Booking the Monasteries, Convents, and Places of Retreat
We have designed our website to make it as simple as possible for visitors who may wish to stay at one of the monasteries or convents featured on it to do so. Clearly, the experience of staying at a monastery or convent is different to doing so elsewhere, and so too is the experience of booking your stay. So while we do indeed make it as simple as possible, it is well worth being aware of the advice below:
- Reservations are essential for overnight stays. Where they do not share their live availability with us, they will accept (or decline) your booking within 24 hours, and you will then take our Letter of Introduction, complete with Arrival Information and your Booking Details, with you on arrival.
- Many Monasteries' are not able to respond to enquiries from customers directly, so we recommend you use this website to answer your questions, and make your reservation online.
Making the Best Of Your Monastic Travels
Deciding to visit a monastery or convent is a very deliberate choice and itself makes a statement about the kind of trip you are going to make. It’s a decision to make with one’s eyes wide open and having done a fair amount of research about the place you are going to (as with any trip!); in making it, a visitor is undertaking to go to the home of a group of people who have themselves taken a very distinct path in life. Implicit, then, in this, is that you as the visitor will embrace the ethos and routine of the monastery/convent concerned. This of course may be the very purpose of the visit, in which case we risk preaching to the choir here(!), but it is nonetheless important to be really clear at the outset that staying at one of these places will be unlike other holidays.
For many, “Experiencing the monastic life” is a wonderfully enriching and rejuvenating way to spend time – which is of course why we have set up this website. Naturally you may choose to make a booking at a monastery because of its excellent location of because it is a fraction of the price of the hotel next door, which of course is fine! But we would suggest there is a huge amount to be gained by taking advantage of what each monastery has to offer. By attending the services, walking the grounds, speaking with the monks (if and when appropriate), enjoying the tranquillity, participating in the schedule of the abbey, and indeed praying alongside the community, one can then begin to get a true sense of what monastic life is all about. By doing this, visitors can gain a much deeper appreciation of the places they visit, and the people they meet.
It’s also true of every trip (monastery or otherwise!) that it’s often the unexpected or spontaneous that brings with it the most cherished memories – so while good planning is essential, we’d advise against over-choreographing your visit and instead to factor in plenty of time for seeing what’s just around the next corner…