Have you ever wanted to sleep in a treehouse under the stars? Free Spirit Spheres is bringing childhood fantasies to life with an upgraded, immersive nature experience at its floating orb hotel on Vancouver Island.
The photogenic spheres are hidden high up in the coastal rainforest, dotting the lush landscape of Qualicum Beach. This hidden accommodation is growing in popularity thanks to British Columbia locals looking for a vacation that is both rejuvenating and Instagram-worthy. Only 45 minutes from the Nanaimo ferry, the treehouses offer an easy escape from the city and a unique introduction (or re-introduction) to B.C.’s natural habitat.
Tom Chudleigh, founder and craftsman of Free Spirit Spheres, created the unique concept, which marries the conventional construction of a treehouse with the technology behind sailboats. Much like a kayak or canoe, the spheres are handmade with a continuous wall, which creates their perfect circular shape.
The experience of staying here is much more glamping than camping, a place for visitors to come by themselves or with a loved one to reflect and unplug while being immersed in all the nature that Vancouver Island has to offer. There are currently three separate spheres available to book, which can accommodate one to three people depending on the size. Because of their cozily cramped quarters, the spheres encourage guests to get out and explore the surrounding terrain, whether that means going for a hike to Little Qualicum Falls or heading to the beach.
One of the first things noticeable once inside a sphere is the sound; the circular shape makes an odd echo that causes companions to sound farther away than they are. Because the rooms are suspended in the trees, the wind acts as a natural rocking chair, creating a gentle sway. In the morning, wake up to the sounds of birds chirping, and wander outside for a morning coffee on the private suspension bridge in the trees.
The interior decor is reflective of simple yet functional Scandinavian design, with everything having a place and a purpose. Instead of a traditional hotel room phone, find a handy gong drum outside that can be rung for assistance. Washrooms are located in a main area down on the ground.
Everything at Free Spirit Spheres is rooted in the practice of biomimicry, which is a sustainable approach to not just construction, but life as a whole. The property prides itself on creating a sustainable option for travellers; if the spheres were to close up shop and leave tomorrow, there would not be any impact on the rainforest, and no traces of this magical hotel would be left behind. The motto here is to preserve nature, not to change it.
There’s more to beautiful British Columbia.