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Horseback riding at sunset
Morning Ocean view
Full Moon at Vila Prea
Projection: Cylindrical (1) FOV: 138 x 96 Ev: 0.82
Vila Prea beachfront lawn and deck
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Beach bungalows, ecological cabanas


Vila Preá was designed to unplug you from your daily life and reconnect you with nature. All this while trying to exceed the comfort you would expect from a typical beach hotel. So you shouldn’t be surprised if you sleep better on the comfortable pillow-top mattresses, or if you find yourself enjoying the large Egyptian cotton towels!

Located literally between the Ocean and sand dunes, the sound of the Ocean and the breeze flowing through the coconut trees should help you relax even more.


Each bungalow has its own wireless radio, therefor you can use your iphone, ipad and other mobile devices directly from your hammock.

For peace of mind each room has a key-less electronic safe that fits big items such as notebooks or large cameras, so you can go out kiting or hit the town without having to carry a key around. Besides that Vila Preá offers 24 hour security.

All the bungalows are connected to each other via elevated walkways.

And to insure privacy, lots of space was left between the cabanas.


Inspired from Bali architecture, the garden bathroom was designed to reconnect you with nature, in privacy.

Imagine showering under the generous flow of a 40 cm diameter rain-style shower-head while looking up at the sky and watching the moon rising above the palm trees. The two-hundred square-foot (20 m2) bathroom is equipped with an indoor hot-water shower and a extra-wide outdoor shower. Both use fresh water from the 40 m deep well, which is gravity fed from the top of the dunes. You can only understand how great this feels once you have tried it.

The garden also has a large lawn area with tropical plants, a clothes line -for your wet-suit- and even a hammock to relax. If you stick around for a little bit, you will end up seeing a humming-bird (or two) hovering above the plants and quite a few other species also!

showering outside and seeing the humming-bird over the flowers was surreal!


Ecological Architecture along the Ceará coast, meet Tothe Ipiapina

Integrated with nature, architect Ibiapina stands out on Preá beach

Interview with renowned architect Tothe Ibiapina about sustainability

Rock walls, wood from managed forests, straw roofs, open bathrooms and local materials for decoration. Those are some of the creative solutions that are shaking the traditional concepts of architecture in the news.

These aspects belong to a different way of building and projecting homes, in which the most important factor is, beyond preserving the internal comfort of the building, to respect nature as much as possible. “Projecting, building and living in a conscious way contributes to the present and future of the planet” says Tothe Ibiapina, professional architect who has been working on ecological projects for over 20 years.

Tothe explains that the main focus in ecological architecture regarding hotels is the comfort and well being of the guests, through the adaptation of the bungalow to the local environment. Ecological conception and the use of non-aggressive techniques, materials and technologies, before, during and after the construction period are key. We design dwellings planned to take advantage of the local resources, and to reduce the impact on the environment, he adds.

More than a technique, an ecological cabana is about comfort. “We always use technological  means when the natural ones aren’t sufficient, says Tothe. “The most interesting point is that the bungalow brings comfort to the user, using natural resources as much as possible, in terms of lighting, ventilation and well being“.

Star shape designed roof

Present in the states of Ceará, Piaui and Bahia, ecological architecture has attracted the attention and influenced new generations of architects. We need to leave the models of repetition and imitation behind and start building creative and new projects. And the environment opens space to that”, insists Tothe who has become the reference in Northeast Brazil for taking that position.

For Tothe, the ecological architecture starts in the process of making people more conscious. To reach this objective, the architect says that the first step is to get all the people involved in the process of planning, building and living to understand the ecological concepts. “It isn´t copying, but creating from the understanding of the local materials, always observing the way nature works“, he insures.

“Unlike what some may think, ecological architecture is not a return to primitive solutions, but a combination of technological and natural ingenuity, without harming the environment or wasting materials”. Basically, thinking of the built space is only possible with the understanding of the natural space around it.

This is absolutely essential in the work of an architect. By understanding what happens in a natural space, it is possible to project the future and calculate its consequences. In the end, it’s in the future that the building exists, as well as the impact created by it!

Tothe Ibiapina was born in Teresina, he studied in Salvador and spent part of his life in Rio de Janeiro. Currently, he lives in Parnaiba, but whenever he can, he takes time off along the coast. “I discovered the need to work with the materials offered by nature when I had the opportunity to spend a season in Morra da Mariana (Ilha Grande de Santa Isabel) at the end of the 70’s and, there, living with the natives I saw how dwellers were rewarded from nature for their respect of the environment.” reveals the architect.

His projects go from consideration for climate conditions to more current concerns such as strategies to protect biodiversity, ecological landscaping and all kinds of activities related to the impact of urban development on the eco-systems of a particular region.

The power of spreading awareness of the architect are so great that he shares the success of his work. “The jobs aren’t only mine! They belong to the friends that believe in the idea, in the community that accepts to live with me, and the primitive workers whom are my teachers” he says.

Air Con

the soft breeze in the bungalow is better than air conditioning!

The natural air conditioning is one of Vila Preá’s specials.

Thanks to the small openings below the star-shaped roof, you will feel a soothing breeze blowing on your skin while lying in bed or reading a book in your hanging chair.

With an indoor temperature of 25ºC (75ºF) during the day and 22ºC (70ºF) at night, noisy air conditioning units won´t spoil the sound of the waves crashing on the beach. And just in case you feel it may not be enough, each bungalow is equipped with the latest generation “Turbo-Silent” fan.


Vila Preá’s accommodations are all high-end rustic bungalows.  There are two kinds of bungalows:

One-room cabana

– best for singles or couples

– 1 bedroom

– 1 large garden bathroom

– large wooden decks

– sleeps up to 3 people

Click to enlarge

Large cabana

– best for families or friends

– 2 bedrooms

– 1 living room

– 1 huge garden bathroom

– large wooden decks

– sleeps up to 5 people

Click to enlarge

Altogether, there are 7 bungalows spread out over 4 acres of beach property (2 hectares).

Five of them are 1-bedroom cabanas, ideal for a couple or singles (they sleep up to 3 people with an additional single bed).

There are two 2-bedroom cabanas -which also have a common living room- they are best suited for families or friends (can fit up to 5 people).

Click the above floor plans for more details.


 Written “redes” but pronouced “head-jees”, this is the traditionnal Brazilian hammock!

Most natives sleep in them from the moment they are born and sometimes they are even buried in one!. They have only recently started using beds (thanks to ‘modernisation’) …and developing back-pain issues as a result!



!Sleeping position: before you lie down for too long, make sure your body is in the correct position. Lay in a slight diagonal position, about 30 degrees off the center axis and move your upper body and your legs around until you feel comfortable, your head should be higher than your feet. This angle  will insure that your cervicals follow their natural position and that you wake up in a relaxed state… …happy rocking!
Try this millenium-old technology and you might want to buy a few to bring home!

View the 2 current mistakes and the proper sleeping position in a hammock

Best position is a 30º offset from the center axis



Headjees are part of the local culture and reflect the relaxed atitude of the Northeastern Brazilian. While on holidays, you should test drive one and enjoy the gentle rocking motion on your deck after a good meal, or try sleeping in one overnight and experience zero gravity sleeping.

Unlike standard or even expensive mattresses, there are no pressure points in the weight-distribution system of a hammock! Scientific studies have been carried out to understand just how comfortable and healthy hammocks are for sleeping: the results showed that hammock-sleepers reach the deep sleep state far more consistently than mattress sleepers. This level of sleep is what helps improve and maintain the highest level of health by allowing the body to restore and regenerate.

Doctors say the all-around healthiest sleep position is lying on one’s back, with the head slightly elevated, about 10 – 30 percent. “This is postulated to give the brain optimal blood circulation -rather than congestion- and also allows for more un-obstructed breathing”, says Dr. Steven Park, a head and neck surgeon and member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. “Many Latin American native cultures have been sleeping this way for millenia, and they continue reaping the benefits from that position while sleeping in hammocks, rather than on flat surfaces as in the West.”  

Hammocks proving therapeutic for back pain sufferers
, read Neil T. Jone’s article explaining how the ancient technology works and find out why brazilian hammocks are better!

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