Tree House Resort, Jaipur
You might not expect to find a lush and thriving eco-resort in the arid vistas of Rajasthan, but the Tree House Resort in Jaipur is exactly that. Its owners planted thousands of trees, plants and shrubs in the area and, by harvesting water and building catchments, developed a panorama of greenery and wildlife surrounded by the towering Aravalli mountain range.
Around 18 tree houses are on offer, perched on top of strong kikar trees. They have most modern amenities – air conditioning, plasma TVs, Wi-Fi and running water – with comfortable interiors and luxuriously soft beds. Pass the time on jungle safaris (with the chance to spot wild leopards), taking archery lessons, bird watching, or head to the Taruveda spa to be pampered.
Need to know Return flights from Dubai to Jaipur from Dh2,200 on IndiGo. Tariffs start from about Dh922 per room per night, with meals. www.waterhouseresort.in
Just 50km outside of the Arctic Circle, in the small village of Harads, is the Treehotel Sweden – a high-end, sustainable hideout in Lapland. Each of its six bespoke treerooms is built amid a canopy of trees, about 5m above ground. Loved by the likes of Oprah, a stay at this stunning eco hotel doesn’t come cheap, but whether you’re in the Mirrorcube – which is covered entirely in reflective glass, making it almost invisible amid its verdant surroundings – or the self-explanatory Bird’s Nest or UFO, it’s an experience that you won’t find elsewhere. Surrounded by untouched forests that melt into the Lule River, the views are breathtaking; the silence, healing. You can hike, kayak, fish, or even take off on a dog-sled ride in winter. But, if you’re lucky, it will be the view of the Northern Lights that will leave you with the most incredible memories.
Need to know Return flights to Lulea via Stockholm from Dubai start at around Dh2,355 on Aeroflot and SAS. Treehotel is an hour’s drive from the airport. Treerooms cost about Dh2,055 a night for double occupancy. www.treehotel.se
andBeyond, Lake Manyara Tree Lodge
Located in the remote south of Lake Manyara National Park in Tanzania, these stunning stilted tree houses appear at one with the mahogany forest they reside in. Contrasting luxurious interiors with the sprawling wilderness of the African jungle outside, each suite is an elegant little world of its own – perfect for a romantic getaway. Wake up to the calls of the wild, and get even closer to nature with game drives and safaris, which are an integral part of the lodge experience. Take a bicycle ride to nearby Lake Manyara, where flamingos flock by the thousands, or visit a traditional Masai village for a cultural experience.
Need to know Return flights from Dubai to Mount Kilimanjaro Airport via Nairobi with Kenya Airways start at Dh2,500 return. The lodge is an hour’s drive from the airport. Dh2,920 per person per night, including meals, accommodation, house beverages, game drives and transfers. www.andbeyond.com/lake-manyara-tree-lodge
Bangkok Tree House
In the chaos that is the Thai capital, the island of Bang Krachao is an oasis of calm. Located in the middle of the Chao Phraya River, it is home to the Bangkok Tree House, set up between towering mangroves and palm trees. Cars aren’t allowed on the island; instead you’ll find winding cycle routes to take you to temples, tropical orchards and indigenous communities – which also support the hotel’s day-to-day workings. The property’s 12 rooms – all built with recycled materials and bamboo – are rustic, but fitted with modern amenities, Wi-Fi and AC (except for the View With A Room suite, which has nothing but a bed and unobstructed views from 7m up). Feast on local organic food and enjoy a picnic with a gourmet basket prepared by the hotel. Did we mention the free ice cream 24/7?
Need to know Return flights from Dubai to Bangkok cost Dh1,605 with Oman Air. From Dh431 a night for double occupancy, including breakfast. www.bangkoktreehouse.com
Free Spirit Spheres
Set among the tall trees of the rainforest of Vancouver Island, Canada, these handcrafted cedar-wood spheres suspended in mid-air may make you a tiny bit anxious – or they may change the way you want to vacation forever. Nature is the name of the game at this private property. The central attraction is a pretty lake where animals and birds congregate. Although there is a sauna on site the point of a stay here is less about luxury and more about the spiritual experience of swaying gently in your private sphere, feeling at one with the forest.
Need to know Return flights from Dubai to Vancouver start at Dh4,055 with KLM. Qualicum Beach is a four-hour drive. Spheres from Dh785 for two nights for one person. www.freespiritspheres.com
New flight safety device
Students of Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands have conceptualised a travel device, FlightBeat, which will be able to alert flight crew to any passengers falling ill. Airline seats will be fitted with monitoring sensors that will let crew members check passengers’ health statuses through a colour-coded aircraft map.
Safari at Nelson Mandela’s house
Nelson Mandela’s home in the Shambala Private Game Reserve has opened its doors to the public for the first time, offering guests and families a quiet but luxurious hideaway in the peace and quiet a few hours away from Johannesburg. Steeply priced but well worth your while, considering Shambala offers one of Africa’s most exclusive safari experiences.
Godzilla has been anointed Japan’s special resident and tourism ambassador, in the hope that it will rejuvenate the country’s industry. A massive 52m tall figure of the creature was unveiled recently at Toho studio in Tokyo, where the 1954 movie was filmed.