site morning yoga and meditation classes, outdoor infinity hot tubs, spa services, guided nature hikes and evening star gazing. Not far from the Post Ranch Inn are art galleries, the Henry Miller library and numerous state parks and beaches. The Post Ranch Inn offers seven tree houses to choose from. With 29 rooms total at the inn, you’ll have a serene, relaxing experience no matter which you choose.

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    Photography by Kodiak Greenwood


    Sanya Nanshan Treehouse Resort and Beach Club in South China Sea

    Built of bamboo high up in tamarind trees, this resort’s four South China tree houses give perfect views of the sand and water. You and up to five others in your group may want to choose the Big Beach in the Sky house, where you’ll have access to two story houses perched in two separate trees, connected with a suspension bridge. Traveling with a big group? No problem. Though you don’t need to rent the entire Hawaiian Hale tree house, it sleeps up to 20 in seven separate rooms. Also with great access to the sea, it’s nestled into the forest next to a lake. Couples can pick from the other two tree houses. All contain electricity, but hot showers are a short walk away. When you’re not taking advantage of the beach-side diversions, you can head to the Nanshan Buddhism Cultural Theme Park just next door. This 5,000 acre complex is China’s largest cultural attraction of its kind, with botanical gardens, temples and a 354-foot statue of the Buddha Guanyin.

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    Photos courtesy of Sanya Nanshan Treehouse Resort and Beach Club in South China Sea


    Finca Bellavista in Costa Rica

    When you book a tree house at this southern Costa Rica location, you’ll have access to almost 600 acres of rainforest, white water rivers, natural swimming pools and scenic waterfalls. It’s so secluded that the owners won’t even tell you where it is until you make your reservation. Choose from one of six tree houses, which are so private they may require a 20-minute hike from the base area to get there, though you might spot toucans, kinkajous and monkeys on the way. After unpacking, get around via Finca’s SKYTrail network of zip lines and platforms. It’s not a canopy tour, but it is a fun way to get from tree to tree without swinging like monkeys.

    Make sure you look into El Castillo Mastate, the house 90 feet up, surrounding the Mastate tree. The octagonal building comes with its own 80 foot suspension bridge. All tree houses have kitchenettes, hot water showers, sinks and flush toilets, but most don’t offer electricity. You’ll truly be able to turn off. Bring your kids or another couple – each tree house typically accommodates four people.

    Visit this treehouse at

    Photos courtesy of Finca Bellavista

    By Deborah Abrams Kaplan


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