9 Hotels that Feel Like Home
The next best thing to buying a riad in Morocco or a villa in Italy is booking a stay at one of these small properties. More luxurious than a typical bed-and-breakfast and more personal than a conventional hotel, each strives to make its guests feel at home. Attentive staff, and in some cases the owners themselves, arrange insider experiences such as private winetastings. No matter how far you’ve traveled, these places ensure that you’ll never feel homesick.

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Brazilian Bungalow Paradise

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Sometimes you discover a place so wonderfully unique that upon departure you are not entirely sure that it actually existed...or if it was all just a lovely dream. Pousada Lagoa in Caraiva, Bahia, Brazil, is one of those places, and I can assure you with almost 100% certainty that it is indeed real.

The arrival is part of the experience - take a taxi or the bus from Trancoso or Porto Seguro (the ride is 2 hours on a gorgeous but bumpy dirt road that winds through farms and hills), then hop into the public canoe service which will ferry you and your luggage across the river to Caraiva. This is where the time warp begins and you enter pure vacation mode. There are no TVs at Lagoa or cars in town. Be prepared to lug your suitcases up the sandy paths through town and to the Pousada or hire a donkey to help.

Upon entering the Pousada Lagoa you will instantly unwind to the beat of the gentle music and scents of fresh fruit juices and coffee. Each individual cabana has its own simple yet stylish concrete bathroom, a small refrigerator, a porch with hammock, and mosquito net-covered bed in pure white tones.

The restaurant is a gathering place each night for like-minded people to enjoy food, drinks, and music late into the night. During the days, go to the beach (you can't miss them!), ride horses, make friends, and simply enjoy. Lots of options for sleeping in every price range if Lagoa is out of yours. Just make sure you don't tell too many people about this secret!

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