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Tree Vistas Offers ‘Treehouse’ Stays near Ionia

By Kathy Gibbons

Ever wanted to stay in a treehouse? Greg Filipek and Brian Coates have just the place for you.

The partners built a 508-square-foot luxury “treehouse” on a six-acre parcel they’re calling Tree Vistas resort near Ionia where they hope to eventually add up to two more similar units. The design is all about bringing the outside in, with construction involving very little removal of the trees that were already there.

“The house was designed uniquely around the trees,” Filipek says. “We actually only had to cut down one tree—otherwise we wouldn’t have fit our bathroom in.

“The trees kind of designed the house in a way.”

Besides a living room area, the home offers a master bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, washer, and dryer. A spiral staircase leads to a loft.

The bathroom shower is surrounded by glass.

“If you want to take a shower with the squirrels, go ahead,” Filipek says. “If you don’t want that, a button on the wall frosts the glass over so you can’t see out anymore (and vice versa the squirrels).”

There’s even a tree encased in glass growing through the center of the house.

“We’ve got it lit so if you’re sitting on the balcony overlooking the stream below, you can literally light up that tree,” Filipek says. 

A deck wraps around three-quarters of the structure.

“It doesn’t go in front of the bedroom, which has floor-to-ceiling glass,” Filipek says.

Down below, there’s a bridge over the stream and a firepit with built-in benches. Besides a picnic table and barbecue, guests can also utilize a hammock tied between a couple of trees.

A path leads directly to the Fred Meijer Grand River Valley Trail as well as the Grand River. 

Tree Vistas opened in mid August and has been solidly booked since. Rates this year start at $299 a night. Come January to Memorial Day, it’ll cost $300 per night weeknights and $350 on weekend evenings, plus cleaning fees. From Memorial Day to Labor Day 2022, rates will range from $350 weekdays to $400 a day on weekends.

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