We’ve had our eye on Uxua in the Trancoso area of Brazil since it opened in 2009 and recently got one of our correspondents in there to check out the experience. It may be in an area once known more for backpackers and faded hippies, but since the owner is a Dutch fashion designer (the former creative director of Diesel), you can bet it’s going to go well beyond just thatch, bamboo, and bugs.

“Uxua Casa proves therapeutic for all the senses (not to mention the soul). Colors, textures, scents, and sounds all conspire to soothe. Drawing on Bahia’s wealth of organic materials and artisanal traditions, the hotel bears no traces of Das’ high fashion past. Nothing is design-y, even though everything – down to the elemental yet exquisite copper faucets and shower heads – has been artistically wrought in a manner that is both simple and striking.”

There are just 10 bungalows here, but with a prime location that really can’t be beat: the property is right on the central square but has a full-on jungle landscape. There’s a swimming pool lined with quartz crystals in the middle of it all and a beach club by the surf for chillin’ by the waves.

So while you get your luxury digs with all the gadgets, you don’t have to be reminded of where you are since you’re right in the action instead of in a secluded, hard-to-find spot in a remote area. “While many hotels succeed in helping you to escape from it all, Uxua Casa goes one essential step further by making you feel utterly at home in – and part of – your new environment.”

See our full review of Uxua Casa Hotel in Trancoso.