Trancoso is perhaps the coolest beach destination in Brazil. It’s where national and international celebrities head to super chic hotels and private villas to live it up in luxury. Jay-Z and Beyoncé are regulars here along with Matthew McConaughey but the village still maintains a small town feel, despite the hype.
Situated on the southern Bahia coast the town was a little known village some ten years ago but now is the place to be seen. The wealthy from Rio and Sao Paulo come here for a beach break and it is filled with designer boutiques and restaurants offering the finest food outside of these two cities.
The town is centred on the historic Quadrado, a large grassy square and the town still retains an intimate charm and offers a variety of accommodation. The lovely little pastel coloured buildings offer good shopping, even away from the designer boutiques and there are gorgeous beaches such as the Praia dos Nativos or the Praia do Trancoso. Aside from fabulous accommodation options the town is next to one of the best golf courses in Brazil, the Terravista club with its superb 17th hole and is a challenging course.
Trancoso provides the perfect escape for those seeking privacy, an exotic location and some of the best beaches on a holiday to Brazil. It’s perfect for a luxury holiday to Brazil and ideal for honeymooners.
Below are our top 3 suggestions if you are looking for hotel accommodation in the village whilst there are also some incredible villas available too.
UXUA Casa is a special place to stay. Situated next to the famous Quadrado and with only nine exclusive residences, each with their own unique design, this really is the place to be seen on holiday in Trancoso.
UXUA Casa, which translates as ‘Marvellous House’, is the creation of renowned designer Wilbert Das (formerly of the Diesel fashion label), and is a very special way to experience Trancoso.
Ideally situated adjoining the Trancoso Quadrado, UXUA Casa offers a choice from nine exclusive residences each uniquely themed and carefully styled with art and antiques from the Trancoso area, set in stunning natural surroundings you are provided with a beautiful home in Trancoso whilst enjoying all the services and additional comforts of a luxury hotel.
Each of the nine accommodations include large comfortable beds, in-door and out-door living areas, air-conditioning, flatscreen TV and Wi-Fi.
The pool at the UXUA Casa was designed to have lake-like quality, built incorporating beautiful green aventurine stone, which Bahia locals widely believe to have therapeutic power, calming the mind and reducing stress. A wide range of modern health and beauty facilities are available to guests.
Food and drinks can be served to you on the beach at the hotel’s sunken boat beach bar where the seafood skewers are particularly delicious, especially when washed down with a passion fruit caipirinha! UXUA Casa’s bar and restaurant offer specialities prepared from the finest local produce and all the staff are recruited locally and taught English, which is rare to find in Brazil.
Villas de Trancoso
Villas De Trancoso is a dreamy paradise set on one of the most stunning beaches in Bahia. Located 1.5 km from the Trancoso Quadrado, the Villas de Trancoso offer a choice from 11 luxury beach villas and suites.
The superb accommodation is suitable for both couples or a family to enjoy a romantic holiday in the most exquisite and private of environments. The villas are wonderfully designed incorporating native Brazilian furnishings and gorgeous Brazilian woods. White linen backdrops, colourful rugs, hand painted fabrics and fashionable local art adorn every one of the guesthouses. Each Villa includes air-conditioning, fine linen draped beds, spacious bathrooms (with waterfall showers & hairdryers), a furnished veranda, flat-screen TV, I-pod docks, Wi-Fi (also available on beach), secure storage, and a mini-bar.
Villas De Trancoso is the ideal beach escape, perfect for a honeymoon or even a wedding! The hotel staff are happy to ensure your every wish as you wander amongst brilliantly manicured gardens, enjoy the splendid white marble pool, and maybe treat and refresh yourself with a cocktail at the sunk-in pool bar. The coastline at Villas De Trancoso offers pristine golden sands, dotted with palm trees and extending over a mile should you wish to take a breathtaking walk by the ocean. The privacy offered and quality of relaxation couldn’t be better. At night the gardens at Villas De Trancoso become a magical nightscape with an award winning lighting display.
Villas De Trancoso definitely boasts a renowned 5-star restaurant. Breakfast is served from 8am and you can enjoy a special Brazilian breakfast including fine fresh coffee, seasonal fruits, baked breads, cheeses and pastries. Omelettes can also be made for you in whichever style you like. The main restaurant opens for lunch at 12 serving Brazilian favourites and an international selection. Delicious specialities (including a speciality of the day) can be served to you by candlelight, and you can take meals by the pool or even on the beach. Villas De Trancoso fully embraces the passion Brazil has for food. You are offered all kinds of meats, slow-cooked over glowing coals, and a wide seafood selection.
All the exciting recreational activities in Trancoso (such as world class golf, kayaking and horse-riding) can be accessed from the hotel, and Villas De Trancoso gives you even more with a guided treetop adventure trail just 30 minutes away. Spa and massage facilities, tennis courts, guided mountain bike outings, and a health, beauty and fitness centre are available to all guests. Massage, manicures and pedicures can be provided around the hotel cabana and pool, or you can choose to enjoy these services in your own guesthouse. You could have a gentle workout in the shade on the beach, or maybe delight in a game of frisbee on the beautiful soft sands by the sea.
Pousada Brisas do Espelho
The Pousada Brisas do Espelho is located in one of the most charming corners of Southern Bahia. It’s a delightful small pousada set in a preserved area halfway between the villages of Trancoso and Caraiva.
Getting to the pousada is a journey of 1 hour and 40 minutes by car from Porto Seguro airport (or 15 minutes by light aircraft) and then a 5-minute stroll from your room brings you to crystal clear waters lapping three of Brazil’s most beautiful white sand beaches; Outeiro, Espelho and Amores.
The property has a total of 19 rooms (12 Contemporary & 6 Vila of 30 square metres each, and 1 Master Vila of 60 square metres) and all have 400-thread sheets, air conditioning, internet LED TV and minibar.
There are 6 Contemporary rooms with a terrace overlooking the garden, while the other 6 on the ground floor lead directly to the pool and a lush lawn. The décor of the pousada mixes antique furniture with pieces from Bahian artisans plus a contemporary design in an elegant mix of past and present. The lounge and restaurant – with high ceilings, lots of wood and the white theme continued – offer breakfast, lunch and dinner and a beautiful pool is set in a tropical garden with a bar-lounge where lunches are served. On the top floor, pampering massages are available with sea views.
The menu – created by the French chef Marc Le Dantec, the same as Figo Restaurant in São Paulo which also belongs to the owner of the pousada – features local cuisine with a deft touch of sophistication. The ingredients used are from the region and vary with the seasons, and the chef, who lived for 10 years in Bahia, interprets and transforms local flavours into a unique experience. Brisas do Espelho is located in a large preserved condominium area not far, but set apart, from the bustle of Espelho. The closest beach is stunning deserted Outeiro, a short walk away and the pousada guests also have the use of the club there with its swimming pool, drinks and snacks just yards from the beach. When guests are not relaxing, activities include a range of wonderful beach walks, Stand Up Paddle and kayaking, golf, fishing or diving amongst coral reefs.
Simon Williams is Director of Bespoke Brazil.
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