Fogo Island Inn Selected as Founding Member of National Geographic Society Unique Lodges of the World

Fogo Island Inn is in iceberg alley, overlooking the North Atlantic - arguably the wildest and most powerful ocean on the planet. It sits on an island, off the island of Newfoundland, on one of the four corners of the Earth. The remote Inn stands out for being one of only two Canadian destinations (the other being Western Canada’s Nimmo Bay Wilderness Resort) to be accepted into such a highly regarded collection of properties. Fogo Island Inn was created by a registered charity of Canada (Shorefast Foundation) and is operated as a social business. All surpluses from the Inn belong to the local community. The 29-suite property was conceived and created in a manner that fortifies local culture and articulates and reinforces the identity and well being of the place. Being responsible to the ecological integrity and social sustainability of Fogo Island, through building an economy of care, craft and culture, is core to its inclusion as a founding member of National Geographic Society Unique Lodges of the World.

Selected through a rigorous evaluation process, each lodge offers an outstanding guest experience while supporting the protection of cultural and natural heritage and embracing sustainable tourism practices. The initial collection — numbering 24 properties on six continents — further builds National Geographic’s travel portfolio, which includes National Geographic Expeditions, Traveler magazine, travel books, photography courses and the @NatGeoTravel digital and photography community.

Fogo Island Inn opened midway through 2013 and is a relative newcomer, in relation to the other 23 founding members of the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World. Zita Cobb, the President of Shorefast Foundation and Innkeeper of the Fogo Island Inn said, “It is an honour to be chosen for inclusion in such highly regarded company. Our membership is certain to drive interest in our social enterprise and further support our ground-breaking arrival to the world of high-end sustainable travel. We are excited by the interest in our approach to community revitalization through community-owned tourism initiatives and look forward to seeing this model replicated in other rural communities. It is gratifying that others see our small island as a good proxy for our small planet and our shared future.”

As part of a comprehensive vetting process, every lodge in the collection was judged on the following criteria:

  • The Property — The design and character are unique and authentic and the property provides guests with a true sense of place by celebrating the surrounding landscape and cultural heritage.
  • Guest Experience and Quality of Service — Guests are offered top-quality service and exceptional and inspiring experiences — from activities that enable them to engage with local people to wildlife encounters with seasoned naturalists.
  • Sustainable Tourism Best Practices — The property demonstrates a commitment to conservation and green operations; it actively supports the protection of cultural heritage; and it provides tangible benefits to local communities.

fogo island inn

National Geographic deployed experts to each site to evaluate operations, meet staff at all levels, scrutinize the lodge’s impact on the local environment and community and ensure that these criteria were met.

“By creating this carefully curated group of hotels, lodges and retreats that meet internationally recognized sustainable tourism criteria while providing top-notch guest experiences, National Geographic opens a new chapter in the power of travel to protect our planet,” said Costas Christ, a world-renowned sustainable tourism expert and editor at large for National Geographic Traveler magazine, who coordinated an international team to inspect each of the lodges. “Travelers can feel confident when they stay in one of these lodges that they are helping to safeguard cultural and natural treasures in some of the world’s most incredible places.”

Fogo Island Inn is proud to offer guests who book their stay through National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World a special “National Geographic Exclusive” offer: The Vernacular and the Contemporary – an exclusive orientation to Fogo Island architecture. The experience features: a guided architectural tour of the National Historic District of Tilting, a tiny waterside community where homes built in the island’s Irish-influenced vernacular are interspersed with Todd Saunder’s cutting-edge contemporary architecture. Then a meeting with one of the inn’s resident architects for a behind-the-scenes look at the design of the inn, capped off with a rooftop champagne toast.

Also Included in Vernacular and the Contemporary – an orientation to Fogo Island architecture stay:
• Welcome snack and welcome card, signed by GM
• Daybreak service of morning coffee, tea, and pastries
• Breakfast, lunch and supper (for full-board guests only)
• Non-alcoholic beverages (for full-board guests only)
• Half-day community host orientation to the island
• Access to Fogo Island’s art gallery, library, cinema, and rooftop saunas and hot tubs
• Wifi
• Service charges, the inn has a no-tipping policy. Employees participate in a bonus sharing program that is based on the performance of the Inn

“The National Geographic brand is universally recognized for its commitment to exploring and protecting the planet, so we are uniquely positioned to unite and promote these exceptional properties and to set a new standard for tourism,” said Lynn Cutter, National Geographic’s executive vice president for Travel. “These lodges share the Society’s vision of preserving the planet for future generations and they demonstrate that sustainability and a world-class guest experience can go hand-in-hand.”

National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World charter members are:
• Fogo Island Inn, Canada
• Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, South Africa
• Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, Peru
• Kapari Natural Resort, Greece
• Kasbah du Toubkal, Morocco
• Lapa Rios Eco Lodge, Costa Rica
• Lizard Island, Australia
• Longitude 131°, Australia
• Mashpi Lodge, Ecuador
• Nimmo Bay Wilderness Resort, Canada
• Pacuare Lodge, Costa Rica
• Rosalie Bay Resort, Dominica
• Rubundo Island Camp, Tanzania
• Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge, South Africa
• Sayari Camp, Tanzania
• Southern Ocean Lodge, Australia
• Sukau Rainforest Lodge, Malaysian Borneo
• The Brando, French Polynesia
• The Ranch at Rock Creek, Montana, United States
• Three Camel Lodge, Mongolia
• Tierra Atacama Hotel & Spa, Chile
• Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa, Chile
• Tswalu Kalahari, South Africa
• Zhiwa Ling Hotel, Bhutan

For more information about National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World, visit


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