Escape to the Jungle in One of These Modern Forested Retreats

By Michele Koh Morollo / Published by Dwell

If Tarzan and Jane happened to be design-loving folks, they'd be right at home at any of these vacation destinations.

There’s something about being surrounded by lush tropical plant life that soothes the urban soul. Nestled within the jungles and rainforests of Asia and South America, these contemporary hotels and rental homes offer a way to enjoy modern comforts while waking up to birdsongs, butterflies, and an occasional wild monkey.

The Naked House on Thailand's Second Largest Island

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Built by architect and photographer Mark Gerritson, The Naked House is a stunning six-bedroom minimalist villa on the Thai island of Koh Samui with concrete floors and plenty of outdoor space. It's available to rent through Airbnb.

Courtesy of Mark Gerritsen

TRI Hotel in Sri Lanka

Surrounded by Lake Koggala, TRI Hotel is a sustainably-built Sri Lankan resort with green walls and roofs, recycled wood furniture, and solar heating. It offers spectacular 360-degree views of the lake and verdant rainforests.  

Courtesy of TRI Hotel

Bisma Eight in Bali

European, Japanese, and Balinese aesthetics come together in the design of Bisma Eight, an elegant boutique hotel in Ubud, Bali that's surrounded by paddy fields and forests.

Courtesy of Bisma Eight

Papaya Playa Project

Cocooned by jungles along the Mexican Caribbean coast, Papaya Playa Project offers the best of both forest and sea. The design of this eco-friendly resort hotel uses "Chukum," a traditional Mayan building technique that helps keep interiors cool.   

Courtesy of Papaya Playa Project

Keemala in Phuket, Thailand

Opened in 2015, Keemala—which is located in Kamala Village in Phuket, Thailand—offers four types of private accommodation options including Clay Cottages, Tent Villas, Tree Houses, and Bird’s Nest Villas. All villas come with pools and views of the jungle canopy. 

Courtesy of Keemala

The Brutalist Chez Georges in the Brazilian Rainforest

Set in a 1970s Brutalism residence designed by Brazilian architect Wladimir Alves de Souzain, and located at the heart of Santa Teresa in Rio, Chez Georges, is a nine-bedroom hillside house with soaring ceilings and a music studio that overlooks the Brazilian rainforest.

Courtesy of Chez Georges

Six Senses Yao Noi in Thailand

Embraced by the jungles of Thailand’s Koh Yao Noi Island, the villas at Six Senses Yao Noi have wooden poster beds, sofas upholstered in sunny yellow and orange, commodious bathrooms with a sunken bathtub, indoor and outdoor showers, a spacious infinity pool, and an outdoor pavilion. 

Courtesy of Six Senses

Sculptural Bamboo House in Ubud, Bali

Built almost entirely with locally-sourced bamboo, the Green Village residential community in Ubud, Bali, is a sculptural house designed by Elora Hardy of Ibuku. It's available to rent through Airbnb.

Courtesy of Ibuku

Kalundewa Retreat in a Wetland Forest

Situated in a former agricultural site that's now home to a wetland forest, Kalundewa Retreat near the city of Dambulla, marries clean, modern lines with rustic teak and brick.   

Copyright of Kulundewa Retreat

Nihiwatu in Indonesia

Nihiwatu is a cluster of luxury bale villas on Sumba, one of the more remote islands of Indonesia. Interiors are furnished with tropical hued fabrics, warm woods, rattan, soft drapery, and local artifacts.  

Courtesy of Nihiwatu

Homes built under the earth or into the sides of mountains have been a part of our culture since the prehistoric days. Take a step back in time by checking into one of these cave hotels or hideaways—all of which are surprisingly modern inside.

Made up of three modernized kodas, this wood-clad cottage features bright, minimalist interiors.

Sitting across from a deserted beach on a private plot surrounded by a pine forest is a large modernist vacation home…

As the perceptions of what a travel shelter should look and feel like has continued to adapt, Collective Retreats has…

Despite its dark facade to visually recede into the bush, this countryside home boasts bright, light, and cozy…

Built for an affordable $3,000, the Forest House is a 129-square-foot refuge outside Hanoi.