Anderson Cooper has long had a love affair with Brazil. Even before he built his to-die-for vacation home in the Brazilian town of Trancoso, Cooper talked about his love for the South American country. Now, in the August issue of Architectural Digest, Anderson Cooper is sharing an inside look at the dream home that takes him more than 14 hours to get to.
Cooper told the magazine that he first visited the idyllic village in 2013 with his partner, Benjamin Maisani, and their good friend, Bravo host Andy Cohen. Cooper said he knew right away he wanted to own property in the town.
“Within a day I was fantasizing about buying a house there,” Anderson revealed. “Ben thought I’d lost my mind, and Andy, who is encouraging about almost everything, thought I was nuts, too.”
Cooper, who has traveled to dozens of countries during his lengthy career as a news journalist, explained that he had never seen a place quite like Trancoso and that he became “spellbound” after watching the horsemen returning from the fields amid the row of lit-up fishermen’s cottages.
“It’s a real place, not a Potemkin village for tourists,” Cooper said.
While it takes him a really long time to travel to his slice of heaven on earth—and he doesn’t get there as often as he’s like to—Anderson Cooper says his Brazilian home has a special place in his heart.
“Just knowing that my house exists makes me happy,” Anderson told Architectural Digest.
The gorgeous property features four cottages, including two guest cottages, as well as a two-story tree house. Anderson’s home is full of décor created by local artisans because the CNN host likes to “feel rooted” wherever he happens to be, so he seeks pieces “that reflect something about the local history and style.”
Long before he built his dream home, Anderson Cooper touted his love for Brazil in an essay for Travel and Leisure. In the piece, Cooper revealed that it only took him “a couple minutes” to fall for Trancoso after he sat on the edge of the town square and took in his surroundings.
“Sitting there, just watching and listening: that’s when I fell in love with Trancoso, and when the idea of finding a home there began,” Cooper wrote. “I felt so completely unplugged, disconnected from the reality of my own life. I had no desire to check my phone or e-mail, no thoughts of being anywhere else. All I wanted was to sit there in dusk’s dwindling light, watching this simple, stunning place quietly hum with life.”
Cooper revealed that when he first visited Brazil in 2001, a friend who lives in Rio kept telling him how magical Trancoso was, but he didn’t listen—and he didn’t return to the country for another 10 years. He credited Cohen for getting him Trancoso because he wanted to go somewhere quiet with a beach. But even then, Anderson was skeptical.
“As you may have guessed from my paleness, a beach is rarely high on my list of destinations,” Anderson wrote. “I also get bored quickly, and though I love the ocean, I can only stand so much sand and sun.”
But once he got there, Anderson Cooper was instantly smitten and that’s when he decided he just had to buy a property there — even if he knew it was an insane idea given his busy work schedule.
“A couple of months later, one of the last unbuilt parcels on the Quadrado went on the market—a long plot of land with enormous trees that I would have to construct several bungalows around,” Cooper wrote. “The last thing I wanted to do was get involved in a construction project, and I knew it was impractical to build a house there. I don’t speak Portuguese, not yet anyway, and I hardly ever take time off from work.”
For Anderson Cooper, the reason for creating his vacation getaway is simple: After traveling to more than 70 countries he has never found a place that matches Trancoso. And now, with his dream home a reality, Cooper says he feels “proud” to be a caretaker of a small part of it.
Take a look at the video below for more on Anderson Cooper’s Brazilian vacation home.