One of the best things about travel is the planning phase, when you’re researching all the amazing places you might visit or the exotic foods you might try. Hotels, however, don’t always inspire the same level of excitement, but there are some worthwhile options.
I delved into some of the quirky hotel alternatives in a previous post here, but thought I’d deep-dive into one of the lesser known but genuinely amazing options: monasteries.
According to the experts at Monasteries.com, a site that allows you to book stays in some of the most stunning monasteries across Europe, these hidden gems are a unique, peaceful and surprisingly affordable option – offering rare insights into their history and tradition. Many of them are even on the doorstep of the most iconic monuments and attractions.
Gorgeous historic buildings, impressive artworks, walled gardens cloistered away from the bustle of the world outside; each monastery is a secluded retreat from modern living. While some lack the mod-cons of 21st century living, many have been upgraded to hotel levels.
Want a little inspo? Here are some of the most impressive monasteries you can stay in.
Casa Monteripido, Perugia, Italy
Part of the ancient Convent of San Francesco del Monte in Perugia, this exquisite property is just 15 minutes walk from the historic centre of town. Surrounded by beautiful greenery, the monastery offers single, double and triple share rooms, all with private bathrooms.
Casa Di Santa Brigida, Rome, Italy
Rome is one of those cities with hidden gems around almost every corner. This 13th century monastery is one of them. Just a short walk from the Palazzo Farnese and Galleria Spada, Casa Di Santa Brigada offers single and double rooms, plus a charming rooftop terrace.
Hotellerie du Couvent, Oberbronn, France
Set within a leafy garden at the heart of the Vosges du Nord Regional Park in Alsace, Hotellerie du Couvent Oberbronn is like stepping into a set piece from the Sound of Music. The hills are alive with the sound of birdsong and prayer. The Community of the Siters of the Most Holy Savior invite you to take part in time of prayer, meditation and celebration.
Another Italian gem is the Casa per ferie la Culla in Sorrento, gazing out to Naples and Mt Vesuvius. It offers 15 ensuite rooms, as well as four self-catering apartments. It’s an easy stroll down to the beaches of Sorrento, as well as the hydrofoil port for day trips to Naples.
Anyone from any religious background can stay in a monastery, so long as you are respectful of the residents and their traditions. It’s a unique experience and one unlikely to forget.
Have you stayed at any monasteries? What did you think?