As a child, I always dreamed of living in a treehouse — my own secret hideaway where I could create a world of my own, high up in a tree. Years later, I may finally have the chance.
Ariel Stephenson and Zabrina Shield are combining their hospitality experience (which includes the Ace Shoreditch in London) and their love of nature to bring you the Bíku Treehouse Retreat in the Bocas del Toro province, a small archipelago Panama. The treehouse hotel is still under development and won’t be ready until sometime in the future, but we can get a glimpse at what it will look like now.
Stephenson is from Bocas del Toro and, after observing how modern tourism was affecting the region, he wanted to build a place that reinvests the money into the community and addresses environmental, social, and economic issues. The London-based duo tapped Baca Architects to build the magical treehouse escape.
Baca found inspiration in cocoa pods and other seed structures found in the Panama rainforests. The main lodge and surrounding treehouses, which will only be reachable by boat, will be constructed from materials like bamboo that are sourced localll; there will be a local design team and local labor as well. Bíku will include deep overhanging for sun protection, cross ventilation, water retrieval, and protection from storms.
The treehouses will feature all the amenities you could want. There will be outdoor showers so you can freshen up in nature, shaded balconies to get respite from the sun, comfortable sleeping areas, and staircases that wrap around the tree trunk. Each treehouse pod will also be accessible by a hanging walkway.
In the mood to swim with the fish or flex your muscles while rowing? The retreat will curate snorkeling and canoeing exhibitions. Other activities, like treetop adventures and chocolate-making, will be on offer too.
If you want to get in on the ground level of Bíku Treehouse Retreat, a fundraising campaign (complete with perks) is scheduled for spring 2018. Simply click here to join the journey and stay updated on developments.