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Hotel Highlights

  • Within walkable distance of anywhere in Trancoso
  • Prime position on the town's historic Quadrado – the most beautiful square in Brazil
  • Stunningly located beach bar, which is close to both the town and the seafront

Overview

RUNNER-UP: BEST-DRESSED HOTEL – SMITH HOTEL AWARDS 2013

The only boutique hotel in the historic main square of Trancoso, Bahia, Uxua Casa Hotel & Spa has become the stay of choice in this beautiful seaside village. The Brazilian elite, not to mention style-savvy visitors from the US and Europe, flock to its 10 private casas all year round, drawn by its stunning beachside location, dedication to sustainable tourism and the sort of interiors that wouldn't look out of place in Wallpaper* or Elle Decoration. Its owners have got the balance between luxury and laid-back style just right.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Uxua Casa Hotel & Spa with us:

A bottle of champagne in your room on arrival. Members staying five nights or more will receive a special Smith cocktail each, and a free candlelit meal for two on the Quadrado.

Special offers

Exclusive rates, packages and special offers at Uxua Casa Hotel & Spa

10% off

Facilities

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Uxua Casa Hotel & Spa – Bahia – Brazil

Need To Know

Rooms

The hotel is comprised of 10 individual casas.

Check–out

Midday, though this can be flexible depending on occupancy; earliest check-in, 9am (again, depending on occupancy).

Rates

Double rooms from $486.14 (BRL1,100), excluding tax at 13 per cent.

More details

Rates include a buffet breakfast. There's an additional service charge of 10 per cent.

Also

The hotel’s Almescar Spa is home to Bahia’s first Vichy treatment suite, where warm water pours down from carved eucalyptus trunks and therapies use indigenous local ingredients like almescar and cacao. Private cooking classes taught by the hotel's chefs, or even Trancoso locals, can be held in your casa's kitchen.

At the hotel

Spa, gym, library, DVD library, laundry service, in-room spa/beauty treatments. In rooms: flatscreen TV, CD/DVD player, iPod dock, king-size beds, free WiFi, dining table, air-conditioning, minibar, Natura toiletries.

Our favourite rooms

We love the two-bedroom Gulab Mahal casa, which comes with a private tiered garden, a cushion-filled mezzanine, three bathrooms (two of them in the open air) and views of the Quadrado from every angle. It also houses Indian-style stained-glass and carved-wood features, which date back to the 1970s ‘hippie invasion’ of Trancoso. We also adore the Casa do Arvore honeymoon suite, which is built from recycled wood and is situated high in the trees.

Poolside

Shaped like a lake and surrounded by a huge wooden deck, the hotel pool, constructed from thousands of green aventurine quartz stones, is big enough to do laps. It is gloriously surrounded by tall trees, coconut palms and flowering plants.

Packing tips

Bring your iPod – all casas come with docking stations, and you can download as many bossa nova tunes as you like thanks to the free WiFi.

Also

Personal chefs are available on request, and will prepare a meal of whatever you desire to be served to you in your private casa. Ask when you check in.

Children

Uxua Casa Hotel & Spa is very much an adult's playground. However, children are allowed, and, for those under age five, the hotel provides cots at no extra cost and can arrange babysitting.

Food & Drink

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Uxua Casa Hotel & Spa – Bahia – Brazil

Hotel Restaurant

The hotel restaurants may not have been given names, but they're certainly not an afterthought. Chef Bernardo Silva serves up fresh, locally sourced Brazilian cuisine – moqueca of lobster and king prawns, escondidinho of dried shredded meat, onion, chives, creamed cassava and coconut milk – in the hotel lounge or beside the pool. The atmosphere is informal and laid-back.

Hotel Bar

Overlooking the pool area, the bar (again, it has no name) has been constructed from local wood using traditional techniques. An old fishing boat serves as the drinks counter, and a thatched roof covers those who come here to sip the signature pineapple-and-ginger caipirinhas till the wee small hours.

Last orders

Dinner is served till around 10pm, and caipirinhas are served in the bar until the last guests shuffle off to bed.

Room service

Guests can order from a full menu between 7am and 10pm.

Smith Insider

Dress code

The more casual the better. Flip-flops and shorts are perfectly acceptable – indeed, closed-toe shoes are positively frowned upon.

Top table

Getting a good table is never a problem. However, during the day, we recommend going for a table overlooking the beach, at which you can enjoy views of sand and sea while you eat. By night, sit at a table looking out on the grassy, softly lit Quadrado.

Local Guide

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Uxua Casa Hotel & Spa – Bahia – Brazil
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…
+ Enlarge
Beachside, yet at the heart of village life

Uxua Casa Hotel & Spa

Praça São João Batista (Quadrado Histórico) Trancoso, Bahia

Uxua Casa Hotel & Spa is in Trancoso.

Planes

The nearest airport is Porto Seguro International, 24km from the hotel. Air Italy, Azul Brazilian Airlines, Gol Airlines, Livingston Energy Flight, TAM and TRIP all fly here, often via a stopover in São Paulo, Rio or Salvador da Bahia. Direct flights tend to operate to Porto Seguro between November and February.

Automobiles

It’s 24km to Trancoso from Porto Seguro, but it’ll take an hour because of the two-lane roads and short ferry crossing. There’s parking at the hotel.

Reviews

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Uxua Casa Hotel & Spa – Bahia – Brazil

Anonymous review

by Layo Paskin , Dynamic DJ

Porto Seguro, 700 miles north of Rio, is the spot where the Portuguese explorer Pedro Alvares Cabral bumped into (that is, discovered) South America. That was in 1500 and he was seeking a trade route to India. When we deplane at the tiny airport, we’re delighted to find that there’s little to no security and that the only soft drinks for sale are coconuts. We’re seeking escape an…
Read more

Uxua Casa Hotel & Spa

Anonymous review by Layo Paskin, Dynamic DJ

Porto Seguro, 700 miles north of Rio, is the spot where the Portuguese explorer Pedro Alvares Cabral bumped into (that is, discovered) South America. That was in 1500 and he was seeking a trade route to India. When we deplane at the tiny airport, we’re delighted to find that there’s little to no security and that the only soft drinks for sale are coconuts. We’re seeking escape and it looks like we’ve landed in the right place.

We’re headed for the Uxua Casa Hotel & Spa in the fishing village of Trancoso, 18 miles south of Porto Seguro, and we have two choices: cross the Buranhem River by road or ferry. Of course, we opt for the latter to enhance the sensation of escape, then Mrs Smith fearlessly confronts the bumpy roads all the way to the hotel. We make the trip in 55 minutes and she flashes me her ‘Aren’t I a good driver?’ smile. (After all, she beat the hotel's predictions it would take an hour.)

The hotel is on the Quadrado, a historic hilltop square overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. This large lawn rectangle is lined by a paintbox of houses (red, blue, pistachio, peach), some of them still private homes, with the rest having been turned into restaurants or mini-boutiques that open only at night. Halfway between the entrance to the square and the iconic white São João Batista Church stands the unassuming Uxua Casa. We walk down a small alley at the side and emerge into a frond- and flower-filled garden with a pool of translucent green water, an effect produced by the stones set in the bottom. There are 10 casas here, ranging from authentically restored fisherman’s houses to a sleekly opulent but eco treehouse, the Casa de Arvore.

‘We are in the treehouse!’ whoops Mrs Smith, when we’re shown to the room. Made of reclaimed wood, the casa is furnished with a huge bed shrouded in muslin, beyond which is an open-plan terrace with a hammock, a sofa and minibar, and on the lower level, a swing and hot tub. Lascivious thoughts immediately descend upon me, and indeed, you can wander naked from the hot tub to the bathroom (but Mrs Smith has imposed a gag order here). In the latter, the sinks, baths, and showers are carved from fallen tree trunks found on the property. It's exactly how a castaway with plumbing and carpentry skills might build his abode.

It was tempting to just close the door and stay in for the duration, but being ardent beach goers, we head out, turning right at the church and then proceeding through a forest of mangroves. We emerge on a broad, large hard-packed expanse of sand – the sort of beach you find on the coast of Wales but far more alluring, of course. Uxua has its own bar here, a shipwrecked boat and a few chairs and daybeds. This day, and many that follow, consist of lazy people-watching, gazing at the sapphire-green sea, nibbling on coconut and fresh cashew, and lunching on grilled charcoal cheese on a stick and iced Bohemia beer.

Several hours later, after Mrs Smith treats herself to a body scrub at the new spa, we are in the square, headed for Para Raio, a small indoor/outdoor club, to see two legendary Brazilian performers, Elba Ramalho and Elza Soares. Elba, in her mid-50s, opens with her Mr Smith, who is 30-ish. After an hour, Soares, 81, takes the stage, escorted by her 26-year-old boyfriend. She sings for three hours in a voice that can only be described as half Louis Armstrong, half Tina Turner. (Which could also be said of her physique.) At 2am, Elza is still going strong, but we are not. We wander back through the Quadrado to the church, which looks like a miracle in the moonlight.

A deep, deep sleep later, we awake to the heady scent of the rainforest, the clamour of insects and birds, and crossbeams of sun formed by the slats in the walls. We breakfast on fresh exotic fruits, just-baked cakes and breads, cheese, cereals and squeezed-for-us juice, then we retrace our steps to the beach. A swim here, a snooze there, such is life. The finale is a dinner at the hotel of delicious Bahian cuisine, a fish stew known as mocqueca, casquinha de siri (a crabmeat fritter), and an Argentine white wine.

Had we had more time, we might have taken day trips to Caraiva or the famed Espelho beach. That’s for the next visit. On this one, we happily honed our skills at doing nothing.

 

 

The Guestbook

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