The Round Da Bay Inn on Newfoundland’s Bonavista Peninsula is what happens to your life if you go about following your whims. Chris and Karen Ricketts are proof of that.
Chris grew up in the area. His family goes back five generations in these parts, but he moved to St. John’s to paint lines in parking lots and that turned into 25 years. So they saved a little money and started looking for land to build a vacation home back on the Peninsula.
On a whim, they instead bought the Round Da Bay Inn, a foreclosed upon property that had sat empty and boarded up for the better part of two decades. Working about 18 hours a day for three years while living on the top floor, they now have all 16 rooms beautifully and creatively remodeled. Sure – some vacation home.
Where to Stay on the Bonavista Peninsula
The Round Da Bay Inn is a great place for you to spend a couple of nights and learn a little bit about this part of Newfoundland. Chris and Karen are your stereo-typical Newfoundlanders – a warm, generous heart, a fun loving, creative spirit, and a work ethic that would put all of our forefathers to shame.
Allergic to the boring, they decided to do each room with a different theme based on flea market finds and furnishings found at antique sales or friends’ basement storage areas. The pet friendly room features a quasi-dog house and Duncan, the family pet, and a bed as comfortable for the dog as for humans. Send Chris and Karen a picture of your pet and they’ll put it on a bulletin board in this room.
A donation to the local high school band resulted in some irreparable instruments that now highlight the music room. The garden room includes a wall-mounted fountain that runs all night. You might think twice on your nightly toilet habits before booking that beauty. A falling down barn on an uncle’s property created the decor for another room.
Chris is as equally talented in the kitchen as he is with power tools, making Bella’s restaurant a destination for visitors all along the bay. And both Chris and Karen are artists in a variety of media, so their gallery/gift shop is another reason to stop by for some souvenir shopping.
What to Do on the Bonavista Peninsula
But why would you find yourself on the Bonavista Peninsula anyway? Hmm, think whales and moose and puffins and icebergs and beautiful hiking trails and magnificent views of the North Atlantic. Celtic music and lighthouses and historic villages.
Chris will tell you where to go to see the region’s only waterfall and whose garage to park beside so you can climb over pile of rocks to see arches carved in granite by the roaring Atlantic Ocean. Yep, that’s what this area has going for it. Along with some really fun, interesting and enjoyable people, like Chris and Karen Ricketts.