Relais & Châteaux Spotlight - Fogo Island Inn
Article Information & Social Sharing
Nestled on the farthest reaches of the East Coast on the picturesque shores of Fogo Island, Newfoundland - Fogo Island Inn is more than just an awe-inspiring luxury property. An initiative of Shorefast, a registered Canadian charity founded in 2004, the inn is a social enterprise which contributes to securing a resilient economic future for Fogo Island, Change Islands, and similar rural communities worldwide.
By reinvesting profits into the community through the charity’s diverse projects and programs, Fogo Island Inn exemplifies a "not-just-for-profit" approach with a unique model that reflects a commitment to preserving the island's rich heritage while treating guests to an immersive and transformative stay.
A decade since its opening, Fogo Island Inn goes beyond traditional hospitality to offer exceptional one-of-a-kind experiences rooted in the island's culture. A standout feature is the Community Host Program, pairing guests with passionate lifelong Fogo Islanders intimately acquainted with the island's natural and cultural heritage. Led by Sandra Cull, a native of Fogo Island, the program helps orient guests to the land, drawing them to the heart of the community with a warm East Coast welcome that connects people to place.
The inn is a showcase of both sustainability and stunning craftsmanship, deliberately built with regenerative design principles at a scale suitable for the island in an effort to mitigate over-tourism and respect natural resources and the local infrastructure. From choosing a site and designing access paths in a way that would preserve an ancient footpath to reducing concrete needs with its non-destructive, low-impact foundation, it was built with a deep reverence for the environment. As the inn’s architect Todd Saunders shared in the documentary Strange and Familiar, which explores the fascinating backstory to the globally acclaimed design and construction of Fogo Island Inn, “the inn walks gently on the land.”
A contemporary expression of traditional outport design and decor, each of the 29 rooms offers stunning panoramic views of the North Atlantic Ocean. The blend of handmade and modern aesthetics stems from an innovative collaboration between contemporary designers and skilled rural craftspeople from Fogo Island and Change Islands. In keeping with Fogo Island’s rich tradition of craftsmanship, the custom-made quilts seen in guest rooms, along with nearly all of the furnishings, are meticulously handcrafted by local artisans.
Gourmets are treated to a culinary experience curated by Executive Chef Timothy Charles (a Wickaninnish Inn alumus!) in celebration of the island's gastronomic heritage. Guests are invited to savour local flavours through dishes that showcase ingredients that are farmed, fished and foraged on the island itself. The Dining Room is one of the inn’s most iconic spaces, where one might catch a glimpse of whales breaching offshore, icebergs bobbing in the waves, or a North Atlantic gale, depending on the season.
With the Wickaninnish perched on the rocky outcrops of the wild West Coast of Vancouver Island and Fogo Island Inn on the remote eastern coastal shores off Newfoundland, our distinct properties bookend the vast expanse of Canada. Each embodies the essence of its location, united by a commitment to extraordinary hospitality and a shared ethos of embracing a gentle footprint and community-driven values. We’re thrilled to welcome this incredible property to the Relais & Châteaux family, which inspires travellers to embrace the unique characteristics from one captivating coast to the other.
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