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Treehouse accommodation: from a kid’s perspective, it’s right up there (literally) with castles, canal boats and camping out – because as far as children are concerned, comfort comes well below novelty, adventure and unlimited sweeties on the holiday ticklist. Smith & Family couldn’t wait to check into Chewton Glen's amazing new treehouse hotel rooms; Mr Smith tells the tale of how he took his brood to nest high in the treetops of Hampshire‘s New Forest.

ARTICLE first appearerd on the Smith & Family Blog

he first ‘tree houses’ I remember are the life-threatening contraptions I used to build with my mates, scavenging floorboard offcuts and bits of old wood from various dads’ garages and hoisting them up to be nailed into a suitably branchy old oak. The knee-scratching bunk-ups and nervous climb-downs required to access those uncomfortable (and frankly dangerous) platforms were scary to say the least, but boy was it worth it when you sat down with your picnic cheese and penknife and took in the elevated views with your compadres.

You see, there’s just something about being high up that’s irresistible – that’s why we love a penthouse so much – but being high up among trees is even more special; it’s something that instinctively satisfies in a way that other hideouts do not. So when we were invited to stay at one of Chewton Glen’s brand-spanking-new, luxury treehouses, I have to confess to getting a little bit of that excited schoolboy back. This time though, I’d be with Mrs Smith, our five-year-old son, Tom, and our toddler daughter Alex, with not a rusty old nail or hammer in sight.

My infectious enthusiasm for the treehouse invitation was passed on to my family in a heartbeat; the kids were in heaven from the moment we were driven down Chewton Glen’s gravelled pathways in a golf buggy (who doesn’t love miniature vehicles with diddy wheels?).

There may not be a ‘Danger: keep out!’ sign or a rope-ladder entrance, and the suites may not physically built into the trees like my ‘shelves’ were, but they are surrounded by beautiful woodland and you do cross a raised walkway that interconnects with the other suites to get in. Wow: this is treehouse living, Jim, but not as we know it.

All images sourced from Smith & Family Blog



Psst! If you fancy a sneaky stay before Christmas, check out the 4 nights for the price of 3 at Chewton Glen’s family-friendly treehouse accommodation, or browse the collection of child-friendly hotels on the new Smith & Family site.

The sweeping balcony with its 180-degree view and Villeroy & Boch Jacuzzi (just in case you needed an even more dramatic viewing spot) is quite something to behold. Needless to say, our kids immediately raced over to the edge to peer down – thankfully the decked terrace is cleverly wrapped in sturdy safety glass, allowing small noses to be pressed right up against it for uninterrupted views without a worry.

Always the first thing my wife looks at, the bathroom, turns out to be just wonderful with a beautiful freestanding half-egg shaped bath and voluptuous curved shower area with rainfall shower head. There was a large vase holding freshly-cut small oak branches to gently remind you it’s not any old luxury suite you’re staying in. The kids also loved the so-called ‘monkey staircase’ (double-staggered steps that rise with a step to the left then to the right, rather than consecutive steps) that took them up to their lofty bunk den.

With all the necessary kit in the kitchen and an exciting breakfast picnic delivered in a hamper through a secret butler hatch, you can help yourself when you wake up, rather than having to deal with the ceremony of wheeled-in trolleys and complex nappery in your suite. (Dinner, snacks etc. can be ordered through ‘tree service’ on your in-room tablet device – modern tree living, this is).

We loved our terrace and view so much we decided to dine-in, despite concerns that the food would not travel well all that distance from the main house kitchen; any qualms were crushed when we started to dig into the array of fantastic dishes that chef Luke Matthews had cleverly designed specially for the other branch (sorry) of guest dwellings – dinner was divine. So what with the swimming pools in the main house (plus an outdoor one hotter than my bath at home in season), activities galore and the very-well-conceived kids’ tea (buffet-style, so no tantrum-inducing wait for food), Chewton Glen goes go to the top of the tree for a return visit from this family.

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