Lonely Planet Writer

Fancy sleeping in a sphere suspended from a tree in the Pacific Northwest?

Modern treehouses are a playful alternative to standard accommodations, and here’s another one to add to your travel bucket list. Situated in the coastal rainforest of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada, Free Spirit Spheres offers an adults-only retreat in one of three orbs suspended from trees.

Fancy a night in a sphere?
Fancy a night in a sphere? Image by Kerry Maguire

Tom Chudleigh is the visionary behind the project. “I thought about building a sphere for about three years before I started on the first one in 1993,” he told Lonely Planet. Ranging from nine to ten-and-a-half feet in diameter, the orbs sleep from one to three people depending on its size, and each is outfitted with a bed, seating, heat and electricity.

While there are no bathroom facilities inside, each sphere has a composting outhouse at its base and its own private bathroom facility 50 metres away, so hot showers are within reach. “The spheres are very well appointed, like little yachts,” said Chudleigh. “The interior is a little “steam punk” in that it combines dark wood with white walls and is sprinkled with custom-cast bronze hardware, decorated with Celtic rope and Norse runes designs.”

A post shared by CICI🐱 (@cci.lee) on Nov 2, 2016 at 4:17pm PDT

Two of the orbs are crafted from wood, and each took about 2000 hours to make, while the third is made from fiberglass with a vibrant yellow exterior. Enter the accommodations by climbing a spiral staircase wrapped around a tree. Inside, large windows and skylights offer a bird’s eye view of the treetops and surrounding nature from your perch ten to 15 feet off the ground. “The best thing about sleeping in a sphere is the forest canopy views out the windows and the fact that it moves with the trees,” said Chudleigh.

A post shared by Ben Vadasz (@benvadasz) on Feb 11, 2017 at 9:06am PST

Free Spirit Spheres is open year round, offering a cozy home base for exploring all the Pacific Northwest has to offer. Rates start at $166/£141 per night, with discounts for longer stays.

Get the top travel news stories delivered straight to your inbox every weekday by signing up to our newsletter.