When you truly need to get away, no accommodation can promise silence and serenity like a monastery. Although certainly not for everyone, a monastic vacation can be a rewarding experience.
Many monasteries offer guest rooms at reasonable rates and some even let you choose how much to give. Before you decide to stay at a monastery, be sure to read all of the available information, since these are not traditional bed and breakfasts. For example, some monasteries observe long periods of complete silence every day. These monasteries all welcome overnight visitors.
Holy Cross Monastery
In West Park, New York, Holy Cross Monastery provides rooms for those looking for a place to contemplate. Guests here stay in former monk cells, with a bed, dresser, desk, and lamp. Bathrooms are shared and meals are taken with members of the monastic community. Worship services are open to guests.
Mount Saviour Monastery
The men's guest house has 15 small, private rooms, while the guest house for women and couples has two double rooms and three single rooms. Also available are three separate facilities, each with a kitchen area.
Society of Saint John the Evangelist
"Directed" retreats (which include daily meetings with a monastery director) and individual retreats are offered. Facilities include the monastery in Cambridge and Emery House in West Newbury (45 miles north of Boston).
Abbey of Gethsemani
Guests have been received at the abbey since it opened in 1848. Guests are encouraged to assist the monks at the Eucharist and prayer and monks are available for consultations. Each guest room has its own shower and offerings are made on a free-will basis.
St. Bernard Abbey
Guest rooms for men are air-conditioned with a common bathroom, while women and couples have air-conditioning and a private bathroom. Guests eat with the monks and dinner is a formal monastic meal. Offerings are made on a free-will basis.
Monastery of the Holy Cross
In Chicago, this monastery offers individual guest rooms with a shared bathroom. Guests can join the monks in daily celebration of the Divine Office and the Eucharist. Monks are available for spiritual assistance. A deposit is requested, but offerings are made on a free-will basis.
This monastery offers accommodations to people for short-term retreats and long term stays over 30 days. Visitors observe the same silence as the monks, eat the same vegetarian meals and can take part in the prayer services. The monks of Mepkin Abbey belong to the worldwide Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance.
St. Gregory's Abbey
St. Gregory's Abbey in Shawnee, Oklahoma doesn't offer nightly accommodation, but they do organize weekend-long retreats where you can live like a monk for a few days. Specific weekend retreat dates are posted at this monastery's site.
At this California monastery, the main campus of the University of California at Berkeley is only a few blocks away. All available retreat space is for single occupancy and each room has a half-bath and a personal garden.
St. John's Abbey
In Collegeville, Minnesota, individual and group retreats are available at this monastery for men and women of all faiths. On a directed individual retreat, you will meet with a spiritual director once a day. This is a great place to enhance your monastic experience with views of Lake Sagatagan.