They may be suspended entirely in trees but you don't have to be "barking mad" to visit these new luxury tree houses at a five-star eco-friendly resort in Canada.
Rather than being nailed to the trunks of the trees like normal tree houses, these 12 luxury one- bedroom open air "villas" are designed to be each suspended from the branches so that, as the architect who designed them says, they don't "pierce its flesh".
Designed for the E'terra Samara eco resort, located in the Bruce Peninsula in southern Ontario in a forest that is part of a Unesco World Biosphere Reserve, the new rooms will be rotated and located on their respective tree trunk to take advantage of specific light conditions while giving complete privacy for the occupants, and allowing a bit of stargazing too.
Farrow Partnership Architects, the creative force behind the prefabricated hotel rooms, says: "The design emerged from a desire to not only be 'in the trees' but also 'of the trees'." Each room includes a bedroom area, furnished living room, composting toilet and an eco-friendly shower. Designed to emulate a samara or maple seed, the locally harvested wooden frames are suspended from a steel shoulder and cable system that hugs the tree trunk. Each samara villa frame will be hoisted into place and bolted together in the winter months with absolute minimal disturbance to the delicate flora.
The designer adds that the pods are protected by self-cleaning fabric bonnets coated with fibreglass that will be attached to the wooden frame and will function like the leaves of a tree, providing shade and comfort while neutralising airborne pollutants and odours. The special coating allows the material to break down dirt and other organic materials through a chemical reaction with the sun's UV rays, oxygen and water vapour present in the air. And, if you don't want to stay rooted to your villa checking out the leafy view for too long, guests can also head off for a spot of kayaking or hiking or indulge in the resort's day spa, sauna and salt water infinity pools.
So, if you fancy hugging one of these luxury eco-tree houses, you had better start leafing through your diary. The E'Terra Samsara resort plans to reopen in the middle of this month and will be available for bookings for the 2013 season.