This job is not without its perks. In the last ten years of running Vagabondish, we’ve been fortunate to crash at some pretty swank hotels around the world. The Saxon in Johannesburg, Gili Lankanfushi in Maldives, and our Nile River cruise on the Best of Egypt tour with Lady Egypt all come to mind.
But, beyond even the most out-of-this-world luxury hotels, there’s something about sleeping in a simple treehouse that we know we’ll always remember. It just elicits a sense of pure, childlike joy and wonderment that Kelsey and I will never outgrow.
Which is why we were stoked to get an invite from Dove (as in, the fancy soap brand people). In order to celebrate the launch of their new Elements line, they decided to … build a treehouse in Tennessee. Seems completely logical, right?
Maybe not at first, but it makes perfect sense when you consider that Dove Men+Care’s new Elements line is distinctly inspired by nature and the sort of scents that campers and outdoor-loving men want to bathe themselves in. Think Charcoal+Clay, Minerals+Sage, and Mineral Powder+Sandalwood. (I imagine they’re the kinds of smells male bears woo lady bears with. Assuming bears go on dates …) The fact that I already use Dove’s products and have for years made our decision a simple one.
So, last month we flew to Chattanooga (technically the treehouse is in Georgia, but … close enough) — one of our favorite small cities for outdoor-loving travelers — to spend three nights at the Dove Men+Care Treehouse. The first reaction from every one of our friends and family was, almost universally: “A treehouse? Cool! Wait … does it have a bathroom?”
We can confirm that, yes … yes, it does have a bathroom. An incredibly nice one. Actually, it has more amenities than our apartment. Which isn’t much of a surprise since Treehouse Master Pete Nelson architected the project. Of the collaboration with Pete, Dove Men+Care notes:
As you ascend to enter the house, Pete’s artistic interpretation of our nature-inspired formulas and transformative freshness come to life through design elements, including Shou Sugi Ban-style charred wood paneling and a living sage wall on the exterior.
If that all sounds borderline frou-frou spiritual, it’s because the man takes his treehouses seriously. Which is why he was able to pack a surprising amount of awesomeness into just 300-ish square feet. The treehouse’s first floor boasts a super comfortable Tuft & Needle bed (incidentally, the same mattress we have at Vagabondish HQ), a wet bar with a gourmet coffee kit, full HVAC system with heat and AC, a small lounge area, Amazon Echo connectivity, and an incredible, oversized spa bathroom with heated pebble flooring, a touchscreen-activated, five-jet rain shower, and a center glass column that wraps around a tree.
Just to refresh: all of this is in a treehouse.
Upstairs is a wide sleeping loft with two twin mattresses and dual skylights that make for great stargazing. Outside, there’s even two balconies and a private firepit area (with a complimentary s’mores kit!).
From day one, we contemplated just locking the front door and refusing to leave. Our hotel stays are usually just a means to an end: somewhere to store luggage and lay our heads at night. The intention is always to get out and see the surrounding city/town/island as much as possible. But, for the two full days that we were at the Dove Men+Care Treehouse, we just didn’t want to leave. Why would we? And, once we heard that a nearby pizza joint delivered handmade pies and ice cream right to the treehouse front door, we made it a point to not leave as much as possible.
Sorry, Chattanooga. We do love you a lot, but … treehouses with delivery pizza, ice cream, and free s’mores trump pretty much everything.
Alas, after our brief, three-night stay, they physically removed us from the property (there was much kicking and screaming and threats of violence). But, in all seriousness, the treehouse did provide a great base of operations for exploring Chattanooga.
Our stay was part of a clever campaign to promote the new Dove Men+Care Elements product line. So, the treehouse is only open to media at the moment. BUT, Treetop Hideaways — the actual owners of the treehouse — will be opening it for rent to the general public via Airbnb later this year.
The good news? If you just can’t wait to stay in a treehouse of your own, the husband and wife duo who own TH already have a two-story treehouse available for rent on Airbnb. While it lacks the modern polish of its fancier Dove Men+Care brother, it comes complete with a huge window wall, penny flooring, a vintage style gramophone speaker, and a kitchenette with complimentary drinks and snacks. And isn’t that all you really need anyway?