Best Places to Stay in a Monastery

Between hotels, hostels, and Airbnb’s, there are plenty of accommodation options out there. But sometimes you just want to try something new. A monastery is a perfect place to stay for a unique vacation experience, full of peace and tranquillity. It might not be the first thing you think off, but monasteries are the original bed and breakfast. For centuries, monasteries have hosted weary pilgrims and travelers all over the world.

These days, you don’t need to be on a religious quest to stay the night at a monastery. Regular backpackers and vacationers are also welcome. Accommodation in a monastery usually means simple rooms, shared facilities, and a curfew. Most of them are remote and lack technology. This makes booking a monastery stay a little tricky as most don’t have websites. Luckily, some websites can help such as Monastery Stays, Good Night, and God Bless, and Santa Susanna.

Alternatively, some monasteries and convents have been turned into full-fledged hotels which you can book online. Although they are considerably more comfortable, you won’t get the same immersive experience. Whether you are looking to get away from it all, a spiritual retreat, or just a new way of traveling. Here are some of the best places to stay in a monastery all over the world:

1. Eibingen Abbey

Eibingen, Germany

If you are loing for meaning and spiritual enlightenment, this is a great place to go. The Benedictine nuns of Eibingen Abbey are welcoming to everyone seeking God or seeking answers.

2. Santurario

Piedmont di Oropa, Italy

Italy is one of the most convenient countries to lo for a monastery stay. In this Catholic country, monasteries and convents are not only a thing of the past. Beautifully preserved monasteries all around the country regularly welcome visitors.

3. Monastery Cave Hotel

Cappadocia, Turkey

This former monastery has been turned into a functioning hotel so you won’t find a traditional spiritual experience here. But that does not make it any less impressive. Most of the hotel is located inside caves, etched away from the stone.

4. Bridgettine Sisters Monastery

Jerusalem, Israel

Jerusalem is the ultimate Christian pilgrim destination. No wonder that there are several convent guesthouses and monasteries in the holy city. The Bridgettine Sisters run the most welcoming monastery guesthouse.

5. Monastery of the Virgin Olive Grove

Teruel, Spain

In Spain, lots of convents and monasteries have been converted into hotels called “parador.” But there are still active monasteries that travelers can stay at. The Monastery of the Virgin of the Olive Grove in Teruel is a beautiful traditional Spanish monastery. It is a popular place for spiritual retreats.

6. Brevnov Monastery

Zeliv, Czech Republic

For peace and quiet in the stunning Czech countryside, head to the Brevnov Premonstratensian Monastery in Želiv. This Baroque Gothic monastery los like a postcard picture. Accommodation ranges from a communal hall to private apartments.

7. Sacre Coeur

Paris, France

Have you ever wanted to stay in the heart of Paris on a budget? Well, you can! The Basilica of Mont Martre, the Sacre Coeur, is not only one of the biggest tourist hotspots of Paris. There is also a guesthouse located next to the church, where pilgrims are welcome to stay.

8. The Friars Aylesford

Aylesford, England

The Friars Aylesford is a beautiful old English monastery. The Medieval buildings have been maintained beautifully, albeit with an outdated décor. The accommodations are simple, but there is a nice common space for rela and a beautiful countryside. There is a full board or bed&breakfast option, with meals served in a Medieval dining hall.

9. Kopan Monastery

Kathmandu, Nepal

Nepal is known for its Buddhist monasteries, high up in the Himalayan mountains. The Kopan Monastery in Kathmandu is the perfect place to start a spiritual exploration in Nepal. They offer courses, retreats, and private stays as well as day visits.

10. New Norcia

New Norcia, Australia

Monastery stays are even available down under. New Norcia is a Benedictine community where everyone is welcome. Aside from full retreats, guest can also attend prayers and mass. Simple meals are included in the stay, and there are different types of accommodation to choose from, from rooms to camping.

11. Pousada Mosteiro de Guimaraes

Guimaraes, Portugal

Pousadas are the Portuguese version of the Spanish paradors. They are former monasteries and convents that have been converted into hotels. Pousada Mosteiro de Guimaraes won’t give you the authentic religious experience, but it will give you a lot of luxury and comfort.

12. Cavtat Monastery

Cavtat, Croatia

A 14th-century Franciscan monastery close to Dubrovnik. Perfect for anyone loing for a rela holiday on the Croatian coast. The accommodation is simple and breakfast, and you’ll have to walk to a nearby hotel for breakfast. But there is a beach nearby, and you are welcome to attend the services.

13. Sofitel Legend Santa Clara

Cartagena, Colombia

Much like in Spain and Portugal, some monasteries in South America have been turned into hotels. The Sofitel Legend Santa Clara Cartagena is a gorgeous five-star luxury hotel inside the former Santa Clara convent in Cartagena.

14. Nyingmapa monastery

Nyingmapa, India

What Catholic monasteries do in Italy, Buddhist monasteries do in India. Weary travelers from all walks of life are welcome to stay at one of the many monasteries throughout the country. The Nyingmapa monastery is the perfect place for a rela and quiet retreat.

15. Convento de Santa Brigida

Havana, Cuba

Smack in the middle of Old Havana, between the bright colored houses, lies the Convento de Santa Brigida. The convent guesthouse is the perfect place to stay for a visit to Havana. The sisters are friendly and welcoming, and they provide travelers with a peaceful and safe home away from home.

16. Wat Suan Mokkh

Amphoe Chaiya, Thailand

Much like India, Thailand is a popular destination for Buddhist retreats. Wat Suan Mkh offers a 10-day silent meditation retreat on the first of every month. Whether you are loing to challenge yourself, introspection or enlightenment, you are sure to find it here.

17. Mount Athos

Ouranoupoli, Greece

Sorry ladies, this one is for the men only, not even female animals are allowed. Mount Athos is a collection of 20 functioning monasteries that offer spiritual retreats. Stays are mostly silent and include two meals and Greek wine. This place is especially popular among posh Englishmen, in particular, Prince Charles.

18. New Camaldoli Hermitage

Big Sur, United States

Not all monasteries are historical buildings. The New Camaldoli Hermitage is a sleek and modern complex in Big Sur, California. Overnight stays are possible in a variety of accommodations, but there is a two-night minimum.

19. Geumsunsa

Seoul, South Korea

South Korea is a great destination for those seeking Buddhist enlightenment. There is a specific program called temple stay that allows you to bo a stay in a monastery. Geumsunsa in Seoul has arguably one of the most breathtaking view imaginable. It is located within the Mt. Bukhansan National Park, surrounded by beautiful greenery.

20. Stift Göttweig

Göttweig, Austria

The Danube valley is one of Austria’s most picturesque regions. The view is especially spectacular from the Göttweig Abbey, perched atop a hill. The abbey is a popular destination for tourists, because of its cultural heritage.

A stay in a monastery can be both a spiritual experience or a unique travel experience. Whether you stay in a luxurious former convent turned hotel or a traditional monastery retreat, this is something you just have to try. So the next time you are in any of the above countries, why not add a monastery stay to your itinerary? It’s the perfect place to relax, recharge, and connect with your spirituality.

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