It’s fitting that check-in at London’s hippest hotel is on the 15th floor. For, just like a tree, it’s at the top where everything flourishes.
The lobby space is eclectic — there’s a bark-covered wall, with wooden bird boxes and lush plants growing out of it. Turn around and you’ll spot a baby-blue rocking chair, enamel lanterns and a 1970s decorative bamboo screen.
But best of all, perhaps, are the views beyond the desk, of the capital city gleaming in its splendour. It feels like you’re peeking out of an urban forest canopy.
Also up here, and next to the lobby, is the scene-y Madera restaurant. It’s the sister eaterie to LA hotspot Toca Madera, and it offers a modern take on Mexican cuisine, with inventive cocktails, organic ingredients and live DJs at the weekend to accompany the floor-to-ceiling window views.
The vibe remains the right side of buzzy although it’s not somewhere for an intimate dinner à deux, instead for groups of friends to chat over plates of homemade crispy tostaditas or for families to bond over shared bowls of guacamole, topped with jalapenos and pomegranate seeds.
The comprehensive vegan menu is a revelation, with coconut sashimi, mushroom steaks cooked on hot lava stones, tofu enchiladas and delicious coriander lime rice and black beans — all totally moreish.
The hotel is found just south of Oxford Circus so it couldn’t get any more central. Even better still, is The Nest bar, one flight up on the 16th floor, which serves ‘forest-to-glass’ cocktails, many based around tequila (although the Cuckoo Nest Spritz — made with Select Aperitif, Champagne, jasmine and peach — is the perfect choice to kick off an evening).
As well as the mood-lit indoor space and its couches and statement chairs, there’s a wrap-around terrace with sofas laden with blankets and tucked-away nooks for night owls to hide away in.
Treehouse London is the first property from SH Hotels, which also runs the 1 Hotels group found in New York and Miami. Its aim is to be the younger ‘sister’ to the US counterpart, matching the focus on sustainability and quirky design, but bringing more of the fun factor.
When it comes to its eco credentials, there are plenty of gold stars — from the filtered water taps on each corridor to the large-size, refillable bottles of bespoke toiletries in the bathrooms. Sheets are made with organic cotton and reclaimed wood while exposed rafters in the rooms echo the natural feel.
The forest theme is thoughtfully referenced throughout — from the wonderful birch trees ‘growing up’ from the bathroom floor to the plants dotted everywhere. The industrial aesthetic in the form of metal shelving and concrete ceilings are softened by touches of whimsy and a mish-match of vintage furniture.
Just inside the bedroom door, for instance, a bright yellow cuckoo clock brings a charmingly childish touch, record players and small piles of vinyl recall memories of the old days and cushions covered in psychedelic 1970s fabric give a nostalgic feel.
You might find a kaleidoscope or a Magic-8 ball on your bedside table, while window seats have little piles of vintage 1950s picture books and annuals to browse through.
The youthful approach continues with the inventive guest experiences on offer, from poetry slams and book clubs to tours of local gardens from the hotel’s own resident horticulturalist. More than just a place to rest your head, Treehouse feels like a playground in the sky. It’s bound to go to your head.
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