Many of us have a recurring dream about getting away from it all and exploring the far corners of the earth. Fogo Island is its realization.
I doubt very much that had you asked a young Zita Cobb her goal in life, she would have replied that she wanted to create an inn of such singular design and ambition that it would bring visitors from the world over to her remote island home. But that is just what she did. Cobb had sufficient brains and drive to take her to the world of high tech, where she became one of the wealthiest people in Canada. Returning to Fogo Island in 2005, she spent $43 million of her own money to build the 29-suite resort.
The first sight of the inn comes as quite a shock. Cobb turned to Newfoundland native Todd Saunders to design the principal building and the five outpost studios. The main four-story structure is cross-shaped, with one axis supported by angled metal poles. Light gray outside, it is stark white inside except for wooden floors and painted furniture manufactured on the island. Our room — like every other — had a wall of windows overlooking the ocean, and a large walk-in shower, plus quilts, furniture and wallpapers all handcrafted on Fogo. The main floor contains a library and an art gallery, as well as reception, a bar and a dining room with double-height windows looking out to sea. Chef Murray McDonald’s food is both imaginative and artistically presented. For example, one favorite dish was perfectly-cooked island beef, with a surprising spruce gremolata, potato purée, and a crisp, rich marrow croquette.
When the weather allows, numerous water activities are available, such as whale-watching (in summer), punt tours of the harbor close to the inn, and iceberg-viewing (April through June). Many of us have a recurring dream about getting away from it all and exploring the far corners of the earth. Fogo Island is its realization.