Fogo Island Inn sits at the very edge of the north Atlantic on isolated Fogo Island in Newfoundland. Designed by internationally renowned architect Todd Saunders, the inn's arrestingly modern appearance is meant to call to mind the shape of an iceberg from a distance, with its raised section representing the island’s traditional stilted fishing platforms. But when visitors get up close, they see the wooden boards layered together, and it’s clear that everything is handmade. The by-hand ethos spreads to all the furniture and furnishings, too, which are created by local artisans who've worked with artists in residence to create contemporary versions of traditional objects.
Staying at the inn is admittedly expensive, but this is essentially a living art piece that supports the local community and aims to honor the island's past while carrying it through to the future. It feels like a grand home with staff to tend to your every need. A private 42-seat cinema, partnered with the National Film Board, carries a vast movie library for guests to enjoy at any time; there’s also an art gallery, a well-stocked library, and even a supply of Gore-Tex hiking boots and other outdoor equipment to borrow. The inn is designed to show off the dazzling landscape, and it's easy to spend all day glued to the windows and watching the sea while whales breech, icebergs float past, or storms dash on the rocks.
Have you been here? Share a tip or a photo with fellow travelers.
Fogo Island is isolated from the mainland and surrounded by the wild Atlantic Ocean. It was believed by the Flat Earth Society to be one of the four corners of the world. The community was almost destroyed after the cod fishing industry closed down in the 1990s. In 2013, the Fogo Island Inn opened, and it looks set to restore the island’s fortunes. The inn is run as a community asset, owned by a charitable foundation and operated as a business trust, with 100 percent of its operating surplus invested back into the community. The island boasts that it has seven seasons and that there is something to do in each of them. Guests can watch icebergs majestically glide past in the Atlantic, go snowshoeing or cross-country skiing, hike with the hotel’s friendly Newfoundland and Landseer dogs (Make and Break), go out in the boats with local fishermen, or take a workshop with one of the artists in residence. If that sounds like too much effort, there's always curling up and taking in the view from the edge of the world.
Need to Know
Rooms: 21 rooms, 8 suites; from $1,120 (minimum two-night stay applies to all bookings). Check-in: 2 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: All meals and nonalcoholic drinks are included in the full-board rates. The dining room was nominated in 2013 for Air Canada's prestigious enRoute Best New Restaurant of the Year award. Focusing on seasonal, local produce and creating new dishes from traditional recipes, the menu showcases seafood, caribou, moose, and free-range pork and chicken. Spa and gym details: On the roof is a Nordic-style sauna, and hot tubs that can be used for stargazing. In-room massages can be booked. The well-equipped gym is open 24 hours and has floor-to-ceiling windows on two sides overlooking the Atlantic.
Who's it for: Well-heeled travelers seeking a total retreat and recharge; family reunions and weddings. Our favorite rooms: Room 3 on the first floor overlooks the 420-million-year-old rocks of the island and the ocean crashing relentlessly below. Room 29, the Flat Earth Suite, is a two-story apartment at the northeast of the inn with windows on three sides. Tour the community: Guests can learn more about life in one of Canada’s oldest rural communities by booking a guided tour with one of the island’s hosts.