Bird's Nest Villa at Keemala. Credit: Keemala
Bird's Nest Villa at Keemala. Credit: Keemala

Best Jungle Resorts in Southeast Asia

Long to embrace your inner Tarzan or Jane but the travel ban has you swinging around the living room instead? Don’t let it get you down. Use the time to plan your next adventure! When free travel resumes, these glamorous jungle hideaways will be ready to deliver all the vine swinging you crave with a hearty dash of luxury to boot.

Keemala – Phuket, Thailand

Buildings like woven baskets reaching toward the sky, treehouses perched above the forest floor, luxury ‘birds nests’ where you can gaze across the treetops from your private pool or bathtub… Keemala in Phuket is like a set piece from Avatar brought to life.

Part of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World family, the avant-garde hillside resort offers four distinct room types, each furnished in the theme of a different fictional village clan.

There are the Clay Pool Cottages, which have a strong focus on earthen materials; bird cage-style Tree Pool Houses above the ground; and the sail-roofed Tent Pool Villas, which are inspired by nomadic hunter-gatherer tribes. The Bird’s Nest Villas, each of which have a private elevated pool where you can soak in the views, are its most spectacular.

Swimming pool at Keemala, Thailand. Credit: Keemala
Swimming pool at Keemala, Thailand. Credit: Keemala
Interior of a Bird's Nest Villa at Keemala, Thailand. Credit:
Interior of a Bird’s Nest Villa at Keemala, Thailand. Credit:
Bathroom of a Bird's Nest Villa at Keemala, Thailand. Credit:
Bathroom of a Bird’s Nest Villa at Keemala, Thailand. Credit:

Nirjhara – Tanah Lot, Bali

From inspirational retreats to beachside bliss, Bali has a property to suit every taste and desire. One of the most enticing luxury escapes on ‘the island of the gods’ is Nirjhara, an exclusive resort where sustainability is not just a buzzword but its core philosophy.

Set amidst rice plantations and tropical forest just 15 minutes from trendy Canggu, this boutique resort is a haven of tranquillity and style. Paddock-to-plate dining, an indulgent spa sanctuary, and even its own private waterfall – it’s a complete escape.

Each of its elegant villas and suites have been constructed with extensive recycled timbers and stone, helping anchor the property into its surrounds. The ones that’ll make your heart skip a beat, however, are the Canopy Suites – vertically clad ‘treehouses’ that blur the line between the inside and outside worlds.

The swimming pool at Nirjhara. Credit: Nirjhara
Looking out from the Canopy Suite. Credit: Nirjhara
The yoga shala and waterfall. Credit: Nirjhara

TreeHouse Villas – Koh Yao, Thailand

Accessible via a one-hour boat ride from Krabi or Phuket, followed by a short drive through national park, the adults only TreeHouse Villas on Thailand’s Koh Yao is a perfect fusion of luxury and barefoot adventure – and the ideal place to practice that Tarzan call.

Treehouses accessed via suspension bridges, driftwood furnishings, private plunge pools and rope swings where you can soak up views of Phang Nga Bay… it’s the treehouse you always wanted as a kid – and a lot more. Oh, and there’s also a bathtub shaped like a hammock!

A spectacular location. Credit: TreeHouse Villas
A spectacular location. Credit: TreeHouse Villas
Multi-level treehouses accessed via rope bridges. Credit: TreeHouse Villas
Multi-level treehouses accessed via rope bridges. Credit: TreeHouse Villas
Inside one of the treehouses. Credit: TreeHouse Villas
Inside one of the treehouses. Credit: TreeHouse Villas

Jungle Beach by Uga Escapes – Sri Lanka

A precious jewel in the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is a paradise of pristine jungle and deserted beaches, a gourmet mecca home to some of the most inviting locals you’ll ever meet. At Jungle Beach by Uga Escapes, a remote hideaway on the country’s unspoilt northeast coast, you can find the best of Sri Lanka together in one gorgeous package.

Set within a 10-acre reserve just north of Trincomalee city, between lush mangroves and an almost deserted stretch of beach, this intimate resort is the definition of barefoot bliss.

Each of its villas are designed to have minimal impact on the environment, yet they still deliver the ‘luxe factor’ where it counts. The Beach Cabins encapsulate the castaway vibe.

Drove view of Jungle Beach by Uga Escapes. Credit: Uga Escapes
Drove view of Jungle Beach by Uga Escapes. Credit: Uga Escapes
The Lobby at Jungle Beach. Credit: Uga Escapes
The Lobby at Jungle Beach. Credit: Uga Escapes
The open-air dining room at Jungle Beach. Credit: Uga Escapes
The open-air dining room at Jungle Beach. Credit: Uga Escapes

Hoshinoya Bali – Ubud, Bali

In the misty hills of Ubud, Hoshinoya Bali is a breath of fresh mountain air in the local hotel scene, a five-star resort combining the hospitality of Balinese and Japanese cultures. As first foray outside Japan for renowned hotel brand Hoshino Resorts, expectations were sky high – and it delivered. Each villa is a masterclass in the beauty of simplicity.

Inspired by the palaces and water temples of Bali, with buildings of timber and stone which blend into the environment, and a vast network of pools and canals weaving throughout, it’s the kind of property where you’ll be taking mental notes to incorporate into your dream home.

Spa time has never looked so good. Credit: Hoshinoya Bali
Spa time has never looked so good. Credit: Hoshinoya Bali
An exterior view of Hoshinoya Bali. Credit: Hoshinoya Bali
An exterior view of Hoshinoya Bali. Credit: Hoshinoya Bali
A lounge with a view. Credit: Hoshinoya Bali
A lounge with a view. Credit: Hoshinoya Bali

Whichever jungle hideaway you choose, you have all the makings of an unforgettable adventure – and the call of the wild has never sounded so good.

Written by
Chris Ashton

We're Chris Ashton and Simon Ceglinski, two Aussie travellers with a love of exploration and adventure, and the odd bit of luxury thrown in. We seek out street art, street food, and scuba diving wherever we go, and prefer the road less travelled over well-worn tourist paths.

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Written by Chris Ashton