Reawakening at Newfoundland’s Fogo Island Inn
At One of the Four Corners of the Earth
Eyes closed, your thoughts are gently drawn inward, guided by the undulating waves lapping the craggy shore. With the heady North Atlantic permeating your senses, you can almost taste the water’s salt on your tongue. Bird song dances in the breeze; a melodic tune echoing the solitude of the rugged landscape. There’s great strength in this raw isolated beauty, and the time spent at Newfoundland’s Fogo Island Inn has gifted you a reawakening. For when you strip away tension, you’re left with the space to reflect. It’s from this deeper sense of understanding that gratitude is found.
Floating on the outer shore of Newfoundland, at the far eastern edge of Canada, Fogo Island lies at the mercy of the unforgiving North Atlantic. The luxurious quiet comforts of the Inn, and warm welcoming nature of Fogo Island’s residents, are in stark contrast to the dramatic backdrop. As is the Inn’s contemporary architecture, which pays tribute to Newfoundland’s outpost heritage through artful elements, like the modernized stilts inspired by traditional fishing stages. Dig a little deeper, and you’ll soon discover that Fogo Island Inn was created to honour the community’s history and shape its future.
The small, tight-knit island bears an arduous past and, like the hand-embroidered quilts sewn here for centuries, Fogo Island’s story is a tapestry of ingenuity and resilience. After unsustainable practices almost destroyed the area’s cod population, this once prosperous fishing community fell into years of hardship, having no other industry to lean on. By harnessing the strength and spirit of its people, the Inn has helped reinvent FogoIsland’s purpose, while boosting its economy. The property is owned by Shorefast – a registered Canadian charity. Shorefast uses business-minded means to help secure economic and cultural resilience for Fogo Island, Newfoundland: one of Canada’s oldest settlements. The Inn’s operating surpluses are returned to Shorefast for reinvestment in further community development work.
Visiting Fogo Island Inn is an experience like no other. The property itself is a stunning representation of the island’s rich heritage. An Artist’s Guild was formed, and islanders transformed boat building skills into construction work, and repurposed woodworking expertise used for making cod-liver oil barrels to create exquisite pieces of furniture. All textiles – every curtain, duvet cover and hook rug – found in the Inn were handmade by community artisans, continuing the quilting and knitting traditions of their ancestors. Rooms, which display staggering views of the powerful Atlantic, come full-board and the regionally focused cuisine is impeccable.
While at Fogo, you’re also encouraged to explore the local eateries. Pop by Growlers Icecream for a coffee and a treat and the Inn will take care of the bill. Think of the community members as your guides; there’s a good chance that friendships will form. Complimentary island orientations are provided by community hosts – teachers, poets, artists, crab catchers and fishers – who happily share their island memories and musings with vigor and pride. Outdoor adventures range from iceberg viewing and whale watching, to rowing punt boats and touring galleries. Fogo Island also is a place of seven seasons, and each one is magical and unique. Whether you journey here in spring, summer, late fall, winter, berry, pack ice or trap berth season, the authenticity, integrity and generosity displayed on Fogo Island will forever change you. Welcome to one of the four corners of the Earth.
Learn about Newfoundland’s Fogo Island Inn and its inspirational founder, and innkeeper, Zita Cobb HERE.