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A room with a view

Fishers’ Loft Inn

If unique location, breathtaking surroundings and authentic food are a recipe for a great vacation, then  one rural Newfoundland couple has been serving up portions just right.

Visitors keep returning to John and Peggy Fisher’s unique 21-room, 4½ star inn in Port Rexton. They want more of its fine food and spectacular ocean views with a set of binoculars in every room.

Fishers’ Loft Inn, which boasts a variety of features such as handmade artisanal furniture, a large quantity of local art, greenhouse and gardens, is one of only 15 Canadian locations to make it on the National Geographic Traveller Stay list, and is recommended in “Where to eat in Canada.”

This top-ranked rural inn was also made famous for hosting actors Kevin Spacey, Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench while they filmed “The Shipping News” (released in 2001).

“The cast loved it here,” remembers John.  “Dame Judi Dench used our kitchen to unwind and cook, and we actually had visitors from Japan come to stay just so they could touch the sheets Kevin Spacey slept on!”

Numerous provincial awards are a testament to the Fishers’ instinctual response to their adoptive home, which Peggy discovered on a business trip in 1988.

“It was the most beautiful place we’d seen in our lives,” John recalls.  After 30 years travelling as a business consultant, John was ready to settle down. The Ontario couple packed up their two young boys and moved to Port Rexton a year later.

But the idea to open an inn in a spectacular rural location was only birthed when they agreed to welcome extra guests from a nearby bed and breakfast. “We took their overspill and afterwards thought, ‘why not give this a try?’” John says. In 1997, they appointed four rooms in their own home.

By the end of the second year, the Fishers were turning people away, and saw the business potential. 

“We couldn’t keep up with demand, so we decided to go big or get out. But we couldn’t have expanded without ACOA,” says John.  “They championed our cause, saw our vision. They know what true entrepreneurship is.”

Today, the inn employs about 20 people and is open to tourists around the world six months a year. But they’re considering a foray into the business market—a conference centre with ten new guest rooms would allow the inn to open year-round.

By adding new ingredients to their business recipe, the Fishers can only make the offerings sweeter, and leave visitors craving more.

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Published April 21, 2011