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Convents, Monasteries and Abbeys Offer 'Divine' Accommodations
Posted on October 8th, 2015

It's one of travel's best-kept secrets.

Convents, abbeys and monasteries throughout the country and around the world are offering budget-priced accommodations to tourists looking to swap stays in busy hotels for more serene surroundings.
You could call them "divine accommodations."

Providing respite to pilgrims and travelers is a tradition that stretches back for centuries, and a number of religious communities are continuing the practice today. Some welcome tourists, while others limit guests to those seeking retreats or days of meditation. Some are open to
And if you're picturing spartan surroundings, bowls of gruel and mandatory prayer sessions, check again. Many are situated in beautiful, off-the-beaten path locales, feature comfortable rooms, private baths and home-cooked meals, and don't mandate attendance at religious services.

One example is Mercy By the Sea, a retreat center operated by the Sisters of Mercy in Madison, features 33 acres of beautiful beaches, outdoor gardens and guest rooms, most with private balconies overlooking Long Island Sound. The property also includes Seascape Beach House, the former vacation home of Phil Donahue and Marlo Thomas, which was donated to the retreat center and is available for group rentals (

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