Sunday, October 30, 2011

More Monastery Madness

I recently discovered a good online source for lodging in monasteries, convents and guest houses with religious affiliation. It is It covers places around the world, not just those in traditionally Christian countries like Italy, France and Belgium.
For the most part, monasteries and their ilk provide clean, quiet, lodging for travellers at lower cost than hotels with similar amenities. Since the beginnings of monasteries in the early Middle Ages, some religious orders have made hospitality for travellers and pilgrims a large part of their mission. That tradition continues today, sometimes in surprising places.
Even in the hedonistic beach resort of Mombasa, Kenya you can take refuge in a guest house with Christian affiliation. And in pricey Reykjavik, Iceland, there is a Salvation Army guest house right downtown where a single room goes for about $60 a night.
Some other interesting choices include the New Valama Russian Orthodox monastery in Finland and the Monasterium Poort Ackere in the centre of medieval Ghent, Belgium, At the latter, rooms start at 46 euros per night. And who knew that monasteries catered to spa travellers? At least one does, near Kobelnz, Germany, where nuns with training in mind-body wellness operate a health resort in the picturesque rolling hills near the confluence of the Moselle and Rhine Rivers.
For extensive travels, you might want to invest in one or more of the three guidebooks associated with this site.



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