Aqua Wellness Resort bills itself as a “treehouse colony,” with elevated villas surrounded by green on a hillside facing out to sea. If all the fresh air becomes too much, there’s a beachside “Retox” bar down at sea level.
Built with sustainable materials, these treetop chalets skim the top of the lush, tropical-island canopy. Their open plans create a feeling of exposure to the natural surroundings, especially in the open-air baths and plunge pools.
How do you build an environmentally sensitive casita on a sand dune, where too many pillars or piers would damage the sensitive plant life? One answer, it turns out, is to build treehouses. At Playa Viva, the builders used living, native palm trees as load-bearing supports for their standalone open-air villas on the beach, then used the palm fronds for thatch roofs.
Once the hunting ground of Norman nobles, then a refuge for smugglers carrying Continental contraband, the woods of the New Forest are now home to Chewton Glen’s six private treehouses. To help guests commune with nature in comfort, the rooms come with picture windows, terraces, outdoor hot tubs and day beds, all thirty-five feet off the ground.
Set twenty feet above their own three-acre gardens, the Treehaus Hideaway villas at Rancho Pacifico add private decks with hot tubs and hammocks to the high-design interiors. For further relaxation, try the treetop treatment area at the spa.
Though not technically treehouses, the palafitas at Vila Kalango, elevated on stilts to the level of the tops of the surrounding palm trees, capture more than enough of the treehouse spirit to qualify. And Jericoacoara Beach provides ample inducement to climb back down to earth once in a while.
This is the type of destination one has in mind when the phrase “let’s drive Highway One” gets bandied about: technicolor sunset, clifftop Pacific views, leaning back against a redwood. It’s all possible at Post Ranch Inn, whose smartly appointed and light-flooded Tree Houses come perched on nine- foot stilts. It’s a tough life, we know, but the spa tubs should take care of that mighty quick.
It’s not just bedrooms that benefit from a bit of the treehouse treatment. At Soneva Kiri they’ll hoist your dinner table up into the trees in a bamboo pod, with you in it — and your server, dishes in hand, will arrive via zipline. Not something anybody needs, per se, but an experience that’s well worth having.
Lean in and we’ll share a shortcut: if you want a hint on which eco-lodge to choose, go with the one founded by the producer of Werner Herzog’s Peruvian films. True story. Oh, there’s also the Canopy Tree House situated some 90 feet above the jungle floor — how’s that for adventure, not to mention a good story? Trust us further that the adventures come with more octane than the choice of where to sleep at night.
Another case of just one treehouse on the property, sure, but what a treehouse, especially in parts such as these; think panoramic lagoon frontage, infinity pool, and spanking-fresh seafood by the plateful. Classic films aside, seaside Morocco still doesn’t get the cred we think it deserves. Our advice is to just go and not tell too many people. Not just yet.