Uxua Casa Hotel & Spa, perched by Bahia‘s superlative shoreline, is starting to look a little like a Smith trophy cabinet. It won the much-coveted Best Smith Hotel gong at last year’s Smith Hotel Awards, it was a runner-up for Best-Dressed Hotel in 2013 and this year it’s nominated again.
We promise we’re not playing favourites: this Brazilian belle is just that good, delivering beautiful beaches, a Unesco-protected setting (Trancoso’s historic Quadrado Square) and an impressive eco attitude. It’s the kind of place you want to linger in; and with this week’s hotel offer, you can do just that…
STYLE Rustic modernism, casual luxury
SETTING Beachside, yet at the heart of village life
Why this week? Because, if you book a two-night stay before 20 December 2015, you gat a whole extra night free. That’s the chance to try one more fabulous meal whipped up by chef Bernardo Silva (perhaps a helping of moreish, coconut-laced moqueca baiana stew?), a few more pineapple-and-ginger caipiranhas at a bar – made out of a boat, no less – and time to squeeze in an extra cookery class, a capoeira lesson, or a visit to a Aldeia Pataxó Indian reserve. Or hit the beach – another excellent way to spend those precious extra hours.
Our favourite bits Sandwiched between Nativos and Coqueiros beaches, Uxua’s bar is cool and casual – crafted from thatch, clay and driftwood, with a weathered fishing boat repurposed as a countertop. Each of the hotel’s 10 rainbow-hued casitas have considered details: religious icons, hammered-tin chests and murals painted by the resident Artist in Casa (an ongoing programme to support local creatives). Almescar Spa has holistic treatments that read like a dessert menu (coconut, passion fruit and ginger pop up frequently) and we love the earthy white-clay body mask treatment.
What you say… ‘The hotel is stunning. There are not enough words to describe its beauty, or the setting on the square. The service is exceptional. Breakfast is wonderful.’ Richard, BlackSmith, stayed 29 October 2014.
Mr and Mrs Smith say… ‘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.’ Read DJ Layo Paskin’s Uxua Casa Hotel & Spa review.