by Maleeha Sambur
Trancoso, a sleepy fishing village in the coastal state of Bahia, first landed on my radar when I came across photos of Uxua Casa Hotel & Spa and fell hard for its beautifully designed spaces. I immediately wanted to redecorate my Brooklyn apartment in its likeness, and the only thing standing in my way was a lack of available outdoor shower space and a dearth of tropical vegetation suitable for a bi-level treehouse (plus zoning laws, perhaps). Though my plan was foiled, when my husband and I decided on South America for our honeymoon destination in 2013, I insisted we build a stay at Uxua into the itinerary.
Established as a mission town by Portuguese settlers in the 16th century, Trancoso remained relatively isolated from the outside world until recently, when an access road was finally connected to the highway network. In the 1970's, through word of mouth, it became a haven for hippies, and the grassroots efforts of these newcomers played a role in protecting Trancoso from development interests as resorts began cropping up in towns all along the coast, destroying once-pristine beaches and the local communities that had called the area home for centuries.Read More