Located northeast of Newfoundland and east of the Change Islands, Fogo Island is regarded as an island off an island.
Its unique location means that it sits at one of the world’s four corners, and its enchanting nature doesn’t stop there.
Historically, Fogo Island’s occupancy can be traced back to the 1500s when European fisherman began to frequent it, and a century later, it became a secondary operational site for several businesses from the United Kingdom’s Devon and Dorset.
Its history is one that is maritime focused, which is only fitting considering its prime coastline positions.
Many many centuries later, Fogo Island Inn came into existence.
The Inn, founded and still managed today by Zita Cobb, a Fogo Island resident, was designed by renowned architect Todd Saunders of Gander.
Stylistically, the Inn effectively couples contemporary design with a worthy homage to the history and culture of Fogo Island.
That is, for centuries, settlers on the island were prohibited from acquiring permanent residences.
In turn, their dwellings and fishing shacks were created in as lightweight a manner as possible, i.e. wood surpassed stone as the building material of choice, and buildings bore stilt wooden legs, as opposed to robust foundations.
Fogo Island Inn’s architecture is innately representative of these details. It was even designed with sharp edges, intended to resemble the natural jagged nature of the island itself.
Dimension wise, the Inn is three hundred feet long by 30 feet wide, essentially mimicking the structure of a cruising vessel. It is home to 29 guest rooms, all of which feature floor to ceiling windows and unparalleled sea and sky views.
The rooms vary in size, ranging from 350 to 1,100 square feet. The interior design of the rooms differs from one to another too.
For instance, on the third and fourth floors, the rooms have wood burning stoves and on the fourth floor, unlike all other floors, the room’s have dramatically sloped ceilings, perfectly in line with the Inn’s roof.
Nonetheless, in many ways, the guest rooms are similar too. Their very composition exemplifies this.
Aside from the telephone, no plastic is used in the guest rooms. Rather, natural materials such as cotton, wood, and wool, are rife throughout.
Additionally, all rooms are adeptly soundproofed to ensure that the only external noise that guests are privy to is the sound of the ocean.
The guest experience transcends the rooms. Soon after their arrival, guests are made to feel at home on a holistic level through a half-day island orientation with a community host. They also have free range to use all of the many facilities that the Inn has to offer.
Located on the first floor, Fogo Island Inn’s art gallery is home to the works of several local artists from around the world who completed the Fogo Island Arts (FIA) artist’s residency, a program that was founded in 2008 and is still running to this present day.
The Library is found on the second floor. Unsurprisingly, it’s home to a vast range of books on the topic of Canada and Newfoundland; both fiction and non-fiction.
On the fourth floor, the uppermost floor, there is a special rooftop deck where guests will find wood-fired saunas and two hot tubs.
At night, the hot tubs make the perfect setting for stargazing amidst the sound of the ocean waves.
During the day, the views from the saunas feature inland views of the island’s spectacular geology on one end, and views of the sea from the other end.
The Inn has a cinema too. It’s adorned with a nostalgic red staircase, seats, and curtain, amongst its striking black projection screen and white wood finish contrast.
The space is used both for showcasing movies from infamous blockbusters to cult classics, cultural documentaries, and also doubles up as a lecture theater.
Alongside the daily schedule, guests are frequently surprised with off-plan occurrences too.
The impressive dining room features views of the unobstructed oceans and in the distance, Barr’d Islands.
Whilst dining, it’s common for guests to observe everything from icebergs to whales, to galeforce weather.
The Inn recognizes seven seasons; Winter, Spring, Summer, Late Fall, Berry Season, Pack Ice Season, and Trap Berth Season. Subsequently, its menu, dictated by the season at hand, changes often.
Nearby, the bar and lounge offer comfortable seating and musical performances by local artists, making it the ideal location to begin one’s day in a relaxing manner, or to unwind with a cocktail at the end of the day.
Additional comforts take the form of custom made organic beds, world-class albeit cozy room amenities, heated toilet seats, heated towel racks, and heated natural wooden floors.
Plus, the Inn keeps a strictly smoke-free policy, diminishing pollution as much as possible.
Overall, there’s no denying that the Inn offers a perfect blend of culture and luxury.
Incredibly, it does so whilst staying true to the roots of Fogo Island, and unwaveringly so. It certainly is a special place, and well worth experiencing.