Trancoso has carved out a space for itself as the vacation destination for the wealthy and famous. Actors, models, DJs and celebs flock to this unpretentious town in Bahia to relax, recuperate and let their hair down. With them and all the other visitors have come a number of boutique hotels. These are our top picks.
Comprised of two bungalows (good for big groups or families) and the inn, Etnia Pousada and Boutique sits around a dappled swimming pool under a canopy of tropical trees. Inside it has been renovated with tasteful classic furniture, local pieces of art and homely belongings. It is a 15-minute walk to the beach but just seconds from Trancoso’s shops and restaurants, and a breakfast spread is served by the pool every morning.
At the hands of former Diesel creative director, Wilbert Das, UXUA has evolved into a mecca of enviable and subtle style. The hotel and spa on Trancoso’s ancient village green, the Quadrado, has 11 casas each built out of Bahia’s natural materials, nestled among its trees and tropical plants and decorated with handcrafted rustic minimalism. As well as a pool lined with green aventurine quartz, they have beds on the beach and a shipwrecked boat for a bar.
Casas da Vila has nine bedrooms, two swimming pools and a restaurant, but on top of that each little casa has been designed to have its own identity and belongings. Rainbow colors offset the ethereal patterned rugs and cushions add softness to the wooden and thatch buildings. Run by a couple, the hotel has all the trappings of a home, albeit an incredibly stylish, comfortable and luxurious one.
Describing itself a “farm on the edge of a semi-deserted beach” Hotel Fazenda Calá & Divino couldn’t sound much more heavenly. Its location on Praia do Espelho, one of Trancoso’s neighboring beaches, puts it off the beaten track, leaving it drenched in darkness at night and the first to see the sun rise in the morning. The hotel has eight bungalows and a couple of suites. The living rooms are accented with indigo, woven hammocks sway between trees and sundowners are taken on a polished wooden terrace. A winning combination of luxury and solitude.
Villas de Trancoso is a sanctuary steeped in nature and lapped by the sea. The ten spacious villas are set back from Praia dos Nativos to the north of the town, hiding among an abundance of trees and grassy land. As well as communing with the dogs and meeting the monkeys, guests are encouraged to go riding, mountainbiking or surfing, play tennis or golf, do yoga or just relax in the spa and unwind among the gardens or on the near-empty beach.
Casa de Perainda is a beautifully designed little hotel. It has just five, very individual rooms, making it feel like the cosiest of homes. Bahia’s bright sun bounces off blue and white-washed wood, split stable doors and flimsy curtains let the breeze blow through and interesting art adorns the walls. A small but attentive staff will take good care of you and, as it is only a few minutes from the Quadrado, you can enjoy total seclusion and quiet while being close to the amenities of town.
Estrela D’Água is an upmarket complex of spacious thatched bungalows on Praia dos Nativos. It sits just back from the beach and has a popular decked restaurant that serves sushi and champagne, among plenty more, to merry groups. The rooms are spacious, cheerful and well equipped, each having a balcony, hammock, TV and Nespresso machine and the hotel also adheres to Trancoso’s strict environmental rules.