In Spain, it’s already possible to stay in former monasteries through the state hotel chain Paradores. However, what’s new now is that nuns themselves are renting out their vacant monastery rooms to tourists.
With this, the Andalucian city of Seville now offers a new, unique accommodation. The Convent of Santa María de Jesús has made four simple apartments available for tourists. ‘Light and tranquility in the heart of Seville,’ promises the accompanying text. Prices vary depending on which apartment the traveller chooses. Moreover, the move brings monastery life closer to the modern traveller. The apartments are available through the booking platform Airbnb.
The management of these special tourist apartments is in the hands of Javier Bernal and Luis Bidón. The duo discovered this unique opportunity through an acquaintance. He bought the special homemade sweets from the sisters and saw the announcement of the rental offer. The initiative to rent out the vacant spaces in the monastery was encouraged by its own archdiocese. They see it as an alternative source of income for the monastery, given the declining vocations and aging community.
The apartments offer original tourist accommodation. Although they have been adapted for visitors, based on the photos, they still appear extremely modest. However, the monastery, where the scent of sweet treats wafts through the corridors, will offer a unique ambiance. The emphasis is on a peaceful and respectful stay. Tourists will coexist with the sisters. Therefore, priority is given to guests seeking a deeper connection with religious life. So far, the monastery apartments attract mainly foreign tourists. But, there are also Spanish guests who are drawn to this unique experience.