10 Outrageous Tree Houses You’ll Want in Your Backyard
Have your head in the clouds? These fantastical structures are just the place to visit.
Ever wanted to be an astronaut without suffering zero-g motion sickness? Book this “room” at the Treehotel, located in a pine forest in northern Sweden. The 323-square-foot space—with a separate bathroom and living area—sleeps five.
This “treebox” may have been created as a play space for kids, but the design is decidedly grown-up. Built by Robert Potokar and his firm, in Ljubljana, Slovenia, the structure has a wall of plexiglass, which is not only a striking visual statement but allows its occupants to have the ultimate immersive experience with the outdoors.
Andreas Wenning and his firm Baumraum have built more than 30 treehouse-like structures—including this two-story tower in Schonhagen, Germany—for private clients and hotels in Europe and the United States. This structure stands proudly in a pond, and its first level is reached via staircase and catwalk. About the lure of treehouses, Wenning told the blog hometreehome, “It is a space in between. It’s not on the earth, it is not in the air….[Treehouses are] a space for romantic, quietness, concentration and common space with friends and family.”
Tree Castles in Two Sizes
Built by U.K. firm Blue Forest, this turreted treehouse compound is actually a pair of spaces—a larger lodge for adults, a small one for kids—connected by a rope bridge. The adult house has a kitchen (with wine fridge), bathroom, and the space to hold an elegant dinner party. The children’s house, three towers big, contain a luxurious feature more appropriate for wee ones. A hidden trapdoor leads to a game room with a plasma TV and a game console. Still, kids may be too busy outside to investigate—to top it all off, there’s an attached 80-yard zip line.
The HemLoft—named because it’s perched atop a towering hemlock tree in the backwoods of Whistler, British Columbia, Canada—was a passion project for carpenter Joel Allen. It took him around three years of on-and-off work to construct, and it contains a sleeping area, a desk, a cooking space, and a balcony. Bathing takes place in nearby lakes and waterfalls, and for other bathroom activities, well, there are the woods.
The Birds’ Nest
This is another of the guest “rooms” at Sweden’s Treehotel. With two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a living room, it can fit a family of four. To prevent intruders from entering the nest, the staircase is retractable.
Inside the Birds’ Nest
Despite its crunchy exterior, the nest has a surprisingly modern yet cozy interior.
It would be easy to walk straight past Treehotel’s Mirrorcube hidden in a Swedish forest. The two-guest tree house is covered by reflective glass, making it hard to spot among the branches.
The 7th Room
This Teehouse structure uses a different form of camouflage. Stand under The 7th Room, and you might not realize there’s anything above you—the building’s underside features a life-size photograph of the Swedish forest canopy above. Up to five guests can stay in it and hop into the safety net hanging more than 30 feet above the ground.
Less “house” than “path,” Baumwipfelpfad in Germany’s Bavarian Forest National Park translates to “treetop walk.” Visitors can climb the 4,300-foot path as it gently inclines, making their way up 140 feet to a 360-degree observation deck.
The highest tree houses in the world belong to the Gibbon Experience, which draws eco-tourists to Laos with the promise of waking up gibbons and zooming through the forest on ziplines. Check out these other 12 of the world’s strangest and most unique hotels.
Most images are from the book Tree Houses, edited by Loft Publications, which has photos of 50 of the best structures from around the world.