7 months ago

CEN HK Q1 2018


BLACKBOOK THE COMEBACK The lounge in Casa Anderson, the masterpiece of Uxua Alma seem like they are at their very brightest: hyperchromatic brushstrokes of fuchsia, chartreuse, vermilion and jungle greens dance through the sculptural Lenny Niemeyer swimwear parading the Fly Club, the Osklen gowns sashaying through O Cacau, the tropic-hued houses and the sun-dappled verdant surrounds. Former Diesel creative director Wilbert Das is given credit for turning the global jetset towards the sleepy Bahia hamlet with his Uxua Casa Hotel & Spa (uxua. com), where jungle casas surround an aventurine quartz hydropool and the glamorous leisure of the Paulistas and the Cariocas became a global phenomenon. “We had so many clients fall in love with Trancoso and want to also have Teatro L’Occitane, home of Música em Trancoso houses here,” explains Das. “Our own décor collection, UXUA Casa, was also eventually born.” Indeed, artisanal furniture galleries are gaining a presence in Trancoso – locally based showrooms like UXUA Casa and Piquia Arts (fb. com/piquia.arts) service the aesthetic and spatial demands of dwellings like Casa Altos (, a six-bedroomed villa equipped with private staff and unbeatable views. And now almost a decade later for Das, his brand has added a sister demesne, Uxua Alma (, which ups the ante for global sybarites with a collection of couture casas gazing out to the jungle – an assemblage that now includes Casa Anderson, a tetraptych design by Das himself for CNN presenter Anderson Cooper whose pièce de résistance treehouse is the so-stunning-you-mightnever-leave master suite. But the 500-year-old clifftop fishing village is not finished transforming: the name on the salt-kissed lips of those in the know is Fasano (, one of South America’s hippest hospitality and gastro-brands and owner of a 300ha beachside spread that is promised to open next year with 40 stone bungalows and 23 villas surrounding a magnificent Olympic- PHOTOS CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: UXUA ALMA, © UXUA CASA HOTEL AND SPA, PEDRO CARRILHO; OPPOSITE PAGE FROM TOP: © UXUA CASA HOTEL AND SPA, © FASANO, © UXUA CASA HOTEL AND SPA 28 CENTURION-MAGAZINE.COM

Uxua Casa’s revered beach club Exploring Trancoso’s semi-deserted, cliff-edged beaches, top; or enjoying the water, bottom, are options near Uxua Casa Hotel & Spa, bottom; rendering of a Fasano Trancoso villa sized pool. It’s the apotheosis of Trancoso’s revered beachside boltholes, joining the already esteemed Villas de Trancoso ( and Estrela d’Água ( and the new entrée Villas de Aragon ( Trancoso’s multilayered history starts with the 16th-century church, the Igreja de São João Batista, which sits on the pristinely rectangled green, the Quadrado, hemmed in by multicoloured structures that date from centuries ago but owe something of their beauty to the hippies who embraced Trancoso in the 1970s. Unlike other utopias, however, that were overrun almost instantly – swaths of the California coast, Ibiza, Goa etc – this paradisiacal escape has embellished its natural charms and added only slowly to its manmade ones, like the Teatro L’Occitane (, a Niemeyer-like vision of a lunar lakeside amphitheatre that hosts the wonderful annual festival Música em Trancoso ( On the Quadrado itself – a car-free Unesco-protected square – enduring favourites sit side-by-side with newcomers. The latest pop-up by Martha Medeiros (, whose creations were last seen in the rest of the world in the pages of Vogue, is a must, as are the organic, vegetarian dishes at pretty Jasmim Manga ( br), bursting with flavours plucked from the surrounding rainforest. The culinary theatre at El Gordo ( is second to none, with seats scattered round a swimming pool and dishes that make the most of local ingredients, while Café de la Musique ( br) offers a long, heady night, which can be peacefully slept off on your sunbed or four-poster. There’s a reason, after all, that they say, “those who are nervoso head to Trancoso” and most come with the promise that they can “laze in a hammock and sip water from coconuts”. Today there’s a growing preference for Cristal over coconuts, and the purr of private jets from the nearby Terravista airstrip is more noticeable than ever. “Trancoso really is a kind of success story,” Wilbert Das reflects. And so the success continues and peace predominates – regardless of whether the electricity is on or off. CENTURION-MAGAZINE.COM 29