The One Hotel In North America I REALLY Want To Visit…

While not all of the world’s best hotels belong to the major hotel chains, there are some incredible hotel experiences you can have on points. For example, as far as city hotels go, it’s tough to beat the Park Hyatt in Sydney or St. Regis in New York.

Then there are some boutique hotels that unfortunately don’t belong to any of the major chains, or any group at all. There’s one hotel in North America that has long interested me, that unfortunately isn’t part of any loyalty program. It’s also quite pricey.

But I use this blog to talk about my travel dreams/goals, so I feel compelled to at least write about it here. Over the past couple of years I’ve learned that I far prefer nature vacations to city vacations. I’m usually connected to the internet constantly, and there’s something so relaxing to me about being able to enjoy nature.

My recent trip to Longyearbyen, Norway, was one of my favorite trips ever. I also loved my trip to Iceland, and am hoping to visit Greenland soon.

However, there’s one hotel in North America that looks unlike any other hotel I’ve seen. A couple of blog readers have mentioned it in the comments section over the years, which is how I first learned about it.

Specifically, I’m talking about Fogo Island Inn, which is located in Newfoundland. It’s located on an island off an island.

Fogo-Island-Inn

Does that look amazing or what??

In case that doesn’t look stunning enough, here’s a video about Fogo Island Inn:

And another one:

If that first video isn’t the most amazing marketing video ever, I don’t know what is.

To get to Fogo Island Inn you first have to fly into Gander, Newfoundland, and then you have to take a ferry to Fogo Island.

YQX

As you’d expect, this hotel isn’t cheap… at all. Rates start at ~$1,277 per night, though if it’s any consolation, rates include full board, so at least you won’t be spending a lot more once you’re there.

Fogo-Island-Inn

Bottom line

While the primary topic of this site is about miles & points, occasionally I see a non-chain hotel so special that I can’t help but write about it. For example, for my mom’s last “round” birthday I took her to stay at two Aman hotels in Bali, which were incredible, and worth the price.

I’d love to visit Fogo Island some day — it looks like a very special place.

Has anyone been to Fogo Island before, or more broadly, Newfoundland?

Comments

  1. It’s on my list to but travel seems to be a huge pain. Would love to read your Amantaka and Amansara reviews.

  2. As a bonus, Newfoundlanders are some of the friendliest people you will ever encounter anywhere in the world.

  3. Living here in Atlantic Canada I know a number of people who have been to Fogo Island. In the beginning all the talk was very positive; how the hotel was providing good jobs for the people of the island. (All the employees are locals and none had any training as workers in the hospitality industry.) But more recently I’ve heard of growing resentment among those who merely scratch a year-round living on cold, wind-swept, inhospitable Fogo, towards the uber-wealthy who come to experience the, frankly, outrageously expensive glass box on a rock for a few days, before jetting back to New York, London or Sydney. It’s an interesting, um, ‘social experiment’ and I’m curious to see how it pans-out in the long run…

  4. Hi Lucky –

    Fogo has been on my bucket list, too, but may I offer a suggestion for a North American inn that is equally unique, somewhat off the beaten path, and if not quite as disconnected, at least stunningly sybaritic: Twin Farms in Vermont. The food is perhaps the best I’ve had in the United States, the rooms are each unique, and the cottages are out of this world. Based on what I think I know about your aesthetic, I think you’d flip over the Aviary cottage.

  5. QSH: Actually PM Trudeau, like PM Harper before him, pays for his own private holidays and reimburses the government for the use of government planes etc when on holiday. You can see the record of reimbursements online. I agree it is a hugely expensive place to take a family for a holiday, but at least your tax dollars did not pay for it.

  6. Been to St. John’s, NL, lovely city & area.
    Stayed for Labour Day long weekend, rented a car and explored the area.

    Visited Cape Spears (20min drive from DT St. John’s), the most Eastern Point in North America, also drove to a town called Ferryland, about an hour South of St. John’s.
    Definitely worth checking out the greater St .John’s area, or even a roadtrip going from St. John’s all the way to Western NL.
    St. John’s also has a Sheraton in case you need an excuse to go 😉

  7. Do it lucky. Price should never be a problem when following dreams (I dont follow my own advice.) Btw have you already paid your deposit for virgin galactic? You are no av geek of you haven’t paid for it yet.

  8. @Super VC10

    That’s the most illogical thing I’ve read this week. So bc u CHOOSE to live on a rock in east Siberia, it’s the fault of rich people that you get to have a job instead of drinking all day and going to jail 4x a week. People freaking astound me ….

  9. Well – you theoretically CAN use points to stay there. The princely sum of 127,700 UR/MR/TYP will earn you enough statement credit for a one-night stay. Possibly less if the hotel can be booked through the card’s travel portal, and you get a points discount for doing so. Not that I’d consider that a good use of points…

  10. Stunning architecture and a unique location but I worry the service wouldn’t live up to expectations for the price point, especially if you have multiple Aman stays under your belt.

    I always like to gauge service by checking out management engagement on TripAdvisor before I book a hotel (well, one of the ways) and the responses from this property are laughable, especially on the poor reviews, with some being quite rude. I don’t put much stock in what previous guests say in these reviews (especially the low ratings), but the hotel responses should be professional and polished if I expect the same level of service on site.

  11. Hi Lucky,

    Please check out my favorite place, Stonewater Cove!!!!! It is an upscale retreat that is surrounded by a beautiful lake and Ozark foothills covered with the Mark Twain National Forest. Rates include full board… plus a long list of non-guided activities like miniature golf, forest hiking, fishing, movies, games, s’mores, canoeing, kayaking, pools, and bocce ball. They also have a private boat dock as well as activity guides to run the zip lining, watersports, boat rides, and ATV tours on property. (Guided fun is charged extra, but completely worth it for all sports).

    Nature in all its glory; the lodge, amenities, walking paths, and accommodation buildings were built from fallen wood and stones straight from the property forest. With three main bonfire pits, a lodge, lakeside pavilion, on-site staff living, just 25 studios and suites, and so many activities to do out nature it might blow your mind… this resort is like Camp but for grown-ups, couples, and families instead of just the kids. 🙂 Luxury wilderness vacations at stonewatercove.com/experience.

    Thanks,

  12. Am I being punked? This is the Emporer’s New Clothes reimagined for the posh-travel industry. Pay that much to stay at a house on a rock in the middle of nowhere?

    Enjoy, suckers!

  13. I agree that Newfoundlanders are the nicest people on the planet. To that end, I can highly recommend the new musical on Broadway COME FROM AWAY, which is a MUST for any airline enthusiast – it’s the story of the 38 airplanes that were diverted to Gander, Newfoundland on 9/11, and how the Newfies (as the locals are known) looked after them until they were allowed to fly again. It is beautiful, funny, and utterly riveting. Even if you DON’T like musicals!

    http://www.comefromaway.com for the show, http://www.comefromaway.com/learnmore/story.php? for the story behind the show.

    And Gander airport is, in itself, a must see.

  14. I’ve paid more for a room. But it was in Africa. And 2 treks a day were included, and other amenities.

    What does this hotel offer for that price?

  15. Lucky, if you did this, you could then continue to London, UK (LHR) from St. John’s (YYT) on an Air Canada A319. It’s only about 5 hours. Or, do it as a stopover on an inbound from the UK, blocked at about 5.5. Either way – you get a cool transatlantic on the smallest commercial aircraft plying that route and a stopover in St. John’s (a fun stop in a lovely city, to be sure) and Fogo.

  16. Wow they really gouge people on the price. I’ll take a pass. I’m sure there are just as nice and much more reasonably priced accommodations in other parts of Newfoundland.

  17. “Does that look amazing or not?”

    It looks like a shipping container on stilts on a barren rock, so no, not especially.

  18. Lucky – I traveled to Fogo Island Inn in April 2016. As you said, it is quite the journey to get there. The terrain makes it feel like you are in a place that is somewhere in between a glacier and the moon with full complement of caribou. The hiking trails from the Inn were great but for the time of year we were there that was really the extent of the available activities. Food was definitely focused on local ingredients (I hope you like salt cod because you may have it any meal).

    In the spectrum of hotels I have visited (Amans, Twin Farms, Glenmere, etc.) I would put this as a step below in terms of “value” for the price. At the end of the day, while it was an experience to go for a few days (2 days is all you really need), I don’t think I would return, unlike the others I mentioned.

  19. Life is short.
    Go for it.

    Also, look at Southern Ocean Lodge. It’s on Kangaroo Island, off the coast near Adelaide, SA.

  20. Park Hyatt in Sydney as one of the best city hotels you stayed at? It was the worst hotel I’ve stayed at. The Shangri-La Sydney horizon club floor was my best stay and it was a few hundred cheaper with incredible views.

  21. @Tom @David Let me add another vote for Twin Farms. Same basic price range as Fogo Island Inn. At Twin Farms, the grounds, the buildings, the artwork, the food and the wines are amazing. Some like The Point better (very similar concept). I don’t think you could go wrong with either (I’d recommend both), but I prefer Twin Farms.

  22. Gander airport has an interesting history. It was a frequent stop for transatlantic flights to refuel. It was also nicknamed the hole in the Iron Curtain. Flights to and from the former USSR would sometimes have an asylum seeker. The thought of refugee ballet dancer in Gander must have been wild.

  23. I happened to stay last April at the Park Hyatt Sydney on a Monday and Park Hyatt New York on the following Wednesday and have to tell you that although the overall experience in Sydney was astounding, the service level at PH NY was non pareil. And yes, I did have a long discussion with Christopher the doorman, who is a big Lucky fan!

  24. I recommended Fogo. Been to the Inn for food/drinks (though stayed elsewhere on island, for much much much cheaper). The architecture is beautiful, the drinks are great, the dining room is a wonder, and the work they’ve done is noteworthy (Cobb is an islander who became rich in Silicon Valley and poured her fortune back home…until the 1960s there was no electricity here and half the population has left since then).

    Visiting, going to St John’s and driving is almost a better choice given the few flights daily to Gander. If you go to Gander, contact in advance and they’ll let you go see the old international terminal where nearly all TATLs stopped to refuel in the 1950s. It has barely changed since then (the clocks still are set for Moscow and Havana in addition to New York and London!). Newfoundlanders are a hoot (the Mainers of Canada).

    All that said, the price has really gotten out of control. In Summer 2015, the rates were 850 CAD/night w/o food, or 1250 with food for two. Even with 10% tax and a 15% service bundled in (which I think is the case under the new way rates are cited), the price has somehow gone up from there. What justifies being as expensive as the very best hotels in North America? Clayoquot is 2750 USD for two people per night, all inclusive, though it includes some quite pricey activities. Amangiri is 2194 (and quite overpriced). Twin Farms is 1636. Blackberry Farm is 745 plus tax. If you are competing with these places on price, the standard is quite high indeed.

  25. Speaking of island hotels (and Iceland), architecturally this very much looks like a copycat of the Ion Hotel just outside Reykjavik. Perhaps an option for a more affordable luxury hotel stay, plus an opportunity to experience Iceland again – this time in a different season? I hear August/September is supposed to be stunning:

    http://ioniceland.is

  26. My family is from Fogo Island and it is indeed a beautiful place. There are, as mentioned, other small places to stay for barely a fraction of the price. The people are very friendly and I strongly suspect that anyone who was treated poorly earned that treatment not because of their wealth but more than likely their need to flaunt it or more generally just act like an a##! It is definitely a trek to get there and the ferry breaks down often and although it’s recently been replaced it’s still fraught with issues. But overall I still recommend it. It truly is beautiful as is mainland Newfie.
    I’ve flown in and out of Gander my whole life and never knew about the old terminal mentioned here. I’ll have to check it out next time I’m home. There’s a Delta hotel in downtown St John’s that closer to George Street where the pubs are that your Marriott points will work. The Sheraton is a bit of a walk to downtown in my opinion.
    All that said I’d still like to stay here for a night or two myself.

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