Hotels, Eco Escapes & Lifestyle Resorts | Unearthing the Exceptional
Forget Ipanema, the best beaches in Brazil are to be found in Bahia, and they’re every bit as tall and tan and young and lovely as their Rio cousins, just with many fewer footprints in the sand. Along the Atlantic coastline, soft white beaches stretch on as if forever, palm fronds swaying gently in the warm ocean breeze, blue sky melting into sapphire-clear waters on the horizon.
The Maraú Peninsula, where luxury eco-resort Butterfly House is nestled, is as remote as it is beautiful – a truly untouched stretch of tropical paradise thanks to its conservation area status. Rainforests, freshwater lakes, bright coral reefs, secret natural pools and hidden waterfalls just wait to be stumbled upon and savoured, never competing with high rise buildings or flashy resorts for visitors’ attention. This is Brazil as it’s meant to be discovered.
Butterfly House itself is ensconced in 50km of protected beaches and tropical gardens. In line with the resort’s commitment to environmental responsibility, everything is sustainable and ethically sourced, from the eight light, bright villas’ grass-thatched roofs, to the recycled timber and bamboo fittings that perfectly complement the hotel’s fusion of French, Moroccan and Brazilian décor.
Hammocks and recliners dot the lush gardens, while the main house (just steps from the beach) plays host to a restaurant serving inventive organic cuisine, as well as a shimmering pool, the perfect spot to enjoy one of the famous house cocktails. Best of all, you’ll feel like you have this little piece of heaven almost all too yourself.
The largest and most luxurious bungalow with over 56 m² of tastefully decorated interior, and furnishings imported from Morocco and France. Two balconies offer beautiful views of the garden, one of which is private and has an outside shower.
Coruja (meaning Owl in Portuguese) is on the second floor and has a private balcony overlooking the pool and gardens. A very romantic room with an island queen size bed, and en-suite with a separate toilet and basin.
Offering two single beds and a private balcony overlooking the pool and gardens, the interior decorations are set in warm colours.
A beautiful room with a queen sized bed, private balcony and a view second to none. Warm furnishings with raw wood make this one of the most popular suites with guests.
Offering two single beds, a balcony and bathroom. As with all of the bungalows it has been beautifully decorated with Moroccan and French influences. Agra adjoins the Sara Bungalow for families who want to stay together.
Set in the garden with views to the pool, it is decorated with a theme of greens and has beautiful wooden floors, a queen sized bed and an en-suite.
A firm favourite with guests, Sara is a beautiful bungalow with warm tones and natural timbers. Sara has a queen sized bed, an en-suite and a balcony shared with Agra. Sara and Agra can be booked together for families who which to have adjoining accommodations.
Set deep in the garden with a private feel, it has warm lighting and is decorated with wood and marble furniture. Esmeralda has a queen sized bed, an en-suite, its own balcony and has views over the garden and into the jungle.
At the heart of Butterfly House lies its lively restaurant, Anna Banana.
Part experimental kitchen, part Brazilian living room, it is very much the hub of the resort. Guests can enjoy sharing platters of aromatic delicacies conjured by the lodge’s highly creative Brazilian chef, Elias Feitosa, or opt for an a la carte experience.
Butterfly House’s impressive eco-credentials stem from its diligent owner, a passionate environmentalist.
Today strict measures are in place to ensure the lodge doesn’t pollute the area. Organic waste is composted, non-organic matter is separated and treated before being sent for recycling and the resort’s sewer system is designed to produce eco-friendly biofertiliser.
But don’t worry, it’s not bucket showers. Plenty of hot water is provided by solar heating via a state-of-the-art ‘plate and boiler’ system.
The Maraú Peninsula with its sheltered bay and outlying cluster of islands simply begs to be explored by boat. Local beaches are magnificent and the surf is second to none. For water-babies, there are exotic coral reefs, deep natural pools and freshwater lakes to enjoy. On land, the jungle surrounding the lodge teems with exotic wildlife (marmosets, anteaters and armadillos are common sightings) and rare species of plants are in abundance. Dozens of nature trails start from the lodge and experts are on hand 24/7 to explain all there is to know about the region’s diverse flora and fauna. Should you wish to hire a guide, take a tour or try your hand at surfing, Butterfly House will be more than happy to arrange it – although you may be forced to discuss options over an ice-cold Cerveja.
Butterfly House is located on the Maraú Peninsula in Bahia, Brazil; 250km south of Salvador.
A 50-minute flight from Salvador to Ilheus, followed by a 2-hour 30-minute transfer.