Hansgrohe, the international bathroom specialist, has collaborated with Center Parcs for the last five years, during which time the villa, apartment and lodge categories have been expanded to appeal to a wider range of visitors and their needs. With a total of 8 types now to choose from, guests with a luxury budget can enjoy the newest top tier of accommodation, described by Center Parcs as the ultimate indulgence for a short break – the Treehouse. Available at Sherwood Forest and Longleat Forest, the new two-storey houses are constructed from wood but are about as far from rustic as you can get.
Designed for families and friends seeking an experience that is at one with nature, yet also offering many of the luxuries associated with a 5 star hotel, the Treehouses combine sustainable, natural living with 21st century, hi-tech convenience. This includes as many bathrooms as there are bedrooms, plus a cloakroom – all of which are luxuriously appointed with Hansgrohe products.
Suitable for up to eight guests, there are three large bedrooms on the lower level; one double room with ensuite bathroom and two twin rooms with ensuite shower-rooms. On the upper level of the Treehouse, the master suite is also ensuite and offers guests perfect views of the surrounding treetops and a secluded escape for relaxation. All four bedrooms have their own private balconies, accessible through full height, sliding glass doors.
The Hansgrohe design brief had to meet key values core to the Center Parcs experience, namely accessible luxury and sustainability. Raindance overhead showers were the perfect choice for all four bathrooms. Featuring generously sized 24cm diameter heads, these nature-inspired showers incorporate air-injection to deliver a warming, enveloping downpour that feels like natural rain but also use less water thanks to the voluminous, air-infused spray: 3 parts air to every one part water. The Talis E2 basin mixer was chosen for its modern good looks and comfortable single lever handle for all four bathrooms and the cloakroom basin. EcoSmart technology within the mixer produces an aerated spray while limiting water flow to a maximum of 5 litres per minute, without loss of performance or comfort.
Philippe Starck is renowned as one of the most talented and prestigious designers in the bathroom market, so his collection was perfect for the Treehouses. All bathrooms feature Axor Starck thermostatic controls to ensure safe and reliable temperatures and individual controllability of the overhead shower, Axor Starck hand shower, Exafill bath filler and, in three of the bathrooms, luxurious body jet showers from the PuraVida collection.
Ensuring that every item that guests interact with in the bathroom exudes quality, Hansgrohe bathroom accessories from the PuraVida and Axor Uno collections have also been used throughout the bathrooms and cloakroom. To complete the wellbeing experience, the Treehouses also feature a large hot tub and infrared sauna on the outside terrace with surrounding trees to provide privacy.
The overall interior design of the Treehouses is designed to embrace the forest. Each property features a central spiral staircase which winds around a tree and details such as floor to ceiling retractable doors, a large outdoor terrace, smoked oak timber walls and oak planked floor which help to incorporate the surroundings and create a true forest experience.
The living area is designed for family living, with an inviting wood-burning fire, comfortable soft seating and an 8 person dining table. Decked out with the latest technology, a 42” TV is mounted above the fireplace in the central living area and there are iPod docks throughout. The open plan kitchen has burgundy high gloss units with pale stone worktops, and is fully equipped to a hi-tech specification including Hansgrohe kitchen mixers from the Focus range.
A dedicated entertainment room is located in a separate area which can be reached by a bridge off the main terrace. Inside there is a pool table, games consoles and a plasma TV with Ambient Lighting Technology, which reacts to whatever is showing on the TV.
The natural environment is central to the Center Parcs ethos and the Treehouses are the most sustainable accommodation that Center Parcs has developed to date. Landscaping work has been kept to a minimum in the building process to ensure as little disruption to the woodland area as possible and the structures have been built to compliment the surrounding area. Heating for the Treehouses is supplied via a ground source heat pump and the Treehouses also feature solar panels.