Luxury Treehouses Are The Latest Five-Star Hotel Offering

Good for the ‘gram and even better for the environment, hoteliers say these leafy resorts have deep roots.

By Michelle Gross 15/05/2023

Tree houses are cute and nostalgic. Kids love them. But can they really provide a sophisticated luxury resort experience that’s worth returning to again and again?

From Tennessee to the Loire Valley, five-star tree house resorts are popping up just about everywhere these days. A world-weary, been-there-done-that traveler might be tempted to dismiss the category of tree house hotels as just another novel, flash-in-the-pan Instagram moment. But a new generation of hoteliers begs to differ, claiming that ‘Gramability’ can coexist with the important work of elevating eco-consciousness.

Nowhere is that more apparent than at the four-key Treeful Treehouse, which opened in 2021 under the quiet cover of the pandemic.

Treeful Treehouses.

Nestled beneath a canopy of Akagi trees in a remote area within Okinawa, Japan’s Yambaru National Park, the resort feels primed for Insta.

Glittering string lights illuminate the resort’s whimsical Spiral Treehouse. Floating mere inches above the Genka River, the suite has a a connecting sauna, reachable via a single-plank sky bridge. It’s a fantasy dreamscape. Think Swiss Family Robinson with all the creature comforts of your childhood tree house dreams. There’s no TV or Wi-Fi here. As blissfully removed as it is from reality, the hotel has a very real mission.

“Our resort is designed with the purpose of eliminating the boundary between the space dominated by humans and the space dominated by wild nature,” says Maha Kikugawa, chief marketing officer of Treeful Treehouse. “By adopting sustainable practices and working towards a more sustainable future, we can help to create a world where humans and nature coexist in balance and harmony.”

Kikugawa, who graduated with a degree in Ecosystem Science and Policy from the University of Miami, said the vision to build a sustainable tree house resort has always been rooted in creating an experience for guests to come and co-exist with nature while leaving them with a deeper sense of purpose and responsibility about sustainable living.

“From the beginning, we knew we wanted to make it into a resort, not just a tree house for ourselves,” Kikugawa adds.

Built by hand and admittedly with a lot of trial and error by Kikugawa’s father and first-time hotelier, Satoru Kikugawa, the resort used repurposed wood and solar-power to become carbon negative. Each tree house is positioned high enough off the ground to allow the soil and microorganisms below to flourish. The project took the better part of decade and the attention to detail has paid off: In March, Treeful Treehouse won the award for the Most Instagrammable Hotel in Asia.

Back in the U.S., on a 37,000-acre ranch in western Montana, the adults-only Green O opened a mix of sustainable luxury “tree hauses” in 2021. The homes are built with reclaimed flooring and wood from recycled wine barrels; even the roads and cart paths here are made from recycled asphalt millings.

 A treehouse inNayara Bocas del Toro
Tree houses, like this one at Nayara Bocas del Toro in Panama, make a perfect nest for couples. Credit: Brice Ferre.

“We tried to take everything that’s cool about tree houses but give it a contemporary spin that still celebrated the forest,” Laurence Lipson, managing director and co-owner of the Green O, says.

With just 12 accommodations, the Green O’s primary goal was to create a sense of privacy for couples while honouring the bounty of Montana timberland.

“Mindfulness of the environment was of the utmost consideration in designing and building the Green O,” Lipson says. “One of the primary goals for the design of the hauses was to bring the outdoors in and to create a seamless transition between haus and forest. We also wanted it to be as private as possible because we knew that they could be perfect for couples’ getaways and had the thought that visitors would want to experience the wilderness in a way that’s very private.”

 Nayara Bocas del Toro
Tree houses don’t mean you have to give up creature comforts. Credit: Brice Ferre.

The honeymoon jet-set is certainly a target audience for all tree house resorts. But one of the newest and most romantic is Panama’s adults-only Frangipani Island, Nayara Bocas del Toro. In February, it unveiled two 15-metre-high tree houses and has three more on the way.

“With a balance of elegance and texture, we are at once open to nature and sheltered within our own space,” resort designer Elora Hardy says.

Blending Balinese and Panamanian vernaculars, the tree houses are tricked out with outdoor jungle showers and deep soaking tubs. Each space has been handcrafted from locally harvested bamboo and 19 varieties of reclaimed and partially petrified hardwood recovered from the Panama Canal.

A treehouse in the Loire Valley
In the Loire Valley, a less literal tree house puts you at squirrel-eye view. Credit: Anne-Emmanuelle Thion.

“We are absolutely seeing a rise in accommodations inspired by nature,” says Hannah Nelson, the PR director for sustainable hotel brand Beyond Green. “When followed through with the local and ethical sourcing of materials, these types of lodgings can dramatically improve the sustainability and attractiveness of hotels for guests who crave more authentic ways of living.”

That’s certainly true at Post Ranch Inn, whose tree houses were designed to protect the roots of the redwood and native oak trees while providing guests with the opportunity to connect with nature and leave with a sense of purpose as future stewards of the land, according to Freed.

What we’ve learned is that guests are beginning to understand the importance of selecting hotels that embrace sustainability, not just in the design, but with more of a focus on organics, especially with food, and the products used throughout the hotel,” he says.


Subscribe to the Newsletter

Stay Connected

You may also like.

The Boldest, Most Exciting New Timepieces From Watches & Wonders 2024

Here are the highlights from the world’s biggest watch releases of the year.

By Allen Farmelo, Carol Besler, Paige Reddinger, Oren Hartov, Victoria Gomelsky, Cait Bazemore, Nick Scott, Justin Fenner 10/04/2024

Watches & Wonders, the world’s largest watch show, is in full swing in Geneva. The highly anticipated cascade of new releases is marked by confident individual brand identities — perhaps a sign that watchmakers are done scrambling through the violent collision of restricted supply and soaring demand for high end watches. All seem to be back on solid footing.

Steady confidence is a good thing. Consider Jaeger-LeCoultre offering up traditionally styled grand complications or Vacheron Constantin revamping the classic Patrimony with smaller cases and vintage-inspired radially brushed dials. Consider TAG Heuer celebrating the 55th anniversary of the square Monaco with a skeletonized flyback confidently priced at US$183,000, or Moser similarly showing off a fascinating skeletonized tourbillon in its distinctive 40 mm Streamliner at US$86,900. IWC has leaned hard into their traditionally styled Portugieser line, including an astounding Eternal Calendar complication. We find the storied French houses of Cartier, Chanel and Hermes blurring the lines between jewelry and watchmaking with the technical prowess and artistic whimsy that originally earned these brands their exalted place in the hearts and minds of sophisticated aesthetes. Confidence abounds in 2024.

We could go on and on with examples, but the watches below will demonstrate that for 2024 the big watch brands dared to be themselves, which appears to have given them the confidence to take some seriously compelling horological risks. We have separate coverage of off-show releases and, of course, Patek and Rolex, so keep and eye out for those.

Buy the Magazine

Subscribe today

Stay Connected

Patek Philippe Brings Back Collector Favourites at Watches & Wonders 2024

Both the Nautilus Chronograph and Aquanaut Travel Time receive a welcome return.

By Josh Bozin 10/04/2024

If you’re a watch fan, there’s every reason to believe that a Patek Philippe Nautilus, Patek Philippe Aquanaut—or both—would be high on your wish list. Both collections are of historical significance, helping pave the way for the influence of the steel sports watch category—and subsequent chokehold on the market today.

So, when Patek Philippe unveiled its newest releases at Watches & Wonders in Geneva, it was a pleasant surprise to see the return of two of the best past iterations of the Nautilus and Aquanaut collections.

Patek Philippe
Patek Philippe Nautilus Chronograph

First, we get a new Nautilus Chronograph, with the return of the revered 5980, now replete with a new case in white gold and a denim-like strap (a contentious issue among watch pundits). Discontinuing all Nautilus 5980 models earlier this year, including the collector-favourite 5980/1AR in Rose Gold, left a sombre feeling among Nautilus fanatics. These celebrated chronographs, renowned for their distinctive porthole-inspired design and air of sporty elegance, are some of the most sought-after watches in the Patek Philippe catalogue. Thus, the revival of the 5980, now in white gold, is a cause for collectors’ celebration.

The new offering retains its chronograph function with mono-counter tracking 60-minute and 12-hour counter at 6 o’clock on the dial, but now comes on a new denim-inspired, hand-stitched fabric strap with a Nautilus fold-over clasp in white gold—some will love it, some won’t.

Patek Philippe
Patek Philippe

The Calibre CH 28‑520 C/522 powers this new Nautilus with its flyback chronograph, all of which is visible through the transparent sapphire crystal caseback. The dial is also incredibly eye-catching, with a beautiful opaline blue-gray hue accentuated by white gold-applied hour markers with a white luminescent coating. It is priced at approximately $112,000.

Also returning to the fold is the Patek Philippe Aquanaut Travel Time, now with its own bluish hue dial—similar to its Nautilus counterpart. After discontinuing the Aquanaut Travel Time 5164A this year, as well—a watch often regarded as the greatest Aquanaut to date—Patek Philippe surprised all with the new 5164G in white gold. Its greatest attribution is the clever Travel Time GMT function, which clearly rivals the Rolex GMT-Master II as perhaps the travel-friendly watch of choice (if acquiring one was that simple, of course).

For those who prefer the Aquanaut’s sportiness and easy-wearing rubber strap, this newest iteration, with its Opaline Blue-gray dial and matching rubber strap with a deployant clasp, is undoubtedly an icon in the making. The new 5164G has a 40mm case and features the Calibre 26‑330 S C FUS movement, which can also be viewed via the transparent sapphire crystal caseback.

Expect to pick up the new Aquanaut Travel Time for around $95,250.  

Patek Philippe
Patek Philippe Aquanaut Travel Time


Follow @robbreportau for all your Watches & Wonders coverage, and more!


Buy the Magazine

Subscribe today

Stay Connected

Rolex Kicks Off Watches & Wonders 2024 with a New GMT-Master II

The new stainless steel GMT-Master II has already been dubbed the “Bruce Wayne”.

By Josh Bozin 09/04/2024

It may not be the GMT that watch pundits were speculating on—or that collectors were hoping for—but the new Rolex GMT-Master II with a new grey and black ceramic bezel adds dazzle to the revered Rolex collection, which this year celebrates its 70th anniversary.

The idea of a new Rolex GMT launching at the world’s biggest watch fair is cause for a little madness. While the watch community eagerly awaited what was thought to be the discontinuation of the highly sought-after GMT “Pepsi” and the return of the GMT “Coke,” the luxury Swiss watchmaker had other plans.

Instead, we’re presented with a piece that, on paper, hasn’t changed much from previous GMT releases. That’s not to say that this isn’t an impressive release that will speak to consumers—the new GMT-Master II ref.126710GRNR, dubbed the “Bruce Wayne,” is definitely a sight for sore eyes.


This new GMT retains the same dimensions and movement as the other watches in the GMT collection, along with its 40mm size case and the option to fit either an Oyster or Jubilee bracelet. The obvious changes, albeit subtle, come in the way of its mostly monochrome return; a fact that will appease traditionalists. If you’re opposed to the attention-drawing “Pepsi”, “Sprite”, or “Batman” iterations, this model is a stealthier pick—much like pseudonymous Bruce Wayne.

The other noticeable change is the “GMT-Master II” now applied in green text and a 24-hour hand in green; perhaps a nod to the 2007 Basel World GMT release.

Like many Rolex timepieces, this will generate great hype and attention, so don’t expect allocations to come easily.


Model: GMT-Master II
Reference Number: 126710GRNR

Diameter: 40mm
Case Material: Stainless steel
Dial Colour: Black
Lume: Chromalight on hands and hour markers
Water Resistance: 100m
Bracelet: Oyster or Jubilee

Movement: Caliber 3285
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, GMT
Power Reserve: 70 hours
Winding: Automatic

Price: $17,150 (Oyster); $17,500 (Jubilee)
Availability: Now. Non-limited edition

Buy the Magazine

Subscribe today

Stay Connected

Moments in Time

Silversea’s Kimberley adventures transport passengers into a different dimension.

By Vince Jackson 09/04/2024

Whoever refuted the theory of time-travel has clearly never set foot in the Kimberley, a geological relic where craggy landscapes forged hundreds of millions of years ago remain untouched, and dinosaur footprints are still etched into the ochre terrain. And while traversing one of the planet’s last great wildernesses in a 4X4 holds rugged appeal, a more refined way to explore the Western Australian outback is by cruise liner. 

Enter the Silver Cloud, one of Silversea’s most luxurious vessels, available for 10- or 17-day expeditions. Upon arrival via private executive transfer, expect a level of intimacy that’s often conspicuous on other cruise experiences. With a maximum of just 200 guests, attended to by 212 staff, the Silver Cloud can lay claim to the greatest passenger-to-crew ratios operating in the Kimberley. Twenty-four-hour butler service is standard for every suite, along with ocean views—no matter if you plump for a modest 22 m² Vista Suite or supersize to a 217 m² Grand Suite.

Yet bigger is not necessarily better on water; the ship itself is compact enough to manoeuvre into isolated coves and waterways that larger vessels—or, indeed, four-wheel-drive Land Cruisers—are unable access. Each sunrise brings the promise of an unforgettable adventure, whether hopping on a Zodiac at Koolama Bay to witness the cascading thunder of the 80-m-high, twin King George Falls, or embarking at Swift Bay to scramble over rocky standstone and view the disparate rock-art forms on display at the sacred Wandjina art galleries—some reckoned to be up to 12,000 years old.

Another example of the Kimberley’s ability to propel you back through time.

Prices from $15,500 pp (10 days) and $23,900 pp (17 days); June 9-19, and August 8-25 or August 25- September 11 respectively;

Click here to subscribe to Robb Report ANZ.

Click here to subscribe to Robb Report ANZ.


Buy the Magazine

Subscribe today

Stay Connected

Kelly Slater’s Hawaiian Hideaway Hits the Market for $30 Million

After seven years of ownership, the legendary surfer is selling his beachfront compound on Oahu’s north shore for $20 million.
Published on April 5, 2024

By Wendy Bowman 08/04/2024

Always wanted to live like a surfing legend—specifically, a pro shredder with countless accolades under his board? Now’s your chance, because the picturesque Hawaiian spread that Kelly Slater has owned for the past several years has just popped up for sale on Oahu’s north shore, as was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

The asking price is an impressive $30.3 million—or around $18.2 million more than the 11-time champ dolled out for the beachfront digs seven years ago, back in spring 2017. Acquired largely for personal reasons—he fondly remembers crashing at a nearby house with teen surfing buddies in the 1980s—Slater has long floated the place on the rental market, once for as much as $121,500 per month.

Sited amid a gated parcel spanning just over a half-acre, alongside one of the most sought-after streets in the Haleiwa area, the property was built in the early 2000s, and offers a main home and pair of guesthouses—for a total of six bedrooms and eight baths sprawled across a little more than 706 sqm of Asian- and Hawaiian-infused living space, all with access to 101 feet of secluded shoreline.

Though interior photos are scarce, previous listings show the primary dwelling is showcased by a soaring living room displaying an open-trussed ceiling, a curving hardwood staircase tucked off to the side and glass doors spilling out to a covered lanai. Other highlights include a formal dining room, media room, and kitchen outfitted with natural wood cabinetry and an expansive island. Two bedrooms include an upstairs primary suite, which boasts an ocean-view balcony, a seating nook, walk-in closet, and bath equipped with dual vanities and a soaking tub.

Outdoors, the garden-laced grounds host a boardwalk spanning a pond, along with an infinity pool and hot tub bordered by a grassy lawn; and topping it all off are the aforementioned ancillary accommodations, which consist of a three-bedroom guesthouse with its own kitchen and living area, plus a one-bedroom apartment resting atop the detached three-car garage. There’s plenty of Polynesian artwork left behind by a previous owner that’s reportedly part of the sale, too.

The 52-year-old Florida native, who told WSJ he is wrapping up what may be his final year as a pro surfer, also operates numerous business ventures ranging from a private surfing ranch to a sustainable footwear brand, and coming soon, a skin care and sunblock line.

In addition to his for-sale compound, Slater and his longtime partner Kalani Miller also maintain a primary residence he calls a “small beach shack” on Hawaii‘s Banzai Pipeline reef break, plus homes in Florida, California and Australia.

The listing is held by Paul Stukin of Deep Blue HI, an affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate | Southern California.

Buy the Magazine

Subscribe today

Stay Connected