In News | By Valerie Howes | June 10, 2021
What We Did in Anticipation of Your Return
Back in March 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic, travel restrictions meant we were unable to welcome guests. But while we very much missed hosting you, we took the time to make upgrades and reflect on how we could optimize the guest experience. As a social business, we focused on redeploying to other projects as many staff members as possible whose jobs were impacted by the Inn’s closure.
Here are some of the projects that kept us busy:
We further lightened our carbon footprint.
Environmental conservation and a respect for nature shaped the design of our Inn and guide the way we operate everyday. Learn more about our gentle footprint here.
When our doors re-open, there will be a carbon-offset program for guests, through CarbonZero.ca, to help mitigate the impact of your travel and support a Newfoundland-based environmental project. We’ve also been phasing out cotton fabric in our dining room and bedrooms for more sustainable linen alternatives. And we assessed our operations in every department to make small but significant changes to ensure stays at the Inn have only a positive impact on Fogo Island’s natural resources, as well as its community.
We took our rooftop hot tubs to the next level.
Our rooftop was designed from the outset for optimal stargazing during nighttime soaks in our hot tubs, so we keep the lighting low for the ultimate dark-sky experience. At times, the Aurora Borealis streaks the sky with vivid greens and most evenings, Fogo Island is blessed with dramatic sunsets. By day, you can take in vistas of the Atlantic Ocean, open skies and painted wooden houses and fishing stages around the shores of Barr’d Island—and even see as far as Little Fogo Islands.
This past year, we reconfigured our hot tubs to improve their elevation, so when guests return, they’ll have even better views of the world around them.
We got to work refinishing our furniture.
The iconic wooden furniture pieces at the Inn were created by local makers in collaboration with international designers.
Scuffs to paintwork were touched up over the years, but now seemed like an excellent time to strip each piece back to the natural wood, sand it, and then re-do the full paint or stain job so everything looked like new again. We employed staff members from Fogo Island Workshops, our sister social business through Shorefast, for this undertaking.
We reimagined our activities programs.
Discovering Fogo Island with our Community Hosts and participating in experiential activities built around our nature, culture, and arts is at the heart of the guest experience.
We’ve made changes to expand our offerings while adapting to COVID-19 health and safety protocols to ensure optimal safety for guests and staff alike. Notably we’re providing more one-on-one activities—suited to every season— in nature and wide-open spaces. And we’re favouring walking, cycling, and boating when possible, over transportation by car.
We gave the Inn a fresh coat of paint.
The sun, wind, and sea spray coming off the North Atlantic Ocean gave the Inn’s exterior a battering over time. Our property was ready for a little refresh.
Twenty team members, including housekeepers, kitchen, and front desk staff, as well as members of our maintenance crew, were redeployed to re-stain the inn’s exterior. For this job we used our signature stain (a non-toxic product that is kinder to the environment), in a shade called "Cumulus"—named for the ever-changing cloudscapes on Fogo Island and fitting for a property built on big dreams.
We revamped our windows.
We wanted our guests to be able to breathe in the sea air while they were cozied up in their rooms, so since Day 1, we’ve had inwards-opening triple-glazed windows.
This past year, all wooden window frames were repaired or replaced. We also re-stained all the frames, for extra protection from the elements.
We refreshed our menus.
Our food and drink team is always drawing from traditional island recipes and culinary techniques and it sources at least 80 percent of our ingredients from Fogo Island. We showcase the island's fresh seafood, 20 kinds of berries, homegrown vegetables, and wild foraged plants in seasonal dishes with a contemporary spin.
While our kitchen team is constantly dreaming up new dishes, we've now committed to keeping a small number of classic offerings on the menu, by popular demand.