With millions of homes to choose from around the world, Airbnb is not short of options when it comes to niche rentals; discerning guests can choose from a space-age dome in California, a Moroccan riad with its own patio pool or even a pink house filled with flamingos and unicorns.
But one getaway trumps all, and that’s an enchanting three-bedroom treehouse carved into the canopy of a woodland area in Atlanta, Georgia. Officially the most popular listing on the travel site, the spiritual retreat draws in 300,000 site visits per month and 147,052 people save it to their Airbnb “wish lists”, today.com reports.
Travellers apparently aren’t put off by the relatively expensive £296 a night price tag, since the property has a year-long waiting list.
The delightful forest den was built by environmental activist Peter Bahouth 18 years ago, and he never considered sharing it until Airbnb came along.
“I didn’t really know how I would feel about having people stay out here,” he told TODAY Home. “But I began to realize that people were having these amazing, great experiences and it was meaningful (to them), and it therefore became meaningful for me.”
The design stretches across seven trees, with three themed areas – the “mind, body and spirit” – connected by swinging bridges bathed in twinkling lights.
The experience begins with the “spirit” of the home; a 165-year-old southern short leaf pine – “he’s got a big, calming influence on everybody that stays here,” says Bahouth. A wraparound deck is built into the tree with benches and hammocks, so guests can lie back and soak in the verdant canopy.
Next up is the “body”; a treehouse room with a roll-out bed, so guests can sleep beneath the stars. This is best done in summer, apparently, when the forest comes alive with lightening bugs.
Finally, there’s the “mind”; another treehouse with a sofa, decking are and guest book, where visitors ruminate and leave their stories.
“People come here and they write and they think,” says Bahouth. “Sometimes, they leave after two days and they just look different — they look like they just needed to simmer down a little.”
Unsurprisingly, the beguiling venue is the site of multiple proposals and weddings.
“I’ve tried to understand why it’s been so popular, Behouth tells Today. “I think it’s a simple response to a complicated world for a lot of people.”
Images: Peter Bahouth/Airbnb, iStock