Monastery Accommodation • Guesthouses
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Is there a better position for a hotel in Paris than by the square in front of the Cathédrale Notre-Dame on the Île de la Cité? Yes, the hotel is located within a hospital – on the 6th floor but is quite separate except for the actual coming and going when the lift is shared with hospital staff and sometimes patients in the ophthalmic section. Wake to the chimes of the bells of Notre-Dame and order breakfast in bed. This is a clean, quiet, well located and affordable hotel where the profits are handed over to charity. A couple can stay for around €60 pp.
1 Place du Parvis
Île de la Cité
Tel: + 33 (0) 1 44 32 01 00
Fax: + 33 1 44 32 01 16
Photo: Hôtel-Dieu Hôpital
On the route of ‘La Regordane’, a pilgrimage trail from Le Puy-en Velay to Saint Gilles du Gard, Maison Pradier is a recently renovated 19th-century Provençal farmhouse located on a hillside in the peaceful, semi-rural outskirts of Ales. The village is situated in Languedoc-Roussillon, between the Cevennes Mountains National Park and Provence and off the beaten tourist track.
The owner, Françoise Tixier, an avid walker is a Member of the French Association des Amis de St Jacques de Compostelle. She has walked the Camino to Santiago de Compostella along the Arles Route, which is easily accessed from here. Accommodation is available in a 1 bedroomed cottage or in a 3 bedroom duplex apartment. Both options abound in French country charm and a large garden adds to the ambience.
Tourist sites nearby include the Solan Orthodox Monastery near Uzès, the La Paix-Dieu Monastery in Anduze and the Musée du Désert in Mailet which is dedicated to the history of French Protestanism.
Provence – Nice
Rhone-Alpes – St-Laurent les Bains
In the Ardèche department of the Rhone-Alpes in the south of France and between the cities of Marseilles and Clermont Ferrand lies the Abbaye Notre-Dame des Neiges. The abbey is run by Trappist monks, also known as the Cistercians of the Strict Observance. In 1878 Scottish writer, Robert Louis Stevenson stayed at the abbey during his journey through the mountains of the Cévennes, when writing his book Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes. These days the monks still welcome hikers, bushwalkers and pilgrims for overnight stays. The hospitable monks don’t charge for accommodation and donations are left to the generosity of the individual visitor. This is a working abbey and guests are asked to help with small chores.
Abbaye Notre-Dame des Neiges
07590 St-Laurent les Bains
Tel: +33 (0)4 66 46 59 00 Monday, Thursday, Friday from 10am to 12pm
Fax: +33 (0)4 66 46 59 10
Photo: Abbey guesthouse – © Abbaye Notre-Dame des Neiges.
The Anglican Christian Guesthouse is situated on the Mombasa coast and offers accommodation in well furnished single, double and family rooms on a bed and breakfast or full/half board basis. Some guestrooms have en suites and a small charge is made for use of the shower. Most rooms are fitted with a fan and a television and the guesthouse restaurant is open for all meals. A laundry service is provided. A small charge is made for using the swimming pool. The beach is nearby.
ACK Guest House
Mombasa Shelly Beach Road (First turn on your left after the ferry)
Tel: +254 (0)41 245 1521 or (0)41 245 1294
Photo: Anglican Christian Guesthouse Mombasa. – courtesy Anglican Christian Guesthouse.
The Anglican Christian Guesthouse in Nairobi is situated in the suburb of Upper Hill, a five minute drive to the centre of the city. Facilities include almost 50 single, twin and family rooms all available on a share bathroom basis. All meals and in-betweens can be taken in the dining room or purchased from the canteen. Tours and transport can be arranged from here. Guests have access to laundry services, telephone, tea and coffee making facilities and a television lounge.
Anglican Christian Guesthouse
Bishop’s Road, off Ngong Road (opp. NSSF Building)
Tel: +254 (0)20 272 3200 or 2724780 or 2728576
Fax: +254 (0)20 271 5763
Photo: Anglican Christian Guesthouse Nairobi – courtesy Anglican Christian Guesthouse.
The Kolbe House Catholic Chaplaincy is attached to the University of Cape Town and opens its doors to the travelling public from mid November to January each year when the students are on holidays. The centre is situated on a large, attractive estate in suburban Rondebosch, 5 kilometres south of the centre of Cape Town. Accommodation is offered on a self-catering, share bathroom basis. Kolbe House is within walking distance of shops and transport facilities and secure car parking is provided.
Photo: Kolbe House- courtesy Catholic Centre, University of Cape Town
Natal (near Durban)
Tourists are welcome at Tre Fontane (Three Fountains) Lodge, run by the Missionary Sisters of the Precious Blood (Mariannhill Sisters) who live in an adjacent monastery. The lodge is situated on a large estate off the Pietermaritzburg – Durban Road. Single and double guestrooms are available and all have balconies with views over the gardens. Most guestrooms are en suite. All meals are available and the centre has a communal television room and a swimming pool. Secure car parking is provided. Tre Fontane is 5km from Pinetown, 20km from Durban, and under an hour’s drive from Pietermaritzburg.
Photo: Reception and guestroom – Tre Fontane Lodge – courtesy Mariannhill Sisters
St Eugene’s Hostel is situated on the outskirts of the town of Lushoto in a scenic, hilly area popular with hikers and bushwalkers. The hotel is run by the sisters of the Congregation of Our Lady of Usambara who use any profits to support a Montessori kindergarten and teacher training college which they also run. The single, twin, double and triple bedded rooms are clean and comfortable, some with en suites. Most rooms have a balcony overlooking the estate and to the mountains in the distance. The sisters prepare all meals and can provide guides for trekking in the local area.
St Eugene’s Hostel
Tanzania East Africa.
Tel: +255 (0)27 264 0055
Fax: +255 (0)27 264 0267
Photo: Guestroom St Eugene’s Hotel – courtesy Sisters of Usumbara
Primarily a centre of prayer, the Monastery of Chevetogne comprises of male religious of the Byzantine-slav community as well as monks of a Latin Benedictine community, sharing in each others liturgies as well as the same abbot.
The monastery of Chevetogne, situated in the countyside between Brussels and Luxemburg, iis an international, Benedictine monastery, devoted to the unity of Christians. The community is “bi-ritual”, in that two distinct groups of monks celebrate the monastic office respectively in the Roman and Byzantine-Slavic traditions,
Monastère de l’Exaltation de la Sainte Croix (Monastère Chevetogne)
Rue du monastère 65
B – 5590 – Chevetogne
Tel: + 32 (0)83 21 17 63
Fax: + 32 (0)83 21 60 45
Guesthouse for men: firstname.lastname@example.org
Guesthouse for women and families: email@example.com
The Trappist monks of Notre-Dame de Scourmont (also known as the Abbey of Chimay) in the hamlet of Forges near Chimay, have a large monastery hotel for guests wishing to spent some quiet time or make a retreat. For centuries the monks attached to the abbey have produced the well known Chimay Cheese as well as the award winning Chimay Trappist beer.
The monks own a small guesthouse/hotel located in the village of Bourlers, approximately 1 kilometre from the abbey, where general tourists, travellers and holiday-makers are welcome. Guestrooms are ensuite, air conditioned and equipped with full hotel facilities including a mini bar. The hotel restaurant serves Chimay beer and cheese and seats over 200 people. The menu lists everything from a Chimay cheese sandwich, a four cheese quiche, Chimay cheese fondue to steak served with cheesy chips.
Photo courtesy Auberge de Poteaupré
The Monasterium PoortAckere is thought to have been established in the beautiful Flemish city of Ghent in the 13th century. Religious orders have occupied the building since this time and up until 1998 when the Sisters of the Holy Eucharist decided to move elsewhere and sell the building. Since this time the building has been run as a 3-star hotel. Renovations over the centuries only added to the beauty of the building and many of the trappings and accoutrements of the former convent remain. The old refectory is now a popular and atmospheric dining room where the food, wine, tableware and surroundings reflect its past. The hotel is in the centre of the town and single guestrooms are available from around €46.00. Numerous double, triple and family guestrooms and packages are available with prices starting at €115.oo per room. There is also a guest car parking area.
Photos courtesy www.visitgent.be
St. Peter’s Abbey was founded in 1903 and is the oldest Benedictine monastery in Canada. The abbey is located in a beautiful part of the Canadian prairies and is run by Oblate monks of the Order of St Benedict. Attached to the abbey, the St. Peter’s Guest House consists of 35 single and twin rooms and an open area dormitory can also accommodate 100 guests. The monks invite people to spend time in the guesthouse to be renewed spiritually and physically and to join the monks in their daily prayer services. Home cooked meals are a feature of any stay with at St Peters and much of the produce used is grown organically, on site. A recent visitor to St Peters wrote that the abbey is ‘a beautiful place of the spirit’.
St Peters is located 120 kms east of Saskatoon. Group bookings are welcome.
Photo: © St Peter’s Abbey
Sisters of the Cistercian order moved from Roskilde to Grenå in the early 1960s and took over the 14th century Sostrup Castle for use as their convent. As the order expanded, facilities at the castle were upgraded to allow the sisters to offer accommodation to visitors. They also operate a successful conference and meeting centre within the complex. The sisters have converted the castle’s old stables into comfortable self-serviced apartments. Each apartment caters for four people and holidaying guests are welcome to join the sisters in all Masses and services. The convent is close to Nordstranden Beach near the small village of Gjerrild, 12 kilometres north of Grenå. Gjerrild has one of the best beaches in the country. The town lies in a forested area surrounded by established walking and cycling trails. The convent is on National Cycling Route 5.
Sostrup Castle Guesthouse
Maria Hjerte Engen
DK-8500 Grenå East Jutland
Tel: +45 8638 4111
Fax: +45 8638 4133
Photo: Sostrup Castle/Convent – Arne Bramsen istockphoto.com
The three star Mission hotel Stella Maris is run by a Danish Christian religious association, Indre Mission. The aim of the Mission is to provide hospitality and a relaxing environment for visitors whether for a short or long term visit. The hotel has a charming old world ambience and front facing rooms overlook Svendborg Sound. The accommodation is mainly single and double rooms, but there are a limited number of family rooms available. Some of the rooms have a wash basin only, but others have ensuites. All meals are available. Facilities include a children’s play area, TV room, guest laundry and ample car parking.
The author Karen Blixen, who also wrote under the name of Isak Dinesen (Out of Africa) was once a regular guest of the Stella Maris. The hotel stands in spacious grounds on the water’s edge and has stunning views
Photo: Missionhotel Stella Mari s- Bjarne Hvidberg
Allen Hall is the seminary of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Westminster and is located in the affluent, upmarket suburb of Chelsea, in the central London. We offer 60 comfortable rooms (mainly single with a few double/twin) during the months of July & August only whilst the Seminary is on summer break. A number of ensuite rooms are available and other guestrooms are equipped with a wash basin. Bathroom facilities are shared.
We have beautiful gardens and a chapel for private prayer. If you would like some peaceful days and be near to central London then please contact us to check availability. Accommodation is available for guests with special needs. Rooms from £45.00 per night bed and breakfast.
London’s Imperial College opens its three well located student residences in South Kensington to tourists over the summer university holiday period through July, August and September. The guestrooms in Beit Hall in Prince Consort Road, near Royal Albert Hall have recently been renovated and all single and twin rooms are en ensuite. Prices range from around £27.00 per person per night. Garden Hall in Prince’s Gardens offers cheaper accommodation in single or twin guestrooms on a share bathroom basis and Southside Halls also in Prince’s Gardens offers a high standard of en suite accommodation in single and twin rooms and is run along hotel lines (around £36.00 per person per night). Full English breakfast is provided in all residences which also have laundry facilities. Guestrooms are available which are suitable for people with disabilities.
Summer Accommodation Office
Imperial College London
Level 3 Sherfield Building South Kensington
London SW7 2AZ
Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 9507/11
Fax: +44 (0)20 7594 9504/5
The Penn Club was established in 1920 and has links to the Religious Society of Friends (sometimes called Quakers). The centre is situated very close to the British Museum and in the heart of London’s Bloomsbury area. Accommodation is provided in comfortable single and double rooms of which some are en suite. Others have a washbasin provided. Some rooms include tea and coffee making facilities. Breakfast is the only meal served. Guests have use of a comfortable lounge room with television and washing and ironing facilities are provided.
Photo: Penn Club – Trish Clark
The Cathedral Lodge is fantastically located next to Canterbury’s magnificent cathedral. Accommodation is first rate and in modern, stylish guestrooms with ensuites, tea and coffee making facilities, TV and Internet. A full English breakfast is served to guests in the Refectory Restaurant, or outside on the terrace. Accommodation also covers free entrance to the cathedral.
Canterbury Cathedral Lodge © Canterbury Cathedral
Sarum College is a former theological college that is now an ecumenical centre for research and study. Based in Salisbury’s Cathedral Close we run courses and also welcome the general public for conference, meeting and B&B bookings.The setting in Salisbury Cathedral Close is spectacular and some guestrooms are blessed with glorious cathedral views. The College is rather well-known for its food – groups and individuals are welcome to come for lunch (£10 for a hearty and wholesome two-course meal). Bookings necessary.
© Sarum College
The Crief Lodges are located in a peaceful location in the grounds of Stanbrook Abbey on the edge of the North York Moors National Park. The lodges are run by the nuns of Stanbrook Abbey who moved into their modern eco-monastery in May 2009. Hospitality has been a traditional work of Benedictines since their foundation in the sixth century. The monastery is in a separate location on the property. However, both the monastery and the lodges blend naturally into the beautiful rural surrounds. Each lodge has two bedrooms and is fully self-contained and sleeps up to 5 people.
One of the Crief Lodges © Stanbrook Abey
The Pirita Convent Guesthouse is situated 7 kilometres from the centre of Tallin and is adjacent to the medieval ruins of the original convent.There is a beach nearby and the area is well serviced by public transport. While the guestrooms are no-frills they are adequately furnished, convent clean and some have views over the ruins next door. All single, double and triple rooms have an ensuite bathroom. Facilities include Internet connection, use of a computer, telephone,meeting room, library and a TV room. Prices start at around €35.00.
© Pirita Convent
Valamo Monastery, run by monks of the Finnish Orthodox Church is situated in the Heinävesi district, near Lake Juojärvi in East Finland. The monastery was established by monks fleeing the Monastery of Valamo (Valaam) on Lake Ladoga in Russia, after Russia attacked Finland prior to World War II. The new Valamo Monastery has a thriving tourist industry and accommodation is available in the monastery hotel or in a separate guesthouse. It is possible to visit the Russian monastery on a day trip from here. Dress code for men and women visiting the monastery: knees and shoulders must be covered at all times.
Photo: Valamo Monastery, Jiang Ping – Finnish Tourist Board
The 800 year old riverside city of Turku (Swedish: Åbo), situated on the southwest coast of Finland is home to a hospitable community of Catholic Bridgettine sisters who run a popular guest house for tourists. The convent guest house is open all year and can accommodate up to 50 guests. People of all age, faith and nationality are welcome to stay here. Accommodation is simple and spotlessly clean and a Finnish continental breakfast is available.
The convent is located in the heart of Turku, just metres from the main square and the railway station. The airport is 8 kilometres away.
Ursininkatu 15 a,
FIN-20100 TURKU, Finland
Tel: +358-(0)2-250 1910 or 231 8037 or 278 1991
Fax: +358-(0)2-250 3078
© Bridgettine Convent, Turku.
The Augustinenhof is a modern 4 star hotel located in the Mitte district of what was once East-Berlin. Close to the centre of the city the hotel offers accommodation in comfortable double guestrooms with en suites or in self contained apartments. Facilities include a mini-bar, television and telephone. A restaurant is open for all meals but there are plenty of choices for eating out, just steps away. Use of the hotel’s sauna is free for guests. The hotel is near the Friedrichstraße train station.
Photo: guestroom – © Augustinenhof Christian Hotel
The Augustinian monastery in Erfurt is a unique monument of medieval religious architecture and most of the buildings date from the 13 and 14th centuries. In 1505 Martin Luther joined the order and lived here as a monk. The monastery is well located near the centre of Erfurt and tourists, groups or anyone who wishes to overnight in a monastery are welcome to stay here. The newly renovated single and double guestrooms are all ensuite and one room has wheelchair access. All meals are available.
Set in a spectacular mountainous landscape the Benedictine Monastery of Ettal is located across the road from the monk’s popular hotel. The hotel is run professionally and a high standard of accommodation is provided with well equipped rooms and apartments. Each winter when the village is under snow, the countryside becomes a cross-country ski-ing paradise. The ‘fairytale’ Neuschwanstein Castle and the village of Oberammergau, home of the famous Passion Play are close by. For the record, the next play will take place in 2010.
Photo: Abbey of Ettal, Sandra vom Stein – istockphoto.com
A hard working community of Dominican nuns run a popular health centre at their monastery situated a ½ hour bus ride from the centre of Koblenz (between Cologne and Frankfurt) in Germany. The sisters have been trained professionally in the Kneipp tradition of treating the body, mind and spirit, an holistic technique introduced by German priest and naturopath, Father Sebastian Kneipp. This is a busy complex and the nuns have room in their modern, classy, hotel style guesthouse for 100 guests. Wholesome meals are professionally prepared and there is much to keep the guests occupied – spa, sauna, gym, solarium, massage, exercise programs and opportunities for walking, attending concerts and visiting the surrounding area. Facilities are available for the disabled.
Photo: © Nadejda Reid
The 4-star Hotel Maria-Laach is part of a Benedictine monastery founded over 900 years ago. Situated on the edge of a lake in the picturesque Ahr Valley and surrounded by terraced vineyards, the area is laced with hiking and walking trails. The hotels’ 70 single and double guestrrooms and apartments are equipped with an ensuite bathroom, hairdryer, telephone, and cable TV. Free Wi-Fi is provided. The hotel has 4 restaurants and facilities include a pool, sauna, steam-room and solarium.
The monastery is a ‘must’ to explore and is a thriving industry in itself. The monks run a nursery, orchard, a bell foundry, joinery, a 350 hectare farm, a bookshop and an art gallery. Fishing activities and boat hire on the lake can be arranged.
Ask for a lake view room.
© Hotel Maria-Laach
The Santa Isabel Abbey Hotel is located at the EUROPA theme park in the border triangle of Germany, Switzerland and France. This themed hotel is in the style of a Portuguese monastery and guests can live like monks or nuns – whilst living it up in luxury and with all the amenities of a modern 4-star hotel. All rooms are ensuite and air-conditioned. The park is something akin to the Disneyworld complex in Florida.
Photo: © Europa Park
Owned by the local Catholic diocese, this is a large, modern accommodation centre on Hong Kong Island, run along hotel lines and with all modern facilities. The complex consists of 219 single and twin rooms and a number of one and two bedroom suites. All guestrooms are ensuite and the front facing rooms have views over the harbour. Unlike many of the local hotels, Bishop Lei has a large roof top swimming pool and a gymnasium. A free shuttle bus service is provided to and from Admiralty, Central and Wanchai.
Photo: Rooftop swimming pool – Bishop Lei House, Naomi Kneeshaw
Well located in the Central district on Hong Kong Island and two minutes walk from the Peak Tram Station the Helena May is run by a Christian Community Outreach Association and offers clean, comfortable single and twin rooms to female travellers. The shared, marble bathrooms have recently been renovated in hotel style and the elegant public rooms are large and nicely furnished. Rooms are serviced daily and guests have use of the centre’s laundry facilities. All meals are available. Accommodation for men and women is available in smart studio apartments with full kitchens in an adjoining building. Studio apartments are rented on a monthly basis only. The nearest train stations are Central or Admiralty (5 mins. walk). Twin from $220HKG pp plus a small joining fee.
Photo: © Hong Kong Tourism Board
The Salvation Army turn up in the most unexpected places. If you ever happen to be looking for cheap (for Iceland), clean accommodation in Reykjavik then the Salvation Army guesthouse could be for you. At around USD$60 for a single room including breakfast, it is not fancy, but clean and comfortable enough. Share bathrooms are located on each floor and double and triple rooms are also available (or BYO sleeping bag). The staff -are friendly and helpful and the guesthouse is located in the centre of Reykjavik. Take the airport bus shuttle to and from the guesthouse. Photo courtesy Salvation Army Guesthouse, Reykjavik.
Photo courtesy Salvation Army Guesthouse, Reykjavik
All Hallows College has recently opened a bed and breakfast facility for travellers on a 15 acre campus at their Drumcondra property, in a residential area to the north of the city centre. The guestrooms have been newly renovated and all are ensuite. Single and twin rooms are available and all have tea and coffee making facilities. Along with breakfast, free parking is provided for guests. A bus stop is nearby and from Drumcondra it is only a 10 minute ride to the city centre. Groups, couples and individuals are welcome. €50 per night for bed & breakfast
Photo courtesy All Hallows
There is a little bit of Austria on the via Dolorosa in the heart of the Old City of Jerusalem. The historic Austrian Hospice of the Holy Family is run by Austrian Catholic priests, nuns and a band of volunteer helpers and offers accommodation to those visiting the religious sights of the city.
The single, double and three bed guestrooms all have en suite bathrooms. A hairdryer, safe and telephone are provided in all guestrooms and the centre has a lift to all floors. Inexpensive dormitory accommodation on a share bathroom basis is also available. The centre has been beautifully decorated by Austrian artists and a traditional Viennese café serves serves schnitzel and Sacher Torte and waist-expanding helpings of apfelstrudel.
Austrian Hospice of the Holy Family
Via Dolorosa 37
Tel.: +972 2 626 58 00
Fax: +972 2 627 58 16
Photo: Austrian Hospice – Rector Markus St. Bugnyar
Photo: Guestroom of the Austrian Hospice – Rector Markus St. Bugnyar
Cinque Terre – Bocca di Magra
Located in Liguria at the southern end of the Cinque Terre, the Monastery of Santa Croce opens its doors to tourists during the summer months. At most other times the monastery operates as a house of monastic retreat for pilgrims. Run by the Carmelitani Scalzi Fathers the monastery is in a spectacular position on a small hill which leads down to a beach on monastery property. Many of the guestrooms have magnificent views (as in the photo) and most have modern en suite facilities. All meals as well as a take away picnic lunches are available if required. A car is needed to access this monastery which is situated 10 kilometres from the nearest railway station on the Genoa-Rome line.
Photo courtesy Monastery of S. Croce.
Lombardy – Milan
The wonderfully well-located Monastery Hotel is one for the young or the young at heart. The hostel forms part of a lovely convent run by Franciscan Friars and is situated in the centre of the ‘designer fashion’ area of the city. The interior of the hostel has recently been renovated in a modern, contempory style. Guestrooms are equipped with Wi-Fi, air-conditioning and heating, ‘fridge, personal locker and an ensuite bathroom. Ultra-modern dormitory style accommodation is also available and is a cheaper option. Breakfast is included in the price. A kitchen is available for the use of guests and a laundry, mini-market, souvenir shop and a communal lounge with wide-screen TV are a feature. The Monastery Hostel is a 2-minute walk from Milan’s Turati Metro Station
Domus Australia is the latest religious guesthouse to open in Rome and is centrally located not far from Termini Rail Station.Tourists and pilgrims from all over the world are welcome to stay in this totally renovated ex seminary but the centre has a distinctly Aussie flavour having been an initiative of the Catholic Church in Australia. Visitors can choose to stay in single, double and triple guestrooms, all with airconditioning, mini-bar, telephone, TV and Internet access. A hot breakfast is included in the room rate and other facilities include a comfortable lounge room and rooftop bar, lift, chapel and a guest laundry. Rooms are available with wheelchair/disabled access.
© Domus Australia
This lovely guesthouse is located near the Vatican and was established by Carmelite nuns during Rome’s Jubilee Year in 19 . Many of the guestrooms have wonderful views over nearby Castel Sant’ Angelo. Over the years the guesthouse has been renovated and modernised and the well equipped guestrooms are large, most with ensuite bathrooms. Public facilities include indoor and outdoor sitting areas, restaurant, bar, Wi-Fi, 24 hr reception and a rooftop terrace. Restaurants and sidewalk cafes line the nearby Borgo Pio.
Domus Carmelitana is located near the Ponte Umberto I (bridge) which leads to the main central tourist area.
If you are going to Rome and want to stay near the Vatican, the Hotel Domus Aurelia is just a 15 minute walk away. There is also a bus stop nearby. The hotel is owned by the Ursuline Sisters of Sacred Mt. Varello but is run by the Catholic Charismatic religious group, the Community of Emmanuel. The hotel is clean, cheap and well-located with double or twin rooms at less than €40.00 pp per night including breakfast. At certain times of the year discounts apply for stays of more than one night. Undercover parking is available. Pets welcome.
Photo: Breakfast at the Hotel Domus Aurelia – ©Hotel Domus Aurelia
Since the 10th century the building housing the Domus Sessoriana has been part of the (still existing) Monastery of Santa Croce which is occupied by monks of the Cistercian order. The complex is run along hotel lines with rooms ranging from single, double and triple through to spacious suites. Room facilities include TV, Internet connection, mini-bar and air-conditioning. Each guestroom is en suite with hair dryer provided. Some rooms have balconies which overlook ancient Roman ruins and archaeological sites. The hotel is located near the San Giovanni Metro station on Line A and within walking distance of the Colosseum. A (pay) parking area is nearby and a shuttle service operates to and from the airport.
Photo: Guestroom Domus Sessoriana – ©Hotel Sessoriana
Rome – Rocca di Papa
Once a Francisccan monastery, the Villa Palazzola is stunningly located on the slopes of Monte Cavo and overlooks placid, blue Lake Albano. The Pope’s summer residence at Castel Gandolfo can be seen on the opposite side of the lake. The centre is owned and run by the Venerable English College, a Catholic seminary in Rome as a hotel/guesthouse for holidaymakers, pilgrims and for anyone looking for spectacular surroundings in which to rest and relax. Most of the guestooms are equipped with ensuite bathrooms and all meals are available. Groups are welcome as are individuals, couples and families. Ensuite rooms can be had from €68.00 (low season) with all meals (with wine) included. A large swimming pool is located in the grounds.
Rocca di Papa
Convento di Palazzola
Via dei Laghi km 10.800
00040 Rocca di Papa Rome
Tel: +39 (0)6 94 74 91 78
Fax: + 39 (0)6 94 74 91 66
Photos: courtesy Villa Palazzola
Sicily – Cefalù
Cefalu is situated on the northern Sicilian coast between Palermo and Messina. The Sisters of the Collegio di Maria offer hospitality to tourists in a splendidly located guesthouse on the Cefalu beachfront with stunning views over the bay from the windows and balconies of the front facing guestrooms. The accommodation section was once part of a 15th century convent. The rooms are not 5 star but they are comfortably furnished and all have ensuite facilities, heating and air-conditioning. The building has a lift and shops, cafes and waterfront restaurants are just steps away. The sisters offer single through to quadruple rooms and a 6-10 bed apartment is also available. A double room is approximately €45 per person per night in high season.
Photo: View from the Convento di Cefalù – © Collegio di Maria, Cefalù
Sicily – Palermo
The Sisters of the Collegio di Maria have another guesthouse in Palermo. ‘Homely’ would best describe the guestrooms here but they do have the basic comforts and are simply furnished. Single and double guestrooms are available and all have an ensuite bathroom. Some guestrooms are air-conditioned and have views over the town, the centre of which is just a few minutes on foot. The building has a lift and rooms are a couple of euros cheaper than those at the convent in Cefalù.
Photo: Guestroom Collegio di Maria, Palermo – © Collegio di Maria, Palermo.
Sicily – Palermo
The sisters run another guesthouse in Palermo which is situated in the historical centre, near the Duomo di Palermo, the town’s cathedral. The guestrooms here are all ensuite with heating and air-conditioning. Views and private car parking are included in the price of approximately €45 per person, per night for a twin/double room. Sometimes it may be difficult to secure accommodation in this particular guesthouse as rooms here are often taken up by university students.
Photo: Duomo di Palermo – © ENIT Italian Govt.Tourist Board. www.enit.it
Tuscany – Florence
The convent guesthouse is run by the Oblate Sisters of the Holy Spirit and is open to students for most of the year. However, during August and September when the students are on holiday, the sisters accommodate tourists. A number of twin, triple and family rooms, all with private bathroom facilities are available. No meals are served but the convent is in a busy area not far from the Santa Maria Novella train station and with numerous restaurants and cafes outside the door.
Istituto Santa Zita
Via Nazionale, 8
Tel: +39 (0)55 2398 202
Photo: Santa Zita – Trish Clark
Tuscany – Florence
The Sanctuary B & B is in the heart of Florence (near the Duomo) and is run by an order of Catholic nuns, the Suore Oblate dell’Assunzione. The location is ideal for exploring the tourist sites of Florence on foot.
The convent building is a former 15th century palazzo and recently the ‘hotel’ has undergone a substantial facelift and the facilites for guests have been upgraded. Rooms with ensuite bathroom are available and cheaper rooms are offered on a share bathroom basis. The spotlessly clean guestrooms are roomy and well furnished and noise is not a problem as the street has recently undergone traffic restrictions. Guests will be pleasantly surprised by the large private garden to the rear of the building. Breakfast is served daily and facilities include elevator, internet kiosk and air conditioning in all rooms. Shops and restaurants are close by. Like many similar establishments religion isn’t spruiked here. However, guests are welcome to join the sisters in daily Mass if they so wish. The Sanctuary B & B is a comfortable, inexpensive base in Florence and with a brand new website up and running, bookings can be made online.
Tuscany – San Gimignano
Located in the medieval walled hill-town of San Gimignano, the San Girolamo monastery guesthouse is run by an hospitable group of Benedictine Sisters who offer simple, clean and well-located accommodation in guestrooms suitable for up to5 people. Most guestrooms have ensuite facilities and breakfast is available. The sisters run programs of spiritual retreats but tourists and travellers keen to explore the surrounding area are welcome for overnight stays and are free to come and go as they please whilst bearing in mind that the monastery is foremost a place of prayer and retreat.
Monastero di San Girolamo
Vallombrosa Benedictine Nuns
Via Folgore, 30
53037 San Gimignano (Si)
Tel: +39 (0)577 940 573
Fax: +39 (0)577 940 573
Photo: Single guestroom Monastero di San Girolamo – © Vallombrosa Benedictine Nuns.
Umbria – Perugia – Assisi
The kind and congenial Franciscan Sisters of Atonement run a delightful guesthouse attached to their convent in Assisi. St Anthony’s has been a welcoming home away from home for tourists and pilgrims from all over the world for many years. The rooms here are small, clean and comfy, all with ensuites and the Franciscan hospitality can only be called 5 star. Some guestrooms have a tiny balcony with views over the town. English and Italian are both spoken. Breakfast is available. Very, very popular, so book early. The Franciscan Sisters of Atonement (Graymoor Sisters) are based in Garrison in New York and in Washington DC. In the generous spirit of Franciscan hospitality, both these houses welcome overnight guests for spiritual retreats. Have a look at www.graymoor.org
St. Anthony’s Guest House
Franciscan Sisters of the Atonement
Via Galeazzo Alessi, 10
Tel: +39 (0)75 812 542
Fax: +39 (0)75 813 723
Photo: St Anthony’s Guesthouse
Veneto – Venice
This inexpensive convent guesthouse is run by the Catholic order of the Daughters of St Joseph and is well situated for exploring the sights and sounds of Venice. The sisters offer inexpensive accommodation in a prime location near the Piazza San Marco and the famous Basilica and close to the Rialto vaporetto stop.
The guestrooms are modestly furnished, clean and with en suite bathrooms. The complex is not air conditioned and a 2230 curfew applies. No meals are available but cafes and restaurants are steps away. The sisters don’t speak much English so a faxed reservation using the free language translators on the internet is probably the best way to make a booking, if the language is a problem.
Istituto San Giuseppe
Ponte della Guerra
Tel: +39 (0)41 522 53 52 or 522 48 91
Fax: +39 (0)41 522 48 91
Photo: Istituto San Giuseppe – Ian Waters
Located in the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia, this beautiful monastery lies on a picturesque site high in the Osogovo Mountains, a few kilometres behind the town of Kriva Palanka. The monastery is as inspiring to-day as it was when it was established in the 12th century. Ancient frescoes adorn the walls and the monastery buildings are well preserved. Most of the monks have long gone but those who remain offer hospitality to tourists. Accommodation is provided in modestly equipped guestrooms of various configurations and a fully equipped kitchen is available for the use of guests. A cafe/restaurant and art gallery are on site. A bus from Kriva Palanka stops at the monastery.
Photo courtesy www.macedoniancities.com
Marsascala is a small seaside resort town on the south-east coast of Malta not far from Valletta the capital. Belvanjos is a family run Christian guesthouse offering a high standard of accommodation in large ensuite, air-conditioned guestrooms. Tea and coffee making facilities are provided in each room and guests have use of a laundry. The flat roof of the guesthouse doubles as a panoramic sun bathing area. The guesthouse is within walking distance of the harbour, shops and restaurants, many of which specialise in seafood.
Photo: Marsascala Harbour – MichaelUtech
Căpriana Monastery is one of the oldest monasteries of the Republic of Moldova, dating back to the early 1420s. Soon after it was established the monastery was given ‘Royal’ status after visits by the ruling heirachy including Alexandru cel Bun otherwise known as Alexander The Good, Stefan del Mare or Stefan the Great and Alexandru Lăpuşneanu. The monastery is located 35 kms north-west of Chișinău in the picturesque Străşeni district of the Codri Forest region.
The monastery has been offering accommodation to visitors since 2008 when it was restored after being devastated by the Communists. Twin guestrooms are now available and bathrooms are shared. All meals are served. A donation is requested for overnight stays.
Frumoasa Monastery is located on the banks of the River Ikel in a pretty, rural area approximately 40 km north of Chisinau (the capital of the Republic of Moldova). The nuns who live here offer accommodation to men and women during the summer months (from April) and meals are available if required. At present, bathrooms are on a shared basis. There is no set charge for overnight stays and accommodation is offered on a donation basis. Day visitors are welcome and a ‘monastery tour’ to Hincu and Capriana can be arranged from here for a small charge. The monasteries are open every day from 6:00 to 20:00, including week-ends. Access for the disabled is not provided.
Dress code for men visiting the monastery churches: knees and shoulders must be covered at all times. For women: preferably a skirt covering the knees and shoulders while the head must be covered at all times.
Nisporeni District – Bursuc
Hincu ( Hâncu) Monastery
Hincu Monastery is located in the tiny village of Bursac in the Nisporeni area of central Moldova. The monastery was founded in 1678 and is said to be one of the richest monasteries in the country. The monastery was shut down by the Soviets for over 30 years from 1956 and since it was reopened in the 1990s the nuns attached to the monastery have been offering year round accommodation to men, women and children. Meals are available and are prepared using monastery grown produce. The sisters bottle and sell water from mineral springs located on the property.
The 3 star Art Hotel is located 175 m from a long sandy beach in the seaside district of Scheveningen in The Hague, the international city of justice and peace. Modern, comfortable rooms are available on a B & B basis along with spacious, fully equipped apartments. Accommodation is also available in a former rectory still owned by the Catholic Church. The complex is located next to the Lourdes Grot, a unique 1:13 scale replica of the Lourdes Grotto in Massabielle, France and which is open to the public between 9am-6pm daily. The Lourdes parish was established in 1913. The area is known as the ‘Kropholler Kerkdorp’ (Kropholler’s church village) after the architect A J Kropholler, one of the most famous turn of the century ‘traditionalist’ Dutch architects. Kropholler Kerkdorp is maintained by theStichting Vrienden van de Lourdeskerk (Friends of the Lourdes Church Foundation).
From The Hague it is easy to explore the surrounding areas of this tiny country. Delft, famous for pottery and the painter Vermeer is nearby. Amsterdam is just 40 kms from The Hague. The Keukenhof, Holland’s famous display bulb gardens are located in nearby Lisse, the heart of the Dutch tulip district and can be easily reached by train or bus. www.keukenhof.nl
photo: © Art’otel
The Mânăstirea Caraiman (Holy Cross Monastery), a large, most handsome Christian/Orthodox monastery is situated on the outskirts of Busteni, a tiny mountain village in the Prahova Mountains in central Romania. The monastery is a haven of peace and spirituality where a large congregation of priests live and work, and is visited by thousands of worshippers and tourists each year. Near the monastery is a comfortable apartment which offers accommodation to those exploring the area or passing through. Managed by local woman Carmen Calin, the apartment is rated as a 3 star holiday unit which is fully furnished and self-contained. Amenities include two bedrooms both with queen size beds, bathroom, cosy sitting area with sofa bed, dining room, heating, satellite TV and WiFi. The apartment is in a great location for further exploring or for winter sport enthusiasts.
Apartment Luxor Busteni
Address: Aleea Silva no 52,
Block E, Apt 2,
ZIP: 105500, Busteni, Prahova Valley-Brasov
Valaam is one of the largest and oldest (over 1000 years) Russian Orthodox Monasteries in the country. The monastery is in a stunningly picturesque position on an island archipelago overlooking Lake Ladoga. Over the past 10 years extensive renovations and restorations have been carried out and a guesthouse has been established for visitors. The monks run programs of retreat and pilgrimage and thousands of visitors come here each year. The monastery is depicted on Russia’s 25 Ruble coin.
Photo: Russian Orthodox Monastery on Valaam Island in Lake Ladoga, Boris Shapiro – istockphoto.com
The Old Kirk Hotel and Restaurant is located is in the picturesque village of Ballater, in Royal Deeside, 33 miles west of Aberdeen and ideally located for exploring the Cairngorms National Park, following the famous Whiskey Trail or the Victorian Heritage Trail and salmon fishing in the River Dee. Deeside is preceded with the word ‘Royal’ because the summer residence of the British Royal Family, Balmoral Castle is in the area. The Old Kirk Hotel was once a working parish church which has been tastefully converted into a restaurant and cafe (on the ground floor) and guestrooms above. The restaurant is a winner of the Taste of Grampian Restaurant of the Year award.
Photo (c) Auld Kirk Hotel
Blairadam By Kelty
While not strictly a tourist facility, Casa Camino is the perfect escape for those looking to revive the body, mind and soul in the peace and tranquility of picturesque rural Scotland. A small community of trained spiritual directors are on hand to answer questions or guide visitors in a spiritual retreat following the program ‘Pathways to Personal Renewal’.
Accommodation is in spacious, well-furnished guest rooms and the house is well heated. Scenic views over the green rolling hills and across Loch Leven are a feature and walking and cycling paths are nearby. A small chapel is on the premises.
By Kelty KY4 0HU
Tel: +44 (0)1383 838127
The Adelaide Place Baptist Church in Glasgow runs a remarkably good guesthouse in the centre of the city. Accommodation is available for single people, couples and families in twin, double and family rooms all at most reasonable prices (double room for around £60.00 per night) considering the central location. Most guestrooms are en suite and all are centrally heated. Breakfast is extra and available from £2.20pp (tea and toast). A full hot English breakfast is around £6.50.Television sets are in each room and Internet access is provided (downstairs). There is no on-site parking but a pay parking station is nearby.
Photo: Adelaide’s Guesthouse – courtesy www.visitscotland.com
This picture postcard abbey clings to the side of the Montserrat Mountain and is situated approximately 50 kilometres west of Barcelona. The monastery can be reached by car, (to the foot of the mountain) on foot and by cable car. Accommodation is provided in the abbey hotel or in modern apartments sleeping up to 4 people. There is much to see and do here as the abbey has a 1000 year history. After exploring the cultural treasures take one of the scenic mountain walks or browse the daily Montserrat market which is run by locals selling their wares.
Photo: Abbey of Montserrat Caroline Beecham – istockphoto.com
The 12th century former Benedictine monastery is now run by priests of the Mercedario Catholic Order (Order of Mercy) and is situated in the enclave of Poio in Galicia and a much used resting place for pilgrims after they have walked the Camino de Santiago to the capital of Galicia, Santiago de Compostela. Poio is about a forty minute drive south of Santiago de Compostela and an outer suburb of the oceanfront town of Pontevedra. The monastery is close to the local beaches and the guesthouse is quite vast and has almost 300 guestrooms, most with en suite bathrooms. All meals are available in the hotel restaurant and guests can come and go as they please.
Photo: Monastery of Poio © www.tourgalicia.es
The monastery is situated between the cities of Pamplona and Burgos in the wine growing region of La Rioja. The monastery has been declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO and in one of its wings a unique 4 star hotel has been established. All guestrooms are ensuite and some have views over the countryside or over the inner courtyard of the monastery. The monastery has a gourmet restaurant and guestrooms are air-conditioned with mini -bar, telephone, satellite TV, safe and hairdryer. Credit cards are accepted and there is plenty of parking.
Photo: © Yuso Monastery
This alpine monastery is where, up until 2005, canons of the Augustinian order of Great St Bernard bred and trained the Great Saint Bernard dogs for alpine rescues. Now that the dogs have been superseded by helicopters and snowmobiles the friars concentrate on providing pastoral support and a warm, hospitable place of friendship and shelter for skiers, pilgrims and travellers. The friars conduct retreats and alpine pilgrimages (on skis) along with hiking and skiing excursions.
The Great St Bernard dogs are now looked after by a foundation which has undertaken to care for the breed, just as the religious community has done in the past. Each year the dogs are returned to the monastery for summer holidays with the monks. The dogs can be visited at their kennels in Martigny. Details at www.fondation-barry.ch
l’Hospice du Great St.Bernard
Tel +41 (0)27 787.12.36
Phone between 1000 and 1130 and between 1600 and 1730
Fax: +41 27 787.11.07 41 27 787.11.53 fax ++41 27 787.11.92
Photo: St. Bernard dogs, Kurt Reichenbach
The monks run another centre near the Simplon Pass, which connects Switzerland and Italy. The Simplon Hospice is open to families and groups (large or small) and would suit those looking for an active holiday experience – summer or winter. The hospice has a chapel and spiritual activities can also be arranged.
CH 3907 Simplon Dorf
Tel: +41 27 979 13 22
Fax: +41 27 979 14 79
Photo: Monastery buildings- St Bernard’s Pass, x-drew – istockphoto.com
Situated in a peaceful location in the resort town of Interlaken the Artos Christian Hotel accommodates guests in modern comfort in single or double rooms all with private bathrooms, Internet points and television. Spacious suites and family rooms sleeping up to six people are also available. Most guestrooms have a balcony and a scenic view. Facilities include a games room for the kids and a spa, sauna and steam room for the adults. The property has a number of restaurants including a self- serve cafeteria and a semi- formal dining room. On-site parking is available (small charge).
Photo: Artos Christian Hotel – courtesy Swiss Methodist Hotels.
The Protestant Church of Christ in Thailand runs this purpose built Christian guesthouse for visitors to Thailand (including families and general travellers) looking for cheap, clean, safe and well located accommodation in what is described as ‘a green oasis in the heart of Bangkok’. Meals are available. The centre is located near Bangkok’s Sky-train and close to shops, restaurants and markets. Tours and excursions can be arranged from here. Breakfast is included in the price of a room which ranges from 700.00 Baht pp for a twin room and up to 2,200.00 Baht for a quad room.
Photo: Bangkok Christian Guesthouse Photo © Bangkok Christian Guesthouse.
In a woodsy area near Colombia in uptown New York, (1 hour north by car) the Anglican Sisters of the Community of the Holy Spirit make their living by working the land. The sisters grow multiple crops for their own use and to sell at the local Saturday farmer’s market in Brewster. Volunteers can help the sisters out in their work and visitors are catered for in single guestrooms. Guests can join the sisters in evening prayer and for a meal on some evenings. The sisters have a Community House on West 113th Street in New York City where guests can make a retreat and join the community in liturgical services.
Community of the Holy Spirit
118 Federal Hill Road
Brewster NY 1059
Tel: +1 845 278 9777
Tel. contact in New York City: +1 212 666 8249
Photos (c) CHS Sisters
New York City
The centre is situated on the campus of the General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church of the USA, in the Chelsea area of Manhattan, New York. The centre offers comfortable accommodation to travellers and tourists in modern, well furnished, en suite guestrooms. Little extras, such as a hair dryer, flat screen TV, an iron and tea and coffee making facilities are provided. All meals are available and the centre is situated close to shops and restaurants.
Photo: Guestroom, Desmond Tutu Centre.
New York City
The House of the Redeemer is situated in the Upper East Side of New York City and is run by the Episcopal Church, which offers hospitality to people of all faiths and nationalities. The building is a designated New York City Landmark of cultural, architectural and historical interest. Single and double rooms are available, some with air-conditioning and ensuite bathrooms. Musical and other cultural events are held here throughout the year.
Photo (c) House of the Redeemer
New York City
Leo House is a real find in busy metropolitan New York and a home away from home in the heart of busy Manhattan. The centre is run by the Catholic Sisters of St Agnes and is situated in the suburb of Chelsea.
Guests are accommodated in modest single or double guestrooms with the option of private or shared bathroom facilities. Families are catered for in rooms with multiple beds and guests can while away some time in a small, well-kept outdoor garden. Breakfast is the only meal provided but the centre is in an area where cafes and restaurants are in good supply.
The centre is 2 blocks from the nearest subway. Bookings can be made by telephone or fax.
The Leo House
332 West 23rd St
New York NY 10011
Tel: +1 212 929 1010
Fax: +1 212 366 6801
Photo:© The Leo House
New York City
The Landmark Guest Rooms can be found in a gracious old building which forms part of the Union Theological Seminary, a multi-denominational Christian seminary located across the street from the campus of Columbia University in Morningside Heights in the Manhattan neighborhood. Single and double/twin guest rooms are available and all have ensuites, cable TV, Internet access, iron, hair dryer and mini ‘fridge. There is a 24 hour front desk and rooms are serviced daily. Guestrooms are air-conditioned and complimentary continental breakfast is included in the price, which is approx. $135 single and $165 double per night plus tax.
Photo: Union Theological Seminary – ©Union Theological Seminary
The Order of St. Helena is a religious order for women, attached to the Episcopal Church. The order consists of lay sisters and those ordained to the priesthood. The sisters in Augusta run Ascension House a modern guesthouse for both men and women who wish to make a retreat (private or with direction), or share in the Daily Offices of the community. Single and twin rooms are available and guests may join the sisters for most meals.
Photo (c) Convent of St Helena
Thanks to the generous hospitality of the Benedictine sisters of St Gertrude’s, overnighting in the serene tranquility of a working monastery is a comfortable, restorative experience. The sisters go the extra mile to ensure their guests are well looked after. Suites are spacious and well-appointed and furnished with antiques. Each guestroom has a private bathroom and beds are fitted with pillow-top mattresses. Facilities include a flat screen TV, Wi-Fi access and some rooms have a kitchenette and a sitting room. A hearty breakfast is served daily and each evening the sisters’ share heavenly (calorie-free) homemade dessert with guests. If celebrating a special occasion complimentary champagne is provided as a gift from the community.
From $89.00 per room + tax. Credit cards are accepted.
© Inn of St Gertrude
Benedictine monks of the Monastery of the Holy Cross offer award winning accommodation in 2 well furnished apartments attached to their 19th century monastery, with easy transport access to downtown Chicago. The monastery’s garden apartment consists of 2 bedrooms, lounge, dining room and kitchen and a loft apartment with 3 bedrooms has similar facilities and sleeps up to 5 people. Both apartments are fully air conditioned with TV and DVD, a ‘starter pack’ of goodies in the refrigerator and off street parking. Guests can make their own breakfast or take advantage of a generous repast prepared by the monks. A complimentary newspaper and a fresh fruit basket are provided daily. Credit cards are accepted. Guests can join in liturgical services, including the Gregorian Chant.
Monastery of the Holy Cross
3111 South Aberdeen Street (corner of 31st street and Aberdeen Street)
Chicago IL 60608-6503
Tel: +1 773 927 7424 ext 202
Fax: +1 773 927 5734
Photo: Chicago skyline: Jeremy Edwards istockphoto
St Anthony’s Franciscan Monastery is located by the water, next to the Franciscan Guest House where families and travellers are welcome for affordable holidays for a week-end or weekly stay. There are actually 5 separate guesthouses and cottages offering standard rooms to muti-room suites and all are located next to downtown Kennebunkport and Kennebunk Beach. Breakfast is included in the price which ranges between $55.00 and $250.00 per room/suite/cottage all of which are equipped with a private bathroom and cable TV. Facilities include air-conditioning, hair-dryer (on request), saltwater pool and daily linen change. Discover more about the area at www.kennebunkport.org
Photo – Franciscan Guesthouse and monastery buildings in the foreground. Photo courtesy St Anthony’s Monastery.
The Society of St John the Evangelist is an Anglican religious order governed in the USA by the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada. The monastery is located on a tree lined avenue which follows the curves of the Charles River in the midst of the campuses of Harvard University. The hospitable monks who live here run a monastery guesthouse with a number of single and double guestrooms available for those who might like to combine a visit to Boston with a religious retreat. Guestrooms are fitted with a washbasin and offered on a share bathroom basis. Meals can be taken with the brothers in the monastery refectory. Guests are welcome from Tuesday to Friday and depart on or before the following Sunday. Parking at the monastery is limited to those with accessibility needs, however there are parking garages within a block of the Monastery.
Photo: Tower of Harvard’s Eliot House behind Memorial Drive near the monastery. Jorge Salcedo istockphoto
The past life of The Olive Branch Retreat was as a Franciscan Convent named ‘Portiuncula’, which means ‘Little Portion’. It was a Catholic retreat centre for nuns. Due to their vow of poverty, the convent was modest in architecture as well as decoration. Under the discerning eye of the new owners, it has been renovated and restored into a cozy, yet upscale retreat centre open for all to enjoy. Now, there are light-filled rooms, incredible views, vintage furniture and fantastic mattresses all wrapped into an ‘old world’ aesthetic.
The Olive Branch is located in the heart of a country-side abundant with small farms and lakes in rural USA; yet still less than two hours from an international airport. This resort is loaded with unique character including a renovated chicken barn, semi-private lake, nature walking trails, courtyard, over-sized patio, orchard and great fishing. With enough space to sleep 22 people, this is a great location for large or small encounters.
© Olive Branch Retreat
The Robertshaw Country House sits in a lush, green country semi-rural location on the outskirts of Greensburg in the spacious grounds of the St. Emma Monastery, which was established in 1931 for Benedictine nuns. The house is operated as a B & B for tourists and visitors and all are welcome to explore the estate. A number of guestrooms offer various bed and room configurations and some have small sitting areas. All but one guestroom has an ensuite bathroom. Guests are welcome to join the sisters for The Liturgy of the Hours or daily Mass if they so wish. Breakfast is the only meal available and the property is not suitable for young children. Theatres, museums, shops and parks can be found in nearby Greensburg and the monastery is located of Route 22.
Robertshaw Country House
St. Emma Monastery
1001 Harvey Avenue
Greensburg, PA 15601
The Benedictine monks of Caldey Abbey welcome visitors to their historic island home. A monastery has been located here for more than 1000 years. Day-trippers to Caldey can take a guided tour of the island, picnic on a sandy beach or explore the island on the various walking tracks. Highlights include medieval churches, a lighthouse, a tiny village with a museum, a café, a Post Office/museum and a gift shop selling perfumes, soaps, biscuits and chocolates made by the monks. Overnight guests who wish to spend some quiet time, or make a private retreat are provided with accommodation and all meals. Visitors are welcome to join the monks in services in the abbey church.
See the website for details of opening times and for information on the boat crossings from Tenby Harbour.
© Caldey Abbey