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“The Best Place to Stay in Trancoso”

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Etnia Pousada & Boutique
Ranked #6 of 13 Hotels in Trancoso
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“The Best Place to Stay in Trancoso”
Reviewed 21 January 2011

Etnia was a breath of fresh air. Very stylish but not over done. Professional yet relaxed. Stunning tropical gardens, delicious food, helpful staff, warm & friendly owners that live on site. About 8 villas so its kept very small and personal with a family feel, everyone is on first name terms and I would definitely go back. Etnia is well located with a great pool, a short walk to all that you need, the best beach place to hang out was the newly opened Tangara, just jump on the back of a motor bike taxi there or a 30 minute walk and your dream holiday is realized.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank SammySoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (8)
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English first
Melbourne, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 January 2011

Choosing where to stay in Trancoso (side note, do it!) is a toss up between staying down on the beach itself... beautiful but a good 10-20 min walk back up into the village... or staying in the village itself, somewhere close to the legendary Quadrado everyone talks about. We chose the later and would strongly recommend other visitors do the same, if they are planning on eating and drinking out in the village at night. That choice brought us into a toss up between a few small places of around the same price point, from which we chose Etnia.

We arrived expecting it to be somewhat further out from the village centre than in was - it's actually only a couple of minutes walk from the Quadrado - and, from the main entrance, it doesn't look much. Once inside, however, you are presented with immaculate, large gardens and, after a few paces down the shallow steps, you'll see the view of the pool and communal area that's presented in most of the online picture libraries of the place. First up, the pictures - so often taken to make a place look a lot better than it really is - are spot on. Entia is beautifully presented and appeared to have been fairly recently repainted and tidied up (our stay was in Nov '10).

The communal area itself is used for the (very good) breakfasts and usually has a few of the guests lounging around it late in the afternoon. Apart from that, it's incredibly quiet and actually lends the property a feel of your own private villa rather than a hotel of any kind.

Rooms - of which I think there are only around seven or eight - are situated around the gardens in blocks of either one or two rooms to each small building. Each is themed... think Gypsy, Moroccan, Tribal etc and, again, they appear to be very well maintained by the management and staff. We initially stayed in Tribal, one of the 'standard' (or whatever term they decide to use for the smaller rooms), which was plenty big enough for us and which we'd recommend for the great views down to the pool area. After a few days, we moved to the larger Moroccan suite, which is right down in the far corner of the property and comes complete with separate lounge, bedroom, walk in robe and bathroom. Well worth the extra Real, if you're keen on the extra space.

So, hotel location, good. Layout, great. Gardens and communal area, spot on. Rooms, the same. Which brings us to service, the high point of an already great place. The entire team, from owner to management to kitchen and bar staff to cleaners, clearly take a pride in the place and in the well being of their guests. Every morning, a member of the management team comes down to see guests at breakfast, check everything is okay, make suggestions for the day. When you arrive at the pool each afternoon, one of the bar staff will bring out extra head rests for your sunbed, grab you drinks and snacks and pretty much wait on you hand and foot. Kitchen staff, if you want something, will do whatever they can to make it happen and, as above, the property is clearly a source of pride to the owners who appear to be making constant improvements to ensure the place doesn't become tired.

So, obviously a fan and clearly this is a place I'd highly recommend. Flaws? Hard to pick anything without being pedantic - the pool, being set in the middle of large tropical gardens, gets dirty quickly but what do you expect given your surroundings? The themed rooms, while fine for us, probably wouldn't be to everyone's taste and it's probably worth checking the hotel website before you go to see if anything in particular takes your fancy - my guess is the owners will try to accomodate your preferernces if they can. Apart from that, the only thing to call out would be the three dogs on the property. Again, no problems for us - they are incredibly well trained and well behaved and are great fun to have around, but if you're not a dog lover, it could be a deal breaker for you. That's about it!

Not sure we'll ever get back to this part of the world, but if we do, Entia will be our first pick!

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Travelling-Welsh-Boy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Zurich, Switzerland
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 November 2010

Etnia is a fantastic pousada. The whole territory is like a rainforest! the rooms are nice and spacious (we had Mediterranean suite), breakfast by the pool is something to die for, and the staff is incredible. So friendly, happy and cheerful - seems world is spinning differently in Trancoso.
The hotel is great for those wanting to be close to nightlife, bars and restaurants of Quadrado, but not to the beach - its a 20 min walk. But looking back at it, walking to the beach and along the beach was the best part of the day (head left across the river once you are facing the ocean - thats where the better beaches are, I find).
Prepare for a long bumpy road from the airport - roads in Trancoso are rather directions than roads.
But you will love it, 100%.

  • Stayed October 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank bukish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 25 October 2010

My wife and I stayed at Etnia Pousada for one week, and we can honestly say it was an absolute pleasure. During our stay we were upgraded, which took us completely by surprise. Both our original room and the upgraded room were clean, roomy and stylish. Etnia’s manager Laura was incredible, providing us with comprehensive and enthusiastic advice about local restaurants and beaches. Her suggestion of a particular restaurant on Praia do Espelho resulted in one of the most memorable and unique gastronomic experiences of all time! During our stay we hired a car, played golf, and tried lots of local restaurants and Laura looked after all of those details and more. Andre the owner also was full of suggestions for spending our time in Trancoso, and went out of his way to make us feel at home. It was a pleasure to stay at Etnia and we would do so again.

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank MarkWenn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Zurich
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 18 April 2010

Having read the other comments posted here, I am pleased to confirm that all the good observations were part of our experience. I and my husband spent 4 wonderful days at Etnia.

Etnia is an experience best enjoyed with all your five senses:

First there is the natural beauty of the place, with its lush gardens and the buildings that have been sympathetically and tastefully put together.

Second, there is the comfort of the bungalows and the casual seating round the pool.

Third, you hear nature all around you but because of the well-spaced layout, you will not be aware of the other guests.

Fourth, there is the lush smell of the tropics and at breakfast, the smell of coffee and freshly made local delicacies.

Fifth, the breakfast is excellent and you should definitely try the pão de queijo (little round breads with a light cheese flavour). This is found all over Brazil but is especially good at Etnia. There are new things every day and the lady serving, Branca, will be very happy to guide you. For an evening drink by the pool, try a Caipirinha (Brazilian sugar cane spirit mixed with fresh lime juice) or a classic Pina Colada.

We were very well looked after from the staff at the reception who can help you with places to eat or activities if you want a day away from the beach, to the guy who is on hand at night with the torch to guide you back to your bungalow. Andre, one of the owners, was on hand each day to make sure we were enjoying our stay and made us feel at home.

We had a wonderful time and when we go back to Trancoso there is nowhere else we would like to stay but at Etnia.

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank SandraTP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 February 2010

As a gringo living in Sao Paulo I have been lucky enough to travel to several fantastic hotels in Brazil that are often highly recommended. Etnia tops them all. It's beautiful, the rooms are imaginative and unique the staff are great, the food is fairly simple but lovely and Trancoso itself is idyllic. I can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Sebastian1980
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level 6 Contributor
311 reviews
114 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 287 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 January 2010

This place is incredible. It's very well run - the owners/management are both friendly AND efficient. The staff are charming AND competent. It's simply one of the best places I've ever stayed at.

Great rooms (we stayed in both "Tribal" and "Cottage" rooms). The pool is lovely (and frequently cleaned of leaves - the pool is surrounded by lots of mature trees and the whole property is on a slope, which makes it feel like the bottom of a small valley - a good thing).

The Quadrado is a short walk away. The family-run Argentinan Parilla restaurant next door is excellent (we ate their 3 times in a 6 night stay). Maritaca has good pizza a bit further up. There are some cool little bars just opposite - you are right in the middle of things, but it still feels quiet and secluded.

Breakfast is very good - endless espressos, fruit salad, home made cakes, fresh juice, eggs - all served by a very sweet lady called Brecca - who is lovely.

The beach is a 15 minute walk away and you have the choice between busy beach bars and a bit further on it is like Robinson Crusoe and very beautiful.

We ate lunch twice - once it was good and once it wasn't - but I think this was down to us asking for lunch at 17:45! (they don't like to say "no" at Etnia!).....

In short, we loved this place and it was the highlight of our holiday in Brazil.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank coops9999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Etnia Pousada & Boutique

Property: Etnia Pousada & Boutique
Address: Avenida Itabela 25 | City Center, Porto Seguro, State of Bahia 45818-000, Brazil
Region: Brazil > State of Bahia > Porto Seguro > Trancoso
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Trancoso
#5 Luxury Hotel in Trancoso
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — Etnia Pousada & Boutique 4*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Internationally known as an oasis in the middle of the jungle and for combining comfort with unique ethnic decoration, Etnia was elected one of Brazil's four best hotels by the prestigious German publisher, Taschen, in the book 'Great Escapes of the World,' which shows a selection of the 90 best hotels around the world. It has also been featured in Hip Hotel's 'Atlas,' in Taschen's 'Great Escapes South America,' in Conde Nast Johansen's 'The Americas Recommended Hotels, Inns, Resorts & Spas' and was the winner of Elle's chic shack awards 2007. Besides getting special coverage in newspapers such as The Sunday Times and The New York Times, Etnia makes part of Andrew Harper's Clud, among others.A Swimming pool with bar and lounge, a 7000m2 garden, secured parking lot, access to the beach (15 minutes walking) and to the town (5 minutes walking), restaurant and boutique are part of the hotel’s structure. In each bungalow, a stained glass window facing a private garden makes the guests feel even more in touch with the local nature. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Etnia Pousada And Boutique
Etnia Pousada & Boutique Hotel Trancoso
Etnia Pousada & Boutique Trancoso, Brazil

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