Casual luxury at UXUA.
The word ‘uxua’ means marvellous in the language of the Pataxó Indian tribe, but it doesn’t come close to what Uxua Casa Hotel really is: paradise on earth.
Uxua Casa Hotel & Spa lies in the historic main square of Bahia’s hippie-chic mecca Trancoso, on Brazil’s lush, Bahian coast. The resort-like boutique hotel has become the stay of choice for the Brazilian and European elite that flocks to this seaside village all year round.
Designed by Wilbert Das, Diesel’s former creative director, the hotel is made up of 10 private luxury casas beautifully camouflaged among the colourful fishermen’s shacks around the Quadrado, and the lush tropical gardens behind. Uxua Casa Hotel took two years to build, working closely with local craftsmen using local and recycled material whenever possible.
The interiors pay tribute to Bahian and Indian influences, and are all completely different, each one filled with original native art and antiques that were salvaged from abandoned Brazilian farms and restored by local artisans. Das has got the balance between luxury and laid-back charm just right, using palm thatching, wooden floors, dreamy four-poster king-size beds dressed in the finest of linens and a collection of vintage furniture and art to complete each casa in a unique way.
Everything about Uxua screams rustic charm, with hammocks swinging between palm trees, escorted by Mid-century Brazilian furniture, local ceramics and woodcarvings. There are no signs around the hotel; it’s completely integrated into the 500-year-old village’s community, making guests feel as if they have their own house in Trancoso’s lantern-lit Quadrado.
The beach is a mere five-minute walk away from the casas, and is plagued with locally crafted daybeds boasting stunning views of the turquoise sea. The hotel runs a lively bar on the sand made from the restoration of an old fisherman bar, where staff serve Bahian cuisine and innovative tropical cocktails from an antique wooden boat topped by a canvas roof.
The innovative organic spa completes the perfect holiday with treatments inspired and influenced by centuries of heritage of Pataxó Indians, African slaves, Jesuit missionaries, and even 20th century hippies. The line of products offered at the spa use a highly bioactive resin produced by almescar trees, which has restorative qualities and an alluring musky scent. The spa’s highlight is probably their vichy treatment suite, the first in Bahia, featuring five water jets flowing from carved eucalyptus trunks in a tropical wet room with lofty views.
See? Paradise on earth.