Hotel Review: UXUA Casa Hotel, Brazil

Nestled in the colourful fishing village of Trancoso on Brazil’s idyllic Bahian coast is the one of a kind, UXUA Casa Hotel {pronounced ooo-SHOO-ahh}.  The creator of UXUA – Dutch fashion designer Wilbert Das, first arrived in Trancoso whilst traveling in 2004, instantly falling in love with it’s beauty and pristine natural spirit, sense of preservation and tradition roots of the community.  Wilbert felt at home and after 10 days left with the typical Brazilian ‘saudade’ – a Portuguese word meaning a nostalgic longing for something. Within a year of leaving, he returned and started searching for a property to buy and build a home which would later become UXUA Casa Hotel.

“The colours and energy of this town really offer something magical and as much
as I have traveled, I think Trancoso is one of the most visually stimulating and relaxing
places one can imagine; a true harmony of human habitation and nature, and a place with
a wonderful warm native population with deep and extremely diverse cultural and ethnic ties’

– Wilbert Das

On Trancoso’s historic ‘Quadrado’; a grassy cliff top square, Wilbert purchased the first UXUA casa named ‘gulab mahal’ which was built and restored to an Indian-style pousada. From there Wilbert set out to create a property of houses {ten in total}, each completely different but combining the rustic elements native to the village.  The casas range from authentically restored one to three bedroom fisherman houses; self catering or fully serviced, to sleekly opulent, but ecologically-conscious treehouses hidden amongst the lush tropical gardens. Trancoso’s rich 500 years of history adds to the design of UXUA, taking inspiration from it’s Portuguese founders in the 1500’s, Jesuit missionaries, Indian tribes, African slaves, and Brazilian hippies of the 1970s. Resulting in an amalgamation of architecture, showcasing southern Bahian and Indian influences alongside a rustic modernism that nods towards Wilbert’s work in contemporary fashion and furniture design.  Wilbert collaborated with local artisans, using traditional building methods, reclaimed and organic materials and Brazilian antiques and art. The fusion between interior and exterior runs throughout the property seamlessly and this can be seen in the choice of colours. The rich, earthy tones and floral brights reflecting the nature that surrounds UXUA.

The eco vibe runs throughout the properties, even the kitchen utensils are recycled coconut shells carved by Bahian cowboys. Shower-heads are carved from the trunks of eucalyptus trees, & sofas are upholstered using canvas taken from the backs of old transport trucks. Further up-cycling can be seen in the beach lounge that is built entirely from old local fishing boats. Wilberts creative use of up-cycling and re-cyling is not only intelligent but inspiring. His keen eye for detail shows up in my favourite feature at UXUA… the lake-like pool. The stunning pool is created entirely from 40,000 specimens of unique green aventurine quartz, a native Bahian stone considered by many to have powerful healing qualities as a therapeutic mineral.  The traditional technique used to build the quartz pool walls is called ‘pau a pique’ – creating a stunning finish, especially when lit at night.

Prices start from R$1710 (around £455) per night. For further information on booking the UXUA Casa Hotel please click here.


Meet Pippa

Pippa Jameson is an author, tv designer and interiors expert. The previous interior editor on several leading UK titles, Pippa has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Throughout her 25-year career, Pippa’s unique and creative approach has won her commissions for large retail brands and celebrities to deliver exciting and engaging projects. 

She’s written the curriculum for the British College of Interior Design, produced and styled shoots for well-known brands including John Lewis, H&M & Team GB/DFS, worked as an International Stylist for leading paint brands in Asia, consulted on the launch and creative direction of major retail names including George Home and Wren, and most recently, published her first book, The Sensory Home. Pippa possesses expertise unmatched in the interior industry.