GEORGETOWN—Staying in a hotel seems so old school these days.

You’ve heard of glamping, an activity that sounds like camping but in actuality has almost nothing to do with it? You might sleep in a tent, but with down comforters and fresh cut flowers on nightstands, that’s where any resemblance ends.

And then there’s hosteling, which has been dusted off and reworked into a very economical but tolerable way of sharing sleeping space with other—OK, young—people. A sparkling new, hip hostel is soon opening in Portland.

And then of course, there is Airbnb-ing (forgive the substitution of a name brand for a verb, but that seems acceptable right now), where you stay in someone’s home or property for what was originally the fraction of a cost of a hotel.

While fees have risen in the last few years, this option still gives you the chance to save money by including all kinds of perks, like a full kitchen or even a backyard pool for whiling away the summer hours.

We might suggest a new category of getaway: Air Tree-n-B. Sleep just a bit closer to the stars, cradled in the arms of an old pine tree, and let the wind whistle you to sleep. Sound nice? You can do it right here in Midcoast Maine.

Philip Francis and Marsha Dunn are the proprietors of Seguin Tree Dwellings in Georgetown, three compact and elegant treehouse structures, each nestled into its own patch of 21 acres of hillside with views of the Back River.

In some rooms, tree trunks might shoot right through the space, and the feeling is very much one of being in the treetops, though you’re never far from the ground. Some are two-story structures, some have rooms that connect by swinging-bridge style walkways; all have kitchens, screened porches, decks and plentiful windows to let nature surround you.

One of the three structures, named Souhegan, even has a wood-fired cedar hot tub, with stunning river views. All this luxury isn’t exactly cheap. Rates begin around $200 a night, and there are three-and four-night minimums.

This reporter and her husband experienced a Seguin treehouse last November, just as the real chill of winter was settling in. We were surprised to find the small heating system more than adequate for staying cozy, the enormous bedroom windows and their views a sheer delight, and the bed perhaps one of the most comfortable we’ve ever slept in.

There was really only one problem with the Seguin experience, and that was leaving.

Philip Francis grew up in Georgetown on land just across the inlet from the tree dwelling site.

“It wasn’t until three years ago that I walked that land, and climbed the trees, and realized that the elevations afforded these stunning views of the river and conservation land beyond,” he said. “We knew right away that we wanted to build unique dwellings that maximized the views.”

With his brother and sister-in-law partners in the process, the tree houses took shape, offering solitude, serenity and beauty from their sloping hillside perch.

“We were inspired by the airiness and whimsy of the treehouse idea,” Francis said. “Our biggest, craziest idea was to put a wood-fired cedar hot tub 18 feet up among the trees, and connect it by a rope bridge. But it worked!”

The interiors are coolly minimalist, and speak to the power of what’s just outside the walls of each dwelling.

“Marsha is the designer. Her modern minimalism interiors and the walls of windows are intended to blur the lines between outside and inside,” Francis said.

The outdoor spaces and screened deck (almost necessary at dusk when the bugs alight) are worth the stay alone. A good book and a beverage puts the visitor into a blissful state of mind. The kitchens are well equipped with necessities, and allow you to save some money by having meals in.

One item of note: The “spiral staircase” connecting Seguin’s downstairs to the dreamy bedroom upstairs is a bit more akin to a ladder, and could be tricky for anyone with mobility issues. Other houses may have slight access challenges, so if mobility is an issue, you’ll want to mention that.

Last season, the treehouses hosted several artist residencies (inquire for details), and a larger project is under way—“20 feet up in the air”—nearby.

“It will be a place to host retreats, celebrations, courses, lectures, and yoga classes. Right now it’s a platform in the sky. We’ll enclose the space by 2019,” Francis said.

Just minutes from Reid State Beach, from kayaking, and hiking, the location could hardly be more inviting in the summer months.

And if you’re a visitor to this area, or reading from a distance, the treehouses are only 10 minutes from Bath and its alluring restaurants, shopping and art. Maine Maritime Museum in Bath is another attraction for visitors and locals alike, and its brand new Bath Iron Works exhibit is said to be quite impressive.

Visit Seguin Tree Dwellings at The reservation link takes you to Airbnb. They are fairly booked up already for the 2018 season, but are sometimes able to book two-night slots that may be open in between other bookings.


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