Childlike wonder

SH Hotels & Resorts, the sustainable brand management company founded by Starwood Capital Group Chairman/CEO Barry Sternlicht, will open a Treehouse Hotel in Sunnyvale, CA, in the high-tech heart of Silicon Valley, in late 2023.

Treehouse Hotel Sunnyvale draws design inspiration from the rich cultural heritage of the region, and Silicon Valley’s pre-war elements, from the fruit orchards that grew in the region, to its agrarian look and feel.

In collaboration with SH Hotels & Resorts, CRÈME and RIOS, SB Architects’ site-specific design infuses engagement and wellness into the new Sunnyvale hotel, taking an architectural vocabulary grounded in the size, scale and pedestrian nature one might expect in a Napa Valley retreat to a robust and energetic region renowned for busy streets and a booming tech scene.

The free-spirited, environmentally conscious lifestyle brand creatively captures the carefree comfort, freedom, nostalgia and fun of childhood. Every Treehouse Hotel is founded on adventurous ideas that inspire a child to build their “treehouse” and hang with real and imaginary friends. Treehouse Sunnyvale will fuse the creativity, innovation, and adventure of the dynamic Silicon Valley with the brand’s warm and whimsical ethos.

“Sunnyvale is the epicenter of the bold ideas, disruptive technology, imagination and innovation that make Silicon Valley an icon and inspiration for the world,” said Sternlicht. “Every inch of this playful property, from mismatched materials to secret nooks and unexpected artwork, creatively combines the energy and intensity of Silicon Valley’s high-tech culture with the simpler, older, more natural charms of the Santa Clara Valley’s pre-Internet era.”

The property repurposes several existing structures and elevates a new six-story building constructed off-site using modular methods that dramatically reduce environmental impact and waste. The majority of its 254 rooms, including 21 suites, provide private outdoor spaces, from ground floor patios to balconies and terraces on the upper floors. Interiors, including soft sofas built into rough-hewn wooden bookcases, farm table distressed wooden desks and wood ceiling beams, colorful pillows and quirky quilts, collectively convey the childlike wonder of taking refuge in a figurative “treehouse,” looking down at the real world below.

Trees felled in construction are reclaimed and crafted by local artists into socially conscious, nature-themed sculptures fashioned on-site. From hand-crafted accents, secret nooks, playful angles, hammocks and hideaways and surprisingly placed lookouts, every element of the adaptive-reuse project deliberately blurs the boundaries between inside and out. Our design consciously connects guests and visitors both to the region’s rich agricultural past and the cutting-edge entrepreneurial spirit of modern-day Sunnyvale.

Amenities from a casual café with indoor and outdoor seating, a garden offering games and a buzzy beer garden to a courtyard pool complete with cabanas, hot tub, pizza oven and state-of-the-art fitness facility, have been carefully crafted to bring the fun and adventurous spirit of the Treehouse brand to life. Three meeting rooms inside the hotel complement an expansive event space crafted from a classic tilt-up rustic barn, complete with an outdoor pre-function space flowing into a sweeping lawn that can be tented to accommodate increased capacity. Taking its design cues from the abundant fruit farms and orchards that grew up around Sunnyvale before high-tech firms put down roots here, Treehouse Hotel Sunnyvale will offer visitors and guests a perfect place to relax, restore, recollect and reconnect to all the simple things that once made us smile.