“UXUA” is a word that means wonderful in the language of Pataxo Indians - the indigenous people of the Bahia Region. The name itself has become a symbol of the inspiration that the local area and community have had on UXUA CASA founders Wilbert Das and Bob Shevlin. UXUA shows the strong sense of preservation and harmony that they have instilled here. The result? A perfect fusion of tradition and luxury, a hotel experience you have never had before, and I am quite certain, may never find elsewhere.
Trancoso is not a town that rolls off your tongue when speaking of Brazil; however, this infamous treasure is renowned within certain circles. Its charm, vibrancy and character exude a seductive aura that will tie you to this picturesque town forevermore. Just as it did to the hotel’s founder, Wilbert Das, whom after his first trip in 2004, returned and opened the doors to UXUA Casa Hotel & Spa in 2009 just five years after.
The Quadrado is the hotel, the hotel is the Quadrado - this is harmony. Neither would exist in the same way without the other. It just fits. This grassed area is the centre of all activity and takes on many forms as the day unwinds. The hotel is located on the periphery of the Quadrado. There is no hotel lobby, no formalities or gimmicks. Walk barefoot on the mud track, take in the clean air from the surrounding jungle, and hear the buzz of the restaurants & bars coming to life as the sun sets. Pause for a moment and gaze at the colours and vibrancy of the Casas as the warm glowing sun sets beyond the Sao Joao Batista Church - a sensory overload. Become inspired, fall in love, and glare at the distant ocean meeting the river mouth and then you are welcomed to your own Casa, your piece of paradise in this small but beautiful part of the world.
UXUA Casa Hotel & Spa consists of twelve Casas, each one completely unique from the rest. From Casa Da Arvore, UXUA’s infamous treehouse, to Ze e Zilda on the Quadrado, each Casa opens the page to a unique story — with some dating back five hundred years to the village founding. Adding to the allure of this wonderful hotel, any traveller can easily return time after time and still never quite take in all the experiences this magical escape has to offer. Only adding to its charm, UXUA Casa creates a wealth of organic experiences and moments, which we, in modern society, crave so eagerly. UXUA Casa succeeds where others fail, by capturing the element of mystery. It is as though you are experiencing a secret the world has not caught wind of yet. So precious that you almost don’t want to share it to the world in order to preserve the hotel’s authenticity.
Art and creativity have been extremely influential in this magical place. Bringing a wealth of design skills from his years as creative director of Diesel Jeans, Wilbert Das has curated an aesthetic for UXUA which is becoming world renowned. This has also led to other accolades, such as Wilbert’s architectural debut, the Bahian retreat he designed for Anderson Cooper, which graced the front pages of Architectural Digest. A champion of local art and craftsmanship, the hotel is decorated and built locally and sustainably, retaining a wealth of local culture. In Wilbert’s own words, “I only want to create things with a soul” - From the woven linen pillow cases, clay pots and tapestries, to larger works of furniture; the vibrancy and energy of this community is felt in every corner. Commissioning local artists with his guidance, they now have a channel to professionalise their art and a platform to share these bespoke creations worldwide.
Spectacular as the interiors may be, the integration of the environment with the hotel is key to its aesthetic. Wilbert Das has succeeded so spectacularly in bringing the outside in, and vice versa, through interior design. To enhance any stay at UXUA, allow yourself to immerse with the local area and partake in the activities this exquisite environment has to offer. The staff will organise sunset horse rides along the beach, mountain bike rides through Buffalo Valley, surf lessons on deserted beaches, or energising morning yoga classes in the plush hotel gardens. Alternatively, spend your days relaxing on the beach, drinking caipirinhas as you lay under the warm Brazilian sunshine.
No proper account of UXUA can be made, without a special dedication to the staff who work here. A true representation of Brazilian culture, they welcome all residents with open arms and create a tranquil melting pot of culture, class, and race. From the restaurants chef, who fuses so delicately the traditional Bahian cuisine with a Western flare, to the waiters, maids and even residents feel that this place is a second family. UXUA is not just a hotel, it is place to share memories and experiences, to stay up all night in deep in conversations beneath the lantern lit trees, and to relax and welcome a new rhythm of life.
There are not many mysteries left in this world. It is seemingly an oxymoron that in today’s society technology opens yet also closes our eyes in so many ways. This in effect, whether we like it or not, reduces our ability to be in awe. Constantly searching for the wow factor, our expectations are rarely met. Trancoso may not be an easy destination to reach, but nothing great ever came easily. In Trancoso the locals, natives, and travellers are as one. The design, ambiance, and spirit of this hotel is a true testament to the natural beauty of it's setting. I urge you to visit UXUA and experience the colours of the alluring Quadrado. Allow yourself to disconnect from the world and embrace a hotel so unique in its perfection.
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