Hauts-de-France: so close to Paris, and yet so far
‘Amarante’, ‘Indigo’ and ‘Souffle d’Emeraude’ (Emerald Breath): the names of the wooden huts at the Domaine des Ponds Bleus already indicate the care taken with their structures and decoration, perched on stilts in a 15-hectare natural reserve. Located north of Compiègne 100km from Paris, the Domaine is the ideal base for those who want to spend a night in the trees before or after their city break.
Between Chantilly, Senlis and Compiègne north of Paris, Les Cabanes des Grands Chênes offer ‘luxury in the wild’ with ‘duo’, ‘spa’ and ‘family’ options available, in cabins all equipped with water, electricity and packed lunches showcasing local products. The star of the show is undoubtedly the Lov’Nid Spa cabin experience; these are quirky ‘plant balls’ with glass roofs for endless stargazing. Also available by the same architect-designers are Les Cabanes des Grands-Lacs in Franche-Comté.
https://www.cabanesdesgrandschenes.com/ (French only)
Massif des Vosges: an experience on stilts or suspended up high
Located next to the Bol d’Air adventure park, Clairière aux Cabanes offers six tree-lined residences including an extraordinary ‘Perched Tribe’ sleeping up to 11 people. The site also offers several equally unusual homes well anchored on solid ground.
http://la-clairiere-aux-cabanes.fr (French only)
Brittany: unusual variations
Sterenn Hut, Folenn Hut, Pradan Hut or Neh er Lenn Cabin: no doubt you can tell you’re in Brittany, and specifically in southern Morbihan where, since 2006, Myriam and Arno have managed these unusual residences perched 10 metres above the ground. And it isn’t only cabins on offer here: you can also sleep in a yurt, trailer, tent-bubble or a Lapland-style chalet. Change of scene guaranteed!
In the Bordeaux region: to each his own tree
In the grounds of the Château des Énigmes in Charente-Maritime, an hour’s drive north of Bordeaux, there’s something for everyone. Lovers can opt for the intimacy of the ‘couple huts’, groups for the spacious ‘family huts’. If you’re coming with the kids, they can enjoy the ‘Parcours des Énigmes’ treasure hunt, which takes in the Château d’Usson, a remarkable Renaissance building moved stone by stone to its current location from the end of the 19th century.
Cabins 8 metres tall: this is the unique architecture of Cap Hut, set among the pines of the Landes de Gascogne regional park, an hour south of Bordeaux. It’s a place conceived not as a hidden romantic retreat, but rather as a mini-club holiday escape within nature, with “enough space if you want peace, but enough huts to ensure children can make friends.”
https://www.capcabane.com/ (French only)
Biarritz-Pays Basque: a river runs through it
In Cambo-les-Bains in the Basque Country, you can sleep in huts placed on a steel ‘tree’ with three ‘floors’, each with a decidedly Basque feel. At the top, nine metres from the ground, sits a dovecote with private spa and circular terrace with a magnificent view of the hills and River Nive.
http://www.lesnidsdhotes.com/ (French only)
Occitanie: dive into well-being
In Pella Roca you’ll live in the lap of luxury. These cabins are each equipped with private jacuzzi and sauna, perched within 9 hectares of moorland, forest and truffle oaks at the entrance to the Causses du Quercy, 75 minutes’ drive from Toulouse and a couple of hours from Bordeaux. Their lucky guests will also find a swimming pool and tennis court on site.
https://www.pella-roca.com/ (French only)
Dordogne Valley: luxury, calm and pleasure
We’re staying in the ‘exclusive’ bracket with these delicate cubes created by interior designer Apolline Terrier, set at the heart of 40 hectares of ash trees, beeches, oaks and sequoias in the Corrèze area of Salagnac. The “luxury eco cabins for maximum comfort” each boast kitchenette, shower room, Wifi and contemporary décor.
http://www.cabanesdesalagnac.com/ (French only)
You enter a new dimension with the ‘castles in the trees’ offered at the Domaine de Puybeton in the Périgord. The cabins are well-equipped with Wifi, TV, walk-in shower, Nordic bath and minibar, plus there’s a beautiful infinity pool and ‘gastro’ or ‘bistro’ food platters featuring foie gras and duck. One for special occasions!
Find out more:
The Cabanes de France website lists almost 200 places offering treehouses and other unusual accommodation.
https://www.cabanes-de-france.com/ (French only)