I recently purchased this informative book about lodging in monasteries by Eileen Barish, titled Lodging in Spain's Monasteries: Inexpensive Accommodations Remarkable Historic Buildings Memorable Settings
published by Anacapa Press,2002. It is a well-made paperback and a bit pricey at $22.95, but well worth the price for the amount of information it provides.
The book lists 150 monasteries where one may stay as a guest. The book is divided by provinces into two parts. Part one lists those that offer hospitality to all, and part two only to those who are seeking hospitality for spiritual endeavors. Each monastery listed includes a historical overview; a description of the accommodations provided; the number of single, double, or even triple rooms for large families. Whether men,women, or families are welcome.
The amenities section describes what the monastery provides the traveler, like towels and linens. It also has a meals section, sometimes the stay includes one or more meals; the cost of lodging; special rules; directions on how to reach the monastery; and contact information, including e-mail address, if it has one.
While it definitely does not cover all monasteries in Spain, it does include information on a lot of them! It has a lot of photographs, but they are all in black and white.
An example of one listed that drew my eye was the Convento Inmaculada Concepción, run by the Clarisse Nuns. This convent is located in Alhama, between Malaga and Granada, which is 30 miles south of the convent, at the foot of the Almijara mountains. The convent has lodgings of 20 beds in 1 triple, 1 quadruple, 3 single, and 5 double rooms. There are four shared baths. Both men and women are welcome.
While meals are not provided the kitchen and dining room are available to the guests. The nuns also sell a large variety of pastries and baked goods, which the guests can purchase.
The cost of lodging is a voluntary contribution.
There is an 11:00 p.m. curfew, and the covent is open year round.
As a librarian, I would recommend this book to readers. This book fills a void for those travellers that are seeking alternative accommodations to hotels, hostales and paradores.
But, it is pricey, so perhaps you may want to check it out from your local library!