What are they, special rules?
What is a monastery?
Technically a monastery is defined as "the residence of a religious community", or " A monastery is the habitation of monks. Originally: a hermit's cell. Christian monasteries are also called abbey, priory, charterhouse, friary, and preceptory, while the habitation of nuns can also be called a convent".
We have used "monastery" in the broadest sense to cover all the various types of accommodation offered by a religious Order or the Diocese/Parish of an area - so we've included convents, "holiday homes" where the religious take holidays (Yes they sometimes need a break too!), pilgrimage accommodation and houses owned and operated for a dioceses.etc.
For many, offering accommodation is an aspect of their life that supports their work in the community and further afield.
In most circumstances the Order or Dioceses that own the house will be part of the team operating it - assisting at reception, cleaning and gardening. For others either the age of the community or the fact that they are a closed Order necessitates the assistance of a staff of lay people to manage the house for them. If this is a query for you in reviewing a specific guest house, please contact us in making your booking.
Monastery Stays understands and assures the 'house policies' of each venue listed and works to bring their offering to you - to unlock this otherwise little known travel experience.
Back to Top What is the accommodation like?
Monasteries and convent guest houses are a warm and inviting accommodation experience - a true insight to local life in your destination. Your lodgings will be of a standard hotel equivalent (3 star) as rated by us in selecting places for booking through Monastery Stays.
All rooms are booked with private bathrooms. These may be ensuite or privately accessed adjacent to your room (usually depends on the age and design of the building).
Do not expect luxury - that is not a monstery's purpose - expect clean, well presented simple and functional rooms with warm hospitality from your hosts.
Accommodation will typically be in part of the house, while another will be the home and active work of the community that live there with you. In most circumstances the Order or dioceses that own the house will be part of the team operating it - assisting at reception, cleaning and gardening. For others either the age of the community or the fact that they are a closed Order necessitates the assistance of a staff of lay people to manage the house for them. If this is a query for you in reviewing a specific guest house, please contact us in making your booking.
Room Prices listed in the 'Make a booking' section of every guest house Overview page are per room per night, including the Monastery Room Rate & Monastery Stays Booking Fee - so what you see is the total with no extras to be added and well priced compared to equal quality 'hotel' lodgings.
Back to Top Are they open to all?
At monasteries all are welcome with no judgment or inquisition - the curious, the traveller, those simply seeking accommodation and a peaceful environment - from all backgrounds, faiths and race. All guests are treated with utmost respect.
Since the 5th Century monasteries and abbeys have been hosting guests who call at the door. Most monasteries follow the Rule of St. Benedict written fifteen centuries ago. The Rule, modified for individual Orders is followed by most male and female orders of monastics living a life of poverty, chastity and most of all obedience - it can't be an easy life. It is a life devoted to others and hence the emphasis on hospitality in the Rule of St. Benedict. Each day in the life of the nuns or monks who host you, a chapter of the Rule is read.
It's your reason - be it as a traveller or something deeper. It is a personal and private motivation to stay in a monastery and there is no bar to entry.
Back to Top Why the curfew?
So everyone can get some sleep. Many of the monasteries or convents don't have dedicated full time receptionists, night porters; nuns or monks undertake this role, and they usually need to be up early for community life.
Curfews if applicable are shown in the - 'Important Information' - section of every guest house Overview page.
Important - do not risk losing your booking by arriving after curfew - the evening closing time. You will need to arrive at the monastery in good time before its curfew. Once the monastery closes for the evening - that's it - you will not be admitted to the monastery until the next morning, you will still be charged for the confirmed accommodation. Telephoning in advance to announce an arrival time later than the curfew time, will not be received well and your booking is likely to be formally cancelled. We can take no responsibility for your loss by you not adhering to the curfew rule on the website - please respect the wishes of the community and of their guest house where you are staying.
Please do not ask for an exception to be made, as it will only cause discord. So please carefully check your travel arrival time into the locality and allow time to get to the monastery - then check this against the curfew time stated in the top right - 'Important Information' - section of every guest house page.
Back to Top Minimum number of nights
Some monastery and convent guest houses require a minimum number of nights to be booked.
If this is the case, the guest houses will not be presented in a Search for Arrive / Depart dates defining a Stay less than their minimum (e.g. 1 night); or if you adjust the dates while viewing a specific guest house, you will be presented with a message to advise you in your Search.
Standard room prices for 2+ night Stays are presented by the guest houses, one night Stays may require a minor price increase; 5-10 EUR/night.
Back to Top Can we arrive late?
The first day 'Checkin' time is shown in the 'Important Information' - section of every guest house Overview page.
This is the time the reception staff is available, there may not be anybody to attend to you if you arrive outside of this time frame and you may not be able to access your room.
So please carefully check your travel arrival time into the locality and allow time to get to the monastery within the shown checkin time and definitely before the curfew.
Please do not ask to arrive after the curfew time, please review the information on the curfew so that you will respect the wishes of the community and of their guest house where you are staying.
If in doubt, you must include information in the Additional Requirements section of the Travel Plan Authorisation.
Back to Top Can we leave early?
The monasteries and convent guest houses are working communities and so have their own rules about when the house opens. Normally a monastery will be open from 7am and the 'Checkout' time is shown in the top right - 'Make a booking' - section of every guest house Overview page.
This is the time the reception staff is available, there may not be anybody to attend to you outside of this time frame.
Some guest houses will make special arrangements to open the doors early or leave your key - you must ensure you include any such request in the Additional Requirements section of the Travel Plan Authorisation.
Do not assume - we need to ask on your behalf.
The Pay Later - balance payable at the accommodation must be settled the day prior to departure if you are leaving outside of the advised 'Checkout' time.
Back to Top Can we take the children?
Children are welcome at a monastery or convent guest house.
Many monasteries have larger rooms suitable for families as a group.
In 'Make a booking' you should select rooms based on a bed per person, including children unless they require a cot/crib. See FAQs on Rooms
There is a section in the Travel Plan Authorisation process to indicate:
The number and age of children in your booking if appropriate; and
If you have a very young child and need to request a cot in your room (not always available so allow for taking your own), please advise us in the Additional Requirements section. Cots where available are either no charge or a discretionary donation to the guest house for linen/use.
Monastery Stays include this information in our booking process with the monastery and will liaise with you via the Customer Console regarding any questions and discounts extended based on the number and age of the children.
Back to Top Can I book for next year?
Monasteries are a popular form of accommodation so you need to book early, however, not all monasteries open their books a long time ahead. Our experience suggests most monasteries start to take bookings for the following year from early August.
If you have a specific booking (for a group, an occasion etc), submit your Travel Plan and we will enquire for you.
If we can't get you in yet because they tell us it is too early - we'll email you with further instruction about a new Travel Plan or when to resubmit.
Remember - No Availability = No Booking = No Charge - so when you are ready to book, this is a simple to use system, with no risk to you. You either get a confirmed booking at a Preference on your Travel Plan, or you you can try again with new Preference(s) or dates.
Back to Top Are longer stays possible?
Monastery and convent guest houses do accept longer stays (several weeks, but not months), it will just be a matter of booking early enough (months not weeks) in advance to precede other guests and groups to secure the room(s).
The Prices on the site are the standard for booking through Monastery Stays, in the situation of a longer stay (2 weeks or more) the guest house may have a reduced rate which we will confirm on booking.
Back to Top Do we need to partake in religious activities?
Monastery and convent guest houses are a warm and inviting accommodation experience - an authentic insight to local life in your destination.
They are open to all and there is no obligation or question of religious requirement.
As genuine monastery and convent guest houses, should you wish you can interact with the Order that own/operate the house and their services.
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