Todd Saunders designs Fogo Island Inn

The Fogo Island Inn opened. Located on Fogo Island off the remote northeast coast of Newfoundland, the property is perched on the very edge of the North Atlantic Ocean; it has 29 rooms and suites that stand on crooked pilotis on the rocky coastline, providing views through its wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling windows.

The opening is considered a milestone in the work of The Shorefast Foundation and its founder Zita Cobb.

Norway’s Todd Saunders designed the property that features uncomplicated lines on the Inn’s exterior that complement the natural landscape and reflect the aesthetic of Saunders’ other designs for the island, Shorefast’s Fogo Island Artist Studios.

The island’s people and stories are reflected in the design of the Inn. All rooms, suites and public areas hold bespoke furniture and fixtures entirely handmade and painted by local carpenters and artisans; and the textile accessories – quilts, rugs and pillows – are hand-crafted by the ladies of the Island, many of whom are fishermen’s wives.

Inn interiors are the result of a collaborative effort among local people and international designers (with Ilse Crawford serving as an advisor). Most rooms and suites have wood-burning stoves, as do all public areas. There are eight different accommodation categories, with names referencing a part of the island’s DNA, including Mooring, Storehouse and “Gappy.”


The property has a fine dining restaurant, lounge, bar and conference center – all with ocean views and wood-burning fireplaces. On the Inn’s rooftop, there are Northern-European style wood-fired saunas and hot tubs, all designed with star-gazing in mind.

The Inn is home to the Fogo Island Contemporary Art Gallery; the Dr. Leslie A. Harris Heritage Library, specializing in literature of the Northeast Coast of Newfoundland; and the Fogo Island Cinema, a partnership with the National Film Board of Canada.

Founded in 2004 under the direction of Cobb and her brother Anthony, the Shorefast Foundation was established to revive the economies of Fogo Island and Change Islands. Shorefast is a Canadian registered charity that undertakes projects built on social entrepreneurship.

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