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TRANCOSO, BRAZIL, April 2011 ˆ UXUA Casa Hotel in Trancoso, Brazil, guards its inventory of guest casas as a vintner holds back a few best bottles ˆ for pleasures to come.

One such new pleasure has recently been announced by Wilbert Das, former creative director of the Italian fashion house Diesel and the designer behind the creation of first nine and now ten one, two and three-bedroom casas updated from their roots in this 16th century fishing village.

Das continues to imbue the interior landscape of these casas with the subtle and not so subtle graces of nature that are the charm of the tropical Brazilian style. Casa Seu Irenio is a spacious re-interpretation of how Seu Irenio, known as the magician of Trancoso, once lived. It neighbors a casa of one of the village‚s remaining native families living on the Quadrado or village square.

Legend has it that up to the 1980‚s, Seu Irenio every night built a small fire in front of his house where he burned fragrant tree sap called almescar (which he personally gathered from the Atlantic rainforest), wove stories and performed magic tricks and was, naturally, beloved by all and especially by children. 

Das has retained for his refurbished Casa Seu Irenio a rustic table in front of the house where guests can observe village life afternoons and evenings when the townspeople gather to chat, play sport, eat and drink together often under the light of the lanterns and candles. The striking interior design of Casa Seu Irenio has received attention from the design world and was chosen to be featured in the upcoming book by Taschen called Interiors Now.

This one-bedroom casa, as with the property‚s original nine dwellings comprising UXUA Casa Hotel, mixes rustic and modern.  A high, pitched roof expands opens spaces and a living room and kitchen offer views to the Quadrado.  Translucent tiles mixed with antique ceramic tiles encourage an abundant stream of natural light.  The bedroom has a spacious adjoining open-air bathroom which is built into the garden and features double shower heads carved from tree trunks.  A giant bath is surrounded by cacti and flowers and is also open to the sky inviting a stargazing soak.  A private lounge behind the casa features a breakfast table and oversized daybed.

A list of construction and design details of Seu Irenio Casa includes retaining original clay walls and antique ceramic roof tiles; interspersing glass roof tiles with antique tiles to add light; opening up the interior entirely with dividing walls stripped down to bare wooden frames allowing open visual lines; creating floors of burnt cement using a local technique; restoring antique doors and windows; from a fallen jack fruit tree in UXUA‚s garden creating a 3-meter-long desk, giant carved sink and carved wooden spigot from which water shoots in the open-air bathroom in the private garden bathroom; hiding a flat-screen television in a rustic medicine cabinet; positioning a huge daybed under the pergola on an outside lounge; and featuring  UXUA‚s signature double-wooden shower heads in the bathroom where all faucets are made from raw copper tubing.

Since it opened in spring 2009, UXUA Casa Hotel (UXUA ˆ pronounced ooh-shoo-ah ˆ translates to „Marvelous‰ in the local Pataxó Indian language) quickly moved into the international must-visit circuit.

UXUA Casa Hotel came about after Das vacationed in Trancoso and fell in love with the village, locals and charm of this 16th century hamlet. Over three years he tapped Colonial, indigenous, and Afro-Bahian histories, arts and customs, and collaborated with local artisans using traditional building methods and recycled materials.  Textiles, art, crafts, furniture and structural fabrications from repurposed woods and scrap iron were sourced locally.  Flowers, spices and fruits from overgrown gardens grace guest rooms and tables. Menus include the catch of the day with a Bahian flair, with local dishes being the emphasis, but also complimented by foods from other regions of this vast country with a taste of Mediterranean fusion mixed in. A selection of international wines and spirits is available along with UXUA‚s inventive list of hundreds of tropical drinks and cocktails.

Rates at UXUA per casa, per night are from $680-$1,700 inclusive of breakfast. Guests fly into Sao Paolo, Salvador, or Rio, and connect via numerous national and international airlines with multiple direct daily flights to Porto Seguro, where a scenic 45-minute drive through beautiful Bahian landscape brings them to the jewel of the southern Bahian coast, Trancoso and UXUA. 

For additional information on UXUA Casa Hotel, please visit  For general reservations and inquiries please call +55 73 3668-2277. Please click Seu Irenio Casa to view an array of Flickr images. 

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