Denise Chen - Oct 28, 2008

When searching for accommodation on the internet or through travel agents, it is fair to say that not that many people look for or even consider monasteries and convents. However, the numbers of such people are rising as such religion-based institutes are now taking the role of alternative, sometimes better, options when on holiday. They now even have their own websites, sometimes even in English as well as the original language. The attitude towards the places is changing. People now realise that it is not necessary to be of religious origin to visit a monastery or convent.


Monasteries and convents, in fairness, do have their limitations. For example, it is not particularly acceptable to roll in drunk at 3 o’clock in the morning like in normal hotels. Similarly, there are sometimes gender restrictions. In the Monastero de Santo Domingo de Silos in Burgos, Spain, there are only men, whereas the Monastero de San Bento in Navarra hosts only women. Curfews, daytime lockouts and silence may also hinder the enjoyment of a long stay.


Nevertheless, the nuns’ singing, quaint garden areas and peaceful surroundings make up for the negatives. If they are not enough, then the price certainly makes up for the negatives. At 30 something EURO per night, the average price of for example Germany’s 311 cloisters can be really pleasant on the pocket. As long as you do not consider mini bars and room service to be important, religion-based accommodation can be a huge bargain. There are other unforgettable benefits such as homemade beer and marzipan. These items are particularly popular in Germany where such establishments are often visited purely thanks to the gastronomically appealing delights on offer.


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