Review of Convent Stay, Villa Santa Maria, 81 Via di Monte de Gallo, Vatican City.
By James H. Coppens, submitted by Chuck Gooley.
I booked a monastery stay at Villa Santa Maria (LAR140)
on 16 Mar 2015 for Apr 26-29, and was charged 45E, with an additional 180E due in cash upon arrival, or 75E per day, for 2 people. Later I cancelled the last night, so only stayed 2 days.
MonasteryStays is just a booking service, and I have written a review of the service separately.
This is a review of the Convent stay only. Although the location looked close to the Vatican on the map, it was deceiving, because of the hill Monte de Gallo, which increased the walk considerably. We arrived Sunday morn at 0830 and left our bags, as we were going to the Vatican Museums that day. When we returned at around 5 PM, we inquired and were told that no wifi, computer, or kitchen access (incl refrigerator), was extended. The nuns spoke little English, and kept saying “bed only” in Italian. The only service we were able to get was an adapter so we could charge our cell phones. There was a phone in the room, but we had no one to call, so we did not use it. So much for the usual amenities a person expects with a hotel.
The room with two beds, was very clean, with sparkling tiles, and lots of storage space. The bathroom also was sparkling clean. Everything looked new. Other than the room, and stairway, there was no common area for the guests to sit in.
As to guest relations, the nuns did not seem helpful, as thought they were not used to guests and the questions. When I asked if they had many guests, they indicated they had a lot, but were not helpful like a front desk person at a hotel. And the price was not that much lower than a hotel.
After staying at Hostel Alessandro, with computer access, wifi, kitchen access, etc., my wife asked me why we changed to the Convent Villa Santa Maria. She had forgotten I had said I wanted to experience both the hostel and a convent stay. After a few hours there, I considered it a failed experiment also. Although we had considerable more privacy than at Hostel Alessandro, all the other conveniences outweigh the additional privacy.
I concluded I probably will not stay in a Convent again. The Monastery Stay system may be satisfactory for some, but not for me.