fogo islandPhoto courtesy of Alex FradkinCelebrating Authenticity – The Fogo Island Inn

Everything about the Fogo Island Inn seems impossible– from its perch atop spindly stilt-like legs, to its location on a windswept island off Newfoundland. It is, quite simply, the most magical impossibility ever.

When founder Zita Cobb, a superstar of the high tech industry, saw her birthplace suffering the loss of fishery jobs, she made a life-changing decision. Moving back to a small fisherman’s cottage on Fogo, she invested millions, partnered with the governments of Newfoundland and Labrador and Canada and created the Shorefast Foundation. Together they built the Fogo Island Inn and, astonishingly enough, gave their masterpiece to the people of Fogo.

Designed by Gander native Todd Saunders, the Inn reflects its environment, beginning with the legs beneath it, which resemble the tentacles of a jellyfish. Inside, each of the 29 guest suites overlooks the wild North Atlantic and is outfitted with furnishings made by local craftspeople. Hand-stitched quilts bearing the quilter’s names, hooked rugs, furniture made by local carpenters, and even whimsically carved wooden hangers - each piece is quintessentially Fogo. The long, low design matches the scale of the windswept landscape and the interior colors are soft greys, blues and whites – echoing the sea, the sky, and the clouds.

The sense of isolation that is the essence of Fogo Island is everywhere. Guests park their cars not beside the Inn, but in a lower parking lot area and are ferried to the inn by van. Keen explorers then hike the shore on foot or borrow bikes from the hotel.

fogo islandPhoto courtesy of Alex Fradkin

Wood-burning stoves keep the suites cozy, but things really heat up on the rooftop where wood-fired saunas and hot tubs invite star-gazing. The dining room, a destination in itself, chosen one of the best new restaurants in Canada by enRoute Magazine, features fresh local foods.

Even the tiniest details matter. Rooms are opened with keys, not cards, and carefully bronzed shells, stones, sticks, fishermen’s knots and more are attached by silken cords to create key fobs. These works of art symbolize the celebration of place that characterizes every aspect of the Fogo Island Inn.

 fogo islandPhoto courtesy of Alex Fradkin

 For more information on Fogo Island Inn click here .

This hotel review was written by Liz Fleming and first published in Cruise & Travel Lifestyles Magazine, Spring/Summer 2015 Issue.

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