Disclaimer: As a kid, Enid Blyton books always fascinated me. To my young mind, the words - attic, secret passages , scones and adventure always spoke of a totally different and exciting world. But you must give credit to me, for I tried valiantly to merge this world with mine. Often I would be found standing staring at my roof wondering if my scissors and Leo toy gun would be enough to demolish it to smithereens. Made sense to do that if I were to construct a new play attic for myself. Mother, however, did not seem too bothered by my threats and growls, nor did she think much of my work a.ka. demolition uniform – red shorts and white baniyan.
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A couple of months back while researching on resorts and hotels that would be a traveler’s delight, I came across this tree house resort, another of Enid Blyton’s favourite tools to enchant children. For a tree house is not just any other hotel or house or resort. It stands for something much bigger than all that – it’s an escape from the mundane. It is like living amongst the stars, sitting over the world and then glancing over the panorama as if you are a monarch, and all that can be seen is your kingdom. It is waking to the sounds of birds, and looking out at a sea of green. Staying in a tree house is to unleash the child within you, to let yourself be taken in and be fascinated by nature and its elements.
And just because of that, do find below a compilation of some of the best tree house resorts in India. It is our enthusiastic and personal recommendation that the next time you plan a surprise vacation for your family, girl friend, children – pick one of these. You shall kiss our hands at the end of it
1) Tree House Resort, Jaipur
With a magnificent view of the Aravallis and its great location in an eco-tourist spot just half an hour away from Jaipur, this is our top recommendation. Walk through the resort and there will be rabbits gambolling in every direction. A small duck pond tries its best to play hide-and-seek, and don’t be surprised if you see a couple of turkeys inspecting your tree house early in the morning. The staff is great, and will organize night safaris, bird watching tours and camel cart rides. Tip: Take one of the resort’s bicycles and ride all around this beautiful place.
2) Vythiri Resort, Wayanad
It is in the middle of a tropical rainforest. A gushing river runs just outside your balcony, rocky and cold, and the low hanging trees forms a natural canopy over the river. That should be enough to titillate your senses, no? Was enough to make me sigh and fret and want and lust. Oh just to add to the misery, there is a waterfalls nearby and you can see Malabar squirrels, Grey Hornbills and Yellow Bulbuls all over.
3) Tree House Cottages, Manali
A family runs this resort, and it has one tree house, two regular cottages and a Swiss tent in the garden. If you are looking for a romantic weekend break from Delhi, this cosy, warm, wooded resort is one of the best choices you can make. In winters, a small cover of snow blankets the cottages , almost as if strategically, and it looks just like a cottage out of a fairytale. Perch yourself in the tree house, and take in the 360 degree view of the hills, there aren’t many places that can offer a much better view of the Himalayas.
4) The Machan Tree House, near Lonavala
Located in Jambulne (one of 25 biological hotspots of the world) it is a perfect weekend break from Mumbai and Pune (two and a half hours drive from Mumbai, 1.5 hours from Pune). The tree houses are built high on some trees, some thirty feet above the rest of the forest and even while lying on your bed, you’ll have an incredible view of the surroundings. The hiking trails are amazing, the place is quiet and although the entire Western Ghats is full of beautiful places, very few can rival the Machan. If you want to celebrate your honeymoon in India, luxurious and romantic, this is a brilliant place to do so!
5) Vanya Tree House, Thekkady
Unlike many competitors in this brilliant list (cough), the Vanya Tree House is not a five-star luxury resort, and if its a budget yet experiential holiday you are desiring, this would be a stellar choice. Built very recently, this property has two tree houses at the edge of the Periyar Tiger Reserve. Early mornings and late evening, you shall see a number of wild animals prowling about, including wild bisons and tigers, so it won’t be a great idea if you choose that opportune moment to fall out of your balcony. There are no homes or resorts for miles, so it is truly a move ‘into the wild’.
6) Tree House Hideaway, Bandhavgarh:
If it’s a tiger you want to see (who doesn’t!), Bandhavgarh is probably the best place to do so! And if you want to make the trip an unforgettable experience, stay at the Tree House Hideaway. The houses merge fantastically into the contours of the trees, the forest is full of birds each chirping louder than the other as if it were a contest, and the jungle guides are excellent and know the forest like the back of their hand. It is a sin to call this place a resort, so even though its 5-star, lets just be nice and humane and call it a wonderful, wonderful wildlife lodge.
7) Safari Land Tree House, Masinagudi,
Can we say something new here? Yessir, we can! The resort is owned by Nawab Shafath Ali Khan, a former nationals Rifles Shooting Champion. Wait, there is more. The man is a modern day Jim Corbett and there is many a story of his tracking tigers all over the Madumalai region. Nestled in the Nilgiris, this is a beautiful budget tree house resort. While you are here, check out the elephant rehabilitation sanctuary. If you spot a tiger somewhere, hopefully the Nawab is close at hand to save you!
8) Rainforest Boutique Resort, Athirappilly
Of all the waterfalls I have seen in India, and I have seen quite a few, Athirappilly is my favourite. It also forms a shoot location for many movies, Mani Ratnam is unabashedly biased towards it (remember the waterfalls scenes in Raavan?). All this gyaan simply because, your balcony’s view at the resort is the magnificent 80 feet falls. Circular in structure, this masterpiece is the pure genius of a Swiss architect who made sure that the even though the accommodation was built around a large tree, its growth remained unchallenged.
9) Sunset Bay, Srirangapatna
Bangalore people, do not worry, I am here! Just a couple of hours away from Bangalore lies Srirangapatna (19 kms from Mysore) – the capital of the great Tipu Sultan. And our tree house, Sunset Bay, lies right here, in front of a cute little lake. Another budget resort, this is a great weekend break from Bangalore. Go kayaking in the lake, cycling through the town or just sit on your balcony looking at the magnificent sunset. Well, that’s what the name suggested, didn’t it?
10) Mawlynnong, Meghalaya
The village of Mawlynnong is a must-visit if you are planning a trip to the North East. The fact that it was declared as the cleanest village in Asia just adds credence to the statement. Sigh, so much information I give all of you, you must take me out for dinner, really. Narcissism apart, there is only one tourist accommodation available in Mawlynnong (although the villagers will readily offer to let you stay in their homes), and it is set of two very pretty tree houses connected by a rickety, wooden bridge. Nearby lies the famous “living roots bridges”, a set of trees on either side of the banks of a stream, whose roots over the years intertwined with each other forming a natural ‘living’ bridge of sorts. Must, must, must visit.
Well, that’s all for today folks. Let us know if you’d like to stay in any of these fabulous places and we’ll create a great holiday for you. You wont be errr barking up the wrong tree. A parting shot ..
“ Living in a tree house is rediscovering the the adventurer , the romantic, the Lord Bryon or the benevolent parent in you. Or maybe just the child who used to read and love Enid Blyton.”
Just remember who you heard this from. Adios!