Experience a new level of freedom at Uxua Casa Hotel & Spa. Serene, slightly eccentric, and seriously gorgeous, the resort sits in secret on Brazil’s lush east coast in the historic Trancoso fishing village. ‘Uxua’ (a Pataxo Indian word for ‘wonderful’) is precisely how you’ll feel the moment you step into this blissed-out oasis. With an original and authentic approach to its design, the private casas and luxury spa seem right at home on this idyllic stretch of Bahia beach.
The quaint and colourful village of Trancoso resides thirty kilometers south of Porto Seguro (fly here from many major Brazilian cities). One of the original Portuguese settlements of Brazil, ‘Safe Harbour’ was founded by explorer Pedro Alvares Cabral. As European exploration of this exotic land continued, a band of Jesuit missionaries found a green and peaceful hilltop overlooking the sea, and constructed a church. The surrounding rainforest was cleared and the Quadrado, the famous town green of Trancoso, was born.
Trancoso remained isolated and unchanged by the ever-evolving outside world for centuries. Only in the last fifty or so years has this forgotten village been rediscovered by modern explorers of the Bahia coast.
With its pure beaches, majestic Brazilian wilderness, and poise town green still intact, Trancoso is the perfect destination for you to realign yourself with the tranquility of nature.
Amongst the natural spectacle and old world charm of Trancoso, you’ll find Uxua Casa Hotel and Spa. Despite the risk of turning a cultural landmark into a tourist hub, Uxua is more a perfect blend of Bahia heritage and modern spa, meant to relax you in body and spirit. Here, the ten private individual casas bring the term 'rustic modern' to life.
Many of the casas are the restored cottages of local fisherman. One is a completely organic, three level tree house. While four open up to the graceful Quadrado, six others are tucked away the hotel’s gorgeous private gardens. Created in collaboration with local artisans using traditional building methods, the casas are a healthy mix of contemporary comfort and rustic design. Reclaimed materials, along with Brazilian antiques and art have been incorporated into each unique casa.
Every casa is equipped with a full kitchen, private gardens, indoor / outdoor living rooms, open-air bathrooms, king-size beds, wireless internet, and satellite television. Some include private plunge pools, jacuzzis, hanging terraces, as well as a private dining space on the historic Quadrado.
Uxua’s amazing spa treatments are inspired by the hotel’s bountiful location between the Atlantic Ocean and rainforest. The Amazonian indigenous Almescar tree serves as the signature ingredient in Uxua’s organic spa products. The musky scent and restorative qualities of the Almescar make the spa experience truly one of a kind.
If you partake in the vichy treatment, you’ll be wowed by their unique vichy suite. Water jets flow from carved eucalyptus trunks in a tropical wet room, with breathtaking views over the rainforest treetops.
The spa and casas not the only spots to admire the beauty of Bahia. Uxua’s private beaches are beyond compare. Once you get a glimpse of the white beaches, lush greenery and sapphire waves, nothing but the tide will be able to pull you away. The Uxua beach features cushioned wooden sofas and flat-roofed pergolas for your comfort. Built using once abandoned fishing boats, the Uxua Praia Bar is the most relaxing spot in Bahia for expertly mixed cocktails and regional specialty dishes. Private showers, a dining patio, and the Trancoso river dock were all constructed to accommodate and protect the Atlantic mangrove.
If you prefer a more active soak in the tropical sun, Uxua offers an array of outdoor adventures— including sea kayaking, a beach volleyball court, and lessons in the traditional Brazilian martial art of capoeira.
And foodies rejoice! Uxua’s unique dining experiences and ‘homey’ kitchens are sure to tantalize your palette. The emphasis on Bahian cultural heritage is everywhere at Uxua, and the kitchens are no exception. All the organic ingredients come from Uxua’s own gardens and other local farms. The seafood is the freshest, caught using traditional techniques. And cooking in Bahia is a social event. The hotel’s primary kitchen is an open structure, whose counter and bar-stool set up welcomes guests to sit and chat with the chefs, watch and learn, or perhaps sample what’s cooking. Additionally, any meal at Uxua can be served by the poolside, at the beach lounge, in casa, or on your private dining area on the village green.
Plan ahead for your visit to this authentic Brazilian retreat. With a limited number of casas you’ll want to lock one in early.
Photo credit: Uxua Casa Hotel & Spa