"Heavenly and peaceful stay in a convent" Kloster St. Maria Tip by Trekki
Kloster St. Maria, Esthal: 4 reviews and 10 photos
I am so grateful to Sally (@Beausoleil) for having found this peaceful retreat in the middle of the forest west of Neustadt and der Weinstraße. It is a convent, led by the Schwestern vom Göttlichen Erlöser (sisters of the Divine Redeemer) and served as domestic science school in the past. Today it is still a place for religious exercises for sisters and brothers of all order. Luckily, early 2010, the administration has decided to open the convent for anyone seeking peaceful recreation and for pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela. What a good decision! The whole complex is not only peaceful but also impeccable clean and very well organised. The rooms only have a sink (because of the former school), three towels are provided. Toilets and showers are located on the same floor. I didn’t count but I think in total it is approx. each six showers and toilets per twelve rooms. I did not perceive this as a problem at all. In addition, each floor has a kitchen with oven, refrigerator and a seating area, so one can bring own food and cook. Although the sisters offer a lunchbox and evening snacks. I didn’t use this but saw the delicious evening snacks upon arrival: bread, cold cuts and cheese and vegetables. In the breakfast room they have a coffee machine with espresso, cappuccino and latte macchiato. During breakfast coffee is free, outside of breakfast hours coffee costs a fee of 0,50 Euro, to be put into a box.
I loved it! My room was facing east, direction farmland and forest and the convent’s garden in front of the wing. I slept so peaceful and deep and did not at all have the sleeping problems I have at home these days. We were here mid September, with autumn already slowly arriving and this meant that the early mornings were especially magic with fog and mist still hanging in the air. I woke up at 6 a.m. and had such a pleasure standing on the terrace and watch the world waking up and the mist slowly vanishing when the sun appeared. I loved their healthy breakfast with cereals, curd, cold cuts, cheese, Palatinate liver sausage (spread), rolls of three kinds (including wholemeal seed rolls), fresh eggs (of happy chicken with vast living areal, I could taste that), jam, honey, Nutella, orange juice, milk and fruits (apples and grapes). The breakfast room is facing east and has big windows, so this added to the pleasure of eating here in the morning. It is on my second photo, the big annex on the right hand side.
What more to tell? They have also one apartment with kitchen and ensuite facilities. But I let Sally describe their stay in this apartment one day. They offer WiFi near the reception, but again it will be Sally who might write about this. I only heard her mentioning connection problems from time to time. But it seems the administration is aware of that and helps. One of the receptionists speaks English, the majority of the sisters do not, but I have seen that sign language does work. Sister Barbara, the one who was in charge of the reception when I stayed there, is a cheerful and sweet person!
In terms of meals: as I already mentioned, the convent offers light evening snacks, but I heard from another guest that there is a restaurant and a cafe-bar in the little town of Esthal. We didn’t use the snacks nor did we look at the restaurant because Sally and her husband had the apartment and on our sightseeing day we ate in the little villages we visited.
For my two nights I paid 56 Euro including breakfast, which is a very reasonable price. Note that they are not prepared to accept credit cards at the moment, only debt cards of German banks. But they are working on this, so maybe in the future they can provide a credit card machine.
Would I stay here again? Yes, definitely! In terms of peace this convent even exceeds Waldhaus Wilhelm, which was my favourite until now for staying in this region. I even plan to book a yoga weekend there, for 129 Euro including two nights and full board quite an attractive price. And where would practising yoga and meditation make more sense than in this peaceful heaven.
Location of Kloster St. Maria, Esthal on Google Maps.
© Ingrid D., September 2012 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.)
Comparison: less expensive than average