Butterfly House Bahia – eco-luxury in the heart of the rainforest
Butterfly House Bahia is one of the newest and chicest eco-resorts in northern Brazil
Located 250km south of Salvador in the Maraú Peninsula on the east coast of Bahia, surrounded by pristine beaches, freshwater lakes and World Heritage listed rainforests, the luxury resort boasts eight beautifully appointed villas, a palm-enshrouded swimming pool, gastronomic restaurant, family playroom, and acres of tropical gardens sprinkled with hammocks and bambook recliners. In an undiscovered area of unspoilt natural beauty fringing the coast of this renowned Brazilian state, the resort’s impressive eco-credentials stem from its diligent owner, Chloe Gibbs, a passionate environmentalist who has spent the past six years pouring her heart and soul into creating this very special place.
Designed with the environment in mind, and with virtually no carbon footprint, Butterfly House is a shining example of eco-luxury in South America. The main lodge and guest villas blend seamlessly into the jungle, a camouflage effect due largely to the local materials used. Thatched grass roofs, eco-treated Colombian bamboo and salvaged 300-year-old Brazil nut wood make up the foundations of the resort. Just as the exteriors reflect the rawness of the jungle, so the interiors are a blend of warmth and luxury. Sprinkled with antique French ceramics, homespun Moroccan rugs and whimsical Indian objects d’art collected by the owners on their travels, each of the villas has its own distinct look.
During building, every precaution was taken not to disturb the local environment. Nothing was harmed in any way, and strict measures are in place today to ensure Butterfly House does not 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 bio-fertiliser. Hot water is provided by solar heating via a state-of-the-art ‘plate and boiler’ system.
Butterfly House is also committed to supporting the education and empowerment of the local community. A project called ´Flap Your Wings’ was recently set up, whereby five per cent of all restaurant and bar earnings are put towards a fund, which provides education to the local people. Once a month there is a lucky dip, and one person gets to undertake a course of their choosing to better their employability, skill base and education level.
Much of the Maraú coastline is a protected conservation area, and Butterfly House offers the perfect base to explore the region while having no adverse impact on the environment. Home to the world’s second largest rainforest, the Atlantic Forest, it is a fascinating place to explore on foot. Hiking, birdwatching and guided nature walks offer unrivalled access to rare species of flora and fauna, which is what this part of the world is famous for.
At the heart of Butterfly House lies its lively restaurant, Anna Banana, named after Chloe’s daughter. Part experimental kitchen, part Brazilian living room, this is the hub of the resort. Anna Banana source locally grown produce and support local fishermen, while ensuring they educate the locals as much as possible about sustainable fishing practices.