Wellness News from UXUA Casa Hotel & Spa

February 10th, 2022

From a new farm and organic youth farming program to foraging in the new beachside nature sanctuary to distilling essential oils in the Vida Lab

Ever since it opened in 2009, UXUA Casa Hotel & Spa, in Trancoso, Brazil, has been a favorite destination of travelers who seek community and a place to unwind and reduce their impact on the planet. (The property was founded by Wilbert Das, longtime creative director of fashion brand Diesel, who fell in love with the area.) The hotel is a leading example of sustainable travel, with its zero-waste philosophy, emphasis on reclaimed materials, preservation of local cultures and indigenous knowledge, and focus on vegetarian-based Bahian dishes sourced from the on-site organic garden and local farmers and fishermen. It’s no wonder the property has been a three-time finalist in Virtuoso’s Sustainable Tourism Leadership Award and was the first Brazilian hotel accepted as a signatory to the UN Global Contact.

What’s New

Located a short bike ride from the hotel, on the northern rim of the Rio Trancoso Valley, UXUA ROÇA is a new 50-acre farm planted with more than 100 different kinds of vegetables and herbs and flowers. The farm represents UXUA’s commitment to a circular food system, where fresh produce supplies the restaurant and spa, and food waste replenishes the soil. The agricultural plot allows the property to expand its organic youth farming program through the non-profit Association Despertar, which provides paid internships to students interested in environmental activism, as well as the Organic Festival Trancoso, co-founded by UXUA’s founders Wilbert Das and Bob Shevlin. Guests can reserve a private tour of the farm with medical director Dr. Jullian Hamamoto, during which they’ll pick fresh ingredients for use in a live cooking demonstration.

Also new is UXUA MARÉ, a nature sanctuary on Itapororoca beach, a 45-minute walk from the historic center of town. Three different biomes are represented across the sanctuary, which comprises 20 acres of mangrove forest, Atlantic rainforest, restinga (salt marsh), and aquatic reef. It’s here that Dr. Jullian forages ingredients like cherry guava, wild passion fruit, sea almonds, and mangaba for use back in the VIDA LAB. Guests are welcome to join the foraging experience and learn about the various uses and healing benefits of a variety of edible plants, flowers, roots, nuts, and berries.

Set inside a 70’s-era bungalow (a remnant of Trancoso’s hippie past) and situated amid UXUA’s gardens, VIDA LAB is UXUA’s nutritional research laboratory and medical kitchen. Featuring a living roof covered in edible plants, the space is equipped with scientific equipment for the study, documentation, and processing of natural plants sourced from UXUA’s organic garden, 150 meters away, and the various biomes that surround the property. Medical director Dr. Jullian Hamamoto and his team turn these ingredients into juices, topical treatments, and essential oils for use in the spa and restaurant. Guests can drop into the VIDA LAB to simply say hello, or to request custom therapies for relief from sunburn or chronic pain; aesthetic treatments like a cacao facial; or a pick-me-up in the form of an essential oil or energizing juice. Learn the science behind these therapies and ingredients by signing up for a custom mixing or cooking class.

More About UXUA Casa Hotel & Spa

A boutique hotel with a bohemian soul, UXUA Casa Hotel & Spa debuted in the historic fishing village of Trancoso, Brazil in 2009. The town, founded by the Jesuits in the 16th century, was rediscovered by artists and hippies in the 1970s. The area’s free spirit captivated UXUA’s founders who collaborated with local craftspeople to refurbish 13 traditional fisherman homes, reborn as the hotel’s casas. With a focus on sustainability, the property sources ingredients for the restaurant and spa from the on-site organic farm and a nearby nature sanctuary. Guests can learn about these healing ingredients through foraging excursions, live cooking demonstrations, and mixing classes. Other activities include mountain biking, kayaking, surfing, and horseback riding, as well as private capoeira lessons.

(Images Courtesy of UXUA)

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