For many people, it takes some decompression to remove the stress and distractions of daily life and access their creative core. A pilgrimage can aid this process, and for guests of the 29-room Fogo Island Inn, getting there –via flight and ferry – is part of the therapy. Poised on 50-foot pillars above the Atlantic on a tiny island off mainland Newfoundland, the inn is about as far east in North America as you can go.
“Fogo Island Inn takes effort to get to, but once you’re there, it’s magical,” says Sheila Gallant-Halloran, a Newfoundland native and Virtuoso advisor now based in Ottawa.
The 43,000-square-foot, white-clapboard modernist inn, decorated with furniture, quilts, and rugs all made by area artisans, immerses travelers in the island’s traditional cod-fishing villages, guided by community hosts. Inn proceeds support an art program that offers residencies to painters, filmmakers, and authors in architecturally unique studios scattered around the island. Those artists regularly offer presentations to inn guests, and local creatives hold writing, painting, and quilting courses, along with boat-building classes and jam-making weekends.
The seasons color Fogo Island stays like few other destinations. In winter, guests explore the land by snowshoe. In summer, icebergs float past the picture windows, and sherfolk welcome guests onto their boats. Nature’s rhythms inspire events at the inn too, from fall film festivals to summertime storytelling sessions by the bonfire. “For travelers who want ‘stop-and- sop’ – that is, really sopping it up – rather than fly-and-flop vacations,” says Gallant-Halloran, “Fogo is ideal.”