Fogo Island: Luxury off Newfoundland

Who knew? An island getaway off the fisheries of Newfoundland
The stunning Fogo Island Inn is the result of eight years of collaboration between artisans, international designers and locals.
The stunning Fogo Island Inn is the result of eight years of collaboration between artisans, international designers and locals.

YOU LIKELY ALREADY know that Newfoundland boasts stunning scenery and friendly people, but the eastern province has a secret. Fogo Island (population 2,395) has been quietly biding its time off the tourist map for generations. Locals are finally ready to share it with tourists, and those in the know are rushing to get there as fast as they can. Whether your dream is to escape the briefs or the boardrooms, to explore now or next summer, you’ll do well to book yourself a few nights on Fogo.

> Where to Stay: Fogo Island Inn is the result of eight years of collaboration between local artisans, international designers and locals willing to open their island to the world. What you’ll find is a unique, architecturally stunning building where natural materials reign (the only plastic in the place are the phones). The hotel doesn’t sacrifice luxury for eco-sensitivity; it is happily both. You’ll find solar thermal panels and rainwater collection are at the heart of running the Inn. You’ll also find rooms (with floor-to-ceiling views of the icebergs in the waters outside) whose comfort makes them very difficult to walk away from, and bathrooms that boast local soaps. www.fogoislandinn.ca

> Where to Eat: During the day you should wander over to Nicole’s Café or the Flat Earth Coffee Café and Roastery, but the Inn itself has an eatery that must not be missed. Executive Chef Murray McDonald’s ever-changing menu of house-made creations is legendary on the island, and relies heavily on local ingredients, along with Newfoundland’s history and his active imagination. Toast his work at the bar just off the lobby.

> What to Do: Drive. Take the ferry over and bring your preferred set of wheels, and you’ll be able to make the most of your island explorations. I was at the wheel of a Cadillac XT5 on our trip, which made taking the curves of those roads — leading to places like Stag Harbour and Joe Batt’s Arm — that much easier. And don’t miss the Shorefast Foundation’s Artist-In-Residency Studios (one of which was recently visited by Gwyneth Paltrow), hiking at Lion’s Den Trail or an evening shed party in Tilting.

Heather Greenwood Davis is a freelance travel writer and a contributing editor for National Geographic Traveler magazine. Reach her at heather@globetrottingmama.com.