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Uxua Casa Hotel is managed by Wilbert, Creative Director.
R$1100 - R$11600/night
Suitable for 2-6 people

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Uxua Casa pool area - Uxua Casa Hotel, in Bahia, Brazil
— Wilbert: “My professional background is in the fashion business and there is a constant process of creating something new. Uxua was a longing to create something that lasts over a longer period of time.”
Interview By:

— As a fashion designer, what inspired you to start running a small boutique hotel?

Wilbert: “It was a reaction really. My plan originally was to build a holiday home but then over time the idea of turning it into a boutique hotel came up. Analyzing it afterwards, I would say that it was a longing to create something that lasts over a long period of time. My professional background is in the fashion business and in fashion you are always making fast products that last a very short period of time. There is a constant process of creating something new. Because of the nature of fashion, things don’t need to last. And creating an atmosphere, a lifestyle or even a little village like Uxua is something much more appealing. Everything you make lasts for a much longer time.”
Uxua Casa pool area - Uxua Casa Hotel, in Bahia, Brazil
— Uxua Casa pool area

— Why did you decide to go to Trancoso?

Wilbert: “I fell in love with it. As I said, I was looking for a place to build a holiday home and a friend told me about Trancoso. He just said, ‘It feels like your house’. So I was intrigued and went there to have a look. When I arrived it just clicked. Everything was perfect from my point of view. Trancoso has everything that I like about life, abundant and lush nature, the beautiful beach, the people, the food, the weather and the colonial architecture – I am not a big fan of the architecture of the past 50 years. Trancoso was almost cut off from the world until only recently, the village is very well preserved.

Trancoso has a certain hippie vibe. Before the first road to the village was built about 15 years ago, there were only locals and hippies living here. And they still have a lot of influence on village life today. At first, when we started Uxua Casa, the locals were a bit unsure about this international fashion designer building a hotel in the village. But that perception changed.”
Uxua Casa living area - Uxua Casa Hotel, in Bahia, Brazil
— Uxua Casa living area

— Because from the start you were very involved with the local community?

Wilbert: “Yes, we talked to the local environmental activists to make sure that they felt like their interests were being served. And we also initiated several other projects for and with the local community. During the building process we worked with many local craftsmen, which was great. We would give them an idea and they would come up with something better. So that worked really well.

We also noticed that many people are illiterate, so we decided to provide classes for the locals. We also organize English classes and we pay local capoeira teachers so the kids in the village can take lessons. All of this of course helped to ease the initial concern about our project. But most importantly, we have been able to set an example. This is something that is not done very much in Brazil and because of us other places had to follow our example.”
 - Uxua Casa Hotel, in Bahia, Brazil

— The name ‘UXUA’ means ‘marvelous’ in the language of the Pataxó Indian tribe. For you personally, what is marvelous about UXUA and Trancoso?

Wilbert: “The Pataxó is a local Indian tribe living on a reserve not far from Trancoso. I had the chance to meet with their chief before we opened and I still visit them every time I am here in Trancoso. Their language is a spoken language only, but the chief prepared a dictionary and I immediately fell in love with the word ‘Uxua’.

I guess what’s marvelous about Uxua Hotel is that it is actually not a hotel. There is no central building, instead we have 9 individual houses, well 10 actually since we decided to rent mine as well. Some of them are right around the ‘Quadrado’, the big, grassy square in Trancoso where all local live evolves around. There are no signs about the hotel, we are completely integrated into the local community. It is as if you have your own house in Trancoso.”
Uxua Casa living area - Uxua Casa Hotel, in Bahia, Brazil
— Uxua Casa living area

— And that is your philosophy or the essence of Uxua Casa Hotel?

Wilbert: “Absolutely. In your own house at home you don’t have to dress a certain way or talk a certain way. And that is what we wanted to create here, a place that feels like home with the level of service, comfort and small luxuries you would expect from a hotel.

And our guests seem to like that simplicity and the relaxed atmosphere. Today with the Internet, the mobile phone and all the social networks people tend to forget about the simple things in life. So it is really rewarding to see that our guests actually talk to each other, in many cases they are making new friends.”
Uxua Casa hotel - Uxua Casa Hotel, in Bahia, Brazil
— Uxua Casa hotel

— There are 9 individual small houses, all of which are different in their design and architecture. How would you describe the overall style of UXUA?

Wilbert: “A journalist once called it ‘rustic modernism’, which I quite liked. In fact, it is a tribute to the Bahian and Indian influences. Throughout the 2 years building Uxua Casa Hotel, we were working closely with local craftsmen using local and recycled material whenever possible.

And all of the guest houses are completely different, each filled with Bahian art and antiques that were salvaged from abandoned Brazilian farms and restored by local artisans. We have also designed and built the doors, windows, beds and much of the fittings such as the sinks and the wooden showers on site together with local artisans and the Indians from the Pataxó tribe.”
 - Uxua Casa Hotel, in Bahia, Brazil
 
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