Institut Germans Maristes, Ctra C-12
The Buzz Trips View
Like the Roca Blanca in Espot, the Hotel Hostatgeria del Monestir is located amidst some divine Catalonian scenery in Montsec with the added bonus of being part of a 12th century Abbey, El Monestir de les Avellanes. Avellanes means hazelnuts but there isn’t much evidence of any hazelnut trees these days, although the grounds and gardens don’t suffer from their absence. It’s a three star inn that’s part of a monastery so don’t expect any grandeur – basic is the name of the game. I got a buzz out of staying in such an unusual location and it’s a fabulous base for biking, hiking and sightseeing in general. However, a couple of nights here would be sufficient for me.
There are 37 basically furnished, en suite double rooms that although they don’t have TVs, do have wifi access and a hair-dryer… which is useful for keeping your tonsure nice and neat. I was disappointed my room wasn’t a bit more like a monastic cell which would have added more character. Maybe something like a flagellation whip might have been an interesting touch.
It’s part of an abbey so a wander around the grounds and gardens is interesting in itself, though I’m not so sure about climbing the steps signposted Jacob`s Ladder. Plus there are guided tours of El Monestir de les Avellanes twice a day. There’s a restaurant attached to the hotel which offers avant-garde cuisine but I didn’t eat there so can’t comment. The dining room is wonderfully atmospheric but the breakfast choice and service was a bit like the rooms, basic. One of the best things about staying at the Hotel Hostatgeria del Monestir is they arrange a magical package that includes dinner and a starry, starry experience at the Parc Astronòmic Montsec.
Rooms cost from around €90 for 2 people (breakfast included). Check here for offers.
I stayed and prayed at Hotel Hostatgeria del Monestir as a guest of the Catalunya Tourist Board.