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Caribbean Treehouse Resorts

Looking for a change from the beach? Get up a tree, in style!

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Most Caribbean travelers dream of a beach bungalow, and that's cool -- nothing wrong with a private hideaway just steps from the inviting sand and pounding surf for a lullaby. But I've always loved treehouses -- my grantparents' neighbor had one at least 40 feet up in a giant maple tree -- so I was excited to discover that there are a number of treehouse resorts in my favorite destination ... including some treehouses that are beachfront -- talk about the best of both worlds!

Domaine de Robinson, Martinique

© SPB Public Relations

Accessed by a cable bridge, the "bungalarbre" at the Domaine de Robinston resort in Martinique is a true treehouse, perched 20 feet above ground among the branches of an apricot tree and just steps from the Caribbean Sea -- a view you can enjoy from a private and leafy terrace. Rates for the treehouse start at 100 Euros a night. The resort itself is arranged before a black-sand beach on an ultra-private cove, seemingly miles from any civilization but in reality just a few miles from the town of Trois Ilets.

Sandton Lodge Kura Hulanda Resort, Curacao

© Kura Hulanda Resorts

The Treehouse Mansion at the Sandton Lodge Kura Hulanda is a quiet sanctuary in this clifftop, waterfront resort, which itself is located in an off-the-beaten-path area of Curacao. Mansion? Well, maybe not quite, but this African-themed luxury treehouse does have two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a full kitchen, and even wireless Internet access. A spiral staircase leads up from the ground to the open-air living room, which faces the Caribbean.

A second, more modest treehouse at Kura Hulanda is less expensive to rent but lacks air conditioning and an en-suite bathroom. Still, for a one-night experience of living in a tree, the price is reasonable ($100 vs. $1,200 for the mansion).

Tree House Lodge, Costa Rica

© Tree House Lodge

This lovely resort on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica is home to not one but four unique lodgings. The namesake Tree House can accommodate up to 6 guests on its two levels of living (and playing) space, which includes a master bedroom with queen-size bed, a second bedroom, kitchen, and a shower that seems to flow directly from a mammoth Sangrillo tree. If you liked the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse in Disney World, you're going to love staying here.

Tree Houses Hotel, Costa Rica

© Tree Houses Hotel

The Tree Houses Hotel offers an opportunity to explore the other side of Costa Rica -- not the Caribbean coastline but the interior rainforest, including the active Arenal volcano. The resort has three treehouses, each with bedrooms, bathrooms, air conditioning, and private decks. They are two-level structures, but the top level is reached only via ladder. The property neighbors a nature preserve but also is close to the town of Santa Clara. Breakfast is included with your stay.

Costa Treehouse, Costa Rica

Perhaps the most rugged of the accommodations listed here, the Costa Treehouse is located closer to Costa Rica's Pacific Coast, set beside a river in a small mountain town. The good news is that breakfast is included in the $60 nightly rate, and other meals and activities like ziplining and hiking excursions also are available. The treehouse itself has a single room and bed, with a simple wraparound porch and a corrugated tin roof.

Lapa's Nest Treehouse, Costa Rica

© Lapa's Nest

This architecturally striking treehouse may have been the mad creation of Walt Disney and Tim Burton, or perhaps Dr. Seuss: a spiral wooden staircase wraps around a mammoth tree trunk on its way to a six-level structure that not only was inspired by the Swiss Family Robinson but decorated as an homage to the Disney World attraction. This endlessly fascinating treehouse in Costa Rica has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, panoramic ocean views from 50 feet above ground, and sleeps up to six for $1,800 per week.

Parrot Nest Lodge, Belize

© Parrot Nest Lodge

Deep in the jungle of Belize, the Parrot Nest Lodge is highlighted by a pair of treehouse lodgings that start at just $45 per night. The thatched-roof treehouses are nestled under the eaves of two Guanacaste trees and embraced by the clear and swimmable Mopan River. When you come down from your tree you can join a daily river tubing excursion to local Mayan ruins and Bullet Tree Falls. 

Sunset at the Palms, Jamaica

© Sunset Resorts

The Sunset at the Palms resort is the closest you will get to a treehouse in Jamaica -- but it feels pretty close. Raised a few feet above ground and surrounded by verdant gardens, the resort's two classes of bungalows (including suites with dual verandas) are dressed in dark wood, canvas, and Asian inspired furnishings for a treehouse feel. Unique among the resorts listed here, the beachfront (Negril) Sunset on the Palms is an all-inclusive with a full array of amenities, dining options, and activities at your command.

Pitons Stargroves, St. Lucia

© Pitons Stargroves

Full disclosure: the Pitons Stargroves isn't located in a tree. In fact, there's nary a large tree nearby. However, this striking home -- located on a hillside between St. Lucia's signature Pitons -- not only resembles a treehouse in its all-wood construction and open-air design, it also boasts a wonderful tower room with a hammock built for two ... and not much more needed. Meals are prepared by the villa staff, and amenities include a private pool, a living room with a waterfall for decor, and multiple decks for ever-changing vantage points of the mountains and the Caribbean.

Ladera, St. Lucia

Ladera resort, St. Lucia

A small, intimate St. Lucia resort for lovers, Ladera is comprised of just 25 suites and villas. The lodge-like buildings are constructed of Caribbean timbers, and the guestrooms are built to resemble luxury treehouses. although they are planted on terra firma. The surprise is that unlike conventional hotel rooms they are missing the fourth wall –- all the better for making the breathtaking scenery an integral part of the décor. Telescopes in each room help guests search the velvety, star-strewn skies at night.

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