Published Jan/Feb 2007

These tree houses for grown-ups provide luxury and romance without sending your vacation budget to the dogs.
Story and photos by Patsy Bell Hobson

his is not the tree house you dreamed of as a kid. Luxury tree houses that have king-size beds, heart-shaped jet tubs for two and fireplaces are nestled in northwest Arkansas. Designed with romance and relaxation in mind, these treetop getaways in Eureka Springs are packed with amenities like designer linens, fresh flowers and stained glass windows. These cottages are for adults, and wedding or anniversary packages are available. It is perhaps the perfect escape this Valentine’s Day for couples with their heads in the clouds.

The Woods Treehouse Resort

The Woods treetop bungalows and cottages are solidly built 23 feet in the air. Any window gives guests a bird’s-eye view of the woods. Though these accommodations offer seclusion, it is just a five-minute walk to historic downtown Eureka Springs.

Host Frank Green Jr. always has the perfect sightseeing or dining suggestion. His landscaped grounds and gardens flow into the tree house design. A whimsical footbridge leads to the tree house hot tub that’s suspended 15 feet.

Each cottage is richly furnished with king- or queen-size log beds, a glass walk-in shower and a Jacuzzi for two with a bay window view of the Ozarks. After checking in, enjoy sweet treats, coffee or juice on your private deck.

Rates are $139 per night for two.

Discover treehouse cottages

Two locations guarantee a variety of luxurious and romantic experiences at Treehouse Cottages. Hidden deep in an Ozarks forest near Eureka Springs, three log tree houses are suspended 20 feet, fully supported by five wooden poles. Each tree house has a fireplace, Jacuzzi, kitchen and private deck with grill.

In town, at 165 West Van Buren, there is a two-story guest cottage overlooking a garden patio and three tree house cottages in the woods–with great garden views–perched on the hillside. A basket with homemade bread adds to the pampering.

Designed and built of native woods by owners Terry and Patsy Miller, the tree houses are lavishly furnished with antiques from Ireland, stained glass windows, luxury bed linens and fresh flowers.

Guests enter the tree houses by way of a suspended walking bridge. At Cedar Shade tree house, the bridge is above a waterfall and fish pond.

Every tree house has private bathrooms with spacious tile showers and thick, indulgent bath towels. An inviting heart-shaped bathtub for two and a generous selection of romantic VCR, DVD and CD favorites will tempt guests. Snacks, cold beverages, coffee and tea stock the well-furnished kitchen. A wrap-around deck with gas grill and dining set make for an idyllic retreat.

Treehouse Cottages can accommodate small weddings in the garden. Terry Miller says guests often are reluctant to leave their treetop getaway.

Rates are $139–$159 per night for two. The owners say these fill up quickly, often several months in advance, so try to make reservations far ahead. For example, all cottages were taken by the end of October for New Year’s Eve.

Dreamy tree houses

Playful themes to various accommodations at Oak Crest Cottages and Treehouses set this treetop resort apart.

Elaine’s tree house is decorated with childhood memories in mind, complete with the squeaky doors that allowed owner Elaine Harden to know grandma was coming. Because her grandpa was a plumber, there are old hose spigots on the double Jacuzzi. There is a deck for outdoor dining and wildlife watching. Free high-speed Internet service is inside.

The City Loft tree house is decorated to give guests the feeling that they are stepping out of the forest into a New York or Chicago loft.

The remodeled and romantic rock cottages each feature a Jacuzzi for two and a fireplace. Themes here include A Tuscany Dream, Monet’s Garden or Santa Fe Sunset. Thousands of twinkling white lights line the tree house walkways for an evening stroll. A lodge contains five rooms, each with its own theme, including one inspired by actor Billy Bob Thornton, who filmed the 2005 movie, “Chrystal,” at Oak Crest.

Oak Crest, located on the west wide of Eureka Springs, is a convenient stop on the trolley. Wait for your ride on the shaded and covered bench provided by Harden and her husband, Don.

A variety of packages are available, including the Ultimate Wedding package (prices start at $489) that includes the ceremony, wedding pictures, carriage ride with champagne and a picnic supper. The romance package includes a room filled with rose petals and candles.

Rates range from $49–$139. The Hardens are planning to build 20 additional tree houses as part of a property expansion.

Beds and big cats

Seven miles south of Eureka Springs on state Highway 23, the tree house at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge is all about the view. The concept comes from tree houses in Africa that allow people to safely view exotic animals up close. And Turpentine Creek has more than enough animals, including 100 rescued big cats, to observe.

The tree top cabin sleeps two to four people. The most provincial of these lofty choices, the tree house has a bathroom with shower, a loft with two double futon pallets and a double futon bed on the main floor. A full kitchen with refrigerator, stove, sink and microwave make meal preparation easy.

In addition, two Call of the Wild suites–the size of a large motel room–have a big bath, small refrigerator, microwave and coffee maker.

For the tree house or suites, breakfast consists of boxed juice, packaged muffins and coffee. Rates include admission to the refuge. This is the only tree house choice for families with children.

Call of the Wild Suites rent for $100 a night, the tree top cottage goes for $125. Extra people in the party cost extra: $12 or $15.

Whether you desire to sleep near wild animals or unleash the animal in you, tree top getaways offer travelers an interesting lodging alternative.

Patsy Bell Hobson is a contributor from Liberty, Mo.

Above: The Woods has a tub for two with a view of the trees in each bungalow.

Below: At Treehouse Cottages, comfortable bedrooms with baths welcome guests.

Before You Go
For more information, contact The Woods Tree House Resort, (479) 253-8281 or www.eureka-usa.com/woods; Treehouse Cottages, (479) 253-8667 or www.treehousecottages.com; Oak Crest Cottages and Treehouses, 1-888-608-5998, www.oakcrestcottages.com; Turpentine Creek Tree House, (479) 253-5841 or www.turpentinecreek.org. Admission to the wildlife refuge is $15 for adults, $10 for children and seniors.

Stop by your nearest AAA service office for maps, reservations, TripTiks and TourBook guides. View a list of offices.

Order free information through the Reader Service Card online. Click on Reader Resources.

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