In Bratislava, you can sleep six metres above the ground in the branches of oak trees.
The tree house in Kačín, within the forested recreational area of Železná Studienka, offers an experience that camping enthusiasts might find familiar - no running water or electricity, falling asleep when the sun goes down and waking to bird-songs.
But a tree house experience is different. The wooden floor and bed frames might make you think that you are not in the forest after all - until nighttime comes, and the sound of tree branches moving in the wind feels much closer than usual.
A winding staircase leads to the entrance of the terraced tree house. Cups and dishes are provided, as are candles, lanterns, sheets, sleeping bags and small 20-litre supply of water. A nearby barbecue can be used by tree house guests, and a wooden bucket and pulley system allow guests to conveniently raise or lower small items from the house to the ground.
Visitors who have spent a night in the tree house note in the guest book their feelings of awe and surprise after spending a night in the trees.
“Super fantastic during the day to hide in the treetops from the sun, to drink on the terrace, to barbecue at the grill... and then night comes and you will not close your eyes from all those sounds,” one family recorded as their reaction.
Another guest described the house as a fairytale world in the middle of a dark forest: “This place is magic,” was written on the page.
The tree house was built by the Czech company Tree Houses s.r.o. and opened for reservations in 2016. The house, managed by City Forests, has been constructed around the trunk and branches of four sturdy oak trees in a way that allows the branches to continue growing. The house is 15 square-metres, with an 11-metre terrace. It can be rented any night of the week from April 1 until October 1.
Most guests spend just one night in the house, since the lack of showers and electricity can deter longer stays. The two-bed house costs €100 per night (which must be paid up-front) and can hold up to four people: two adults and two kids or three adults. To help ensure safety, the forest service has set a minimum age requirement of 6, and all guests must sign a liability waiver.
Bratislava Mayor Ivo Nesrovnal encouraged the construction of Bratislava’s first tree house after seeing a similar house built in Brno. The first step in building the house in Bratislava was choosing a suitable location, then ensuring that the strength of the local trees could withstand the construction.
The house’s location in Kačín makes it hidden but not inaccessible, and park officials give guests of the tree house special permission to bring a car into the park to more easily transport food and water to the house.
Guests can join a park official at a nearby parking lot to be directed to the tree house. Reservations can be made up to three days in advance, though all weekends have been booked for the 2017 season.
The high demand for the tree house in Kačín led to the construction of a new tree house in Dlhé Lúky, which opened for guests on July 15.The second tree house will be opened to visitors and residents of Bratislava Read more