May 31, 2012
Pousada Villa Lagoa das Cores is the prize at the end of a quest: located on the northwestern edge of Chapada Diamantina National Park, near the town of Palmeiras, this sustainable pousada with only 12 apartments is a joy to arrive at from Salvador, almost 300 miles away (with a nearly hour-long transfer on a bumpy dirt road), or from adventures in the surrounding Vale do Capão (Capão Valley), one of the most scenic areas in this part of Bahia.
The couple who own the pousada, Marcos Monteiro and Vânia Meirelles, arrived in the area in the early 1990s and finished raising their three children on the property. Between 2000 and 2005, they worked lovingly at turning their getaway into a place for guests.
The pousada is part of a highly recommended selection on Hidden Pousadas Brazil (read my interview with Alison McGowan) and has been described as the most charming place to stay in Chapada Diamantina years in a row by prestigious Guia 4 Rodas.
Vânia is a psychotherapist who works in Salvador part of the week (she also offers transformational workshops at Villa Lagoa das Cores). She was not at the pousada when we arrived on a starry night, a group of fellow journalists on a Bahia Tourism Secretariat press trip. But her artistic touch is everywhere you turn in the pousada. Decorative rugs, stitched pillows, paintings and cardboard rolls used as pedestals for ceramic figures in the common areas speak of time spent finding and making pretty objects.
Then there are the apartments. Marcos and Vânia make aromatic pillows with plants from their own organic herbarium for sale, and each apartment is named after an herb and scented with it.
There are apartments with garden or mountain views, each decorated in a very particular and colorful way. My room was the Alecrim do Campo, and accordingly, it smelled delightfully of rosemary.
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