Unique Places to Stay
As a former touring actor and comedian, I’ve spent my fair share of time in hotel rooms. And, don’t get me wrong, hotels are great places to stay – I mean, they clean your room every day. How can you not love that?
But, sometimes you just want to experience something different. Something a little left of centre.
That’s something I’ve always loved about Newfoundland and Labrador. There’s always something here to surprise you. Around here, there seems to be a creativity infused into everything we do. And that includes in the places we share with our visitors.
If you were to find yourself wandering down the Kittiwake Coast, near Gander Bay and Northern Bonavista Bay, you’ll no doubt stumble upon some strikingly beautiful houses. The Old Salt Box Co.’s houses will definitely stand out. These one-and-a-half-storey houses grew in popularity between 1865-1920, and can still be found all over the province. The Old Salt Box Co. provides its guests with modern furnishings and a slew of amenities mixed with authentic antique pieces such as claw foot tubs and those iconic picture windows. They are really something else – let me tell you.
If you’re looking for something that’s really far off the beaten path – have I got the place for you. This place is so far off that path, that you need to form your own path to get to it. The Torngat Mountain Base Camp and Research Centre offer its visitors an experience they won’t soon forget.
It’s located 200 kilometres north of Labrador’s most northerly community Nain. Out here, you will catch a glimpse of an untouched land filled with wildlife – including polar bears. Don’t worry though, the base camp has experienced bear guards and guides to ensure your safety at the camp. There are also helicopter tours available to get a bird’s-eye view of these spectacular mountains. If you want to enjoy some time on the water, rumour has it there are two boats of note up there. One is called What’s Happenin’? and the other is Nothin’ Much. How funny is that? I love it.
If roughing it seems a little out of your range of experience, but it’s something you’d love to work towards, Parks Canada and Mountain Equipment Co-op have teamed up to educate people on the ins and outs of being a happy camper. Learn-To-Camp allows people from all walks of life, age, and physical ability to enjoy and learn more about one of the great pastimes in this province – camping. From 23-24 August folks will have the opportunity to experience the great outdoors on one of the most recognizable landmarks this province has to offer – Signal Hill. You can learn valuable skills like how to set-up a tent, or how to cook outdoors. I don’t know about you, but I could use all the cooking lessons I can get. I’d burn water if left to my own devices. If this is something that tickles your fancy, why not check it out? You just may get a roasted marshmallow out of it, and who doesn’t love roasted marshmallows?
If your version of roughing it includes a bidet and heated bathroom floors, then perhaps Fogo Island Inn is more your speed.
The Inn is situated on Fogo Island, a place the Flat Earth Society refers to as one of the four corners of the earth. This Norwegian-style luxury accommodation gives guests a wide open panoramic view of the North Atlantic. And the food? The food is amazing. In fact, the restaurant at the Fogo Island Inn recently won the enRoute award for one of the 10 Best New Restaurants in Canada. That’s just the tip of the iceberg with this Inn. There’s so much to experience there – everything from food foraging, furniture building, and cod jigging. You’ll never be bored, that’s for sure.
Look, the fact of the matter is, in a place where you expect to find the unexpected, there’s no end to the unique places you can stay. I think I could write a book, and still have enough left over to pen a sequel. Even though all of these places are distinct, they all have one common theme, they are all filled to the brim with something Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are famous for – good old fashioned hospitality. So, whatever your taste, you’re bound to find something if you’re adventurous enough to step off of the beaten path.