7 luxury rainforest retreats


Everybody knows the rainforests and jungles are disappearing fast. And while we need to protect the ones that are still left, it is also possible to enhance and experience them while still retaining high levels of luxury. I named a few below as I do believe they are setting the example of how we can embrace the impenetrable rainforests across the globe.

Keemala, Thailand

On the tropical island of Phuket you can find this hidden gem in the middle of the lush jungle. While the villas blend in perfectly with the nature which surrounds them, the level of luxury and comfort is very much 21st century. There are several different styles of villas, going from the tree pool houses all to way to actual bird’s nest pool villas.

Being situated in Thailand, it’s a given that this resort boasts an amazing spa. It’s the perfect place to relax and unwind and the nature surely helps to give this wellness sanctuary another dimension.

If there would ever be a moment where you want to experience another scenery, you can just take the complimentary transport to the nearby beach where the amazing blue waters will fade those green patterns away.

Mashpi Lodge, Ecuador

It’s a place where nature and luxury become one. Who would have thought that such a contemporary design would fit perfectly into the jungle of Ecuador? The massive windows do make you feel like you are almost sleeping outside.

Ride the Dragonfly, an innovative cable system which carries you through the forest canopy. Or who would have thought a Sky bike could actually exist. Pedal your way along a cable stretched between two points in the rainforest. Rather sit quiet and wait for the treasure to come to you? Then the Hummingbird garden is your thing. With 19 hummingbird species observable by guest in this garden, it is a real treat for the eye.

Getting hungry after a day in the jungle? No worries, the two-story dining room of the lodge serves up some really lively gourmet experience.

Bisate Lodge, Rwanda

Central Africa isn’t immediately the first destination one would believe to find a luxurious retreat in the middle of the rainforest. But Bisate Lodge surely proves to be a place that deserves its spot in this list. Not only is the architecture a stunning piece of art, also the interior hasn’t been a quick fix. Beautiful natural tones and accents of the lush green which you can also see outside when looking at the rainforest that surrounds this magical place.

As If all of that isn’t enough, there is one more reason why Bisate Lodge should be on your list. It is situated near the Volcanoes National Park where you’ll have the chance to encounter some of the mountain gorilla’s. Many tourists are going on gorilla treks, though it is hard do it any more luxurious than during a stay at Bisate.

Silky Oak Lodge, Australia

It might come as a surprise but this luxury boutique retreat is situated in the tropical northern part of Australia. Yes, there is more than just desert and the great barrier reef down under.

This eco lodge is located high above the crystal clear waters of the Mossman River and it gives you the perfect opportunity to explore the world heritage listed Daintree rainforest. Few places are as amazing thanks to the mix of both the river and the lush surroundings.

With amazing rooms and dining options, and an array of activities to enjoy, this place is a must on everyone’s bucket list. They also have an amazing spa which will enhance the feeling of being one with nature.

Blancaneaux Lodge, Belize

You might know he makes good movies, but you’ll be surprised to know that the famous film director Francis Fords Coppola has an eye for amazing holiday retreats too. When he visited Belize in the early 1980’s he fell in love with the location. And in 1993 he opened this tropical paradise to the public, after it was first used as a Coppola family getaway for a decade.

There is a certain Maya influence running through the lodge, but the cheer beauty of this place is all you’ll remember. Relaxing next to the river while enjoying the views and sounds of the waterfalls which are located right in front.

Rather be more active, then you might want to consider horseback riding while exploring the surrounding area.

Your taste buds will also enjoy their stay as the lodge has its own organic garden which certainly isn’t an easy thing to do in the middle of the jungle. They even offer a Farm to Fork Cooking Class which will let you experience the local cuisine.

The Datai, Malaysia

The most amazing treasure trove you can find on the island of Langkawi is the Datai resort. It is situated between the ancient rainforest and the Andaman sea, giving you the best of both worlds. The Datai beach in front of the resort was rated as one of the top 10 beaches in the world by none other than National Geographic.

You can choose to sleep in the rainforest or on the beach, giving guests the amazing opportunity to combine the two. The amazing architecture and style makes for a perfect blend.

This is a perfect place to reconnect with nature, and the 10 million-year old rainforest which surrounds the resort is the ideal setting. Countless animals like the dusky langur and the flying lizard are living in these treetops so you might be lucky to spot some of them.

Cristalino Jungle Lodge, Brazil

It would be impossible to make a list of luxurious resorts in the rainforest without including one from the Brazil. It has by far the most rainforest in the world and surely makes the experience of visiting parts of it very enjoyable. Cristalino Jungle Lodge is an Eco lodge located next to the Cristalino river, in a private forest reserve in the southern part of the Amazon region.

Experiencing the environment while practicing responsible tourism is key over here. The beautiful rooms and bungalows will draw your attention to the sounds and sights from the rainforest. I’m sure your favorite spot in this lodge will be the floating deck which lets you enjoy the views over the river while enjoying a nice glass around the open fire.

Don’t forget to pay a visit to the observation towers which will give you a glimpse of the forest canopy, a place where a lot of animal activity can be spotted.

Have you ever visited the rainforest, or found a real treasure trove? Would love to hear about it!


Comments (18)

  1. Nirendrie Govender says:

    The Datai in Malaysia is definitely on my bucket list!
    Thank you for an informative post!

    • Kristof Eyckmans says:

      The Datai surely is a great place to go. The combo of rainforest and beach is hard to find in such a luxurious way.

  2. Dan Swan says:

    There are times when mobile sites and websites just don’t quite cut it. This is such a fantastic set of top-notch venues that really you want them in glossy format on your coffee table. Imagine a luxurious colour book of the World’s Top Rainforest destinations just there, in front of you, in reach. Every evening when you come in from work you could travel the world.

    • Kristof Eyckmans says:

      I feel the only way to really enjoy these destinations is to visit them and take it all in. The optional gin-tonic might even enhance this experience :)

  3. Bob says:

    Holidays have come a long way in my lifetime. When I was a lad it was beach bucket and spade and a donkey ride if you were lucky. I didn’t even know what a rain forest was or where to find one. I still find it mind-blowing that I could enjoy pampered luxury at one of these destinations and view an amazing diversity of wildlife. We’ve come a long way in such a short time.

    • Kristof Eyckmans says:

      Agreed. Travelling has changed a lot in the last few decades. Back in the days it was already a luxury holiday if you needed to take the plane, irrelevant of the destination.
      Travel is becoming increasingly diverse and I like it cause that gives everybody the chance to experience exactly that what they are looking for.

  4. Brian says:

    Mashpi Lodge in Ecuador must offer some fantastic opportunities for photographers. I would probably spend all week just trying to get shots of the different types of Hummingbirds. I wonder if you can get close enough to record the sound of their wings? What a great video that would make.

    • Kristof Eyckmans says:

      Having visited the Amazing rain forest in Ecuador in the past, I know you can get really close. Close enough to hear the sound of their wings….maybe. Either way, it was and surely still is an amazing experience.

  5. Kirsty Miller says:

    I have never seen anything like that first one, with the pool pool and the accommodation that looks almost like basket weaving on their exterior. It looks incredible! I wonder how high up that pool is?
    The tree houses at Bisate Lodge are also incredible novel. I think you described it well with ‘magical’. It looks like something that would feature in a film.
    Looking through all of these, it really would be difficult to pick one to visit because they all offer something unique and they’re all incredibly tempting to get away from the rat race and enjoy some tranquility!

    • Kristof Eyckmans says:

      It’s indeed a tough pick, but trying them all might be the solution :)
      After all, they all have something magical to offer.

  6. Monique C. says:

    I’m proud to say I’ve stayed in one of these retreats. Silky Oaks Lodge was simply amazing! A dream come true. Aside from the superb accommodation, we were able to go on guided rainforest walks, dive in the Great Barrier Reef, and experience Mossman River. We did every activity we could possibly cram into our 4-day vacation. It was one of the closest I’ve been to nature and it was fun and memorable. I recommend for anyone to stay at one of these resort hotels to experience nature.

  7. John Talbot says:

    This growth of rain forest resorts has to be good news for the planet. The operators will do their best to preserve the pristine environment because that is what sells their rooms. For them it is just good business sense. Then the guests will come to understand the rich diversity of the rain forest and they will want it preserved so that they can return and they will inspire their friends and family to visit too.

    • Kristof Eyckmans says:

      It is indeed a win-win situation which hopefully has a domino effect. The more we understand and experience the importance of our rain forests, the more we will try to preserve and where needed rebuild them.

  8. Thank you for the update on the amazing lodges of the world for luxury travel especially those nestled in rainforests yet preserving the natural beauty in the immediate surrounding.

  9. Valerie says:

    Reading this has changed my mindset on travel. I’ve got to try one – but which one?

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