“Tree houses are the ultimate return to nature.”
There is something synonymous about children and building forts. Pulling out the meticulously folded sheets and strategically draping them over couches and chairs. Adding a magical glow with string lights and sleeping on a floor of popcorn and pillows. The motivated gathering of boards and hammers and setting out in search of the perfect tree in which to share stories and sagas, allowing only those with the coveted password into this secret world above the ground. It is the craft of childhood imagination at its finest as creativity, ingenuity and safety swirl to balance.
As an adult, much of this magic is lost. We lack the elements of pretend, choosing the comfort of a queen bed with high thread count sheets, over a floor of wooden planks, a staircase of rope ladders and a make-shift roof of quilts and duct tape. The good news is, thanks to the hard work of dedicated dreamers, there are still pockets of childhood magic for us to enjoy. The Tree Houses Hotel Costa Rica is one of those places.
Located near Santa Clara, along a road that weaves its way around the picturesque Arenal Volcano and through the popular La Fortuna, the Tree Houses Hotel is a place where serenity and imagination live in perfect harmony with the reality of tourism. Made up of 7 private tree houses that are situated on 10 acres, surrounded by a further 70 acres of wildlife refuge, this unique stay is a private rainforest haven among some of the most inspiring and diverse natural elements in the world. To complete the grounds is the main house and hotel office, a breakfast area and trails leading to a waterfall and river where serenity can be found among the toucans and howler monkeys playing in the trees.
- A 4×4 is NOT required to access this hotel
- Two hour drive from the San Jose Airport. This drive is over mountains and through a cloud forest, so plan to do so during the day
- 4 hour drive from the Liberia Airport. We came from Tamarindo via Lake Arenal and the scenery was incredible.
- 25 minute drive to La Fortuna
- The town of Santa Clara is only minutes away and offers places to east, as well as pizza delivery right to your tree house!
THE TREE HOUSES
The tree houses are ‘Swiss Family Robinson’ meets modern day luxury. With A/C, warm water showers, a fridge, housekeeping and a safe combined with extremely comfortable beds, the tree houses are set to impress.
- Perfect for any age from honeymooners to families
- There is no wi-fi at the hotel
- Parking directly in front of your tree house
- The Hotel is gated (Openers provided to guests)
- Each tree house is private and separate from each other
- Inclusive Daily Breakfast and Night Walks
- An ‘Honor’ Cold Beverage System ($)
- Spa services available ($)
- Laundry service available ($)
We stayed in the “Monkey House” and it was perfect for our family of 4, with a double bed, and a set of bunk beds (single over double). Both the Monkey and Hummingbird Houses provide large floor plans over a single level, with spacious bathrooms and plenty of luggage space. With a hammock hung below, and a wrap around deck that was, for us, home to a family of beautiful bats, the tree house stirs up a sense of wonder and adventure. Adorned with rocking chairs and a picnic table, the elevated balcony puts you into the heart of the trees, and even the shower enjoys a view of the canopy surrounding the house.
HAND DELIVERED SERENITY
One of the greatest aspects of the tree house is the private coffee or tea delivery early in the morning. Waking to a hot thermos in the peace and quiet of the morning, watching the multitude of birds, a toucan perched in the distance and a rustling of leaves as a monkey passes thru is something out of a story book.
The evenings on the deck, as darkness falls, is a moment of calm to be soaked up and enjoyed. Sitting quietly in the rocking chairs, we were fortunate to witness a curious kinkajoo making a visit, his bright eyes staring at us as he sniffed out the sweet fruit left on the bird feeder.
Following a delightful morning coffee in the treetops, guests can head down to ‘The Rancho’ to enjoy freshly cooked items such as waffles, banana bread and hashbrowns, all served with fresh fruit, warm smiles and conversation with both locals and the other guests. It is a great opportunity to swap stories and discover new experiences in the area. Next to the breakfast tables is the bird feeding area, drawing a multitude of colorful feathered friends, making it an early morning bird watching paradise.
INCLUSIVE SCENERY TO EXPLORE
A manicured trail allows patrons a private and peaceful walk along the 70 acre refuge surrounding the tree houses. It is the perfect opportunity to safely explore as you head to visit the waterfall and dipping pools off to the left, and the peaceful flow of the river to the right.
The walk takes approximately 30 minutes each way, and you will more than likely be joined by one of the four legged-family members, Pupita and Coquita, who love nothing more than a good walk to the water and a little rain forest adventure. The hike is filled with opportunities to view the local flora and fauna, a variety of birds and even howler monkeys who commonly gather at the river in the early morning hours.
INCLUSIVE NOCTURNAL EXPERIENCE
With such an incredible array of nocturnal species, night walks are a common excursion in Costa Rica. At the Tree Houses Hotel, this experience is included for guests wishing to participate. With the hiking trails and acres of refuge surrounding the property, the ability to take part in a night walk directly on the grounds with an extremely knowledgeable guide is an experience not to miss.
Flashlights in hand, we took part in the night walk with Rolando, twice. We had the privilege of seeing the popular Red-Eyed Tree Frog, the Blue Jeans Poison Dart Frog, a variety of insects, and there is nothing quite like the sight of a bullet ant on the end of a machete. We witnessed a lazy two toed sloth in the tree, her slow movements along the branch mesmerizing, and snakes that varied from the brightest of greens to more muted browns, sleeping above us or casually moving between the limbs of a nearby tree.
Rolando: Your knowledge, sharp eyes and kind spirit made the night walk such an incredible experience. You introduced us to pieces of nature we would have otherwise missed. You made us feel safe, and we are so grateful for the opportunity to have shared the evenings with you.
Yiandra: Your kindness and help when we booked, ensuring we had everything we needed and offering suggestions, is so very much appreciated. It is exceptional service, attention to your guests, and attention to detail that makes an establishment such as the Tree Houses Hotel stand out.
And to each of the staff who work so hard to ensure guests have the most incredible experience: For your dedication to ensuring we had everything we needed, for those amazing hot breakfasts, for the hand delivered coffee, for everything….we are so very grateful.