Fogo Island Inn's unique design was inspired by traditional Atlantic Canadian outport architecture.
Enjoy a delicious meal overlooking the water.
One of Fogo Island Inn's four artist studios: Long Studio
Fogo Island Inn is a great feat of contemporary architecture, all stilts, angles, and vertical lines that contrast with the rough slabs of ancient granite that surround it. But as much as it might stand out in its setting—far away from far away, as they like to say, on an island off the coast of Newfoundland—the inn is integrally part of Fogo Island. Local architect Todd Saunders designed it as a modern take on traditional Atlantic Canadian outport architecture, and the moods of North Atlantic and ever-changing sky define every backdrop here. This is a lodge with a soul, filled with the handiwork of the local people: traditional outport furniture, handcrafted quilts, and woven rugs—once-disappearing arts now given new life and purpose.
A stay at Fogo Island Inn is a personal invitation to become part of a centuries-old culture, to fish for mackerel as the islander’s ancestors did, to forage for wild berries and mushrooms, to watch boat builders or bakers at work in their homes, to sit back and listen to the lilt of local music. You are a guest of the whole island here, and whether you spend your days hiking amid raw and beautiful coastal scenery or sketching it with a local artist, the experience is enhanced by the vibrant culture the lodge was built to protect.
Fogo Island Inn came to be for all the right reasons. The brainchild of high-tech entrepreneur and native Newfoundlander Zita Cobb, the inn was conceived as a way to save one of Canada’s oldest rural cultures. Available jobs on the island had plummeted with the crash of the cod industry, and the population had dwindled to half its size in just a few decades.
Enter a daring idea to build a lodge that combines contemporary and traditional design, that would exist in symbiosis with the local community, employing its people, celebrating its traditions, and offering guests an honest, authentic experience with an outport culture that remains little changed over the centuries. The result has been a wonderful renaissance of traditional woodworking, weaving, quilting, and other crafts, and the once-threatened community now thrives—precisely by embracing the customs that define them.
Fogo Island Inn was created by a registered charity of Canada called Shorefast Foundation, and it is operated as a social business. All surpluses from the inn’s operations belong to the local community.
Guests who reserve their space through National Geographic Unique Lodges are invited to an exclusive introduction to the area’s architecture. Take a guided architectural tour of the National Historic District of Tilting, a tiny waterside community where homes built in the island’s Irish-influenced vernacular are interspersed with cutting-edge contemporary architecture. Then meet one of the inn’s resident architects for a behind-the-scenes look at the design of the lodge, capped off with a rooftop champagne toast.
The mission of Fogo Island Inn is to foster economic and social benefits for the communities of Fogo Island and neighboring Change Islands. The lodge itself is an expression of the traditional skills and crafts of the local people, showcased in a new and contemporary way.
The inn’s unique Community Host program engages an ever-expanding group of local people as experts to introduce guests to island life. Shorefast Foundation, the registered charity of Canada that established the lodge, has also developed a micro-lending program to support local entrepreneurs in developing new small businesses. Local favorites such as Growlers Ice Cream Shop, Nicole’s Café, and the Ketanja boat tours are all beneficiaries of the fund. All surpluses from the inn are reinvested back into the community. Learn more here.
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